It’s impossible to sum up what it’s like to be a mom. It’s pretty much the toughest job on the planet, and the job description goes something like this: “Must be willing to spend two decades doing the following: not getting enough sleep, yelling a whole lot at small people who never listen, endlessly cleaning and cooking, and going to parent teacher meetings. The job entails long hours with no days off, and is a volunteer position. Benefits: the best hugs you’ll ever get, laughing a whole bunch, and being amazed daily by the kids.”
Over the years I’ve watched a hundred different TV shows try to accurately portray being a mom, and with rare exceptions (I’m looking at you, Roseanne) they fail to get it right. But I decided to give American Housewife a try because the clips looked funny, and I really enjoyed Katy Mixon on her last show. I’m so glad I did—this show gets so much about being a mom RIGHT. I cannot WAIT for season two. Here’s ten times American Housewife nailed what it’s like to be a mom.
When You Get Judged At School Drop Off
We’ve all had those days when we rush out the door to get the kids to school on time. One day Katie (the mom on the show) drops her kids off at school and tries to sneak by the “Westport Mommies” without being noticed. Unfortunately, another mom points out a stain on the back of her sweater, and Katie realizes it’s not only pizza that didn’t come out in the wash, she’d actually donned her shirt backwards! Been there, mama.
When You Run Out of Toilet Paper
This scene in episode two was my biggest literal LOL in a long while! One of Katie’s ‘mom squad’ moms, Doris (played brilliantly by comedian Ali Wong) talks about how her “House Manager” does the shopping and makes sure she never runs out of anything. “I don’t even know what running out of toilet paper feels like!” Doris says. Katie replies, “It feels like a coffee filter.” Real talk, I can relate. I’ve hollered from the toilet more than once for napkins.
When You Discover The Upsides of Coparenting After Divorce
By the end of this summer, I was dreaming of having time to myself without the kids. I’ll confess to being a tiny bit jealous of my friend who shares custody and gets every other weekend alone. Katie’s friend Angela sums it up: “Just when you want to slip your kids a benadryl and leave them at the animal shelter, you give them back to your ex.” Hey, we get it. We’ve all wondered if a divorce is worth it just to be able to grab regular weekend naps.
When You Hate School Drop Off and Pickup
I swear, schools deliberately make taking kids to school a chore— it takes ten times longer than it needs to. Katie’s nemesis on the show is Sandy the Crossing Guard, and they battle it out repeatedly when Katie drops the kids off at school.
When Your Kids Don’t Turn Out Quite Like You Expect
I love my kids, but they are quite fully their own people and not at all like me or my husband. My oldest is a complete introvert (so weird to this extrovert) and the youngest would spend their whole life playing video games and not reading books. Katie copes with similar issues, with her oldest being a super athlete and her middle child being obsessed with financial success. Being a parent means learning to love and support them anyway even when you don’t agree with their choices.
When You Pretend To Like the Hubbie’s Nerdy Hobbies
My husband has gone down a few different nerdy tracks (once I threatened to divorce him if he bought a metal detector), all of which I found dull as toast. But I love him, so I play along. Katie’s husband is a historian, and she’s very tolerant of his passions—even when he bakes a colonial onion pie that makes the house smell like B.O.
When You Whip Off Your Bra At The End Of The Day
Nothing beats the feeling of taking off your bra after a long day of looking presentable. I jokingly call, “Release the hounds!” when it’s time to take my bra off. Katie, like all of us real moms, has mastered the art of removing her bra without taking off her shirt. We’ve all been there.
When You Suck At Being A Friend
My absolute favorite moments on the show happen during “Second Breakfast,” when Katie meets up with Angela and Ali to chat after drop off. I’ve got those friends too, the ones you laugh with and back up no matter what—except when you mess up and don’t. Angela and Katie have an argument, but they solve it by the end.
When You Have Playdates and You Don’t Like The Other Mom
When my youngest was entering kindergarten, she became best friends with a sweet girl in her class. I loved that kid, but I did NOT love her mother. From politics to basic parenting philosophies, we won’t always get along with the parents of our kid’s friends. I love that American Housewife acknowledges this reality. We just aren’t going to like (or be liked) by everyone.
When You Swear Like A Mother
I know we all strive to be those parents: the ones who never raise their voice, don’t get frustrated over the small things, and certainly don’t drop f-bombs in front of the kids. I agree with Katie when she says in episode 10, “There are two kinds of parents; those who swear in front of their kids, and those who lie and say they don’t.”
New episodes of American Housewife air Wednesdays 9:30|8:30c