Yael Meshulam or something you find in dirty diaper. We aren't sure.

Yael Meshulam

Veteran in Hospice Care Has Final Wish Granted, Sees Beloved Dog One Last Time

Dying veteran sees beloved dog one last time
(Facebook/Albuquerque Animal Welfare)

For many, dogs become far more than just pets. Their loyalty, intuition, and unconditional love make them members of the family, ones who stand by our sides during life’s most challenging moments. A veteran named John Vincent was heartbroken when he had to give up his beloved dog Patch after entering hospice care, and even during his final days, he didn’t stop thinking about his best friend.

The 69-year-old had no family nearby, and nobody he knew was willing to take in his 5-year-old companion. When Vincent was moved to the Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Patch was relinquished to Albuquerque Animal Welfare.

Vincent’s condition was quickly deteriorating, and during a session with his palliative care social worker, Amy Neal, the veteran made a far-fetched last request. His last wish was to see his best friend once more, to say one last goodbye to the loyal terrier. After realizing how meaningful the reunion would be to Vincent, Neal scrambled to make the veteran’s last wish a reality.

“When the request came in, it was an immediate ‘absolutely,’ and let’s do whatever we can to get it done,” Danny Nevarez, Director of Animal Welfare told the Albuquerque Journal. “It was as simple as getting Patch over here.”

As the animal welfare workers drove towards Vincent with Patch quietly in tow, something in the small pup changed.

“It’s almost like he knew, he just started whimpering,” Nevares told the Journal. “Like he had that anticipation.”

The reunion between Vincent and Patch was nothing short of extraordinary, with both man and dog perking up at the sight of one another.

Veteran in hospice says goodbye to beloved dog
(Facebook/Albuquerque Animal Welfare)

“Yeah, that’s me, that’s daddy,” Vincent said to Patch. “Are you so happy to see me? I’m so happy to see you.”

Albuquerque Animal Welfare shared touching photos of the reunion on Facebook, grateful to be part of something so meaningful. Vincent and Patch got to take their time saying a final goodbye, closure that each of them likely needed.

“It was such a heart warming moment,” Albuquerque Animal Welfare wrote on Facebook. “They were so happy to see each other and to say their good byes. It was an honor to make this veterans final wish come true.

Dad With Alzheimer’s Has Touching Reaction to Daughter’s Pregnancy News

Dad with Alzheimer's reacts to daughter's pregnancy

Watching a loved one struggle with Alzheimer’s is one of the most heartbreaking things imaginable. While most diseases have primarily physical impacts, Alzheimer’s chips away at the very things that define the people it affects. The degenerative nature of the disease means that it gets worse over time, and tragically, the very person who once made you the center of their world sometimes fails to recognize you entirely.

A TikTok user named Olivia Salza knows the challenges that come with Alzheimer’s all too well, as her father Joe was diagnosed when he was just 55 years old. In an emotional clip Salza shared on TikTok, she visits her now 63-year-old dad in the hospital to share some life-changing news.

@oliviasalzaTelling my dad who has Alzheimer’s that we’re pregnant after a 3 year fertility struggle ❤️ ##fyp ##alzheimersfight ##fertilityjourney

♬ original sound – Olivia Salza

Olivia and her husband Nick wanted desperately to have a baby, and after three years of struggling with infertility, the couple got the news they’d been longing to hear. Olivia was pregnant, and she couldn’t wait to tell her dad.

Upon entering the hospital, Olivia asks her dad if he knows who she is – a heartbreaking question that no child should ever have to ask their parent. Fortunately, Joe is lucid. He even jokingly confuses his daughter with Nick, her husband, before chuckling at his admittedly well-played prank.

“I have a big secret,” Olivia says, swearing her dad to secrecy before unveiling her incredible news. “I’m pregnant.”

In that moment, it’s as if Joe and Olivia are having a father-daughter moment like any typical father and daughter. There is no hospital, no disease, just a dad crying tears of joy at the news that he’s going to be a grandpa.

