PARENTS
12/27/2018 15:54 EST | Updated 12/27/2018 16:10 EST

The Best Parents Stories Of 2018 That Got Us Talking

There were so many highs ... and a few lows.

The best parenting moments of 2018
Getty Images/Serah Small/Canadian Tire
The best parenting moments of 2018

Being a parent — especially a new one — can sometimes drastically alter your sense of what's happening in the world.

The new Ariana Grande music video people can't stop talking about? Um, is that available on Netflix Kids? The hype over "Crazy Rich Asians"? Oh, cool, is that in theatres yet? Maybe we can get a sitter. The latest trends in school lunches? AH, PULL UP A CHAIR, YOUNG ONE, AND LET US TELL YOU A TALE OF BENTO BOXES AND NUT-FREE SPREADS.

It's not that our priorities have shifted so much as that we often only have time to consume the news most relevant to our own lives. What with keeping small humans alive, and all. And the exhaustion. Don't forget the exhaustion.

That said, here are the stories that got parents talking in 2018.

1. Baby Shark can't stop, won't stop

Every parent's most hated ear worm, "Baby Shark," made a lot of headlines this year.

WATCH: There's a baby shark plush toy now. Story continues below video.

There was the controversy in Korea over the lyrics (some accused them of being sexist and reinforcing gender stereotypes). Then there was the viral trend of parents doing the "baby shark challenge" outside their moving vehicles (and experts warning them this could be dangerous).

Finally, just in time for Christmas, WowWee released official Pinkfong "Baby Shark" plush toys that sing the damn song... and parents are doomed. They're also sold out almost everywhere. Do do do do do do!

2. Lachy and Emma called it quits

Naomi Jellicoe/Newspix/Getty Images
Lachlan Gillespie and Emma Watkins from children's band 'The Wiggles', pictured in 2015.

Love is dead.

The only celeb breakup that matters shook parents to their core this year. Emma "Yellow Wiggle" Watkins and Lachy "Purple Wiggle" Gillespie — of the incredibly popular Australian kids' show "The Wiggles" — announced in August that they were splitting up after two years of marriage. Parents were ... oddly devastated.

Look, we were all pretty delighted when the two singing, dancing Wiggles announced in 2015 that they were dating IRL, then announced their engagement a few months later, and were married in 2016. Could it be that we took a secret comfort in knowing that, even while singing and dancing about why you should wash your hands after "toilet use," two young people can find love? Could it be ... that ... true love... is real?

Nope. Sorry. They're getting divorced.

3. Meghan Markle is with child!

Samir Hussein/Getty Images
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on Dec. 18, 2018 in Twickenham, England.

In October, Kensington Palace confirmed what many already suspected: the Duchess of Sussex is pregnant. The palace would only confirm that the duchess is due "in the spring," but since then people have deduced she might be due in April.

Rumours started swirling that Meghan might be hiding a bump in September, when she wore a conveniently-shaped dress to the 100 Days to Peace Gala in London, and only intensified when she kept her coat on for Princess Eugenie's wedding ceremony.

Gareth Fuller/Associated Press
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, fooling no one as she arrives at the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, near London, England, Oct. 12, 2018.

Since their Oct. 15 announcement, we've learned that Prince Harry wants a girl, that Meghan might be considering hypnobirthing, and — SQUEAL! — they reportedly plan to visit Canada next year with the new royal baby!

We've also learned that it is scientifically impossible for the duchess to look anything less than stunning, even when she's growing a human in her own body.

4. Amy Schumer is also with child

Keeping pregnancy real for the rest of us is modern-day hero Amy Schumer. She announced her pregnancy in October, but Schumer also revealed she's suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition marked by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss and dehydration.

The "I Feel Pretty" star has since shared photos of her lying down in a hospital bed, a video of her puking in a public bathroom (that is not for the weak), and a photo of her hooked up to an IV with the caption "Am I glowing?"

Her photos and honesty about her tough pregnancy have moms all around the world going "Same, girl. Same."

5. Gender-neutral is where it's at

Canadian Tire
An ad in the new Canadian Tire catalogue

Gender stereotypes are so last year. These days everything from toys to clothes has come under scrutiny, and retailers have responded.

In November, Canadian Tire busted stereotypes with its Fall/Winter magazine, which featured an image of a little girl playing with a toy drill, and a little boy playing with a toy kitchen. It was a subtle and small detail, but one parents applauded.

Plus, songstress Céline Dion threw her weight behind gender-neutral clothing with the launch of her new kids' line, Célinununu. In the extremely extra commercial, Dion busts into the nursery of a hospital in the stealth of night to sprinkle pink and blue-attired newborns with black glitter, and then gets arrested.

WATCH: Céline Dion's gender-neutral clothing line is here. Story continues below video.

