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10 Mums that make you feel less of a parenting failure #TopTVMums

TV mums: top ten

Mother’s Day has always been a bit of a double edged sword for me…I love it, but it always makes me feel guilty. In fact, most things about being a mum make me feel guilty at one time or another. I have written about mummy guilt before. I think as soon as we have a child, we feel it is part of “mum-dom” to start to become hyper-critical of everything we do. Nothing we do is ever perfect.We need to give ourselves a break.

Sometimes, society, and the media don’t help us. There are far too many examples on the TV, and in the press of mums that seem to manage their lives perfectly, without turning up to meetings at work with baby sick on their collars. These days, access to the media is so much easier too, with our on-demand and every ready shiny new TVs, and our app ridden smart phones; we are under even more pressure to be Smart Mums, equally switched on with the answers to everything our tech savvy kids throw at us.

Well, I laugh in your face, all you media smarty-pants…!

Inspired by a recent article on TVs Most Awesome Mums; I have decided to take a look, with the help of my fellow blogging mothers, at which TV mums make us feel better about our lot. Most importantly, better about our parenting skills, because these mums are more realistic, or, in some cases, a wee bit rubbish at it all.

These mums make mistakes, they sometimes look like crap, and they probably feel guilty too, just like you and me. Well, some of them do…

10. Joyce Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer


This might seem a strange entry into the top ten, but any mother that doesn’t notice that their daughter is a vampire slayer, and is hanging out with the wrong kind of guy needs a mention. Especially, when that guy is a vampire and is causing a lot of cosmic chaos. Granted she realises later in the series, but her initial ignorance still makes me feel better *clutching at straws*

9. Linda Bouchtat, My Mad Fat Diary

Source: My Mad Fat Diary website
Source: My Mad Fat Diary website

Hodge Podge Craft has given an honourable mention to Linda from My Mad Fat Diary; the story of Rae Earl a 16-year old, slightly larger teenage girl who has spent four months in a psychiatric unit suffering from body image problems. Hodge Podge feels we should include Linda because:

“She struggles with her weight, with disciplining her hormonal teenager and they clash A LOT, but underlying it all you sense how much she really loves Rae and that they support each other…”

Clearly, we all need to remember that when we are worrying that we forgot it was World Book Day and our child was the only one dressed in uniform that day that we are all doing what we can because we LOVE our children, right? SOmetimes we just drop the ball…

8. Lynette Scavo, Desperate Housewives


Older Single Mum loves Lynette because she is:

“SO in control in the office, SO out of control with her kids!”

Can you working mums relate to this? Most of you are probably a lot more in control of both parts of your life than I am. My manic work days are legend, but Lynette’s lack of control shows that no matter how successful we are at work, we all end up having to wipe poo off the carpet sometimes, don’t we?

7. Lois, Malcolm in the Middle


Lois from Malcolm in the Middle is an amazing woman; looking after four kids, Al, and holding down a job at a less than appreciative employer. Trouble Doubled says:

 “Five kids, all with different things going on, and she’s juggling school, work, and a husband who very often loses the plot. She has tantrums, and breakdowns, and looks like s**t some of the time, but they get through it all, and have somehow survived to adulthood.”

I very much suspect that this Lois is really just channelling every single mum that watches the show…we are all just hoping and praying that our kids reach adulthood unscathed too; doing the best we can, while our husbands go a bit loopy around us… ;-)

6. Frankie Heck, The Middle

Source: Flickr, Matt

Frankie from The Middle, just like Lois, is a breath of fresh air. Wine Gums and Watermelons points out that:

“She forgets things, her kids are late to school sometimes, she gets takeaways when she’s too tired to cook, she shops at discount places… and always tries to do things to bring the family closer – even if it doesn’t always work.”

She is simply a real mum, trying to keep it real. In addition, any show where you can get hand-cuffed and arrested for not returning a library book has got to be worth a watch, surely?

5. Belinda Porter, 2point4 Children

Source: Zetaboards

Bill seems to be permanently bemused with the antics of her husband, and two kids. Somehow though, despite the chaos that reigns within the household, she manages to keep it together *just.* The Family Patch says:

“She had such a great way of dealing with things, but she also got frustrated lots and that reminds me it’s okay to be frustrated sometimes.”