“Oh my god” he mouths quietly before marveling at the fact that Nick, Olivia’s husband, will finally have a baby of his own. “What he doesn’t know — of the cradle of that person,” Joe says as cradles his arms, perhaps remembering when he held his own daughter years ago.

“What you’ve done for me my whole life,” Olivia says as her voice catches in her throat.

“But that’s what we do,” Joe responds lovingly.

Even when times aren’t ideal, even when life hands you challenges you never could have anticipated, dads like Joe do everything in their power to give their kids the world. Joe and Olivia’s bond is almost tangible, and though the last several years certainly haven’t been easy, nothing comes between a dad and his daughter.

After Firefighter Loses His Life, Team Organizes Parade for His Son’s Birthday

Firefighters hold birthday parade for fallen colleague's son
(Youtube/Rockland Report, CBS New York)

Emergency responders put their lives on the line every single day to protect their communities. First responders go through extensive training to keep them as safe as possible on the job, but there are some situations that no amount of training could have prepared them for. 35-Year-old Jared Lloyd, a Spring Valley volunteer firefighter and father of two, tragically lost his life while putting out a fire at a nursing home in late March – just one day before his oldest son’s 6th birthday.

According to CBSN New York, the nursing home’s alarm system was not properly set up, and emergency dispatch services were not automatically contacted when the fire alarm went off. The devastating delay allowed the fire to grow as 112 people struggled to flee from the building.

When firefighters arrived, they hit another roadblock. The water pressure was inadequate, stifling their efforts to get the growing flame under control. Jared Lloyd bravely rushed to the third floor to save a resident still trapped inside, and tragically, conditions became too dangerous for the firefighter to escape.

“This is probably the greatest joint save effort with the worst type of outcome, meaning, there were so many people saved that day, but we lost one of our own,” Fire Chief Ken Conjura said.

Family, friends, and coworkers of Lloyd rallied to support the fallen firefighter. Lloyd was well known as a giver, someone who would drop everything to help those in need. A GoFundMe has been set up in his honor and has already raised over $600,000 for his two young children.

On March 24, a nearly hour-long parade of fire trucks, tow trucks, police cars, and garbage trucks drove past the fallen firefighter’s home for his son’s 6th birthday. With Conjura leading the way, the community rallied together to support the young boy. Some brought presents, some came with signs, some simply honked their horns and waved as they passed. The parade served as more than just a birthday celebration – it was a message of support to Lloyd’s family, the reassurance that they were not alone.

“He was that guy that you could call and he would be here in a minute,” Conjura said of Lloyd. “He was that guy that couldn’t leave because he was afraid to miss something. He was that guy that you want to have on your team. He’s going to be a big, big, tremendous loss to this department. He died as a hero.”

Dad Immediately Regrets Trying Toddlers’ Favorite Bizarre Food Combos

Dad tries gross toddler food combos

It often feels like toddlers are some sort of other-world species doing their best human impressions. Actually, aside from the “other world” thing, that’s basically what toddlers are. They have all of the equipment to become humans, but none of the software. Toddlers wobble around absorbing information, learning from the people around them what it means to act like a person. The most beautiful thing about toddlers is just how little they understand about judgment from others – it’s a sort of freedom that leads them to do absurd things daily because, well, who cares?

Twitter user dadmann_walking zeroed in on one aspect of toddlerhood that leaves parents around the world completely baffled – their eating habits. Toddlers are in a constant phase of experimentation, doing whatever the heck they want to figure out the world around them. But somehow, even with that intense curiosity, toddlers are picky as heck when it comes to the foods they’re willing to eat. Parents regularly throw up their hands and cave to their little ones’ whims (within reason), happy that they’re at least eating something.

Dadmann_walking figured that maybe, just maybe, these toddlers were onto something. The father of three turned to Twitter with an odd request, one he quickly regretted.

