PARENTING
11/09/2015 10:50 am ET

Why Babies Are Better Than Cats

"Well, I thought babies deserved right of reply."

Last month, a comic from The Oatmeal's Matthew Inman suggested that having a cat may be a better experience than having a baby.

Canadian illustrator Lindsay Ishihiro, who cares for both her baby daughter and a pet cat, decided to respond to Inman's comic with one of her own.  

Lindsay Ishihiro/How Baby

"I’m sure by now you’ve probably heard about how cats are better than babies," Ishihiro wrote on the website for her comic series, How Baby. "Well, I thought babies deserved right of reply."

The mom and artist told The Huffington Post that she wanted to respond to the comic because she felt it exemplified a deeper issue in the way parents, and more commonly moms, are often depicted -- exhausted, disgusting and without any control over their lives. "While taking care of a baby is difficult and life-altering work -- and I do mean work -- the over-the-top childfree rhetoric exemplified by the comic from The Oatmeal is ... well, it's hateful, and it's immature," she said. 

Ishihiro emphasized that she didn't intend to call out The Oatmeal specifically, but felt the comic illustrated the harmful rhetoric used to compare mothers and childfree women. "Either you're selfish for rejecting motherhood (childfree women get this a lot, and I still empathize), or you're this gross, sallow, unsleeping mother-monster whose life is over, and neither of those things are true," she said. "But we make jokes about them like they are."

"So what I wanted to do, in the typical irreverent How Baby way, was to provide a light-hearted counterpoint," Ishihiro continued. "While also giving a bit of social commentary on how the way we talk about motherhood (and babyhood) affects how we think about it."

To read more How Baby comics, visit Ishihiro's website and fundraising page.

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