The way that Hollywood has portrayed motherhood is a delusional haven compared to the realities this Norwegian artist shows through her comics about the subject. The title of Kos og Kaos, (which translates as "Cuddles and Chaos") perfectly summarizes what it means to bear and raise children. With funny and colorful images, Line Severinsen is able to show the world the chaotic but ultimately rewarding side of motherhood.
"I started this cartoon as a personal diary in 2012, when I was pregnant for the first time with my daughter," Severinsen told Bustle of her inspiration for the series. "I was feeling sick and tired all through my first trimester, while all I saw online and in magazines were these picture-perfect, happy, pregnant super-women. I thought to myself that there is no way that no other people felt and looked like I did, so I wanted to help them understand that they weren't alone, and that it is OK to feel and act less than perfect sometimes."
I completely agree with her. I think that we are told very little about the details of pregnancy and birth growing up. We get the basic gist of it being hard, often taxing, and even time-consuming. He hear our own mothers complain about raising us, and we brush it off. What we don't know are the gory details of childbirth — a subject covered at the last minute in a graphic video that leaves you scared and clutching your nether-regions shut.
We aren't told about our feet swelling, or the random hairs that grow on our bellies. We are sort of left to figure it out on our own. I learned that women often poop while delivering a baby from Tina Fey's Bossypants. I had no clue that was even a possibility before then, and I'm sure it would have been a surprise to me when I delivered my own baby later.
These wonderful illustrations, on the other hand, leave little to the imagination. They are honest and hilarious. I think it is brave to share these intimate moments with other people, the way Severinsen does. After looking over her body of work, I realized just how much information would have come as a shock to me later on. BLESS her for preparing us early.
1. Shaving Is A Thing
Shaving is already the worst. I've never even thought about how terrible it would be to do it while pregnant.
2. Swelling. Swelling. More Swelling.
I knew about this one mostly because of those photos of Kim Kardashian's feet. I am ashamed to admit it, but I have accepted stalking Kim K as my one and only flaw. (If you read that that sentence without laughing, then I applaud you).
3. I Think This One I Can Handle
Going to the bathroom in public restrooms is already an issue for me, so I think I can handle it when I'm pregnant.
4. Learning From Your Mistakes
This made the most sense to me! Why on earth would you put a picture of a baby on a cake for people to slice up!?!?! Severinsen clearly understands that this ritual needs some reformatting.
Images: Courtesy of kosogkaos/Instagram