The clothes got so much attention, an actual exorcist even called them "satanic."

6. Dads aren't taking any more sh*t about changing diapers

It is 2018 and dads want change tables in men's bathrooms, already!

Often, there aren't diaper-changing tables in men's public bathrooms, leaving dads and caregivers with options like going into the women's bathroom with their babies, finding a quiet corner to change them out in the open, or changing them on the floor.

In January, a Calgary man made headlines after complaining about the lack of options for dads at his local Dairy Queen. In March, London, Ont. dad Frank Emanuele told HuffPost Canada that changing your kid's diapers in public is one of a dad's biggest challenges. In May, a dad's Facebook rant about having to change his daughter on a men's bathroom floor went viral.

More from HuffPost Canada:


In August, after Pincourt, Que. dad Chris Webb complained on Twitter about having to change his son's diaper in the women's bathroom at Tim Hortons, the restaurant released a statement explaining its new restaurant layout will include change tables in the men's bathroom.

Bravo!

7. Moms aren't taking any more sh*t about breastfeeding

Courtesy Serah Small
Grand Prairie, Alta. mom Serah Small breastfeeding in the locker room.

Moms are getting it done.

In March, a photo of an Alberta hockey player breastfeeding her baby in the locker room went viral, with social media users applauding the mom for doing what she needed to do. Serah Small of Grande Prairie said she shared the pic of her breastfeeding her eight-week-old daughter in order to help other new moms.

"I feel very empowered when breastfeeding uncovered and feel that as a young, confident mom that I can help change the stigma of breastfeeding and help normalize it. Because it should be seen as something beautiful and normal. Breastfeeding is done anytime, anywhere," Small told HuffPost Canada.

WATCH: MP breastfeeds in the House of Commons. Story continues below video.

Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould made history in March as the first sitting federal Canadian cabinet minister to give birth, then had many parents cheering as she breastfed her son in the House of Commons a few months later.

"Baby's gotta eat & I had votes," Gould tweeted about the experience.

8. PRINCE LOUIS!

Samir Hussein/Getty Images
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge depart the Lindo Wing with their newborn son Prince Louis of Cambridge at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England.

Is there anything better than a royal baby? Not in our world, there isn't.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed a son, their third child, on Monday, April 23, 2018 at St. Mary's Hospital in London. Since then, we've seen Prince Louis looking all regal in his first official photos, be a sleeping angel at his royal christening, flash a grin a new Royal Family portrait released to mark Prince Charles' 70th birthday, and sit front and centre in his family Christmas card.

Louis, who is fifth in line to the throne, is also apparently a good sleeper. This is according to Prince William, who told reporters "sleeping's going reasonably well so far, so he's behaving himself, which is good," as he arrived at Westminster Abbey to attend the Anzac Day service.

Buuuut then Prince William nodded off in the church, so take all that with a grain of salt.

9. Screen time is bad

Hero Images via Getty Images

Ugh, we know, we know, we know.

It seems like a new study, warning, or recommendation about the detriments of screen time has come out every day this year. It's been linked with a drop in brain functioning, changes in kids' brains, and a rise in teen attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms — just to name a few of the most recent studies.

In a report just this month, the American Academy of Pediatrics warned parents to avoid electronic toys and to instead buy their kids more traditional toys that fuel their imagination and development. You know, like books.

And yet ... sometimes a parent just wants to sit down for a hot minute or shower in peace. And the iPad is there for us.

Luckily, it's not all bad news. Over the last few years, several studies found that video chat services like FaceTime and Skype can benefit young children (in the same way real-life interactions do). And some Canadian parents and researchers have said that, for kids with autism spectrum disorder, screen time is an important tool that helps their kids communicate, develop social skills, enhance their ability to learn and even alleviate anxiety.

10. Parents are embracing the changes to their bods

Colleen
Ottawa mom Colleen, who requested her last name not be used, is one of nine who shared her hair loss photos.

Parenthood changes you. And we don't just mean all the love you never knew you could feel for another human blah blah blah. We mean your bod.

Moms in particular have to deal with this (although studies have shown that fatherhood is associated with weight gain). And this year, moms have shed all pretense about what having a baby does to them physically.

Chrissy Teigen (all hail) tweeted about ripping her "bumhole" in May. A photo project celebrating postpartum bodies made headlines in August after Facebook and Instagram banned some of their pics. And this month, moms shared some brutally honest photos of their postpartum hair loss with HuffPost Canada (we'd be remiss not to mention our new parenting series, "Life After Birth," which tackles postpartum hair loss as well as several other uncomfortable issues that may not come up at playgroup).

And those are just a few examples.

What a year! We wonder what 2019 will bring for us parents. Probably more studies about screen time, actually.

Watch: Postpartum hair loss is no joke.