There are a lot of good things about working from home – just like there are good things about working in an office (aw, offices, we miss you!). At home, for example, you have easy access to the kitchen, you don’t spend money on lunch, you can do several household chores like dishes and laundry while you’re on a conference call, and you don’t really never need to get dressed. And of course, for parents, WFH can be great because it gives you more flexibility in terms of juggling work and childcare – or so you think. But anyone who’s ever tried to work from home, with kids and without childcare, knows it’s next to impossible. You can’t concentrate, you don’t have time to do anything between the kids’ requests for snacks/stories/toys/help, and chances are your whole laptop will end up covered in milk or at least drool.
Not so, of course, in all those lovely stock photos of moms working from home — in their very clean homes alongside their very clean, quiet children. These stock photos tend to be questionable, if not 100% unrealistic. From babies happily playing in the corner all day while mom works hard on her computer to toddlers sitting on mom’s lap on a conference call, you can rest assured that being a real WFH parent is going not often as well.
Here are some of our favorite unrealistic stock photos of moms “working” from home with their kids in tow. If only life were as simple as a stock photo.
A version of this story was originally published in November 2015.