French illustrator Nathalie Jomard has carved a very special name for herself in the online world by showing us all exactly what life is like as a mother.
A lot of movies or tv shows seem to glamorize what it’s like raising children, but often they skip over the small details that REALLY capture the sacrifice, trauma, hilarity, and complete loss of social life that many parents have to deal with.
Many expecting mothers and fathers get really excited when they have their first child. For a short while after the birth (or adoption), there is this marvellous serenity where everything seems right in the world. A few beginner sleepless nights seem to be nothing for you, after all, this is an exciting new frontier! Then one day, you wake up, and your child is two. They’ve emptied an entire canister of hot chocolate mix all over the floor, and your spouse doesn’t have the heart to tell you that they’re expecting another child. Zounds! What does one do? Well, the best medicine for this trouble is always laughter and love. The following 25 illustrations by Nathalie Jomard perfectly showcase what life is like as a new mother.
1) Breastfeeding: What seems like a natural mother-child connection can sometimes feel more like you’re trying to feed a piranha. This drawing shows what sacrifice a mother goes through to feed their child. If doing it the natural way doesn’t work, a good long while with a vacuum attached to your body might extract enough milk for your child to drink… if you’re lucky.
2) Want To Sleep In? Fat Chance!: Yes, after having children, gone are your days of sleeping in past 11:00 A.M. on a Saturday morning. Children seem to have an endless abundance of energy and thrive on routine. Just because it’s a weekend doesn’t mean their internal clock won’t get them up at the same time they would for school! When a child decides to get up, that’s when they get up.
3) Goodbye Clothes: Once you reach a certain point in your pregnancy, you realize that you can’t fit into anything anymore because you’re growing a second human. You may also find that your chest is waaaaay bigger than it has ever been due to the body creating mommy-milk. Kiss your old wardrobe goodbye!
4) Public Embarrassment: It doesn’t matter how hard you try, sooner or later, your children will embarrass you in public. You have to learn to go with the flow. Before you may be able to plan out your entire day, no problem, now with children, your routine trip to the grocery store is halted by your children accidentally dropping your pants.
5) Goodbye Intimacy: If you are seeking an intimate moment with your loved one, this becomes far more difficult with the addition of children. Your bed becomes their bed. You might even find that you have to plan intimacy… yikes right? You can basically kiss your independence goodbye when you have children.
6) Creative Dinner Time: Sometimes trying to feed your children at dinner time becomes such an ordeal you’re forced to get creative with your methods. Any contraption, gizmo, or a jerry-rigged assortment of clutter to force your child to stay still will help do the job. Other times? Well, it’s both your baby’s dinner time, as well as your clothing.
7) Spaghetti Kitchen: Feeding your child pasta is always a hilarious fun adventure. You try your best not to let your child play with their food, but somehow the spaghetti noodles end up everywhere… literally everywhere. The same can go for soup, easily throwable foods, macaroni noodles, and well… basically any food really.
8) No Pain No Gain: Babies love to be coddled but they also love to touch you and hold on to you when they’re feeding. Sometimes when they do this, they yank out your earrings, pull on your hair, and they’ll even just flat out grab your face off. It’s both adorable and awful. Kids are so funny.
9) Goodbye Materialism: To toddlers and babies, the best toys are the things in your purse. They want to play with your lipstick, your credit cards, your wallet, your cell phone, and anything that isn’t actually their toys. It’s a sad day when you go to look for your wallet, only to find it soaked with toilet water in the bathroom.
10) Multitasking Is Life: When you’re a parent and you need to tackle multiple things at once, you learn to be a pro. Suddenly you can cook dinner, AND clean up after your children at the same time. You can carry the groceries inside, with your child, and your clutter from the back seat of the van. It’s a shame that with pregnancy you can’t also grow a third or four arms which would make motherhood way easier.
