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Seeing Childhood TV and Movie Moms in a Whole New Light

Becoming a wife and mom is a journey that changes us in ways we didn't even know were possible. It reshapes our perspectives, our priorities, and, interestingly, our views on the characters we grew up watching on TV and in movies. Remember those "mean," "crabby" moms we used to side-eye? Well, now, as I go through the beautiful chaos of motherhood myself, I see these characters in a completely different light.

I recently started to rewatch My So Called Life and saw a meme the other day about the mom on Mrs. Doubtfire.

Now I see Miranda from "Mrs. Doubtfire" and Angela's mom from "My So-Called Life" weren't so much crabby as they


Miranda Hillard: Mrs. Doubtfire


I used to think that Miranda Hillard (played by Sally Field) was just putting a damper on everyone's fun. Now? I get it. I really get it. He had a pony in the house!!! Let's exclude the fact she rebounded a little quickly with Pierce Brosnon's character, but Miranda was managing a career, raising kids, and dealing with an ex-husband who goes to extreme lengths (like, extremely extreme) to spend time with his kids. The woman deserves a medal, not eye rolls. Looking back, I can't help but see her strength, resilience, and dedication to her children's well-being. And let's not forget her incredible patience and grace—even when faced with the shocking revelation of her children's new nanny's true identity.


Patty Chase: My So-Called Life


Then there's Patty Chase, Angela's mom from "My So-Called Life." As a kid, I saw her as overbearing and out of touch. Fast forward, Patty's concerns, rules, and yes, even her meddling, start to make a lot of sense. She navigates the waters of teenage rebellion with a mix of strictness and love, trying to protect her daughter while giving her the space to grow. Watching the show now, I can't help but nod in agreement at her worries and feel her heartache and triumphs. Patty wasn't trying to ruin Angela's life; she was trying to guide her through it with as few scars as possible—a balancing act I am all too familiar with now raising teenagers.



This newfound empathy for on-screen moms goes beyond me just being nostalgic. It reflects my understanding of motherhood and the complexities of family dynamics. As I laugh and sometimes cringe at the familiar scenes of family life unfolding on screen, I am reminded of my own struggles, victories, and the endless juggle that is being a mom.


I recognize the importance of self-care, the strength it takes to advocate for my family, and the grace with which I try to handle day to day life. These characters, once only entertainment, now serve as a mirror reflecting my own life back at me—(granted, a cross-dressing, British-accented nanny has yet to be a part of my personal experience). Highlighting the challenges, the love, and the incredible resilience of us moms.



So, the next time you find yourself revisiting classic movies and TV shows from your childhood, take a moment to appreciate the moms. Not just as characters in a story, but as reflections of real-life struggles, triumphs, and the balancing act that is motherhood. Miranda wasn't a mean, crabby, jerk—she was a mom, doing her best in a challenging situation. And Patty? She was just trying to navigate the teenage years with her sanity intact.


As we watch these stories unfold with our new, mom-tinted glasses, let's give a little nod of solidarity to these fictional moms. After all, they were us before we even realized we would become them. And to all the real-life Mirandas and Pattys out there, navigating the beautiful, messy journey of motherhood: I see you, I appreciate you, and I am right there with you.

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