There's a problem with all those beautiful parenting photos you see inside the pages of a magazine or on your Instagram feed: they're not true.
When photographer Anna Angenend was setting up a back-to-school photo shoot last August, she realized the scene — a girl in perfect pigtails and a crisp denim romper seated calmly at an orderly desk — was "all too perfect and not very realistic," she told us.
"As a stay-at-home mom, I wasn't worried about sending my daughter, Mia, off to school, but instead staying up late planning crafts and activities that would take me three times as long to clean up as it takes her to complete," she added. "This first image was a hit among my mom friends, so I shot another one. The inspiration is endless with a 2-year-old, so now we shoot one as often as we get a chance."
All based on a real-life situations inspired by a phase her daughter has gone through, the dramatized shots in her ongoing photo series aren't that far off base, she thinks: "When I am at home with a toddler 24/7 and my husband is out of town for extended periods of time, I think it is an accurate representation of how I often feel by the end of the day."
So, when you start wondering why things in your household aren't picture perfect, Angenend has some words of encouragement.
"It's a little bit about learning to embrace these not-so-perfect parenting moments," she said. "I know I will be really missing them all too soon!"