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The 15 Best Parenting Moments of 2019

This past year, these celebrity parents and viral sensations set a good example for raising kids right.

Being a parent can be amazing, from those first snuggles with your new baby to watching them become older, smarter, and more confident as if overnight. However, no matter how many kids you have or how much support, handling those late-night wake-ups and epic tantrums is no easy feat. But any parent knows it's all worthwhile—and sometimes you even get the recognition you deserve, like these moms and dads who went viral in 2019 for being a shining example to the rest of us. From Hilary Duff getting real about being a working, breastfeeding mom to the dads who did ballet with their little girls, these were our favorite viral parenting moments of the past year.

Dwyane Wade standing up for his child after Instagram users critiqued their style

gabrielle union and dwyane wade and their kids

When Gabrielle Union posted a cute photo of her family to Instagram on Thanksgiving, she probably didn't think it would cause controversy. But soon, numerous people started voicing their disapproval of the cropped sweater and fake nails that Zion, her 12-year-old stepchild with husband Dwyane Wade, was wearing. However, Wade wasn't about to let anyone pick on his pre-teen without a fight. "I've been chosen to lead my family not y'all," he quipped on Twitter. "So we will continue to be us and support each other with pride, love & a smile."

This adorable kindergartener inviting his whole class to attend his adoption proceeding

young boy sitting at table in adoption court with his parents and classmates behind him
Facebook/Kent County, Michigan

Getting adopted can be a life-changing event, and some kids just can't wait to celebrate their good fortune with the people they love. Luckily for Michigan elementary school student, Michael Clark, Jr., there were plenty of folks to share in the happy celebration—namely, his entire kindergarten class, all of whom he invited to his big day.

The resulting photos of Michael; his adoptive parents, Andrea Melvin and Dave Eaton; and Michael's classmates, who held up signs with pink hearts on them during the proceedings, went viral, and rightfully so. With parents like those, there's no doubt Michael's going to have a lot to look forward to with his folks.

Chrissy Teigen being candid about how much work it takes to keep her household running

Chrissy Teigen in yellow dress on red carpet

Chrissy Teigen has been lauded by countless fans for her willingness to be candid about her life, career, and struggles as a mom. And while many celebrities never acknowledge the army of domestic staff they employ to keep their lives organized, Teigen wasn't about to pretend she handled every aspect of caring for her children and home without help. During a Twitter Q&A session, Teigen opened up about just what it takes to keep it all together. "We have 4 incredible people, not all at once," she said, when asked about the family's nanny situation. "One will rotate and stay through the night."

These parents creating an accessible playground for their daughter and kids like her

maddie mann park sign in front of accessible playground
Facebook/The Maddie Mann Foundation for Accessible Play

Jamie and Michael Mann were inspired to take action and bring accessible play spaces to their community in Colonial Heights, Virginia, due to their daughter, Maddie, who uses a wheelchair. After five years of working with local government and the project's donors, the Manns were able to open Maddie's Magnificent Playpark, an accessible playground that's entirely barrier-free—in other words, completely accessible to those who use wheelchairs like Maddie.

These dads doing ballet at their children's dance class

group of black fathers dancing with their daughters at ballet studio

Parents often go above and beyond for their kids, which was definitely the case when a group of Philadelphia fathers joined their kids for a strenuous ballet workout at E'Chappe Dance Arts. In a video that went viral after being shared by actor Michael Ealy, a group of fathers pliéd, arabesqued, and tendued their way into the hearts of millions.

Cardi B capturing her husband, Offset, perfecting their daughter's hair

offset brushing baby kulture's hair

The children of celebrities aren't always waited on hand and foot by a staff of various assistants, as is the case with Cardi B and rapper Offset's daughter Kulture. In a sweet moment posted to her Instagram, Cardi captured her husband making sure Kulture looked camera ready, brushing down her baby hairs into a manicured swoop before showing off his handiwork to the camera.

This dad posting his daughter's outrageous Christmas list on Twitter

viral christmas wish list

Some kids want Barbies for Christmas. Some want toy cars. But Twitter user @A_Johnson412's 10-year-old daughter had some pricier items in mind. The little girl's dad posted a photo on Twitter of her outrageous Christmas list, which included a new MacBook Air, a Chanel purse, and $4,000, just to name a few of the high-ticket items. He told his followers his daughter "must be out of her mind" to ask for such over-the-top gifts. So, while she may not get everything she wants this year, at least she's still got a dad with a great sense of humor.

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka commemorating the Stonewall Riots' 50th anniversary with their kids

neil patrick harris, david burtka, and their two children in front of the stonewall inn at nyc pride

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka have never been shy about sharing photos of their adorable twins, Gideon and Harper, with the world via social media. That was certainly true in 2019, when the pair celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots—generally considered the catalyst for the gay liberation movement in the United States—with their little ones in tow, posting the resulting shot to Instagram of the family decked out in rainbow gear. Burtka captioned the sweet picture of the quartet together at the NYC Pride March, "Happy 50th @thestonewallinn and Happy GAY PRIDE!!"

