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

Posted in Wellbeing.

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


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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