Being a parent may sound like an adventurous journey most of us would sign up for at some point in our lives, but in reality, the idyll can burst any moment. And Jade Nordahl, a mom of Abel and foster mom of doggy Abbey from Norway, knows it all too well.
So one day, she took a pen and started drawing the humorous moments of her everyday struggles. From baby taking up all her space in bed, to her son eating unidentified berries she strictly forbids him to, Jade’s illustrations are a full-on chuckle fest.
All bloodshot-eyed moms who can’t remember the last time they had a good night’s sleep and dads who enter a meeting only to realize their precious little devil left a blurp on their shirt, this something you can finally relate to.
Jade Nordahl from Norway has gained quite a bit of momentum on social media, where 40.6k Instagram followers are following her life and motherhood in colorful pictures. Bored Panda reached out to Jade Nordahl, the mom of six-year-old Abel, to find out more about her daily life and her passion for drawing.
Jade confessed that “the first months with Abel were exhausting, everything was new to us, but I often say he’s the one who taught me patience.” When her second child Mila arrived, Jade said it was “a totally different experience than we had with our first one” and that she always had a big smile on her face.
She started doing illustrations when her youngest was 6 months old. “I always liked drawing and doodling, and it felt kind of therapeutic to sketch the situations I had been through that had brought me to tears either from frustration or laughter.”
Jade then put her drawings on Instagram and received a lot of positive feedback. “People were grateful that I was sharing images of the honest hardships of motherhood in a fun way, and not just a glossy picture of a happy family,” she said.
Jade also said that when she’s in the middle of a frustrating situation, she always tries to see the humor in it. “That’s often a good indication that this is a moment worthy of an illustration,” the mom of two added. The illustrator concluded that even though “family life is busy and exhausting,” it nevertheless “fills my heart with joy and pride every day.”
The success of Jade’s honest illustrations is largely due to how relatable parents find the frustrations of raising their children. And if that wasn’t hard enough, the current pandemic has taken it to a whole new level. These days, it’s not just household chores, sleepless nights, and painfully funny incidents—it’s also homeschooling, making sure your kid is staying safe and healthy, and trying to not lose your mental sanity while doing that.
No wonder so many parents find themselves struggling to maintain family harmony. Bored Panda spoke to Jamie Heston, a board member at the Homeschooling Association of California, who said that parents “should do what they need to do to get through their days and manage everyone’s stress as needed by adjusting expectations and being realistic about what can be accomplished during any given day.”
Most importantly, Jamie said that parents should let go of rigid expectations of what surviving the pandemic should look like.
“Lower expectations and take this opportunity to spend unstructured time with your kids. Both parents should make a concerted effort to be involved so the responsibility is not only on the woman in the family,” she told us.
The particular situation is unprecedented, so Jamie believes that “it calls for new ways of dealing with it.” So, whatever you do, don’t be too harsh on yourself as a parent, because being one is already not easy.