11) Pregnancy Body: There’s no doubt that giving birth to another human takes a significant toll on your body. A lot of women become self-conscious when really, they should be patting themselves on the back for carrying such a heavy burden. Women should never feel shame for their bodies, but society’s ideas of what a woman should look like are always a struggle.
12) Eating Is Rough: Trying to get children to eat things that are good for them sometimes leads to a mealtime struggle. This often leads to unintentional food fights where you end up wearing your child’s meal half the time. Sometimes it’s better just to give up for a short time, and try again when your child is hungry enough.
13) Protecting Your Children: Now that you’re a mother, the instinct to protect your offspring kicks in full force. You are suddenly in charge of the well-being of another human, thus your instincts to protect them sometimes go a little overboard. Remember when your mother would suggest you wear a sweater in the middle of the summer or when she’d lace you with so much bug spray or suntan lotion that your skin changes colours? That’s a protective instinct right there.
14) Potty Training Nightmares: When trying to train your children to use the potty, always remember that patience is your best friend. Cleaning up after your children gets exponentially worse the older they get. They miss the bowl, they go in plants, they hide it in shoes, and they’ll do anything to avoid actually going in the bathroom. Fortunately, sooner or later they get over this and your life gets easier.
15) The Workload: If you’re a single mother, or woman who goes back to work full time after having children, the amount of work you balance in your life is almost like a superpower. Instead of trying to do everything yourself, but your husband or partner to work! You aren’t expected to do absolutely everything in the family, and you should never feel like you’re doing everything yourself! If you’re a single mother, call up some relatives!
16) Overwhelming Exhaustion: Trying to get your work done when you don’t get any sleep is always such a challenge. To make matters worse, you can’t have any caffeine if you’re breastfeeding either, so you’re stuck trying to work through the day. This might be even worse if you have an iron deficiency. Consult your doctor on ways to boost your energy.
17) Dealing With Picky Eaters: Sometimes, your children decide that spinach is the yukkiest food on the entire planet, and you’re forced to get creative with trying to convince your children that it’s good for them. Nine times out of ten you attempt to hide it in their food in other ways.
18) Pregnant Belly Hindrance: Before you could put on your shoes or paint your toenails, no problem. Now, you suddenly have another human stuffed inside you. Trying to get anything done involving your feet when you’re at the end of your pregnancy is one of the most challenging exercises you can imagine.
19) Misplaced Items: For whatever reason, children are always fascinated with their personal belongings. They might decide that your car keys make excellent warships in their playtime with their action figures in the bathtub, and then you’re stuck searching the entire house for them until you find them in an unexpected place.
20) Seeking Advice: Despite the enormous library on what to expect as a parent, there’s no real manual when it comes to raising children. Sometimes, the best thing to do is go with your instinct. However, when all else fails, there’s usually a book or two that might help you ease the frustration as a mother.
21) Balloon Body: Your body undergoes an enormous transformation as a mother, and if you’re new to the whole pregnancy thing, you can bet that there will be certain things happening to your body that take you by surprise. For example, you suddenly start retaining water in strange places, or your chest and belly become so engorged you feel like you might burst at any moment.
22) Life Lessons: As a parent, your first instinct is always to protect your children from any harm, both emotional and physical. So when your child’s pet dies, it’s always a struggle to wonder whether or not it’s a good idea to tell them. Sometimes they’re too young to understand, but if they’re old enough to understand death, it’s best to have a serious talk with them.
23) Wild Children: Gaining a sense of authority with very independent children is always a struggle. Sometimes some kids are so headstrong and stubborn, it’s like they’ll do absolutely anything instead of listening to what you say. There’s a lot of great literature out there on how to deal with child psychology, but maybe just a good old-fashioned ‘time out’ will do the trick.
24) Changing Diapers For Beginners: The first few times you change your child’s diaper are always interesting. You’re never quite sure what to do, especially if your baby is of the opposite sex you. You’re worried about doing something wrong, or hurting them, or not cleaning properly… the list goes on and on. Luckily there are a lot of manuals and tutorials on how to do it properly.