“Tell me some really weird food combinations that your toddlers have eaten,” he wrote, “and i will choose some and make a video of me eating these things.”

According to his Twitter bio, dadmann’s youngest is six years old. He’s far removed from the toddler years and clearly hasn’t caught a kid drinking ketchup straight from the bottle in a while. The replies quickly poured in, and uh, they’re not pretty.




Ok, well now I just feel bad

Like an absolute champ, this dad kept his word. But first, he had to get some supplies.

In a two-part stomach-churning series, dadmann came through. “None of these foods should go together,” he begins. “None of them.”

Completely exasperated, he digs in. Hot dogs dipped in blueberry yogurt, so many things dipped in ketchup, banana dipped in ranch dressing, a peanut butter and mustard sandwich – understandably, he can’t even get most of these combos down. But the point is he tried, and for that, we’re both proud and horrified.

Watch at your own risk.
Part 1

And (ugh) part 2

Newly Commissioned Officer Gets First Salute From Marine Corps Master Sgt Dad

Newly Commissioned Officer Gets Moving First Salute From Dad

There’s truly no shortage of proud moments as a parent. Your kids’ first steps, their first words, the first time they turn off the kitchen light without having to be reminded. The milestones kids hit as they grow up are well worth celebrating, but there comes a time when our kids are no longer kids, and suddenly they’re accomplishing things that are thoroughly impressive at any age.

For Master Sergeant Michael Fisher, his incredibly proud father-son moment was captured on video and shared with the world. Master Sergeant Fisher is an instructor with the Marine Corps Junior ROTC program, and an undoubtedly fulfilling part of his role is rendering newly commissioned officers their first official salutes.

In a video Master Sergeant Fisher shared on TikTok that’s been liked over 1.2 million times in just a week, the proud dad shared an especially moving milestone for a new Second Lieutenant – his own son.

“I’ve watched you grow and mature and become the man that you are today,” Master Sergeant Fisher says in the video, his voice filled with emotion. “You have always been respectful, by saying ‘Yes sir.’ ‘No sir.’ ‘Yes, ma’am.’ And ‘No, ma’am.’”

“A salute is a sign of respect,” he continues shakily, looking at his son as if nothing else in the world exists in that moment. “It is a privilege to render you your first salute. But it is a greater honor to say ‘Congratulations, sir, on your commissioning.'”

@e8msgtRendering my son his 1st Salute! ##marine ##2ndLT ##usmc ##fatherson ##fyp ##military ##instructor♬ original sound – Mike Fisher

In that moment, the newly commissioned Second Lieutenant raises his own hand in a salute. Father and son face each other, the silent moment filled with pride, mutual respect, and an enormous amount of love.

The emotional moment touched millions around the world, highlighting just how impactful life’s big moments truly are. Had one thing in this situation had been different, it still would have been worth celebrating. A Master Sergeant giving any newly commissioned officer their first salute is powerful. A father proudly watching his son accomplish something incredible is undeniably heartwarming. But when these milestone moments converge, the result is nothing short of extraordinary.

Story of Dads Helping 8-Year-Old Who Lost His Father Sparks Touching Thread

Touching twitter thread after story of dads helping 8-year-old

It really does take a village to raise a kid, an idea that was brought to light in the most touching way after a Twitter user named Jonathan Torrens shared a story from his childhood. Losing a parent is exceedingly difficult, especially at a young age. Kids crave attention, love, and guidance from their parents, something they’re reminded of time and time again as they watch their peers with their own parents.

At the age of 8, Jonathan Torrens experienced a kid’s worst nightmare – the loss of his dad. Though nothing can ever fill the void of a parent you’ve lost, dads who knew Jonathan through hockey began to step up. Quietly, subtly, not drawing attention to the little boy who didn’t have a dad to help him tie his skates, the fathers of his peers helped Jonathan feel a little less alone. No pity, just kindness.

