11 Parenting Stock Photos No One Needs To See

by Emily Westbrooks

Stock photos always generate so many questions. Are these even real humans? Who came up with these ridiculous poses? Who's getting paid for portraying life this way? Parenting stock photos can be even more ridiculous than regular stock photos, featuring unlikely situations where everyone looks plastically happy and the settings are unnaturally clean, adding even more pressure on us real parents to appear "stock photo perfect." For that reason alone, these 11 parenting stock photos need to be deleted from the internet forever. No, seriously. Forever, for all our sakes.

The parenting stock photos that annoy me and simultaneously crack me up the most are the ones where babies would surely not behaving that way in real life. For example, the pictures with an 18 month old sitting within arm's reach of a "full" coffee cup? Yeah, that doesn't end well in the real world, my friends. Or how about the photos in which the baby (not a newborn, mind you) is wearing a hat inside while the dad is wearing a way-too-small shirt to show off his bulging muscles? Yeah, that representation of parenthood is just inexplicable.

I know stock photos are supposed to simply demonstrate a situation, but you'd think the companies would hire a few parents as the creative directors, right? I mean, there's just no need to make us feel like we should all be young, happy, and calm all the time, even when the babies and children are clearly losing their minds.

The "Mother And Daughter Spend Lovely Afternoon" Picture


That is actually the caption of this photo, not just my wonderful and sarcastic made up caption. "Mother and daughter spending lovely time together," however, doesn't show "mother and daughter arguing with one another about sunscreen." For every perfect picture, there's a underlying struggle. Trust.

The "Mother Comforts Crying Baby In High Chair" Picture


I can't think of a single time I needed to comfort my baby in her high chair. Instead, I can think of approximately 100 times I needed to be comforted while my baby was in her high chair.

The "Mother And Daughter Using Sharp Knife In Kitchen" Picture


And both mom and daughter remain smiling while sharp knife is in the hands of a child. No freakin' way would I be this calm (let alone smiling all happily) if my kid got her hand on a sharp object. False. So, so false.

The "Young Mom Secures Baby In Car Seat While Smiling" Picture


Maybe the young mom is smiling because people still caption her as "young." Other than that, I can't think of a single reason why you would be smiling while securing your baby in the car seat. That's always a battle, dear reader. Always.

The "Young Single Father Works From Home With Baby In Lap And Coffee Too Close" Picture


Excuse me, but why is that baby wearing a hat when dad is wearing a short-sleeved shirt that's too small for his bulging muscles? Neither the hat or that ridiculously small shirt are necessary.

Either way, that coffee is about to be all over both of them, not to mention that computer. Here's hoping the money he saved buying a shirt that clearly doesn't fit him was spent on laptop insurance, or whatever.

The "Headless Pregnant Woman With Father Lurking In Background" Picture


I don't understand, and I honestly don't think I want to.

The "Young Family Eats Breakfast And Baby Still Has Hat On" Picture


First of all, can we talk about the fact that the same dad who was earlier described as a "single father" in one stock photo (apparently because there wasn't a mom around), is now being described as one of two parents in what's perceived to be a happy family? No one could spring for a new actor or stand-in?

And I'm sorry, but can someone please take that hat off that kid. They're inside. It's not necessary. Of course, I can't even talk about the fact that everyone seems happy, eating all calmly, as if that's ever happened in the history of parenthood. That kid would be throwing that hat, and all of her food, across the table. Just sayin'.

The "Mother And Son Playing With Exercise Ball" Picture


This picture was taken right before the baby falls flat on his face.

The "Mom And Kid Brushing Teeth While Smiling" Picture


Thank you, picture mom, for taunting me. You've made my system of wrestling the toddler to the ground in order to brush 10 percent of her teeth each night look like a fool's errand.

The "Hand Trimming Baby Nails" Picture


Could we find a more unrealistic photo of what it's like to trim a baby's fingernails? Also, those are weird little scissors. I mean, I've never seen even seen before.