OK, I admit it. Over the weekend, I got sucked into an ABC Family TV movie. I knew the whole time how it was going to end, but I held out hope...
In case you missed it, here’s the short version. Mom is overworked and under appreciated by three demanding children and an oblivious husband. After they ALL forget her birthday, all the while issuing orders for rides and homework help, Mom decides enough is enough. When they all get up in the morning, there is no breakfast, no lunches packed, no pilot for the minivan – there is, however, a puddle of dog pee on the kitchen floor, and a picketing Mom out in the driveway.
The movie plot unraveled in the usual way. The husband “just can’t handle this right now” because he is trying to make partner at his law firm. He is depicted as a bumbling idiot who doesn’t have the first clue how the car pool works, what to bring for snack, or how to cook dinner. He actually calls his mother-in-law – played by FLORENCE HENDERSON, who was just perfect for such a role – to help him out because he is so incompetent in taking care of his own children.
The Mom and her mother have a heart-to-heart in the kitchen when everyone else is in bed. Florence waxes on about how raising a family is hard, and how it just never occurred to her to ask her husband to help her out. And she, of course, “has no regrets.” If nothing else, it did a good job of illustrating the differences between the generations.
Ultimately, the Mom is asked to tour the country promoting her message of overworked motherhood with the First Lady of the United States. When struggling to make her decision, she has another nauseating exchange with her mother, who says when she was a young mother, she had an opportunity to star in a traveling musical show. Since her husband was working and her daughter was 2 years old, she decided not to do it. Then she said, “I don’t even remember the name of it now. But I remember the name of every boyfriend you ever had in high school.” Talk about glorifying motherhood!
The Mom agrees to take the job – for one month. When she comes home from her travels, surprise surprise, she is disappointed to see that she “just isn’t needed.” Then the clincher comes when she is a guest on a conservative radio show, and she tells the host that no matter what, being a mom is completely worth it. My husband had to coax me out of a tizzy after that one!
Now, I know that ABC Family is not going to discourage people from becoming parents. But what I found appalling was the message that, yes, Mom needs help. But even if she doesn't get it, the emotional abuse she takes from her three bratty kids and useless husband is somehow “all worth it.”
I suppose I have a different perspective on all of this than the rest of the world...
What do you think? Email me at marriednokids@bellaonline, and I’ll post your thoughts. Especially if you saw the movie yourself, but even if you just have comments about the topic.