Workin’ Moms: Why Seeing Real Postpartum on TV Matters
Why Workin’ Moms Is the tv series we need
As a new mom, one of the most frustrating things is how little we were prepared for these big changes. Growing up, TV shows and movies basically skipped the postpartum season. We saw the baby born and then the family seamlessly adds the baby to their lives. It made it all seem so easy. It is not often that a TV show takes on the real things women can go through as new moms. From childcare to pumping, and mental health and relationship stress, Workin’ Moms on Netflix takes on the whole array of life changes. In just the first episode I cried laughing as Kate tried to fold the stroller to put it into the car and then wept when Frankie had difficult moments of postpartum depression. It was a breath of fresh air to finally see a more realistic look at early motherhood- something I needed when I was struggling as a new mom.
Importance of accurate TV portrayal of motherhood
As moms, so much of our reality is on a screen. We see other women across the world with the ease of an app. We see what we view as society’s expectations on movies and TV shows. The accurate portrayal of motherhood matters. In a time when most women do not grow up surrounded by family and close friends in a “village” feel, we get a lot of our information and ideas of how things should be from the media we take in. Media that does not show the taboo parts of motherhood like mental health, relationships and body image, can create a pressure on moms to not have and not talk about those more difficult parts.
The Unspoken Challenges of Working Moms
There are a number of challenges that working moms face. Many of these challenges go unspoken. This means colleagues, co-workers, and managers may have little understanding of a working mom’s needs. As portrayed in the Workin’ Moms show, there are logistical, mental, emotional, and physical challenges working moms face everyday. The cast of Workin’ Moms does a great job highlighting these issues moms face.
For many women, having children can interfere with promotions and workplace growth. As demonstrated in Workin’ Moms, Kate is considered for a promotion, but has to assure her employer that her job will take priority over her family. Taking an extended maternity leave or needing to be home to accommodate childcare can prevent women from receiving or going for promotions in the workplace.
Changed Relationships and friendships
Many people find their community and many of their friendships in the workplace. After having a baby, some of the dynamics of those relationships can change. Women can feel an internal tug-of-war between how they were seen in the workplace before baby and how they are seen after baby.
Breastfeeding and Pumping
Too many women can relate to watching Kate pump in the bathroom and Frankie pump in the car. While the majority of workplaces are expected to have adequate places for women to pump if they are breastfeeding, many women still find themselves in uncomfortable situations.
For many women, returning to work means finding someone to provide childcare. Whether this is a partner, a family member, or a professional caretaker, it can be a difficult decision. For women with strict work hours, they must ensure they can get their job done and accommodate the hours and expectations of childcare. A meeting running over is a much bigger deal than it was pre-kids. Having childcare means mom also misses out on some of baby’s first moments. This is normal and expected, but not easy.
More real talk about motherhood
Over the past few years, there have been more outlets with real talk about motherhood. From changes in social media trends to TV shows like Workin’ Moms and others hitting the taboo topics, there continue to be more ways to get honest. While it is great to celebrate the beautiful parts of motherhood, you should never feel like you need to sugar coat it.
As women and moms we get to promote more real talk. We get to celebrate when taboo topics are brought into light. Moms need more places to see themselves- their whole selves- in the media and our surroundings. We learn with and from one another and our honest stories make motherhood more relatable for everyone.