I remember watching the pilot of Motherland whilst pregnant and then asking my mum friends on Facebook, ‘Oh my God, is it really like that?!’ A few replied with, ‘Yes it’s all true.’ It was a chilling insight into what lay ahead for me as a mother. Being only four months pregnant when I watched the pilot my biggest worry had been giving birth and looking after a new-born. Suddenly, I wondered if I’d ever be able to get my child school on time, wearing their uniform and also be able to hold down a job. It also became very clear why my own mum has always laid out the breakfast bowls, mugs and cereal box the night before a school day. Clever mum.
I was still hugely entertained by the show, you can see the potential pitfalls coming and understand the chaos. I instantly knew that I liked the little band of slightly misfit parents of Julia (Anna Maxwell-Martin), Liz (Diane Morgan) and Kevin (Paul Ready). I was rooting for them and it’s refreshing to see the over exaggerated trials of parenthood up on the screen. It makes you take a step back and go, ‘Yes I’m blowing this out of proportion my son / daughter will not end up in therapy because I ballsed-up their birthday cake and instead served up a shop bought one’.
The uneasiness comes when Insta-mum in the making, Amanda (Lucy Punch) and her gang are constantly judging Julia, Liz and Kevin. You’re reminded of not being in the cool gang at school, or feeling excluded when your 20 something self isn’t included when the other 20 somethings at work all go on a night out. Stirring up those feeling, is what connects you to your audience, so well done to writers Sharon Horgan and Holly Walsh. It also means I’m in for the long-haul. I can’t wait to see what else life is growing to through at Julia and see the moment when Julia, Diane and Kevin get one up on the smug mums at some point, it’s got to happen right?
Programmes like Motherland or Outnumbered, which show parenting or indeed life in general, stretching you mentally, physically and emotionally are needed, whether you’re a parent or not. They reassure you that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed with modern life sometimes and to channel our inner Liz and not give a f**k about being judged.