An Aussie artist has drawn a heap of sketches highlighting the humorous side as well as the emotional side of parenting.
Paula Kuka, who is based in Perth, is mum to her three-year-old son and ten-month-old daughter.
“I started doing these drawings as a way to document the early years of my kids’ lives,” she exclusively tells The Healthy Mummy.
“I was on maternity leave with my second baby and wanted a project to work on as I know I am in a much better emotional space when I have some creativity in my life. I was also in that exhausted newborn haze and could barely remember my kid’s names…”
Artist’s humorous sketches that all parents can relate to
Paula says her illustrations became so popular on her Instagram account, as many parents could relate.
“I knew I would never remember all the details I wanted to remember,” she says.
“I had set up a small illustration and art print business so I started posting these drawings to my Instagram account as a way to keep my social media activity while my business was on hold.
“Of course, these posts became my most popular and my account quickly grew from 2000 to 10000 followers.”
‘We all think others have got it together when they haven’t’
Paula says the thing she’s found most is that everyone feels they have no clue what they’re doing, even if they seem like they know what they’re doing.
“I think we walk around with our own emotions and struggles and look at other mums and think “everyone else has got it together”. But it turns out, they are thinking the same thing,” she continues.
“I didn’t quite realise this until I started posting these drawings. I receive so many comments and messages thanking me for putting it out there, and making them feel less alone.
“It’s been enlightening that the trivial and humorous parenting moments and the intense and emotional frustrations that I am having in Australia are relatable to people all over the world.”
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I am guilty of this. I see a perfectly polished mum and I think “wow, what a great mum, she’s got her shit together”. Next minute a bedraggled mum walks past and I think “she’s a great mum, she’s too dedicated to her kids to focus on herself.” Someone pulls out a handmade healthy snack and I’m cringing at the packet of biscuits I opened a week ago. Everywhere I look, everyone is winning mum medals. And for some reason I can’t stop thinking about what I could do better. It never pays to compare your bloopers reel to someone elses highlights. . I’m sure I’m not alone in this… I need to start being my own cheerleader. I need to focus more on what I AM doing and not on what I’m not. So here’s a challenge… finish this sentence…. “I’m a great mum because…” . I’ll be brave and start. I’m a great mum because…. I have totally given up all traces of dairy and soy while breastfeeding both my intolerant babies… That’s 23 months and counting…. No cheese… No icecream…no sushi (because sushi without soy is ?♀️)… And a whole lot of meticulously reading labels and hassling waitstaff (on the handful of times I’ve eaten out). ??? Now that’s worth a few mum medals, surely? . (By the way, it took me ages to come up with something to say… And it feels pretty uncomfortable. Must work on that). . Now it’s your turn. And remember, saying you did something well is not the same thing as criticising someome who did things differently. It’s not about anyone else. Its about you. ??
Paula says she now has plans to turn her artwork into a book.
“I post a new one every few days to Instagram (depending on how inspired I’m feeling). I would love to do a book eventually,” she adds.
“But my youngest is only 10 months old so I’m very wary of taking on a big project at the moment. For now, I think I’ll just keep drawing my thoughts and posting them and see where it takes me.”
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Paula.
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