8 TV Moms Who Showed Us How To Parent Like A Mutha

by Sarah Cottrell
Originally Published: 
tv moms

A common theme in parenting articles of late has been for an author to describe the virtues of finding her tribe. I mean, I get it, we all need a support system, and there is really nothing better than a circle of friends who understand what exhaustion from having kids truly looks like.

But you know what I think we really need? We need role models — mom superheroes — to look up to and take a lead from. Forget the anonymous armchair perfect parents hiding behind screen names and avatars who dole out “advice” that looks more like passive-aggressive bullshit or outright shaming. We need to be reminded of what badass moms look and act like. We need to see and hear women being strong and demonstrating examples of toughness like this:

1. Taking No Shit

Carsey-Werner Company / Paramount Television

There was no greater example of a Mama Bear than Roseanne. She was nurturing, kind, funny, and generous. But man, oh man, she was also badass and had zero problems putting her kids in place at home or in public. Every mother needs a little bit of Roseanne in her.

2. Showing Body Pride

Columbia Pictures Television

OK, I admit it, I know few women who have a hot body like Peg Bundy, but you know what? Who cares. Peg Bundy had no problem wearing whatever she wanted, wherever she wanted. I’m talking about huge hair, stretch animal-print leotard, and stiletto pumps. She owned her body and wasn’t afraid to strut and hold her head high. Now, I have a rather hefty muffin top, and while a stretch anything doesn’t look great on it, holding my head up high and swinging my hips because I feel like it is pretty damn badass.

3. Epic Ranty Freak-Outs

Carsey-Werner-Mandabach Productions / 20th Century Fox Television,

From single moms to SAHMs to working moms to married and overbooked moms, we get a lot of shit when the seams of our lives start to show because we can’t do all the things all the time and be perfect, OK?! So, of course, we need to have meltdowns, but those aren’t acceptable in this era of mom bashing. Fuck that noise. Take a lead from Kitty Forman, who had zero problem stomping her feet and blowing her perfectly coiffed top from time to time. While her husband may have been a hard-ass, we all know it was Kitty who was really in charge.

4. Be Bossy Like a Man

Doozer / ABC Studios

You know why there is a thing called “mansplaining”? It’s because men are bossy, and we let them get away with it. Why not channel your inner Carla Espinosa and hold your head up high as you tell it like it is, without apology — and while demanding some R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Mama!

5. Look the Other Way

Home Box Office Entertainment

Is your kid the one acting like a punk at the birthday party? Is your toddler having an epic tantrum in the middle of the grocery store? Well, instead of losing your cool, you could bust out your inner Carmela Soprano and look the other way — at least temporarily, of course. Of all TV moms, Carmela has got the be the queen of denial. I mean, she was married to a mob boss for crying out loud!

6. The Queen of Patience

Gracie Films / 20th Century Fox Television

If you find yourself at the very tippy end of your rope and you want to start yelling because your kids are acting like lunatics or your house is a wreck or your mother-in-law just made yet another comment in a string of comments about how you suck at motherhood, then summon Marge Simpson. If that woman can put up with Bart and Homer, then you totally got this. Just ignore the part about her being a cartoon character.

7. Six Degrees of June Cleaver

Levitan / Lloyd, 20th Century Fox Television

To this day, we all still measure our standards of motherhood against that pearl-clutching queen of perfection: June Cleaver. Who can relate to her? Not me. And probably not you either, so let’s all agree that Claire Dunphy, TV’s most beloved hot mess mom, is all of us trying to attain that June Cleaver stature but falling short.

8. Embrace Your Weirdness

Filmways Television

Morticia Addams embodied the DGAF attitude like a mutha. She was the absolute antithesis of what a “normal” mother looked and acted like, and hot damn if we don’t love her for it. Everyone needs to embrace what makes them unique and different and be able to model that in a healthy way to their kids. Wave your freak flag, Morticia, we love you.

You see, we need women who in some way defy convention, who DGAF what the perfect parents with their bullhorns and shitty attitudes think. We need some Scary Mommies in the public sphere showing everyone that love, respect, and compassion are more important than being sanctimonious, judgmental, and demoralizing.

So throw your hips and shoulders back, hold your head up high, and tell the world like it is. You are one tough mutha.

Who are the TV moms that you wish would make a comeback?

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