It was really quite fun and awkward watching what was my favorite TV show of my late teens and early twenties now being in my 40's.
The show takes place in Philadelphia, my hometown. It was cool to see the skyline and backdrops of 1987 Philly. The show also drips of product placement and it was nostalgic to see the old box of Bryers ice-cream, TAB soda cans, Steak-Ums, Charlie's Pretzels tin and lots of baby formula.
It was a trip back to memory lane that made me want to cringe most of the time and... laugh at myself.
As a twenty-something, I so badly wanted to be Hope. A writer and a new Mom. I told my twenty-something self that I would have been a much better wife to Michael than Hope was. I imagined that I would be so happy if I were her. Gah, I loved her Arts & Craft styled house, minus the mess and her daughter Janey and son Leo. All I wanted in life was to be a writer, wife and a Mom. I could never understand why Hope was always so unhappy. It was Gary though, that I really loved and I feared that I would end up like Melissa, an unloved, confused, Spinster who apparently forgot to take her prozac.
I lucked out, but it wasn't all luck.
Looking back, I am not sure that I could have handled motherhood and career aspirations better than Hope. I am wise enough not to pretend to understand the difficulties of working mothers like I did when I was a twenty-something know-it-all nanny. I have no idea how working Moms do it, except that my mother worked. I get the same "how do you do it?" response from working mothers when I tell them that I homeschool. Hope valued motherhood and eventually put her career on hold, but she was unfulfilled with motherhood because how others perceived her role. She was made to feel there was more to life than just taking care of the house and the children but she was fooled. Growing up in the eighties, Mothers didn't think they had to teach their daughters sewing, cooking, and taking care of the home, their daughters were going to be career women and be independent or the mothers were too busy themselves working. Twenty-some years later I think we come back to valuing motherhood, or maybe it is just the tribe I find myself in. I don't feel that tug of war like Hope did, I feel confident. As for Gary, I would never put up with his womanizing behavior now, no matter how handsome or handy he is. Nancy was the true hero in the series, but I didn't see that back then.
Susan Faludi, a once-popular feminist, accused the show of "putting motherhood into too high regard." I didn't see that at all. I saw women struggling to do EVERYTHING and feeling really empty. It was a show that followed the times; a second nauseating wave of feminism with a "do it all" mentality that helped to dilute family life and put woman at odds with each other. Men however started learning how to clean bathrooms, fill the dishwasher and holding their wives hand while their child was being born.
I believe woman should be able to do it all, and like Hope I choose not to have to do it all at once. I just wished our society was more supportive of stay at home Moms. The keyword is able, meaning that a mother is not being forced to work for economic reasons and not opting out of independent womanhood to stay at home. I believe women have seasons of life and Motherhood is a season, a very short season of life. A sacred season to me. A season worth staying home for.
Maybe one day, it wont have to take a village to raise a family and that all Mothers who want to stay home with their family find a way to do it and do it with joy and without worry. Mothers have the power to make a better world.
That is my one wish this Goddess Wednesday. What is your wish?
For a chance to win my prized first season DVD, leave a comment here or on my facebook page with your favorite memory of the show.
Next Wednesday I will announce the winner.