The best of Lightbox’s mums to watch this Mother’s Day

You want mothers? Lightbox has ’em. Tara Ward takes a look at the best TV mothers to hang with this weekend.

Mothers. They’re everywhere these days; at work, at the gym, on the television. They’ve even had the audacity to give themselves a day in their own honour (it’s tomorrow, FYI). Nowhere is safe from women with children, and I don’t know who let this happen but time is progress and we may as well embrace it.

So in honour of the blessed ‘holiday’ that is Mother’s Day, I’ve delved into Lightbox’s bag of tricks to pull out some of the best mothers on TV. These mums are all fine examples of parenting and 100% guaranteed excellent role models. Sure, they swear, they overshare, but most importantly, they love their kids as much as they love a giant Toblerone. Prepare to be #blessed.

Della in Raised by Wolves

If Raised by Wolves matriarch Della wrote a parenting handbook, it’d be filled with gems like “kids, if you get lost, find the oldest, fattest Nana you can. She won’t be moving far and I’ll be able to find you”.

Della is singlehandedly raising a tribe of independent children on a council estate in Wolverhampton, preparing them for life in the capitalist, misogynistic shitstorm we like to call ‘the real world’.  She’s stoic as hell, calls bullshit when she sees it, and will likely burn you through with her laser stare of disdain. She also uses phrases like “bifurcated arse cheeks” and once called Fireman Sam a “twat”, which makes her Mother of the Year imo.

Raised by Wolves is parenting at its finest: fierce, formidable, and flipping funny.

Parenting hack: A massive Toblerone makes everything better. Also, “nothing makes an unwelcome swelling disappear faster than the sight of an axe”.

Georgia in Love, Nina

Let’s all pack up and move to 1980s North London, so we can be enveloped in the maternal embrace of Helena Bonham Carter. The Oscar-nominated legend stars in delightful comedy-drama Love, Nina as Georgia, a busy working single mother who hires an inexperienced live-in nanny to look after her two boisterous sons. Crazy misunderstandings ensue, but HBC remains unrattled throughout, spending most of the series arching one eyebrow in restrained annoyance. Glorious.

Parenting hack: Outsource childcare ASAP. Also, skip bins are perfectly acceptable playgrounds.

Beverly in The Goldbergs

Personal boundaries don’t exist in Beverly Goldberg’s world, because she loves her kids more than jazzercize and roller-skating put together. She puts the mother into smother, the hell into helicopter parenting, and she’ll not rest until the world realises how “delicious” the fruit of her loins truly are.

The most delicious thing about this comedy set in “1980-something” is Beverly herself. Sassier than her collection of sequin jumpers, Beverly’s parenting style is 99% love, 1% shoulder pads. Don’t fight it any longer: squeeze into your spandex, get into Beverly’s groove and embrace the Bevolution.

Parenting hack: “Don’t forget to wash your bottom!”

Cathy in Mum

All hail Cathy, the most tolerant parent in television. Cathy puts up with a lot of crap – her husband just died, her son is a kind-hearted imbecile, and his girlfriend spreads glitter through the house – yet she remains eternally calm and composed. Sure, she escapes to the loo for some peace and quiet, but not once does she shout “FOR FECK’S SAKE STOP LEAVING BISCUIT CRUMBS IN MY BED” like some mothers I might be know.

Lesley Manville gives a BAFTA-nominated performance as Cathy, who’s quietly adjusting to life as a widow. Mum is a gentle, wry comedy that stays with you long after you’ve finished watching, and great news: the second season is coming soon to Lightbox.

Parenting hack: Nod. Smile. Rinse. Repeat.

Elizabeth in The Americans

Let’s give a secret spy salute of admiration to Elizabeth Jennings, who runs a travel agency, works as a KGB secret agent, and still makes time to help her kids with their homework. She’s also a right hoot at dress-up parties, with all those wigs and glasses she stashes next to the dead body in her car boot.

I don’t know how she does it, and I’m not going to ask. Elizabeth has super quick spy reflexes and once killed a man after he asked for a cigarette, so I’m not going anywhere near that tricky “can women have it all?” rabbit hole.

Parenting hack: A thousand wigs hide a thousand sins.

Ellen in The Replacement

As if having a new wee babe isn’t stressful enough, imagine what happens when your work replacement turns out to be an evil nutbar with a secret past. This is the quandry architect Ellen faces during her maternity leave, when replacement Paula becomes her nemesis and Ellen’s seemingly perfect life begins to unravel before her very exhausted eyes.

Still, what’s the worst that could happen? Prepare yourselves for this gripping BBC thriller filled with more surprising twists and turns than you can shake a giant Toblerone at.


Watch all these boss mothers and more this Mother’s Day (and beyond) on Lightbox right here:

This content, like all television coverage we do at The Spinoff, is brought to you thanks to the excellent folk at Lightbox. Do us and yourself a favour by clicking here to start a FREE 30 day trial of this truly wonderful service.


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