Boob-tube we love: Mama-TV for maternity leave and beyond
Laugh-out-loud "mom-TV" that actually makes you look forward to the mid-night pumping sessions
Sure, you’re planning your Mat leave around long scenic walks, lunch dates with friends, and finally getting around to writing thank you notes for all those thoughtful baby gifts, but for the first month (or three) you’re probably for going to be spending a lot of time on the couch breastfeeding, or at least trying to convince your infant to latch before he/she falls back asleep on your warm chest.
Lucky for you there is an incredible new genre of “mom tv” - TV written, directed, and featuring incredible mama-protagonists. It’s dark, it's funny, it's just what you need when your boobs are raw and you’re wearing the same pair of sweatpants for the 3rd, ahem 5th, day in a row. So stop scrolling through the social media posts of idealized motherhood, and pick up the remote and fall in love with these all-too-real moms who seem to be living out your cringe moments.
the Letdown: an Aussie dark comedy on Netflix about a group of professional women who first meet up at a mommy&me, NCT-style-class on maternity leave at the same time. The new moms battle sleep regressions, breastfeeding guilt, new-parenting partner stress, and insecurity about re-entering the workplace.
Workin Moms: a Canadian dark comedy on Netflix with themes similar to the Letdown. The babies are a little older, and the women struggle with their new identity as moms, traveling for work, pumping in awkward public places, post-partum depression, and unexpected pregnancies.
Good Girls: an American dark comedy on NBC, and streaming on Netflix, where the kids are older, and the moms have to band together when times get tough. A preview of mom-woes when you’re past the breast-feeding drama: cheating spouses, money problems, kids who are ill, and kids exploring trans-gender identity (amazing cast includes: Christina Hendricks, and Retta, from Parks and Rec!)
Big Little Lies: HBO’s super-mom hit (all your girl crushes are in it - Reese, Nicole, Meryl, Zoe Kravitz, Shailene Woodley, and Laura Dern, who steals every single scene she's in as a C-level big-tech ball-buster) is worth subscribing to HBO Go just to binge the first 2 seasons. This isn’t about babies, and it’s way to glamorous to show Nicole Kidman with her top down pumping for her twins. But this dark comedy is super indulgent and satisfying. Reese Witherspoon and Meryl Streep’s acid-laced barbs in season 2 are so good you’ll want to write them down for future use.
Ali Wong’s stand-ups: Ali Wong’s Netflix specials, Baby Cobra, and Hard Knock Wife, are raunchy and real. Sharing her own pregnancy and breastfeeding stories, she says exactly what you’re feeling while pinned-down to your sofa covered in baby puke. And it’s hard not to love Ali as she’s delivering her dirtiest jokes strutting up and down the stage, 9 months pregnant!
Iliza Schlesinger’s stand-ups: Iliza’s last 2 Netflix specials, Confirmed Kills and Elder Millennial, will have you crying laughing about that life you used to have - prepping for a date, spending all your paycheck on LuluLemon, clubbing etiquette, and carrying around beautiful tote-bags that aren’t filled with diapers and bottles. This isn’t in the mom-genre, but Iliza’s rendition of clawing around blindly for lipgloss in a seemingly bottomless purse in the middle of a dark bar are something every woman can relate to. And sometimes you just need a good laugh to get whisked away from the cluster-feeds that are helping you make a booty-shaped imprint in your sofa.
The Great British Bake-off: and speaking of whisking, the original version, streaming on PBS, will put both you and the babies to sleep when you just need some gentle background noise. Not at all a mom-genre, and beloved on both sides of the pond, the soothing charm of Marry Berry’s voice and the astounding range of baked goods the Brits all seem to know from scratch, has been compared to meditation and ASMR. The whimsical creations, and awe-shucks nature of the sweet contestants are laid-back and frothy. You might not binge it, but you will get a huge craving for lemon pound cake and chocolate tortes.