Heartily Art: Mom of 2 adds much needed humor into illustrations of typical parenting scenarios

I am a born and raised Brazilian, already living for 10 years in The Netherlands. My husband is Dutch-Iranian, so we form quite an international household! We met in Brazil, in 2006. After 2 years of a long-distance relationship, I moved to the Netherlands! We were young and just starting our careers. We got married in 2014 and had our first daughter in 2017. We live in a small town in the east of The Netherlands with our two daughters: Madeline is 4 and Livia is almost 2 years old. We wanted names which would sound good both in Dutch and in Portuguese.

Parenting is extremely challenging. My husband and I often ask ourselves if I we are doing it right, and what reasons are we giving our kids to complain about us when they are adults. But being anxious about it does not make us better parents. We research a little, read a little, and carry-on parenting on our own way, which can be summarized as a balance between being gentle and empathic and giving them clear boundaries. We both work part-time and spend a lot of time with the kids (we have the right by law to work part time so you can spend time with the kids, it’s amazing), and try to have fun. Everyone is different and raise their kids their way, which is perfectly fine.

During the maternity leave of my second daughter, I was home for months only busy with the kids. It was great to have this time for them, but I felt such an urge to do something creative. When I was coming across funny situations with the kids I would write them down and sometimes share them with my friends, and we would laugh about it. One day I decided to start illustrating them, and out of the blue I made an Instagram account. I shared the first illustration about a year ago. I just wanted to share them with my friends and never expected it would grow so much!

I love that my illustrations are perceived as lively and gentle, since that is exactly how I like to look at life in general, too. Taking care of small children is very demanding, so I try to illustrate the situations we deal with every day in a funny way. Making these illustrations helped me going through stressful moments and now I am happy that sharing them is helping other parents too – hearing from followers that my illustrations are relatable is very rewarding. I avoid the ‘complaining mom tone’ often seen on Instagram and try to show things as something we should laugh about and not to take them too seriously.

Almost all of my illustrations are based on situations we experienced ourselves, with our kids. I draw mostly myself and my daughters. The ideas for illustrations come to me all the time and, when I manage to do so, I write them down on my phone or make a simple fast sketch not to forget it. When I have time to draw (aka when the kids are in bed) I open my list of ideas and choose one to illustrate! I have realized that the illustrations are solely based on my life and my perspective, and therefore too biased. I would like to make them more inclusive, adding other’s ideas and points of view too in my future drawings too!

Natasha recently designed a card specifically for the Moments with Mother’s webshop which is now part of our special Mother’s Day Fundraiser in coordination with Home Start Eemland. When asked about the inspiration for the design she said: “It’s hard to feel enclosed within 4 walls, especially when we are dealing with challenging parenting moments, or insecurity in general. So, I wanted to represent the fact that we are all in this together, maybe not always physically but we should not feel alone. It easier said than done, of course, but the card can work as a reminder.”

You can donate one of Natasha’s cards to be gifted to a Mom in the Home Start program this Mother’s Day via our website here.

Follow Natasha on Instagram and shop her beautiful illustrations on her website.

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