A week ago Sunday was Mother’s Day! Some people love the “holiday,” others, not so much. We all have our reasons for being happy to see the second Sunday in May or want to hide from it. I’m in the former camp.
While not all of us had the perfect mom (and really, who did?), most of us have women (or, in some cases, men) in our lives that serve as mother figures to us in some way. One place everyone can turn to see motherhood in action is television. While it isn’t real, we can enjoy the moms we see and the “experiences” they have.
Being that I love T.V., I have enjoyed all sorts of T.V. moms growing up from Donna Stone on The Donna Reed Show to Samantha Stevens on Bewitched to Alice Hyatt on Alice. (Doesn’t it always seem like the moms you most identify with or want to be like are on sitcoms? Seems kind of wrong, doesn’t it?)
In the early days of television, it seemed that mothers were perfect, even Lucy Ricardo, who sometimes stumbled, had motherhood down on I Love Lucy. As T.V. has developed, you got to see moms with more flaws and less perfection, making them even more relatable.
Today, I thought I’d share 8 fabulous TV moms that you can watch now on Netflix! (And by watch, I might mean binge, but that’s up to you.)
8 Fabulous TV Moms
1. June Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver
Talk about perfect. I could never live up to her standard as a mom. Her house was always perfectly cleaned (even the ketchup bottles), and she wore dresses, with heels. How could she do that? Oh yeah, she was on TV.
2. Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show
Mary Tyler Moore captured the world’s heart when she played Laura Petrie. She countered Dick Van Dyke’s Rob with class and fun. Oh, she was bold enough to be the first mom NOT to wear dresses in her house. Talk about shocking!
3. Elyse Keaton on Family Ties
Elyse was a bold, liberal working mom who always made time for her three kids. She got frazzled, like we all do, and had great advice. While most people paid attention to her son Alex (played by Michael J. Fox), it was great seeing that you could balance work and family by watching her.
4. Norma Arnold on The Wonder Years
This show took us back to the late 1960s. We got to see the family roles and dynamics at play. She balanced the changing times (along with a rebellious daughter) with her husband’s wish to keep things as is all while meeting her family’s needs.
5. Roseanne Connor on Roseanne
No mom compared to Roseanne when her show hit the air. She was bold, brash, told-you-as-she-saw-it, and irreverent. She also loved her kids and balanced family with work, not always perfectly. It was refreshing to see a mom who wasn’t perfect for a change.
6. Kitty Foreman on That 70s Show
While The Wonder Years took us to the late 60s, That 70s Show took us to the late 70s and it was fun to watch! Kitty Foreman makes you laugh balancing her family with her nursing job, brilliantly portrayed by Debra Jo Rupp. She’s the mom who the neighbor kids all love and look to for guidance. She’s not always right, but she has lots of love for the kids and her family.
7. Joyce Summers on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Poor Joyce. Her daughter’s a secret vampire slayer and she’s clueless. Of course, this single mom thinks her daughter is doing drugs then believes she must be crazy. It isn’t an easy road, but she does try to be a good role model for her daughter Buffy in insane circumstances. (I mean, who else has a daughter who’s first sexual experience is with a good vampire who turns bad.)
8. Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls
Lorelai was a teen mom who has grown up with her daughter Rory, now a teen. She’s a single mom doing the best she can to balance motherhood, a rough relationship with her parents, and her job. I loved seeing a mom with challenges represented on T.V. who wasn’t the perfect parent, but one who loved her daughter completely.
There are lots of great TV moms that have been on in recent years like Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights and the moms represented on Parenthood, plus even more from other shows we loved in the past. It’s great seeing motherhood represented in so many diverse ways (from the good to the bad to somewhere between).
Who are some of your favorite TV moms?
Disclosure: I’m a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam which means that they pay for the streaming service in exchange for me posting once a month about the service. All opinions, as always, are my own.