We’ve learned a lot of important lessons from our own moms, but we’ve probably learned even more from watching sitcoms (sorry, Mom!). In honor of Mother’s Day, we thought it would be fun to compile some life lessons we’ve learned from TV Moms over the years. After the jump, check out our list, and please feel free to add your own submissions in the comments!
Roseanne Conner, “Roseanne” — Just because a family fights all the time doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. The Conners were constantly brawling and sniping at each other, but there was clearly love beneath the sassy exterior, and a family bond stronger than most. (“Roseanne” Life Lesson #2: If the first Becky doesn’t work out you can always replace her with Second Becky.)
Ruth Fisher, “Six Feet Under” – It’s never too late to take charge of your life. After Ruth’s husband dies (if you haven’t seen the show, that’s not a spoiler, it’s what the entire series is about) and her role in the family becomes confusing and undefined, Ruth, who is in her 50s, decides it’s time to focus on herself. She takes classes, she experiments sexually, and finally begins to live the life she wants to live.
Tami Taylor, “Friday Night Lights” – There’s nothing love, common sense and a glass of wine can’t solve. What else have we learned from the inimitable Tami Taylor? EVERYTHING.
Betty Draper (before she was Francis), “Mad Men” — Never let your happiness be tied to a fantasy involving a man. Your happiness should be determined by you and only you. Romantic partners can factor into the equation, but your happiness shouldn’t revolve around someone else.
Kitty Forman, “That ’70s Show” — A working mom can be the backbone of the family. This was a revolutionary idea in the 70s to be sure, but even now, when there are still lingering questions about a mother’s ability to do it all, Kitty is an amazing realistic portrayal of a loving, working mom.
Lucille Bluth, “Arrested Development” – It’s never too early for a vodka martini. Manipulative, martini-swilling Lucille may not be the best role model, but damn, some days all you can do is make yourself a stiff drink. And a piece of toast.
Lorelai Gilmore, “Gilmore Girls” — Make your own path. Life was all planned out for Lorelai Gilmore, born into a rich family of Connecticut WASPs. But Lorelai didn’t want that life, so she rebelled, got pregnant, and moved out on her own. Her path definitely wasn’t easy, but she made the best of it, and never took for granted how amazing it is to live life on your own terms.
Marge Simpson, “The Simpsons” – Sometimes the strongest people are the quiet ones. Marge is a soft-spoken stay-at-home mom whose voice often gets lost in the shuffle (her annoyance is expressed in nothing more than a low growl), but in every episode where she is really challenged to defend herself or her family, Marge steps up in a big way.
Clair Huxtable, “The Cosby Show” — Don’t be afraid to lay down the law. Clair was a brilliant, eloquent, impeccably dressed lawyer who also acted as the disciplinarian of the family. Whether she was setting guidelines for her kids’ behavior or her husband’s junk food intake, she wasn’t afraid to lay down the law, and everyone loved her for it.
Jill Taylor, “Home Improvement” — Speak up for what you believe in. Tim’s goofy antics on “Tool Time” might have gotten the most attention, but at the heart of this show, and this TV family, was Jill Taylor, a feisty feminist who went back to school for a degree in psychology. She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and always tried to instill strong values in her sons and her husband, whether or not they were actually listening.
Alright readers, I’m sure you have other ideas to add to this list–please share your favorite TV Mom life lessons in the comments!