Alex Bailey/Netflix

How 'The Crown' Proves That Ruling A Country Is A Lot Like Motherhood

by Chrissy Bobic

At first glance, the act of ruling a country and raising your kids as a mom may seem like two completely different concepts that are not at all related. But when you watch a show like The Crown on Netflix, you begin to see the striking similarities and, in a way, even start to feel for the Queen herself, which is why The Crown proves that ruling a country is a lot like motherhood. In the new series, there were plenty of instances where Queen Elizabeth II was forced to put the various men in her life in their place or to give things up for the sake of her country, which most moms can relate to in one way or another.

OK, so running a country and changing diapers might be in two different pay grades, but The Crown shows Queen Elizabeth II, a mother herself, thrust into a position of power and the enormous expectations that go along with it. What new mom can't relate to the overwhelming feeling of pressure when they themselves become responsible for another human being's life? Queen Elizabeth’s children aren’t seen very much throughout most of The Crown's first season since the series, instead, explores the political side of a monarchy and the impact her reign had on her personal (and mostly adult) relationships. But you’d be hard pressed to miss the similarities between ruling a country and motherhood.

The Crown is all about Queen Elizabeth II finding her footing and becoming the strong ruler that people know her as today. But to get there, she had to go over heads, heed advice she didn’t necessarily want, and make decisions that affected more than just herself. Sound familiar? But that's just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg. For example, there's...

The Compromises

When you’re a mom, you learn the art of compromise. Whether it be getting your toddler to eat “one more bite of a chicken nugget” or discussing with your three-year-old how many more minutes of TV they get before bedtime, the struggle is very real. On The Crown, Queen Elizabeth has to make several compromises right off the bat. Not only did she have to give up Prince Philip’s surname for herself in order to rule with the family name, but she also had to move to Buckingham Palace if she was going to run the country properly — something that both she and her husband tried very hard to resist at first.

Juggling So Many Different Things

If you’re a working mother, you sometimes feel like you’re living two lives — one for you and one for you and your kid. But even if you aren’t, you tend to be forced to take on different things all at once while parenting, like participating in extracurricular activities while also needing to be home to make dinner, or helping with homework while trying to get in a workout for yourself. As a ruler, Queen Elizabeth II had to learn to juggle both motherhood and running a country. But not only that, she had to fit in time with her husband, while meeting with dignitaries and ruling a country on her own.

Reading Between The Lines

As dramatic as it sounds, as a mom, you always have to be several steps ahead of any situation — like packing for a bathroom accident or anticipating a meltdown from your kid at any given time. You also have to learn to read between the lines when your toddler is literally saying, “Play with me,” because even if he/she doesn’t know it, they're basically telling you that they just want to spend time with you. And since they'll probably be embarrassed of you in a few years, you’d better take them up on the offer. Queen Elizabeth II had to read between the lines with Sir Winston Churchill in a surprisingly similiar way, as she realized that he was prolonging her coronation for his benefit, rather than solely for her.

The Unwarranted Advice

Queen Elizabeth II is shown time and again getting advice from her counsel, Churchill, her mother, and even her uncle. And sometimes, it’s help that she’s asked for, but other times, it is totally unsolicited. Any new mom can attest to the annoyance of unsolicited advice. When you’re running a country or having a kid for the first time, getting help from other people is definitely necessary, but at some point, it just becomes suffocating.

Trying To Find Time For Your Partner

On The Crown, Prince Philip isn’t shy about his feelings regarding his wife giving up his name, moving their family to Buckingham Palace, and devoting most of her time to the monarchy. When you’re a mom who is also trying to have a life and not go totally insane, you tend to face the same kinds of issues with your partner. Obviously, they don’t go as deep as the ones with Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth, but in both instances, you find yourself trying to find time to give to your partner when there are other matters at hand too.

The Very Real Worry Of Being Poorly Judged

Even if you don’t mean to, as a mom, you sometimes let judgments of other moms slip into your mind and at the same time, you fear getting judged yourself. Are you raising your kid correctly? Is it normal for him or her to have a tantrum, in the middle of Target like that? What is that other mom thinking as she walks by? It’s like a never-ending loop of judgments or suspicion and on The Crown, Queen Elizabeth II was always fielding judgments from her counsel with every decision she made. And as a result, she seemed to always be explaining herself to them, as if she wasn’t the actual Queen of England.

