Chelsea Larsson has been drawing for fun in her free time since childhood, but it wasn’t until she became pregnant with her first child that the creative juices really started flowing. That’s when the Berkeley, California mom started creating humorous and often brutally honest cartoons about common experiences women have after they become mothers — and she’s had moms everywhere LOLing ever since.
Some of Larsson’s earliest cartoons about motherhood center around the many unspoken “joys” of being pregnant. You know, like when no one gets up to give you a seat on the subway:
Now that she’s a new mom, the ideas just keep tumbling out.
“Inspiration comes from my daily life,” she tells Babble, adding that she was inspired by other female cartoonists like Lucy Knisley, Emily Flake, Hallie Bateman, and Kimothy Joy. “My comics are basically a visual journal of the weird and wonderful moments I experience as a mother.”
Like the risky game of bringing babies into the grocery store …
Or the fact that story time with a baby or toddler tends to go on and on … and on …
Not to mention “alone time” suddenly being … well, totally non-existent? (Especially when you have to pee.)
She’s even made a super fun game of “Breast Pump Bingo” that moms who pump can relate to all too well:
Larsson says she draws for about an hour or two after her 17-month-old daughter goes to sleep at night. While some cartoons take her as little as 20 minutes to complete, others will take up to three days. Still, she says all the hard work is well worth the pay-off, since reader responses are “the best part” of drawing them to begin with.
“I get messages and comments all the time like, ‘How do you always know what I’m going through?!’ or ‘I’m reading this while pumping at work and it’s giving my life!'” says Larsson. “It’s so funny to connect with perfect strangers about these intimate experiences. But that’s the beauty of being a mom.”
While Larsson posts most of her drawings to her Instagram account, @chelslarss, she also works one-on-one with brands and illustrates for publications like Bravery, a magazine for kids.
Her most popular cartoon so far would have to be the one she calls “Mermom,” which resonated with a lot of moms on Instagram.
“Lots of moms wrote things like, ‘That’s so me!’ or ‘You drew my new mom body!'” Larsson recalls.
But her personal fave?
“[It’s] a cartoon where my husband I are hovering over our daughter while she plays with a baby friend, and our daughter says ‘Oh that’s just Milk Lady and Poo Poo man, they’re with me,'” she says. “I still laugh when I read that one because those are the names we called ourselves when she was an infant.”
(LOL — yep, I think this one might be my personal favorite, too.)
In the end, Larsson doesn’t just hope that her comics give moms a momentary distraction when they’re up at 2 AM, feeding their baby with one eye open. She also hopes that they take some comfort in them, knowing that another mama out there (actually, many mamas out there) are going through the same thing.
“I hope they laugh and know that they aren’t alone,” she shares.
I think it’s safe to say that her mission has certainly been accomplished.
h/t HuffPost Parents