I Lived Like Kitty Forman From 'That '70s Show,' & Here's What Happened

by Gemma Hartley

In the canon of great TV moms, there is no one I love more than the infamous Kitty Forman from That ‘70s Show. She is quick with the comebacks, a wonderful homemaker, an avid drinker, and she refuses to take sh*t from anyone. She knows how to prioritize her family life while still taking care of her own needs. Namely in the wine department. Much. Respect.

For a long time, I wished she was my mom (not that my mom isn’t great, but I mean, c’mon: it’s Kitty). Now, I want to be her as a mom. I want to maintain my role as a loving, good housekeeping mama while also drinking and living it up with friends and giving my kids the no-b*llshit advice they need to survive the real world. I figure if I start now, by the time my kids are teenagers I’ll have Kitty’s style down, no problem.

The Experiment

I decided to take on Kitty Forman as my muse for a week. No matter what I was doing, I my motto became, “What would Kitty do?” The answer was usually open another bottle of wine, so, for a week, I drank a lot of wine. It was awesome. But beyond what might nowadays be labeled as “excessive drinking,” I also embraced her approach to life: positive, but without all the frills. Kitty’s got a thing or two to teach us all about how to be a woman and a rockin’ mama.

1. I Enjoyed My Rest


If anyone knows the importance of unwinding and relaxing, it’s Kitty Forman. During my week as Kitty, I made sure I was getting as much rest as I could, which meant naps in the afternoon and early bedtimes whenever possible. Kitty knows that your family doesn’t always appreciate your efforts, so you’ve got to acknowledge how hard you work by taking the time you need to take care of you. When I couldn’t get rest? Well, there was always wine to keep me company.

I also had friends over to play games and drink more wine with. I made sure that throughout the week, I focused not only on my family, but on myself as a person worthy of appreciation and adoration. It was a great change from the grind of constantly being on-call as a mom. When the kids went to bed, it was grown-up time in true 70s fashion. It was a nice reminder of who I am outside of motherhood, a reminder I don’t get nearly enough.

2. I Let Myself Get Emotional


This was not a week for suppressing my emotional state. When I got uncomfortable, I let everyone know. Kitty Forman spends a lot of time taking care of everyone else, but she’ll be damned if her needs get shoved on the backburner. I didn’t tolerate uncomfortable bra straps digging into my side, or the heater being on in the car when I was wearing a scarf. I let myself get a little fiery, and it felt good to let loose my normally closed-off emotions.

My husband was not the biggest fan of my outbursts, but as the week went on we found that if I got out all my stress in small bouts (like “Oh my GOD, why is the air conditioning on? I’ve been freezing for all of TWO minutes!”), I was more affable the rest of the time, rather than becoming a stressed out mess by the end of the day after bottling it all up.

3. I Talked To Myself … A Lot


During my week as Kitty, I did a lot of baking (of course). Not just your regular bake-sale type of baking, but 12-dozen cupcakes and a tiered cake for my best friend’s wedding … a wedding in which I was also the Maid of Honor. To be honest, I definitely felt like Kitty would have done the same. She is the ultimate baker and homemaker, and she would’ve risen to the challenge and done it all. All of my priorities got a little out of hand, and I found myself turning to booze often, in true Kitty Forman style. “We’re going to a rustic look,” I told myself when the frosting wasn’t exactly as I imagined. The more I drank, the better it looked. “You’ve got this,” I said. “Drink more wine.”

Normally, the perfectionist in me would have a hard time with this line of thinking, but once I talked myself off the “perfection” ledge, I found myself enjoying the whole process a lot more. While channeling Kitty, I was able to remind myself that I was doing what I loved for people I loved, and that made it all more fun. I was happy with the end result, and happy that I was able to help out my best friend.

4. No Matter What Happened, I Kept A Positive Outlook On Things


As we got closer to the big wedding day, and the cupcake work piled on even harder, I turned to Kitty for a shining example of how to stay positive through any situation. I knew that I couldn’t spend the weekend stressed out and miss out on my friend’s blissful day worrying. So I smiled through the tough parts and tried really hard to stop complaining. It may not have worked all the time (there were definitely moments of cursing and sitting down and saying “screw it all!”), but it did seem to help make me happier over the course of the week.

Keeping that signature smile on my face helped change the way I felt. Fake it ‘til you make it really worked for me, and by the time the wedding weekend finally arrived, it was as if there hadn’t been a stressful moment. Kitty definitely understood that sometimes you need to put your best face forward, regardless of how you feel, when you need to get through a tough situation. Sometimes, a smile is all you’ve got between yourself and a total breakdown.

5. I Partied Hard


Kitty Forman knows how to let loose. The end of my Kitty Forman week came the night before my best friend’s wedding. The kids were at home, the wine flowed freely, and when it was gone, we headed to the bar until the wee hours of the morning. I channelled my inner Kitty, danced in an awkwardly mom-like fashion in the bar, and didn’t give a damn who saw me. Kitty knows when she’s earned the right to party, and this week, so did I.

By the end of the week, I felt like a totally different person. It wasn’t just that the stress of the wedding was over (because it wasn’t totally over yet), but the fact that I was embracing everything with a more fun-loving attitude. I felt like I got to reconnect with my wilder side, and everyone was better for it. Sometimes I become so high-strung that I forget to enjoy things in the moment, but with the help of Kitty Forman as my spirit animal, I was able to live it up and celebrate appropriately.

So, Am I Truly A Kitty Forman?

After spending my week as Kitty Forman, I felt less like she was a funny TV mom and more like my soulmate. She showed me how to conquer being a stay-at-home mom while also remembering that I am an individual that deserves a glass of wine and some awkward dancing for a job well done.

Her positive, caring, no-nonsense approach to life is something we should all aspire to. And her relationship to wine is on point. From this point forward, I am definitely going to try to channel her in times when I’m feeling overwhelmed, or underappreciated, or I just need to let loose and remember I’m more than just a mom. I am my own fabulous person, not simply someone who’s around to serve my family. Let’s raise a glass to that.

Images: FOX, wifflegif.com (5)