What the Golden Girls taught us about Motherhood
A note from me:
I realize that this holiday is not great for everyone. Some are dealing with the loss or vacancy of a Mom-figure, be it by illness or life circumstances. Also, it's important to note that there are some who want very badly to be Moms and for whatever reason, are struggling. I see you and want to acknowledge those experiences because I feel this holiday, while a great sentiment to appreciate Mothers and all they do, can be incredibly difficult for some who want to participate in ways they can't. To those, I am sending vibes of love and healing in hope that you will soon feel solace. <3
With Mother's Day coming up, it's the perfect time to highlight our four favorite Girls and how they each "did" motherhood in very unique ways. As usual, the different ways that each came into motherhood are filled with love, laughs and sometimes inappropriate jokes all conspiring to give us some important life lessons. One thing is for sure; they show us that when it comes to motherhood, we're all just trying to do our best with the very unique experiences we're given.
Conception is different for everyone
Conception happens in a myriad ways. As we see from Rose's experience conception can happen by way of a pig crowning, a celebration of hay or a sandwich appreciation based day (with costumes!) If you forget that cheese in the sandwich, you could end up conceiving.
If you're Dorothy, maybe you had a beer one night and the rest is a hazy mess. Or if you get your jollies from food stands maybe you sneak behind the garbage cans like Sophia.
The Girls definitely highlight an important choice that some have to make when they begin the journey of parenthood without a partner when Rebecca reveals to Blanche that she plans to pursue artificial insemination.
Blanche: You are a Devereaux. A Devereaux has never
had to pay for it. I certainly haven't!
Dorothy: She's always depended on the kindness of strangers.
All joking aside, not all pregnancies begin with completely healthy straight relationships or perhaps they do, but may not be as simple as intercourse at the right time resulting in a successful pregnancy. Many spend a crap ton of time and money pursuing adoption, IVF, IUI or surrogacy. Also, it's important to note that parents are sometimes single, gay, lesbian or genderqueer, or straight who have been challenged while attempting to conceive.
Motherhood/Parenthood is freakin' hard, no matter how old your children are
How do you comfort your child when they are in pain as an adult? The Girls deal with serious, adult problems with their children whether it's a cheating spouse, watching your child make a decision you believe is not right, etc.
Sometimes your kid doesn't want your advice; they just want you to listen.
Letting go on control and seeing your kid as an adult (as opposed to a kid) is a huge transition. We see Blanche struggle with Rebecca's decision to pursue artificial insemination because she no longer has control over these large scale decisions in Rebecca's life. Similarly, Rose with Kiersten when she realizes that her daughter is a sexually active adult, and Dorothy struggles with Michael's decision to maintain a somewhat nomadic life as a traveling musician.
Parents screw up.
Blanche and Rebecca spent 4 years without contact because Rebecca felt her mom was butting into her life too much. (Is this necessarily the healthiest way to deal with that scenario, in my opinion? No, but hey, I wasn't there. I don't know how difficult Blanche was with the whole thing.)
Sophia sets up Gloria (Dorothy's sis) with Stanley because she feels that Gloria's personality is preconditioned to need a man for happiness. Gloria and Stan end up sleeping together and when Dorothy finds out, she is understandably hurt and angry with Sophia. Perhaps Sophia didn't think it would be a big deal because Dorothy is so independent and she's already been married to Stanley. Maybe she was just being plain thoughtless. Regardless, Sophia screwed up BIG time, but she's only human!
Rose heavily embellished Charlie's financial success to her daughter, Kiersten, to preserve his memory. The only thing is ends up doing is creating conflict and a misunderstanding about Rose squandering any of the money Charlie left for his family.
If you're not a Mom but your Mom is in your life, please remember that Moms try our best. It's not easy and we're people, too. Also, most of us do what we do out of this all-consuming, sometimes overwhelming, never-possible-to-accurately-quantify-it love for our kid(s). Seriously, it's kind of sick.
If you are a Mom, remember that you are awesome even when you make mistakes.
Finally, need something to write in your Mother's Day card? Try Dorothy's statement:
"Thanks for giving me life,
and thanks for making it good."
Happy Mother's Day, ya'll!
In friendship and cheesecake,