This illustrator NAILS the mum life juggle, or should that be ‘struggle’?

Posted in Wellbeing.
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Don’t you love it when you meet another mum who 10o percent gets your crazy life? Well, you haven’t met this mum in person, but I promise you, she knows you. And her illustrations are proof.

Your life in pictures

Paula Kuka is the creative mama behind the artwork on the Common Wild Instagram page. They’re a collection of ‘mum-musings’ or in other words, she draws what she thinks and feels.

In fact, so relatable and well-observed are Paula’s illustrations, that she might as well be drawing us and our inner voice!

One thing that stuck me when I was picking out some of her illustrations to feature in this story, is how real she is about mum-life.

I love this one, for instance (below). It shows that although we might feel lonely at times, almost every household with kids is experiencing the same struggles as us.

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One of the great paradoxes of motherhood is that you can be as close to another person as is physically possible and yet the loneliest youโ€™ve ever been. ๐Ÿ˜๏ธ๐Ÿก๐Ÿ˜๏ธ๐Ÿก๐Ÿ˜๏ธ๐Ÿก We now live on an idyllic suburban street. Occasionally, drifting over the fences, Iโ€™ll hear the typical sounds of a mumโ€™s nerves frazzled; voices raised, a shrieking child, a door slammed.ย  And while I wouldnโ€™t wish a toddler tantum or rejected homecooked dinner strewn across the floor on any of my lovely neighbours, sometimes, itโ€™s just the reminder I need that Iโ€™m not alone after all. ๐Ÿ˜๏ธ๐Ÿก๐Ÿ˜๏ธ๐Ÿก๐Ÿ˜๏ธ๐Ÿก Excerpt from this weekends column in @play_magazine_

A post shared by Paula Kuka (@common_wild) on

Chuckle and nod

Here are a few others that made me giggle, hold my heart and realise we really are all in this together.

I mean, who isn’t familiar with these universal motherhood truths?

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I canโ€™t tell you how many times over the last few weeks Iโ€™ve created posts and not posted them and created stories, posted them, then deleted them moments later. Iโ€™ve been scared about trying to be compassionate but coming off as insincere, trying to spread information but passing on misinformation and basically just getting it wrong. Itโ€™s been heart-warming to see how Australians are coming together to help those affected by the bushfires. And Iโ€™ve been disappointed to see petty online bickering about the โ€œcorrectโ€ way to help. ย Everyone is giving what they can, whether it be money or skills or a voice. And please know, the cogs are turning and I will be doing everything I can to lend my voice to what I see to be positive action, but for now, Iโ€™m going to post this. Because, just quietly, I think itโ€™s pretty funny. And we all need something to smile at. ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’š And this from my column, because I also think its pretty funny. ๐Ÿ˜‰ โ€œA strange thing happens when you have a child and I believe itโ€™s a hangover from the times when it really did take a village to raise a child and parenting was the collective responsibility of a large extended family.ย  Everyone has advice for you.ย  The bank teller, the barista at your local coffee shop, the Woolworths delivery man (although his advice was quite good; โ€œthey are expensive, terrible for the environment but sometimes necessary โ€œ- though he may have been referring to single-use plastic bags.)โ€

A post shared by Paula Kuka (@common_wild) on

The motherhood mental load

Paula nails it, right? As well as being funny and SO ON POINT, she also sums up what it’s like to be a mum whose brain, as well as her heart, is no longer her own.

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One of the great things about Christmas is that Christmas hats are compatible with mum buns. ๐Ÿคถ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŽ„ One of the not so great things is that it can be a little overwhelming. The school year wraps up. Our kids are strung out. We need to see every person we know in a three week period. We are singlehandedly responsible for creating magic (a role I take very seriously). We place very high expectations on ourselves for food, ย gifts and generally neatly wrapping up an entire year (preferably in environmentally friendly wrapping paper). I've recently realised that most of the pressure I feel around this time of year comes from… You guessed it ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ. So this year I've been much better at keeping a lid on it. Obviously I still have 75357854 things to do before Christmas. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ But the reality is, none of them will really have much of an impact on how happy and festive our holiday is. ๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿ’ซ How is everyone travelling?

A post shared by Paula Kuka (@common_wild) on

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HELLO! If youโ€™ve been following me for over a year you may remember a little campaign I ran last year called #JILTTHEGUILT. Iโ€™ve been meaning to revive it for another round and I keep putting it on the backburner but I want to include a summary of it in my book which I am currently finishing off (YES, actually! This time I really mean it! ๐Ÿ™Œ). ๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽˆ So, here are the drawings that started it off. When I drew these I noticed the process of putting some of my own crippling mother guilt down on paper (screen? ๐Ÿค”) and choosing what I wanted to take on board and what I just needed to let go of really helped me. I felt so much lighter.๐ŸƒSo I decided to set it up as a platform for everyone else to unburden themselves. The whole experience was very cathartic. Go us.๐Ÿ™ ๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽˆ Iโ€™m going to be giving you the full run down in my stories so keep an eye out today. Iโ€™ll be adding a whole new range of templates. Get involved. Let that shit go.๐Ÿ’ฅ ๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽˆ Ps. The final slide is my contribution this time around. True Story. Motherhood is emotionally chaotic. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ™ƒ

A post shared by Paula Kuka (@common_wild) on

Mood

Paula’s captions resonate with us as much as her illustrations do.

“Iโ€™ve been quiet on here lately. Iโ€™ve taken on a bit too much. Iโ€™ve managed to build this up to a full time job but I only really have 10 hours a week where Iโ€™m not with the kids. So it doesnโ€™t really add up,” she writes in the below post.

“When I forgot to reply to an email someone told me I needed a list. I have a list. It has 85 things on it. And in terms of priority it feels like it goes:
1. Keep kids alive.
2-85. All very important and must be dealt with immediately or it will fall apart.”

Her work is a relatable reminder that sometimes we just need to be heard.

“Anyway, thatโ€™s my vent. No need to send tips. Just send sympathyโ€ฆ and a me too โ€ฆ and a maid.”

Us too, Paula. Us too.

More LOLs

Head over to Common Wild if you’d like to see more of Paula’s brilliance and just have a giggle.

 

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