This dad losing his mind after losing his daughter's hamster

dad loses hamster viral texts
Steph Veerman/Twitter

Pets are members of the family too—something single dad Daniel Veerman knows all too well. While taking care of his daughter's hamster, Chester, the fuzzy little guy managed to escape, leading to one of this year's most hilarious viral parenting moments.

Upon realizing that Chester had disappeared, Veerman sent a series of frantic texts to his daughter, which included his profuse apologies and his plan for finding him: setting out Chester's favorite snacks and laying flour down to see where the little guy's footprints led. Fortunately, Chester emerged unscathed, and Veerman had his 15 minutes of fame for his adorable dedication to his daughter and her beloved rodent.

Hilary Duff posting a picture of her breastfeeding while on set in support of working moms

hilary duff breastfeeding

Being a working mom is a tough gig, even when you're a celebrity. In one of the year's most relatable celebrity parenting moments, Younger star Hilary Duff opened up about the difficulty of balancing breastfeeding her infant daughter, Banks, and her demanding career. "I had zero down time and am usually pumping in a hair and makeup trailer while four hands work to get me ready for the next scene with lots of other people around," Duff lamented on Instagram. "I was sad and frustrated and feeling like a failure all of the time. When really I'm a bad*** rock star. Moms get high on feeling like superwoman…because we are! Doing too much, because we can!"

This cable technician being kind to a disabled child while on a call

young white man in backwards baseball cap holding young boy
Facebook/Jessica Nash Donnahoo

Every parent could use a hand from time to time, but it's not always easy to accept help even when you know you need it. However, when South Carolina mom Jessica Nash Donnahoo was having a tough time with her three-year-old son, Sailor, who is blind and has brain defects, she was happy to find help from an unexpected source: Robert, a cable technician who had come to fix the family's internet.

In a now-viral Facebook post written to her internet provider, Donnahoo explained, "When Robert walked in and started talking, Sailor ran to him and reached up. Robert didn't seem bothered at all and, instead, held my son off and on for the whole 45 minutes he was in our home."

She continued: "He snuggled him close while I folded laundry. It was a huge relief to this tired momma. Robert could have walked in, rushed, and left but instead he saw a need greater than internet and met it."

Pink standing up for Jessica Simpson's parenting decisions

pink dyeing daughter's hair

Celebrity parents are constantly scrutinized by the public for even the most seemingly innocuous parenting decisions, but when the internet came for Jessica Simpson, fellow musician and mom Pink wasn't about to let that happen.

After Instagram users criticized Simpson for dyeing her daughter's hair, Pink showed Simpson's detractors just what she thought of that. "I heard people were bummed on Jessica Simpson for letting her seven year old get her hair colored. So we thought we'd share what we did yesterday," she captioned an Instagram photo of herself coloring her 8-year-old daughter's hair, adding the hashtags "#parentpoliceareactuallyjustlonelysadpeople" and "#illdyeyourhairtoo."

Alexis Ohanian voicing his support for paid paternity leave

alexis ohanian tickling daughter's toes as she sits in carseat

While many states are working to create paid leave policies for new parents, plenty of caregivers—particularly dads—still have limited time off when their children are born. And in many cases, those who do have access to paid leave don't take it for fear of damaging their careers. In August 2019, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who shares daughter Olympia with wife Serena Williams, took to The New York Times to voice his support for more generous paternity leave policies—and less stigma against taking time off.

"Taking leave… set me off on the right foot for sharing parental responsibilities. Two years later, there is no stigma in our house about me changing diapers, feeding Olympia, doing her hair, or anything else I might need to do in a pinch," he wrote, telling fellow fathers, "I took my full 16 weeks and I'm still ambitious and care about my career. Talk to your bosses and tell them I sent you."

Amy Schumer opening up about her tough pregnancy for a good cause

amy schumer holding newborn son gene

Following the birth of her son Gene in May, Amy Schumer opened up to her Instagram followers about the challenges of her pregnancy. "I threw up violently and felt sick mostly every day of my pregnancy. Hyperemesis is real and it's awful," she wrote. Schumer then credited other women for being the support that helped her get through the difficult time. "Every woman I encountered is so willing to help and advise you and I felt all their strength," she wrote.

Finally, Schumer expressed her concern for those mothers who have to give birth without the same type of medical care and comforts she is lucky enough to have, and directed her followers to donate to Every Mother Counts, a charity committed to improving maternal health and childbirth outcomes in the United States, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Bangladesh, and Tanzania.

This dad having a hilarious "conversation" with his not-yet-verbal son

young black father having conversation with toddler son on couch

They say talking to babies is the best way to build their verbal skills, which is clearly a method that funny father DJ Pryor knows a little something about. In a video filmed by his wife, Shanieke, that's since gone viral, Pryor sits on a couch with his then 19-month-old son, Kingston, with whom he seems to have a full conversation. While DJ asks questions about a show the two appear to be watching together, baby Kingston responds in adorable babbles and expressive gestures as his dad plays along, smiling and laughing at the little one as he tries to get his point across.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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