My Favorite TV Working Moms {Part 2}

I recently saw this article fly across Twitter and something struck a cord with me. Basic overview is it broke down some of the major 90’s sitcoms and did a cost analysis of their home life. Cost per kid, relative salaries for their jobs and basic mortgage costs for the area. Then showed how deep in debt these people would have been. Not exact science but it made a point. I grew up on these shows (7th Heaven, Full House, Step by Step, The Nanny, The Cosby’s). While I watched these shows, I never really thought much above “Uncle Joey is hot” and “Step siblings seem like the WORST” but looking back, did everyone else get a different take on them? A generation of TV shows that display an unsustainable lifestyle to the general (mass) public. Gaggles of kids with 1 semi working parent. How does that even work? It made me start thinking, are some of the thoughts surrounding working mothers stemming from what people saw on TV? Beyond their own single in-home experience, this was their perception of American families. TV is powerful stuff!

Somewhere along my scatter brained thoughts on the subject, I remembered Mary Beth’s post about TV working moms and decided to channel my “SOCIETY HAS CORRUPTED US” ramblings into something more fun ans semi-constructive. Family lives that mirror the working mom world instead of leaving us scratching our heads. So to show a little more of a “real” family situation, I give you my favorite TV working moms:

Pam Halpert from The Office (Image credit: NBC)

Top of the list not only because I like how she is a working mom on the show but Jenna Fischer is also a working mom in real life! She has a new little one of her very own (that second pregnancy on the show was real). While I have always loved The Office, I have been a sucker for the Jim and Pam storyline. When they had the first baby, Landon was only a few months old. The birth episode was the first REAL birth episode I had ever seen. Well not the birth but the aftermath. The breastfeeding, the sleep deprivation and just general craziness of it all was SO REAL. When she cried because she wouldn’t latch and then she did as they left the hospital and everything just stopped so she could…tears. While she was on leave, she was jumping at the chance to get out of the house. When she came back, she pumped and even got some tips from Dwight. Now they have 2 kids on the show and are shown balancing that. The traveling husband element has been added {for better or worse} and her doing it solo has been an “amen” to many people I know {the lice episode is a PERFECT example}. Pam is my favorite working mom because she is me. Not a fancy job and trying to do EVERYTHING to make her seem untouchable. We go to work, we come home and make dinner and go to bed. Rinse and repeat. It is kind of refreshing.

Roseanne from…well.. Roseanne! (Image source:

Roseanne was a breakthrough show of its time. To show the raw truth to family life. Not the shining June Cleaver portrayal of the “American Dream”. Blood, sweat and tears to make a family work. Roseanne was crass and rude and…real. Life isn’t always about bake sales and where to go on vacation {side note: how did all these TV families afford those Hawaii vacations at the drop of a hat?}. It’s about scraping by for a majority of families. I loved the Roseanne put a face of this. Dealing with the tougher issues is something America needed to see.


20130404-190722.jpgJulia from Parenthood (Image source:

Julia is more of the I CAN DO IT ALL type I referred to in the Pam blurb above but something speaks to me about her. Maybe the type A controlling aspect. I think they show her well with fighting to control things and realizing she can’t. Trying to take Zoe under her wing, control Joel, infertility. All these things she had to work through. While I usually roll my eyes at this type of mom on other shows because of the impossible nature of it all, the vulnerability they show in her in these moments makes her more real. Sometimes people may see me from one angle doing ALL THE THINGS but they don’t see the other side when the kids are being difficult and dinner is 20 minutes late and I am LOSING IT. We are all human.


Lorelai from Gilmore Girls (Image credit: Gilmore Girls: Lance Staedler/WB)

The single mom of the bunch, Lorelai showed some new sides to motherhood including being friends with your kid and leaning on each other. Single parenthood isn’t something I can relate to but 12.2 million households in America have 1 parent. That isn’t chump change. Now while their fast talking best friend relationship isn’t everyone’s experience, shining a light on single parenthood was something nice to see.


Daenerys Targaryen of Game of Thrones (Image source:

Girl builds an army while mothering 3 dragons. The end.

Who are your favorite TV working moms?


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