“My dad died when I was 8,” Jonathan wrote in his post. “Every week a few of the dads on my hockey team would offer to tie my skates. Not in a big showy way, in a quiet kind way. They filled the gap. Find a way to fill the gap for someone. It’ll make you both better.”

Jonathan’s touching story and call to action gained the attention of people around the world, inspiring others to share stories of their own.

There was the uncle who fully embraced the role of hockey parent for his nephew

The Zamboni driver turned coach who made sure no kid was left behind

The couple who took “friends forever” extremely seriously

Fairy godmothers giving Disney a run for their money

A father figure who knew exactly what role he needed to fill

A neighbor overflowing with generosity in more ways than one

The whole village showing up to do their part

Hockey dads filling the gap for another kid in need

Dads so kind even the nuns were impressed

Jonathan’s story and the moving thread that followed is a reminder that no gesture is too small to make a difference. Every dad knows that being a parent doesn’t stop with your own kids – once you’re a dad, you’re a dad for life. Maybe that means you respond to “I’m tired” with “hi tired, I’m dad” no matter who says it. Or maybe, being a dad means that you know when a kid, any kid, needs one.

YouTuber Builds AI Machine to Compliment Dogs Outside and Alert Him as They Pass

YouTuber builds AI dog detector
(YouTube/Ryder Calm Down)

The only thing that beats spending all day looking at animal pictures online is seeing an animal in real life. As it turns out, there’s a reason we feel better when staring into those wide-eyed, furry faces. Looking at pictures of animals actually increases our serotonin levels, rewarding us with a burst of the mood-stabilizing chemical any time we so much as Google “cute dog.”

For Ryder who runs the YouTube channel Ryder Calm Down, pictures weren’t quite cutting it anymore. He wanted to see animals in real life, from the comfort of his own home. Ryder explained that he didn’t have time to sit at his street-facing window all day, eagerly waiting for a dog to pass. Instead, he built a machine to stand guard for him, a machine that’s perpetually on Paw Patrol (is that the premise of the show? I’ve still never made it through more than 30 seconds before zoning out completely).

Using a Raspberry Pi and a machine learning module, Ryder records a video feed through his window. The AI program is designed to recognize 80 unique things out in the real world, but Ryder only had eyes for one – neighborhood dogs. The street-facing Raspberry Pi camera runs constantly, analyzing everything that passes and identifying the things programmed into its system.

Ryan wrote up a unique code, telling his impressive setup to pay specific attention to dogs, even though it also recognizes things like cars and people. After testing to make sure the machine was in fact picking up any dogs that passed by, Ryder set up a very basic alert system in the form of a megaphone that essentially yelled at Ryder any time a dog was detected. The unsettling text-to-speech voice that never seems to know which syllables to emphasize notifies Ryder, “attenTION, there IS A dog OUTside.” Hey, if it works, it works.

When Ryder isn’t home, he still wants to make sure all the good boys and good girls out there get the attention they deserve. He turns the megaphone’s speaker towards the street, and if Ryan isn’t there to appreciate the dogs in person, he pre-recorded his very own complement. “I like your dog,” the megaphone announces to the very confused passerby. Something tells me Ryder is about to become extremely pupular among his furry neighbors.

Parents of Five Kids Adopt Seven Siblings After Their Parents Die in a Car Crash

Parents adopt seven siblings whose parents died in car accident

Being a child in foster care is never easy, but when you’re separated from your siblings, the situation becomes increasingly heartbreaking. The sad reality is that most kids are placed in separate foster homes from their siblings, and when they’re adopted, they’re often adopted without their biological brothers and sisters. It takes a special kind of person to take in multiple foster children, and it takes parents with enormous hearts to keep families together by adopting siblings.

Most of us scroll absentmindedly through Facebook, liking and commenting and even responding with the cry-face emoji if the situation is particularly heartbreaking. But Pam Willis is no ordinary Facebook user, and she’s certainly no ordinary parent. In January of 2019, Pam saw a post on Facebook detailing the story of seven siblings who had been in foster care for over a year after the unimaginable happened – the seven kids who ranged from 12-years-old to just 1-year-old lost both of their parents in a horrifying car accident.