Frustrated and confused – isn’t that the constant state of the mother? Bill’s demeanour is exactly as it should be, and lets us all know that there is nothing wrong with not understanding why Child A is now bawling their eyes out because you were silly enough to give them the red spoon instead of the green one…

4. Charlotte Pickles, The Rugrats

Source: The Backdrop

Angelica from the Rugrats is a domineering, and rather bossy girl. She is only copying her mum, though. Charlotte Pickjles is the a CEO of her own company, with a phone permanently attached to her hand yelling at Jonathan to get that report on her desk five minutes ago.

Charlotte is a 90s premonition and is giving us social media mad mums a little nudge so that we don’t spend too long watching our screens, otherwise we might just end up with daughters like Angelica…. She has her heart in the right place, but her killer boardroom attitude, and phone attention is rubbing a bit too much off on her daughter. No matter how long I spend looking at my phone, I figure I can’t be anywhere near as bad as Charlotte, can I?

3. Sue Brockmans, Outnumbered


Some of you may be surprised to see that Claire Skinner, and her portrayal of Sue, the beleaguered mum from Outnumbered is not at number one; this could have been the popular choice, but we like to be different, so you’ll have to read on to see whom we have gone for higher up the list than the admirable Sue…

Sue has been mentioned by many of our blogging friends, including In the Playroom, Chelseamamma, and Life as we know it. Actually Mummy tells us that:

“I feel like she adopts that vague, absent-minded stressed mum demeanour just perfectly to keep her family at bay. I just wish I could develop the water-off-a-duck’s back aspect of her character a little more often when stress hits!”

Actually Mummy is on the money. Sue does seem to be able to manage those stress levels a lot more than I can as well. She is in constant battles in life, trying to manage Jake, Karen and Ben; as well as her equally confused history-teacher husband. Ben is a pathological liar, Karen is better than *everyone* and Jake is hanging about with all the wrong types of people. Sound familiar?

2. Carole, The Brittas Empire


Carole is the slightly hysterical receptionist from The Brittas Empire. She is always flustered, often in tears, and keeps her three children in her desk drawers because she can’t afford the childcare for them. It is THIS that has given her a place within our top ten. Managing work around looking after children has changed SO little since the 1980s that some of us are still having to, metaphorically speaking, pop our kids in the desk drawer. Thankfully, we don’t actually do it, and most definitely not with a spotty jumper and those hideous bows in our hair. Though, apparently leg warmers are coming back….

1. Irina Derevko, Alias


Alias was a stonking good watch while I was breastfeeding my kids – I went through all four box sets.

It necessitated a hell of a lot of deep thought because the plot was so complicated, and there were so many different twists in the tale. I think I lost most of the baby weight just from thinking while trying to understand the latest plotline.

Despite it being as twisty as a twisty thing, Irina Derevko’s character remained a constant. She was always there showing me I was doing a far better job than she:

  • She faked her own death when Sydney was little
  • She came back from the dead and was pitted against her daughter
  • She then tried to shoot her daughter
  • She tried to kill the man her daughter loved
  • Finally, she chose to try and become immortal rather than accept her daughter’s hand; sealing her own fate.

On a parenting scale of one to ten, she gets a resounding minus 50.

Whatever we do, we are always doing better than this Russian KGB beauty. If all of us mums are achieving more than a beautiful Russian spy then we must be doing something right after all, despite our pre-programmed wish to feel inadequate about everything.

So safe in the knowledge that we are all much better parents that these 10 TV mums, have a Happy Mothers Day!

Let me know which are YOUR favourite mums on TV that make you feel so much better about your parenting skills too, we would LOVE to hear from you all.

This is a promotional post in conjunction with LG.

Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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Tuesday 26th of January 2016

Such a great and valuable post.Thanks for sharing.

Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer

Monday 24th of March 2014

Brilliant! Thank you for including Lynette. I also loved the bit when she punched her husband in the face for suggesting they risk sex without birth control!


Monday 24th of March 2014

Oh I didn't think of Lynette but I absolutely love her. Her and Susan are the best of desperate housewives!

Actually Mummy...

Monday 24th of March 2014

I could have gone with Lynette too - I love her!


Monday 24th of March 2014

Ooh - sure is sure as hell a feisty one isn't she?!? ;-)

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