There are plenty of great things about working from home — just like there are great things about working in an office (aw, offices, we miss you!). At home, for example, you get easy access to the kitchen, you don’t spend money on lunch out, you can multitask on household tasks like dishes and laundry while you’re on a conference call, and you don’t really have to get dressed ever. 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’d think. But anyone who has ever actually tried to work from home, with children and without childcare, knows it’s pretty much next to impossible. You can’t focus, you don’t have time to get anything done in between kids’ demands for snacks/stories/toys/help, and chances are, your entire laptop will end up covered in milk or at least drool.
That’s not the case, of course, in all those lovely stock photos out there of moms working at home — in their very clean homes alongside their very clean, calm children. Those stock pics tend to be questionable, if not 100% unrealistic. From babies who happily play in the corner all day while Mom toils away on her computer to toddlers sitting on Mom’s lap during a conference call, you can rest assured that being a real-life WFH parent does not often go this smoothly.
Here are some of our favorite unrealistic stock pics of moms “working” from home with their kids in tow. If only life were as easy as a stock photo.
A version of this story was originally published in November 2015.