We can agree that one main goal of parents is to raise decent, respectable children who will be good, productive and contributing members to society. While the road to motherhood looks different for every person, so is the actual mothering part. As military spouses, what it looks like to be a mother is a constant adaptation as we move, solo-parent, adjust and do it all over again.
Every day we’re lucky to see how MilSpouse moms manage it all, but do we see it represented on TV? I personally can’t think of any modern day examples of someone you watch and identify with as a military spouse with children. Instead, I could only pull bits and pieces from some favorite TV moms -- I guess we truly are a class of our own! In honor of Mother’s Day, here are 4 TV moms who would make great military spouses:
1. Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls
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For obvious reasons, we get Lorelai. She’s doing life as a single mother, just trying to be the best mom she can with the hand she’s been dealt. Having been a single mom many years ago, I can say with authority that parenting through military separations is not remotely close to being a single mom. However, we can empathize in the daily struggle of raising our children without (always) having our partner around.
Lorelai’s parenting style boils down to allowing Rory, her daughter, be her true self. She allows her to make mistakes and they have individual and shared passions that were nurtured and explored. Lorelai Gilmore represents ultimate #momgoals in that she has the kind of relationship with Rory that all moms aspire to have with their children.
2. Rainbow, Black-ish
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Rainbow Johnson is a successful doctor, a wife, has 4 kids (and one on the way!) all with very different personalities and a mother-in-law who isn’t her biggest fan. Yet, Rainbow handles it all gracefully and with style (no frumpy mom-jeans for ‘Bow). Like many military couples, she and her husband come from wildly different backgrounds. Rainbow is mixed race, raised on a Hippie compound with very liberal parents; her husband was raised in South Central LA by a very religious mother and (not as religious) father. They are often looking to find some middle ground when it comes to parenting.
Having to search for common ground due to cultural differences happens quite often in our community. Because of overseas assignments and moving often, a large part of our demographic is married to someone who grew up starkly different with regards to religion, political views, geography or culture. What we can see in ourselves from Rainbow’s character is her desire for her children to have a better life than what she had. That’s her driving force, why she works so hard both in her career, but more importantly, with her family. As a mom, work is time spent and invested in your children.
3. Maya, Speechless
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Maya is nothing if not a fighter. She’s described as being an "over the top ferocious mom who will do anything to make sure her son gets what he needs." If you watch the show, you know that Maya actually has five children, but it’s her son with cerebral palsy that pushes her to be her most assertive and spirited self.
This life is already riddled with many obstacles, but when you have a child that requires EFMP registration, IEPs, therapies, appointments all in the name of helping your kid live their best life, things get even more complicated. Whether on a small scale or large scale, military families advocate for others to understand the lifestyle and what measures will ensure the community continues to thrive. When having a child with special needs, that advocacy becomes multi-dimensional. Seeing Maya’s character fight so hard is representative of a large core of milspouse moms.
4. Monica Geller-Bing, Friends
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The military has a large amount of families who adopt, foster or undergo fertility treatments to bring their little ones home. An iconic mom whose journey to motherhood was difficult, many can see themselves in Monica Bing.
It’s important to acknowledge that Mother’s Day is quite emotional for women who are going through alternative methods of bringing home their baby. Monica’s story is not real life, but definitely true to life and representative of many MilSpouse moms and moms-to-be.
There are so many other TV moms with similar experiences and parallels to military spouses with children, although their characters aren’t associated with military. In the comments, let us know which mom you identify with most!