Thinking On Your Feet

When Queen Elizabeth was dealing with the Great Smog of 1952 in London, she was also trying to decide how to approach Churchill's actions in ignoring the warnings. And when she had the plan to meet with him to reprimand him, as he waited outside of her office, the smog cleared, as he’d predicted it would, and she couldn’t really punish him anymore. So instead, she quickly changed topics to a dinner party regarding where he would like to be seated. As a mom, you always have to be thinking ahead of your kid, because if you pause for just a second, they’ll sense that break or that weakness and pounce on the opportunity to get what they want.

Feeling Alone Sometimes

Even if you have a partner there to help you through parenthood, being a mom can be lonely. The emotion and stress that sometimes come along with it are things that not many other people can't understand, if they aren’t moms themselves. Queen Elizabeth II seemed to feel this tenfold all of the times she watched Prince Philip out a window, as he either played with the kids in the yard or went joy riding with his friends, while she was stuck doing the duties and work of a ruler.

Being Told How To Do Your Job

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from family or friends, “When [insert kid’s name] was little, this is what I did…” or “You should really think about [insert personal preference they have no jurisdiction over].” As a mom, you have every right to raise your kid as you see fit in order for them to have a good time and grow up without adhering to any unwritten “rules.” When the counsel told Queen Elizabeth, once again, that she couldn’t have Prince Philip as the head of planning her coronation, it was like someone telling you how to raise your kid. As just as she got her way in the end, every mom deserves that equal right to be heard and respected.

Letting Kids Learn On Their Own

When there were issues within the cabinet, Queen Elizabeth was advised to simply let them work it out among themselves, but as she said, “Doing nothing is no job at all,” which moms can feel when it comes to dealing with their kids. It’s so easily to tell someone to let their kids work something out or to let them figure things out on their own or learn about bullying on their own, without any help from their mom, but that’s not realistic for me. Like Queen Elizabeth said on The Crown, doing nothing is what makes me feel useless as a mom, which is a big part of what makes our guidance so important.

The Stress That Both Bring To Other Relationships

During one of their arguments on The Crown, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip talked about his place as her husband and how she needed his support. She told him that “A strong man would be able to kneel to both [a wife and mother],” which can be said for moms, especially when they’re working moms who deserve respect from their partners. Parents sometimes fight because of their kids and in this case, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip fight because of their country.

Watching Everyone Else’s Lives Go On Without You

When I had my son, I had no idea how seeing all of my friends go on with their lives would affect me and honestly, I had several months of a serious case of FOMO. But then I realized how awesome being a mom was and got into a groove that made me a lot less envious of friends being hungover on Sunday mornings. On The Crown, Queen Elizabeth watched Philip learn to fly and go to bars until late hours of the night, while she was left back at Buckingham Palace to face her duties and responsibilities and it obviously weighed on her.

Reprimanding Others

When Churchill was once again misbehaving in Queen Elizabeth’s eyes on The Crown, she spoke with her private tutor about how to handle the situation. It was suggested that she summon her counsel in order to stand her ground and give the men “A dressing down from nanny” and when she did, she met with them separately, like a mom reprimanding two kids. And it totally worked in her favor.

Leaving Your Baby (Or Country) In Someone Else’s Hands

In Episode 8 of The Crown, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip left for a 23 month tour of the countries governed by the British monarchy and before she left and even while she was gone, Queen Elizabeth worried about leaving the country in the hands of her sister. The same can be said for pretty much any time you get a babysitter for your kid. No matter how well you know the person, you’re always “that person” in the movie theater, checking your phone every 20 minutes to make sure your toddler didn't choke on goldfish crackers in your absence.

Figuring Out What’s For The Greater Good, Even If It Upsets Others

On the season finale of The Crown, Queen Elizabeth finally gave her final word of whether or not her sister could marry Peter Townsend and it was decided that no, Margaret and Peter wouldn't be able to get married after all. Queen Elizabeth said that she had no choice and the decision was made for the good of the country. Just like every time I reprimand my son for being too rambunctious with his ninja skills after giving me a bloody nose. Like, I don’t want to give him a time out, but it’s for his own good.

Ruling a country is a lot like motherhood and even if The Crown never intended to make that connection, it’s plenty apparent in almost every move Queen Elizabeth makes on the show. It probably helps that as she began her rule, she was a mother herself, making the link that much easier to see, but regardless, it’s there. It just goes to show that whether you're a Queen or not, you're still a human being with very real and relatable problems.

So the next time someone tries to judge you for taking a nap on a weekend afternoon or letting your kid have grilled cheese for breakfast, let them know that being a mom is like ruling a country, so they’d do well to back off or it’ll be off with their head. (Just kidding... sort of.)