We all know motherhood can be tough.
But the way popular culture and social media portrays motherhood and glowing mums-to-be, as without a care in the world, is delusional.
Line Severinsen, an illustrator from Norway, is bridging this representational gap, one cartoon at a time on her website Kos og Kaos, which translates as Cuddles and Chaos.
Severinsen addresses the most basic, not-so-fun aspects of new parenthood, including fears about giving birth, water breaking in public and breastfeeding problems.
Drawing funny and colourful images, Severinsen not only shows the chaotic world of bearing and raising children, but also the rewarding side of motherhood.
“I started this cartoon as a personal diary in 2012, when I was pregnant for the first time with my daughter,” Severinsen told Buzzfeed of her inspiration for the comic series.
“I was feeling sick and tired all through my first trimester, while all I saw online and in magazines were these picture-perfect, happy, pregnant super-women. I thought to myself that there is no way that no other woman felt and looked like I did. So I wanted to help them understand that they weren’t alone, and that it is okay to feel and act less than perfect sometimes.”
We completely agree with her.
The truth is women are told very little about the details of pregnancy, giving birth and bringing up kids. We get the basic gist of it being hard, often taxing, and time-consuming. We hear our own mothers complain about raising us, and we brush it off.
These wonderful illustrations, on the other hand, leave little to the imagination. They are honest and hilarious.
Severinsen takes quite a brave leap in sharing these intimate moments on the interwebs, but we’re glad for it. After looking through her body of work, it shows just how much information would have come as a shock to the average informed person.
1 What not to say to a pregnant woman.
2 Expecting a kick-boxer.
3 So big that you are about to explode.
4 Cravings for ice cubes. It’s a thing.
5 When you are swollen. So swollen.
6 Crazy pregnancy hormones.
7 Oh those lovely pregnancy hormones.
8 Pregnancy cramps in the middle of the night.
9 Normal nights.
10 They say you should eat for two.
11 Time for slip-ons!
12 Fears about giving birth: Water breaking in public is too real.
13 Have you had any pregnancy cravings?
14 Live birth with a #selfiestick.
15 Real life horror story: When the nurse shows a first-time dad a placenta.
16 What breastfeeding might feel like in the beginning.
17 Breastfeeding in public? Not a problem.
18 That feeling, when you have problems breastfeeding, and the nurses try to “help” you.
19 Good-bye thick, beautiful pregnancy hair.
20 Drop a cellphone on the baby’s head?? Never.
21 Squeeze it in, tonight we are going to party.
22 Last thing you want to hear after giving birth.
23 Where is the baby?
24 Trying to lose the baby fat!
25 Beach body can wait!
26 The art of multi-tasking!
27 This always happens when you’re about to leave the house.
28 Is this the only way you can get the baby to sleep?
29 Co-sleeping! The only way to get enough sleep. Anyone else?
30 Because fathers try their best too.
Follow the writer on Twitter: @SanyaHoon