My latest binge-worthy obsession is Workin’ Moms, a Netflix TV show that premiered in the USA in January 2019. With relatable, hilarious characters who experience life-changing moments all while holding a baby and keeping their careers, the show is hard to stop watching. Luckily, soon season four is on the way. Featured today on Theresa’s Reviews, you can check out the valuable lessons about motherhood that this show humorously examines.
The importance of building friendships with other moms
At times, parenthood can be an isolating experience, and it’s important to make a conscious effort to connect with other moms. In Workin’ Moms, the main characters Kate, Anne, Frankie, Val, and Jenny are all finding solace in the company of one another in a mom’s group as they return to work.
They each have different thoughts about returning to work. For some, it is an easier decision. For others, it is exhausting. They all have very different personalities, and they are at different stages in their lives, but they find that their connection with each other helps them through any challenges they encounter.
Watching made me realize that I make a lot of excuses when it comes to making real, deep connections with other moms. I’ve had several friendships fade out over the years that made it harder to trust new friends. I live far from my family, and I need that sense of community to find happiness.
I have a great group of neighborhood moms. They’ve taken my children if I had no childcare. They’ve picked me up and driven me to the grocery store in snow to buy salt when salting my driveway meant I could get out of the driveway in the morning. Then, they even helped me lay down cardboard boxes to get my car out from the snow. But unfortunately some of those connections faded as my children made new friends. There’s dedication available if I urgently need to reach out for support, but building a connection and trying to maintain it can be scary.
We’ve planned our children’s extracurriculars together and shown up for birthday parties over the years. However, it’s different from the deeper connection of friendships that the moms in Workin’ Moms consciously work to build with one another. Building great friendships is an aspiration that even a busy mom and dedicated wife can have. Having a circle of support and being able to be supportive towards others creates a valuable sense of individual purpose.
We all have stress and worry
One thing that can make it hard to connect with other moms is the fear of being too negative, or of over sharing, or of becoming gossipy. Workin’ Moms is a reminder that we all struggle with our own stress and worries. Most people care more about their own problems, and they won’t get that caught up in your problems anyway. Don’t let this fear hold you back from connecting with others.
Being honest with yourself about your goals
When Jenny Mathews asks her husband if she can stay home from work to raise their baby, he declares that it’s his turn to stay home, raise the child, and write his screenplay. She falls into a downward spiral, which results in her accidentally leaving her child in her car at one point, and then giving away her parental rights because she’s lost faith in herself as a mother.
Being honest with yourself about what you want in life can be difficult because as a parent, your goals impact others. However, eventually your true thoughts and unhappiness will show through. Stay honest with yourself, and you can be more fulfilled and healthier.
Own your choices in life
Adult life happens so fast. One minute, it’s Pinterest boards with frilly dresses, and the next, it’s spending weekends vacuuming. Since there’s no happily ever after in life, it can be hard to figure out when you’re truly happy enough. However, living without regret matters. The mothers of Workin’ Moms don’t always know what they want, and they are working on the confidence to own all their decisions. Seeing them struggle and grow with their confidence is an inspiration to keep working towards owning my choices in life too.
The first few years go by fast, but bonding with your child isn’t over
The other day, my fourth grader was giving me a hard time about not wanting to do what I asked her to do at the time I asked. This moment of friction brought me to a flashback of her being three and in my arms, wearing a cute pearl bracelet, sunglasses and a sunhat. This was when I could dress her up, hold and hug her. For a second, I thought those days are so long gone, and it’s never going to be the same. However, I opened up to her and showed her all the old baby pictures and videos, and we talked about it. Her independence has always been something she values ever since her very first memory, and I have to find the ability to accept that.
In Workin’ Moms, Anne struggles to connect with her child Alice, a sixth grader whose flair for independence seems impossible to tame. Anne finds the ideal babysitter who can connect with her daughter, but soon jealousy sets in that their connection is stronger than her own connection. However, in time, Anne and Alice find their own way to bond. It’s a work in progress, but that amazing mother and child connection doesn’t end during those difficult years of parenting an older child.
Go easy on yourself
While binge watching, I might have let the laundry slip for a day and accepted some help with the dinner. My daughter even said, “Mom, why aren’t you working when you’re watching Workin’ Moms?” However, even the most perfect of moms struggles on her best day. Sometimes survival means finding solidarity in that struggle, and sometimes it means enjoying solitude with a good tv show.
All photos credited to CBC.