15 Hilarious Cartoons That Nail the Reality of Being a Parent

Genny Glassman | Sep 4, 2017 Being a Mom
15 Hilarious Cartoons That Nail the Reality of Being a Parent
Image: Brian Gordon/Fowl Language Comics

funny parenting comics
Brian Gordon/Fowl Language Comics

If you've found yourself rabidly clicking around on all the funny parents on social media like the rest of us, chances are you've come across the super-funny Fowl Language comics. The web comic series by cartoonist and dad Brian Gordon uses a family of ducks to hilariously capture all the messy, chaotic, stressful, and downright absurd parts of being a parent. In other words, he has an endless supply of material ripe for the picking. 

In 2016, Gordon turned his Fowl Language comics into his first book titled Fowl Language: Welcome to Parenting. Then, another year of parenting ticked by, and the struggle never really got any easier -- or less absurd. Nope, the fun never stopped, so neither did the comics. There was still so much to say and laugh about the daily life of raising children. So it quickly became clear that there would be a follow-up book. 

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Gordon's new book, Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real, is a collection of his best and most relatable illustrations to date. CafeMom spoke to Brian about his work, and how he captures so much unfiltered parenting truth in each of his illustrations.

We don't know how he does it so flawlessly but he does, and we're so thankful for the humor. Because sometimes if we can't laugh, we'll probably cry. 

  • "It Started With a Doodle"

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    As stand-ins for him and his children, Brian uses a duck family that goes through many of the same problems we humans do. Why ducks?

    "When I was trying to think of what I should do for my next comic it seemed as good of a jumping-off point as anything," Brian tells CafeMom. "I honestly didn't give it much thought since I didn't know if anyone would read it beyond a few close friends."

  • If It Ain't Broke Don't Fix It

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    For his first comic, Brian tells CafeMom, "I drew a duck with an expletive above him in a word balloon and I captioned it 'fowl language.' Had I known it would turn into my full-time job I probably would have given [the ducks] a lot more thought!"

  • A Hobby Turns into a Career

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    Originally a greeting card artist for Hallmark, Brian created Fowl Language as a creative side project. He tells CafeMom, "At the time, it was mostly just a way to fun way for me to make uncensored, personal cartoons that weren't greeting cards. I never thought it would be my career!"

    Now Brian does Fowl Language full-time, resulting in two published collections of his work. 

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  • How to Craft the Perfect Comic

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    So, how does Brian decide which life moments will make for comedy gold?

    "Sometimes I have a hunch that a topic or a joke might do well, but I never really know," he says. "I've written comics I think everyone will love that didn't gain any traction and I've written some personal ones that I figured no one else would get that have done really well to my pleasant surprise."

  • The Truth About Parenting

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    The thing that parents love about Brian's comics is how they relate to our real lives. Whether it's finding the exact toy your child needs so you can get some rest or realizing that being a parent means never having privacy again, he always hits the nail right on the head.

  • And Even the Truth About Parenting Other Kids

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    Hilariously, Brian captions this picture on Instagram, "I have nothing against your kid, it's just that my house is trashed enough, as is." We've been there. 

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  • Parenting "Expert"

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    In his book, Brian says he actually gets a lot of questions about parenting tips. While he admits he is no parenting expert, he does share a few tips that are truly helpful for the new parent, including:

    - "If your kid will tolerate it, swaddle the crap out of them. It totally helped my son calm down as a baby."

    - "If you have the opportunity to take a nap, you take that damn nap. Laundry can wait."

  • Tips and Tricks

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    Sleep (or the lack thereof) is a common theme in Brian's comics. What's his baby sleep hack?

    "One thing that worked like a charm when my hyper-colicky son was an infant was off-road strollering," he says. "I realized quickly that the bumpier the walk, the quicker he settled/fell asleep."

  • Parenting Means Daring to Look a Little Crazy

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    As you can see, the parents in Brian's comics don't always have the answers. In fact, sometimes they're the ones getting into trouble ...

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  • Doing it for the 'Gram

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    We've all seen those parents on Instagram who always make it seem like their kids are perfect little angels. But Brian's work makes fun of the real, imperfect moments that make the highs of parenting that much sweeter.

  • Even Brian's Kids Are Fans

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    We asked if the real tough judges -- Brian's kids -- have seen their Dad's work.

    "Absolutely!" he says, "My youngest (Phoebe) is just starting to read, so she mostly just looks at the pictures. My fourth grader (Max) is all too familiar with my work (for better or worse). Thankfully their only complaint so far is if they feel like their sibling is appearing in my work more than they are!"

    "And of course they know they're not allowed to use the bad words Daddy uses in his jokes," he adds.

  • Just When You Think You've Got This Parenting Thing Handled...

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    Your kids will remind you that you have no idea what you're doing. And as we're sure Brian's 300,000 Instagram followers would agree, you never really have the advantage over your kids. They're always ready to throw you another curveball.

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  • There is No Such Thing as the Perfect Parent

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    Brian says he thinks his comics resonate with his readers because it helps to know someone else is sharing your frustrations. He tells CafeMom, "The actual day-to-day can be a rude awakening and I think sharing cathartic jokes about that reality can make people feel less isolated. I hear from people all the time who say that the comics helped them realize they weren't the only ones who felt like they sucked at parenting." 

  • "Because parenting is a thankless endeavor for the most part."

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    "You spend all your waking hours trying to keep these little people alive and well and they fight you every inch of the way to stop you," Brian tells CafeMom about the realities of parenthood. "When you become a parent, you're not thinking about that. You're focused on the thrill and novelty of being a parent for the first time." 

  • But in the End, It's Worth It

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    You can get Brian's new book, Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real, on Amazon. He also has a Patreon here

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