9 Times 'Jane The Virgin' Got Everything Right About Motherhood
It’s no mystery why the comedy-drama-satire series Jane the Virgin has acquired such a loyal fan base and taken home countless awards. The show is exceptionally entertaining, and ever since Jane became a mom, the shows gone from love to really freakin' love in my books. Jane is saying all the things about parenting that I want to.
Loosely based on the Venezuelan telanovela Juana la Virgen, an hour-long episode of Jane the Virgin runs the gamut on emotions alongside insane plot twists (she stole his sperm?!) and outrageous characters (ahem, Rogelio DeLaVega, anyone?). Although the show takes creative license to embellish and add in the theatrics, one thing the super-feminist series doesn’t exaggerate on is motherhood. If you don't watch, Jane Villanueva (who, you guessed it, is a virgin) is accidentally artificially inseminated with the sperm of a (very handsome) hotel owner, Rafael Solano, during a routine checkup. The first season ends with the birth of Jane and Rafael’s adorable son, Mateo. Season Two gets arguably better, especially since it wastes no time in getting real with the wild ride that is motherhood. And ever since Jane began a new chapter of her story, her wisdom on motherhood has been incredibly on point.
Usually, TV shows are quick to glamorize motherhood in way that doesn't feel too familiar or authentic to the women who are actually living these scenarios. But as a young mom, it's refreshing to see a character that's written to feel like she could be your best friend — or hell, even you.
Here are nine moments when Jane the Virgin said everything about motherhood that I wanted to:
"I'm Just Gonna Need A Hand Out Of Bed..."
This is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s so refreshing to see a show portray that a woman can’t just get up and start skipping around after pushing out a human being. That’s just not real life.
"I Think It's Time To Pop The New Baby Bubble."
As new and veteran moms, we all feel a tinge of nervousness when faced with the idea of leaving the house with baby for the first time. We got so used to having them inside of us for a whole 10 whole months. It's quite a scary experience introducing external stimulants that are completely out of your control to a your unpredictable infant, not to mention toting around a huge diaper bag and unfolding a stroller with one hand is no easy task. Eventually we have to go out and buy diapers or get something to eat, but it takes time and a little bit of courage (and dexterity) before we're ready for that experience.
"Oh My God! I'm Leaking Milk!"
After struggling to nurse Mateo, questioning her latching techniques, and her milk production, Jane so eloquently captured that pivotal moment in a breastfeeding woman's journey when her milk comes in. She squeals in delight at her dampened clothing, realizing that her boobs are leaking and that she’s making milk. This is big news. Like, really. I remember the moment when my milk came in so clearly. The nurse gave me a high-five as my baby’s weight climbed the charts and it felt so good to know things were coming along. It is an epic moment, and Jane deserves every ounce of milk — erm, happiness — that it brings.
Jane joins a mommy and me class and gets nervous when all the other women are talking about their babies blinking back at them. Meanwhile, Mateo lies there gives her a blank stare. It’s hard not to compare your kid to others in the beginning, and I remember having a similar freakout when my 8-week-old daughter wasn’t rolling. It seemed like all the other babies her age were rolling at the time! She got there eventually and, much like Jane, I couldn’t contain my excitement when she reached that first milestone.
"You're About To Let Motherhood Hijack Your Goals."
Jane receives her acceptance letter into grad school and it’s a huge deal because it’s a step in pursuing her dream to become a writer. The responsibilities of motherhood weigh down on her, and she starts to feel guilty about the time classes and lectures will take away from Mateo. She does what any woman with kids has (or will) do: She worries about whether or not she can actually juggle school and raising a child.
In my own experience, finding a work/school/life balance has been a truly difficult task, one that requires reaching out for help. Luckily, Jane accepts the fact that she must rely on her support system and is well on her way to reaching her dreams. You go, Jane!
"I Can't Choose Who I Want To Be With."
I don’t know how many women enter motherhood attached to a love triangle like Jane did, but the bottom line is this: it’s difficult to think about romance right after you pop out a human being. Whether you’re already in a romantic relationship or a single mother, intimacy and romance are both difficult to find time for (and interest in) when you’re sleep-deprived, your boobs are sore, and you probably haven’t showered in a few days.
"I Forgot My Best Friend's Birthday."
I’ll attest to the reality that time for friends takes a backseat when you become a parent. I can’t tell you how many bachelorette parties and Vegas trips I’ve had to turn down because of my responsibility to care for my family, but that certainly doesn’t mean I love my friends any less. In the midst of new motherhood, Jane forgets that she promised to throw her best friend’s 25 birthday and scrambles to plan a party to make it up to her. When the party flops, she ends up searching for her BFF in a loud nightclub to ask for forgiveness. They make up and meet eye-to-eye, leaving us all with the heartwarming lesson: with a little extra time and effort, the good friendships will endure.
"My Boobs Hurt."
Another breastfeeding reference that is just so, so true. I remember the first few times I left my baby for more than a couple of hours, I'd return with breasts that swelled up to twice their original size (whatever that is anymore). The first thing I did was pop my baby on my boob for an extended nursing session before they would explode. Let me tell you, it felt better than going to the bathroom after a really long road trip.
"I'm Pumping And Dumping Tonight!"
The early days of motherhood are the haziest. All I can recall is a blur of crying, changing, burping, and more crying. When a baby comes into your life, it’s almost impossible to remember who you were before motherhood crept up on you. Jane gets reacquainted with herself on the night that she goes out for her best friend’s birthday and gets drunk. She laughs, dances, and ultimately lets loose and has fun. Jane put herself first for an evening, leaving new moms with an important message: it’s essential to take time for yourself, and remember that you’re still you.