Romper talked to 'Workin' Moms' executive producer Karen Kicak about the end of the beloved series, ...

Workin' Moms Writer & Co-Showrunner Says The Series Finale Will Be “Very Satiating”

Romper talked to executive producer Karen Kicak about the end of the beloved series, and her own mothering journey that happened along the way.

Workin’ Moms, which will air its seventh and final season on Netflix on April 26, could have gone on forever. I say this not just as a fan but as a mom who recognizes that motherhood is an identity that’s constantly in flux. There’s always a new stage, a new challenge, a new something. So when I spoke to Workin’ Moms co-showrunner, executive producer, and writer Karen Kicak, I wanted to know how you even begin to wrap it up.

“For all of us really who’ve lived through these women for so many years, there were a lot of conversations around what was on our wish lists” she tells Romper. “‘If you only get to see Anne and Alice this many more times, where would you leave them? What would feel right? What feels satisfying?’ It was really a joy to be able to write to a conclusion and to feel like we had an opportunity to land these characters in a different place than where they started.”

The idea of ending in a far different spot than where you began parallels Kicak’s own experience working on the show. Over the course of the series, she got married and had a baby, Olivia, who is now 16 months — a conclusion she wouldn’t necessarily have guessed back in Season 1. We talked about her own growth as a mom, how that shift affected the series, and what fans can expect from the final season.

When you first started working on the show, you did not have kids, but right before you started writing Season 7 you had your daughter Olivia. Now you have a toddler. Did your approach to the material change?

Karen Kicak and her daughter, Olivia, as a newborn.Courtesy of Karen Kicak

In a sort of existential way, I’d always really related to the thesis of the show, to this conundrum of wanting to have it all, and the fear that exists with the decision to become a mother and what life you’re saying goodbye to when you make that choice. But then even having spent these years of my life every day talking about the perils of being a working mom, I still was unprepared. I feel like I had a PhD going into giving birth, and then still felt like I flunked. It was an overwhelming, disorienting, shape-shifting experience. I feel like I came into the Season 7 writer’s room saying all that and Catherine was like, “Yeah, what do you think we’ve been talking about?”

Did any of your parenting moments make it into the show?

Yes, especially through Sloane [the character who is pregnant in Season 6 and has a new baby in Season 7]. [Other writers] would be like, “So, Karen, have you and your husband had sex again yet? How was it? We’re going to have Sloane do that.”

There were also smaller moments, like when Sloane just wants the other moms to tell her that it’s going to get better, that this is the hardest moment. I just kept experiencing that.

[Not having kids] was just a little bit of really holding onto that younger self that wanted to rebel for the sake of rebelling, not allowing myself to change my mind or grow in any way. But you can actually be a different person than when you were a 16-year-old butthead.

You’ve talked on social media about wanting to live up to the expectations of your younger self — which is absolutely something characters like Kate and Anne explore in the series — and that for a long time that was incompatible with getting married and having kids, which you saw as too “traditional.” Can you talk about that a little bit?

I had a pretty traditional upbringing. As a teenager, I was one of those kids that was like, “I want to blow this town and never look back.” I’m sure my parents were like, “What the f*ck? Your life is great.” But I really felt that I wanted to reject some of those traditions. I really romanticized the idea of choosing somebody every day and not being there because you made a commitment in your 20s and now you are stuck.

Then I started to really seek out interesting women who were married and who were mothers. I was like, “She’s still cool. She’s still cool. She’s still got it.” Turns out there’s a lot of them and I’m an idiot. It’s such a kind of snobby and pretentious place to live: to look at other people’s lives and think that you know what’s going on, or why they made those choices, or that they’re not interesting as a result of it.

I think it was holding onto wanting to seem unique in some way without just feeling confident enough to realize that I was enough regardless of what choices I made and whether you find them conventional. It was just a little bit of really holding onto that younger self that wanted to rebel for the sake of rebelling, not necessarily allowing myself to change my mind or grow in any way. But you can actually be a different person than when you were a 16-year-old butthead.

So we’ve talked about the fact that working on the set, you were kind of inundated, but still not quite prepared for everything that comes along with motherhood. Do you think it did set you up a little bit better than it might have otherwise?

Kicak with her husband, Joe Kicak, and their daughter Olivia.Courtesy of Karen Kicak

Oh, 100%. It was a weird training ground, especially in the earlier seasons with more Mommy and Me episodes. All the babies in those episodes are twins. So we’d be on set with literally 12 babies. It was like an exposure therapy, and that was helpful, seeing so many actors having to deal with babies as well as their parents, and to watch those parents deal with their babies.

Most of the show really has very little to do with the kids aspect of parenting. It’s about being a woman who is a mother. Why was that an important approach for the show to take?

That’s what I want to see. The show isn’t about teaching you how to parent — I have TikTok for that! It’s more about how you move through your life and embrace those shifts? We really wanted to show these women’s full lives, and that every single thing about them isn’t necessarily always in relation or in opposition to their role as mothers. Even with such a literal title, I feel like there’s an astounding amount of scenes that have little to do with working or moms. The genesis of the show is a very particular moment of going back to work, being a new mother, and the shock and identity crisis of that very, very first period. But then obviously, the show ran for seven seasons. You’re evolving beyond that initial identity crisis into arguably a lot of other ones.

Now that the series has wrapped, what have you missed about going to work at the show every day?

Karen Kicak on the set of Workin' Moms Season 7.Courtesy of Karen Kicak

There was a vibe the whole way through filming it, because everybody knows all along that this is this person’s last day, this is the last day we’re shooting on this set. You feel it every time, and because it’s such an ensemble show, that moment happened over and over again over the course of the summer.

I miss the writers. We spend an enormous amount of time together. When you work with people that you love, you hope that it will happen again, but know that realistically it might not. It’s like finishing high school where you realize “Oh no, I need to make an effort to maintain these relationships. I need to do something, because we’re not just showing up to this institution anymore.” I’ve been trying to do that, because it’s developed some real, very close relationships over the run of this show. It’s been a huge part of my life.

Without giving too much away, since international audiences haven’t seen it yet, what can fans expect from the final season?

I do think that the series is really nicely bookended; it feels like an ending that’s hopefully very satiating to the audience. We were careful not to just be doing fan service, but it was really fun to feel like this is just one last real hurrah. As somebody who’s been with the show for so long, it allowed me to say goodbye and to kind of feel like I was okay with that.