When we have kids, we often look to other mothers to compare how we’re raising our kids. Mostly, it’s to feel better about screwing ours up less than the little weirdo licking the goat-food dispenser at the petting zoo (apologies if that was your kid).
Other times, we compare ourselves to the Lululemon model who must have used a surrogate. And please tell me she is sedating her kids with Benadryl because how the hell are they behaving so well for this long?
We even compare ourselves to our own mothers, but for the same reasons. We either want to feel really good about ourselves or really bad.
My personal favorite moms to compare myself to are TV moms. Not the June Cleavers or Mrs. Cunninghams of yore, but the dysfunctional moms of modern television. There’s a little something for everyone, and I find I can rationalize a lot of out-there behavior because I saw it on TV and the TV is my family.
1. Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls
I had my kids way too late to be this cool. I want to spend my 30s quipping back and forth with my super-intelligent daughter at the speed of light while we sip coffee. Instead, I’m spending them yelling back and forth with a 4-year-old who is too smart for his own good and chugging beer by myself as soon as I pull his door shut at night.
2. Sophia Petrillo, Golden Girls
When my children are older, they’re getting a shitload of payback for not sleeping when they were babies, throwing tantrums when they were toddlers, being straight-up annoying when they were school-age, and making me sprinkle my ice cream with Xanax when they were teenagers. I will move in with them and dispense 24-hour shade when I’m an old bag, give my opinion (unsolicited and often), eat all their cheesecake, and refuse to die. Their sweat and tears will be my lifeblood until the debt is paid.
3. Annie Camden, 7th Heaven
I don’t actually like Annie Camden. If you’re thinking, “Oh come on — what’s wrong with Annie Camden?” I’ll tell you what’s wrong. Chick was boring AF. She loved the Lord. She birthed a shit ton of God-fearing babies. She made them all behave responsibly. Yawn. Annie Camden makes me feel, by comparison, like a 24/7 party.
4. Kristina Braverman, Parenthood
Mrs. Braverman was such a good mom and always worked so hard for her kids — except for that one who went off to college and forgot about. And that baby I think she had but I saw proof of her existence, I think, three times? But her son with autism, she loved the shit out of that kid. She loved him so much that I can kind of forgive her for forgetting she had two other kids because, damn, she was busy.
She had shit to do, like running for mayor to make her town a better place for her son and then building her son his own fucking school so she could be principal and he could be Prince of School. I’d forget about two-thirds of the beings who burst forth from my uterus if I was that busy too. Plus, she always called her son “Bud” when he was having a tough day and that hits me right in the feels. Bud.
5. Roseanne Conner, Roseanne
A woman who doesn’t keep house, swears at her mouth-breather kids, serves crap for dinner, and wins an Emmy for it. I’m throwing out my mop, taking my language cues from a garbage can, and putting a bucket of fried chicken tits on the table tonight. I thank no one for my award. You’re all farts, and I deserve this little gold statue by myself. Goodnight.
6. Tami Taylor, Friday Night Lights
Find me a more perfect specimen whom I will never measure up against. Tami Taylor has the best Texas mom name on the planet and blowouts for days. I would trade in one of my children for that hair. She is the best mom on the planet while also being the best sort-of mom to all the kids of Dillon High as their school counselor. Clear alcohol. Full can of hairspray. Can’t lose.
7. Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones
I know — she has dragons, not babies. But Khaleesi is at least a really good metaphor for what I will be like if some little turd on the playground is shitty to my kid. Someone is rude to her dragons? She burns down their whole damn town and then rides her majestic-ass horse over the ashes. Bitch is cold, and I love it. Don’t fuck with my babies. I will barbecue you.
I like my TV moms like I like my toddlers. Messy and not really doing what they were supposed to do, but lovable in spite of it all. These women are my ideals. Lulu LeMom can go suck an egg.