“I can’t explain it — I just knew I was supposed to be their mom,” Pam told TODAY Parents.

Heartbroken for the trauma the young kids experienced and determined to help, Pam tagged her husband Gary in the post. The couple is no stranger to parenting, with five kids of their own and several foster kids over the years. Even so, Pam was certain her husband would think she’d lost her mind. The kids were already in foster care, so taking them in wouldn’t be temporary.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Pam Willis (@second.chance.7)

“That evening I asked my husband if he’d seen the post,” Pam wrote on Instagram. “’Yes,’ he said. ‘We should adopt them.’ My heart stopped. ‘We should,’ I said…We knew deep inside that this mission was being placed before us. If not us, then who?”

The couple called the number included in the article and quickly realized they weren’t the only ones touched by the seven siblings’ ordeal. Thousands of calls had come in about the siblings, couples stepping up to give the kids the life they deserved. Sometimes though, things are just meant to be. Their last child had just left their six-bedroom home, leaving the couple with a lot of space and a huge amount of love to give. Two months later, Pam and Gary were matched with the children who so deeply touched their hearts.

“They were ours from the minute we saw their faces on the news story,” Pam wrote in an Instagram post. “If you ask my friends, one moment we were reposting their heart wrenching news story and calling attention to their plight, the next minute we were meeting them, falling in love, and starting the adoption process. They moved in ‪June 7th.‬”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Pam Willis (@second.chance.7)

June 7th of 2019, Pam and Gary began a new chapter. The road wasn’t easy, and helping the kids cope with trauma was an ongoing process. It took time, care, and consistency to help the seven siblings realize they were safe in their new home. Prior to the car accident that took their lives, the siblings’ parents struggled with addiction and homelessness. The kids often didn’t know if they’d have a place to sleep or food to eat, so Pam and Gary’s home felt almost unbelievable.

“One night, my then-7-year-old came into our room,” Pam recalled. “I asked her, ‘Did you have a bad dream?’ And she replied, ‘No, I just wanted to make sure that you were still here.’”

In August of 2020, Pam and Gary took another important step in showing their kids that they weren’t going anywhere, that their family was forever. In a virtual ceremony attended by all 12 of the couple’s children, they officially adopted their seven sons and daughters.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Pam Willis (@second.chance.7)

Firefighters Save the Day When Deaf and Visually-Impaired Dog Gets Stuck in Pipe

Firefighters save dog from drainage pipe
(Facebook/St. Johns County Fire Rescue)

Firefighters put their lives on the line every single day, coming to the aid of those in dangerous and distressing situations. Firefighters are trained to handle a multitude of emergency situations, from car crashes to medical emergencies and everything in between. Not only do they protect the humans they serve, but firefighters frequently respond to calls involving animals in distress.

St. Johns County Fire Rescue had to get creative during an unusual call in mid-March, after a St Augustine, Florida resident made a terrifying discovery. Their deaf and visually impaired dog had managed to slip out of his home unnoticed, wedging himself in a drainage pipe.

The dog was too far into the pipe for his human to reach him, and because of his inability to hear or see properly, the pup was understandably terrified. Trapped and unable to escape the pipe, he cowered in fear as his human scrambled to get help.

Rather than waste time trying to free the increasingly anxious dog, the panicked owner called emergency services. St. Johns County Fire Rescue shared pictures from the harrowing ordeal on Facebook and celebrated their quick-thinking firefighters who saved the day.

“Engine 14, Squad 4, and USAR 4 arrived and realized the dog was located in the center of the drainage pipe. The crews work for about two hours tying to free him. He was scared and tired but not injured. He was happy to be reunited with his family!”

The comments are filled with residents and non-residents, congratulating the heroes on a job well done. “I just saw your post saving ducks now you’re saving dogs,” commented a Facebook user named Haley Adams. “Y’all are out here savin everybody thank you so much for your service.”

