What's A-Parent

11 Illustrations From A Stay-At-Home Mom Hoping To Make Others Feel Less Alone

"I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked."

What's A-Parent is a series highlighting those who get real about the hardships that come with raising kids. These often untold stories help show parents they are not alone in their struggle, and are doing an amazing job.

Being a stay-at-home mom comes with a ton of different responsibilities, and, for one artist and stay-at-home mom named Kara Western, it's important to document all the job entails. 

"Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand," Western writes on Bored Panda. So she chooses to illustrate all those moments, from the quiet times holding her son, to taking her kid to the doctor, to spending quality time together. 

"I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked."

Western shares her illustrations on Instagram along with stories about the work.

For example, Western documented the moment when her son, James, prepared to stay with his grandparents for the first time. "James is going to have his first weekend at the grandparents! Fingers crossed he looks this happy when we walk out the door," she writes. Who am I kidding? We are obviously going to distract him with a bunch of toys and sneak out the back door."

In another hilarious illustration, Western wears a protective body suit for painting with her son. The caption reads: "Coloring with a 2-year-old like #pleasedonttouchme with that marker."

Not only does Western hope to document all these special parenting moments, but she hopes her work will show others they aren't alone.

"Being a stay-at-home mom can be incredibly lonely," she tells Bored Panda. "I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account."

Western addresses this specifically in one of her illustrations. In it, Western is lying on the floor with her son reading a book next to her. She writes:

"Ever have one of those days that just SUCK for no particular reason? I like to draw the cute and sweet moments of motherhood, but it is definitely not always like that. Some days are really hard and you find yourself breaking down on the living room floor after you finally get baby to go down to sleep. I am not always cuddling baby and sniffing his sweet baby hair. Some days are like this, where I feel really apathetic or even depressed and I'm not grooving AT ALL on being a mom. It can be really alienating and lonesome being a stay at home mom. I don't have a community to depend on or help me turn my days around. But as I was thinking about how alone I feel in my experiences in motherhood, I realized how wrong I was. Thanks to my little following here on Instagram, I know that there are other moms (and dads!) living the exact same things as I am. So I decided to get a little vulnerable and open up a little in order to share this aspect of motherhood. The one that isn't always perfect with sunshine and cute, chubby babies. Some days just DONT WORK. There are just going to be those days where nothing seems to work out, and you don't get anything done on your to-do list, and baby always finds a reason to cry no matter what you do, and you want to pull out your hair and chug a bottle of wine... and that's ok. Those days pass, and you can look forward to a new day where everything is just perfect and everything works according to plan and the weather is awesome and you're feeling fine. But on those shit days, allow yourself a break. Don't change out of your PJs. Don't do your chores. Skip the shower. Turn the TV on all day. Do whatever you need to make it easier. And remember that you're not alone."

And her mission seems to be working; Western's Instagram is flooded with positive comments from followers.

"I had a day like this yesterday. I always feel so guilty that I'm not loving every minuet of being a mum but the truth is some days it's crap [and] women need to talk about it more so thanks for this post " one comments on the aforementioned post. 

"Absolutely! This rings so much truth. We may not all parent the same but we're all in this motherhood thing together and it's great to have support where ever you find it," another person writes.

Hopefully, Western continues to inspire people everywhere to not feel so alone about their circumstances and, rather, appreciated.

Check out more of her work below:

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