From FaceTiming with toddlers to the struggles of bedtime, artist Jonathan Jui perfectly nails what parenthood is really like from a dad’s perspective through his collection of hilarious cartoons.
Jui, who lives in London with his wife and son and works as an asset manager by day, tells Babble that he has always wanted to be a dad. In fact, he even wrote an essay about being a stay-at-home dad in the 11th grade. (How sweet!)
So when he finally became a dad 2-and-a-half years ago with the birth of his son Baobao (a nickname meaning “little treasure” in Chinese), Jui was beyond thrilled.
“Within 24 hours of becoming a dad, my brain was ready to explode from all the new, funny, and frustrating things that were going on in my life,” Jui writes on his website.
And so, being privy to just how quickly parenthood can fly by, Jui decided to document his “memories and journey as a parent” in the form of cartoons.
Jui explains that he wanted to capture the small and often forgotten moments of his son’s young life — moments that you don’t always catch on camera. In fact, he would stay up at night after Baobao went to sleep “doodling away,” trying to recreate a moment with his son that had stuck with him that day.
Jui started drawing his cartoons with the intention of one day gifting them to Baobao, perhaps when he becomes a father, himself. But for now, he’s been happy to share them on his Instagram page, @jonajooey.
Since then, Jui’s Instagram following has climbed to nearly 34K followers — and shows no signs of stopping. Jui tells Babble that due to the success of his cartoons, he’s now turning them into a “choose your own adventure”-style book titled, Try Again: An Illustrated Parenting Adventure. The interactive book will allow readers to test their parenting skills by making over 40 decisions to get to the end.
Since becoming a dad, Jui has found the biggest parenting challenges to be “finding the confidence that I’m doing as good a job as I can for my kid,” as well as “adjusting my expectations that my life and time isn’t really my own anymore.”
But instead of letting the hardships get him down, Jui looks for the humor in them and uses it all as inspiration to feed his work.
Clearly, he’s on to something.
“There’s no such thing as a dull moment,” says Jui. “The highs are filled with so much joy and the lows make such great stories.”
Thanks for sharing your stories with us, Jonathan. We can’t wait to see what the threenage years will bring!