Mom Raises $35,000 for Custodian Who Helped Her Son With Autism Thrive at School

Mom raises $35,000 for school custodian
(Facebook/Tales of an Educated Debutante)

After seeing the impact the school custodian had on her son Amos, a simple “thank you” wouldn’t suffice for Adrian Wood. 7-Year-old Amos attends White Oak Elementary School in Edenton, North Carolina, and at first, his time at school was challenging. Amos has autism, and for Wood, sending him off to school on his own was a far different experience than most parents have.

“Sending three typical kids to school — you’re sad, but you’re excited for them,” Wood told Upworthy. “Sending Amos to school was such a different path. He was three when he started school. He was in diapers and he didn’t speak. But after Mr. Brown started saying ‘hello’ to him and calling him ‘Famous Amos,’ Amos started saying, ‘Hey Brown,” when he saw him. He wasn’t even saying ‘Daddy’ at that point, so it was really something.”

Mr. Brown is the custodian at White Oak Elementary, and for the past 15 years, he’s been going above and beyond to make the school a brighter place in more ways than one. He puts the students first, no matter how much work he has to do. Mr. Brown pours his heart into White Oak every single day, and Wood decided it was time to give something back.

Though Mr. Brown was nominated for a North Carolina Schools Heroes contest, he didn’t win. The loss hit Adrian Wood especially hard, and rather than nominate him for other awards, she took things into her own hands. Wood wrote about her gratitude towards Mr. Brown on her blog, and the moving story struck a chord with her followers. Before long, Wood had collected $35,000 for the custodian and father.

“Head custodian, a native of Edenton who graduated from our local high school in 1977 where he wrestled and played football,” Wood wrote on Facebook. “He had wanted to be a state trooper, but it didn’t happen. He got married and had five children, one of them whom was killed in a motorcycle accident. This week, he and wife celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary. Tomorrow morning, our community is surprising Mr. Brown with a big event.”

As Mr. Brown and his wife posed for anniversary pictures, they were interrupted by a different type of celebration. The community gathered to honor their favorite custodian, surprising him with signs, flowers, and $35,000.

“I was very surprised,” said Mr. Brown. “To see all those people shouting and hollering ‘Mr. Brown, congratulations,’ it was beautiful and it’s hard to explain, but I know this community loves Mr. Brown.”

Robert Irwin Drives to Meet Baby Niece for the First Time in His Late Dad’s Car

Robert Irwin drives to meet niece in late dad's car

The Irwin family has been waiting with bated breath for the arrival of their newest baby wildlife warrior, and finally, the wait is over. Grace Warrior Irwin Powell entered the world on March 25, honoring her late grandfather’s legacy by carrying both the Irwin name and the title of “Warrior” with her from the very beginning.

With the joy and celebration that comes with these life milestones, there’s a hint of sadness when we can’t share those moments with the people we love most. The Irwin family has done an incredible job over the years carrying the late Crocodile Hunter with them through life’s most important moments, and the birth of what would have been Steve’s first grandchild was no exception.

In an Instagram post, Robert Irwin revealed that he found a very special way to bring his dad with him to meet his very first grandchild. The newest Irwin arrived right on time, allowing her uncle to pass his driving test and carry out his touching plan.

Robert explained, “Passed my driving test! My first solo drive was a super special one – took my dad’s old Ute to see Grace in the hospital right after she was born.”

Smiling with pride, Robert leans against his late dad’s car as he celebrates two milestones: the freedom that comes with a driver’s license, and the joy of becoming an uncle. In a way, Robert’s first solo drive wasn’t fully solo. Driving his dad’s old car was an incredibly special way of bringing him with, ensuring that the undoubtedly proud grandpa didn’t miss a thing.

