In the storied history of television, moms get short shrift. They're often shallow, underdeveloped, and generally wind up more stereotypes (or, more charitably, archetypes) than actual women. But every now and then you get a fully developed, complex, and fascinating human being who happens to be a mom. And in this Year Of Our Lord 2019, with prestige television ever raising the bar, we're seeing it more and more.
While children's shows are, well, for kids and not meant to be picked apart for their symbolic or psychoanalytical themes, I've noticed a lot of mom characters these days — even on kids' shows — are a bit more well-rounded than they were when I was a small lass. (Honestly I don't think I could name more than a handful of moms on literally any of the shows I watched, much less give you a defining character trait aside from "the mom.") And I wonder what that's going to do to how this generation sees motherhood. Will this be the generation that is comfortable seeing their moms as actual people? Dare I dream?
The examples kids are exposed to on TV may have more influence than we think. So in order to understand their little baby brains a little more fully, I asked 10 kids to share their favorite TV moms — I believe the insight here could prove invaluable. So here are some of the top mom picks in children's entertainment according to 10 kiddos aged 4 to 9.
"Raven [from Raven's Home] because she does very nice things like when her husband moved she wanted to do all the fun things with her kids that they used to do with her husband."
"Ash's mom from Pokémon! She lets Ash go on a journey to train pokémon, and she's actually pretty funny. She once made fun of Ash's messy room and he got so embarrassed. It was hilarious."
"She's not a mom, though..."
"But she's my favorite because she's so funny!"
Writer's note: Gioia is my daughter and I dare not stand between her and her love of Nicole Byer, regardless as to whether it's technically answering my question. This love is beautiful and pure and should be celebrated.
"Cheshire Cat from Ever After High (she's based on the same character from Alice in Wonderland) because she loves to cause drama and teaches Kitty (her daughter) how to make trouble and she has a cool voice."
"The mom from Loud House."
"Um, she has 11 kids — do you really need a reason why?"
Why indeed, Amir.
"Mary Cooper from Young Sheldon because she is sensitive about Shedlon, Missy, and George."
"DJ [on Fuller House] is a good mom because she says yes sometimes, says no sometimes, and does nice things for herself."
"Doc McStuffins' mom is nice and helpful. And she's a doctor."
"Yes she is."
"Wait... is that why Doc McStuffins is named Doc?!"
"Queen Miranda [on Sofia the First] because she's a queen but she wasn't always a queen and she can do cool things like make shoes and sail ships."
"The mom from The Amazing World of Gumball. She's kind of like Gumball, but not as silly. She looks like Gumball, though. She's tough and the dad is kind of stupid so she does everything around the house because the dad is like another kid basically."
They made endless sandwiches and kept us occupied after school, but, like our own mothers, we simply did not see them until we became moms ourselves. Now that we’re dishing up Concerned Faces to our own kids, we're looking back at their patented life advice and appreciating how they have changed after seven decades on the small screen: these are The TV Moms Who Raised Us.