In a second post, Robert shares the amazing moment he held his newborn niece. “Let the uncle adventures begin! Love you so much, Grace,” Robert captioned the post. “This little one picked the two best parents in the entire world. The most incredible, caring and strong Mum… and the funnest, coolest and kindest Dad. Love you three so much – I can’t wait for this exciting journey ahead!”

Thai Navy Makes Daring Rescue To Save Four Kittens From Burning Boat

Thai navy rescues four kittens from burning boat

On a Tuesday in early March, Thai Navy officers rescued a crew from their sinking boat. The sailors worked quickly to pull the panicked crew to safety – their boat wasn’t just sinking, it was engulfed in flames. Once the immediate danger had passed, the Navy sailors began investigating from afar. The officers began looking for signs of a potential oil spill as the boat disappeared beneath the sea, but as they scanned the water, the sailors noticed something that made their hearts sink. As it turned out, the boat wasn’t as abandoned as they initially thought.

“I used my camera to zoom in to the boat, and I saw one or two cats popping their heads out,” First-Class Petty Officer Wichit Pukdeelon told The Daily Mail.

Without hesitation, Navy sailor Thatsaphon Saii jumped into the choppy water. Fueled by the ticking clock and the knowledge that he was the kittens’ only hope of survival, Saii pushed against the water’s current and swam to the smoking boat.

“I immediately took off my shirt and put on a life jacket so I could jump into the sea. The flames were at the back of the boat, but it was starting to sink, so I knew I had to be quick,” the heroic officer recalled.

In one incredible photo, a fiercely determined Saii is pulled back to his ship using a rope, a terrified kitten clutching his shoulders to stay above water. Thanks to the Navy crew’s quick thinking and the bravery of Thatsaphon Saii, all four kittens were brought to safety. Navy officers dried the kittens, holding them tightly both for warmth and to reassure them of their safety.

Miraculously, all four kittens survived the harrowing ordeal. In the purrfect conclusion to a potentially disastrous story, the heroic Navy officers brought their four newest crew-mates back to their command post on the island of Koh Lipe to recover.

LinkedIn Adds Titles Like “Stay-at-Home Dad” to Explain Employment Gaps

LinkedIn adds new titles to explain resume gaps

Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs out there, but stay-at-home parents often face roadblocks when trying to re-enter the paid workforce. Being a parent is a full-time job, and many two-parent households opt to have one parent stay home to care for the kids rather than paying for childcare. A huge amount of work goes into being a stay-at-home parent, but taking on that role is oftentimes viewed as a luxury.

It’s easy for those who have never taken care of kids and a household full-time to think it’s “not a real job” – what they fail to see, however, is the fact that there are no breaks. You’re perpetually juggling multiple things at once, your days are filled to the brim with work that needs to get done, and it’s not even a paid gig. Due to COVID, many parents have been forced to work and parent from home. Though the circumstances were less than ideal, it brought to light just how much work it takes to run a household, and it drove LinkedIn to take action.

Over the next few months, LinkedIn will be rolling out changes to the way it allows users to present themselves to potential employers. The professional networking site is adding new job titles to help users explain gaps in paid employment, many of which reflect parenting and caregiving roles. Users will be able to add titles like “stay-at-home-dad,” “caretaker,” and even simply “mom” or “dad” to their resumes, letting employers know that resume gaps were filled with a different type of work.

Previously, site users entered a job role to their employment profile which was linked to a specific company. That field will be optional in the future, so there’s no need to include the 3-year-old CEO of Stay-At-Home Dad Inc. on your resume. LinkedIn is also helping normalize the ebb and flow of career paths, allowing users to explain their resume gaps with options such as “parenting leave” or “sabbatical.”

Parenting and careers should not be mutually exclusive. For anyone who has left the job market for a period of time, re-entering the working world is exceedingly difficult. LinkedIn is taking steps to break down those barriers, validating the work that goes into parenting and making employment gaps feel less detrimental. Hopefully, the decision to become a stay-at-home parent is made easier with the knowledge that it doesn’t mean the end of your professional career.