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Have you ever watched a show or movie and seen a character go through some sort of antic and thought, “Same!” Well, since becoming a parent I’ve had a penchant for finding moms on TV and in movies who are just so relatable. There are loads of TV mom characters who I’ve given icon status — here are some of my favorites!

Kate Foster (Catherine Reitman) inWorkin’ Moms

Not only is Kate a successful public relations executive, she balances her work/life with grace (sometimes). She’s relatable because she makes mistakes, and while she tries to always stay focused on everything — whether it’s her job, husband, or kids — she doesn’t pretend to be perfect. Without giving away spoilers, she and her cast of mom friends are hilarious, and some of their adventures are all too familiar.

Joan Hollaway (Christina Hendricks) in “Mad Men”

Joan is a character who really grows throughout the series, starting as an office manager and advancing to be a junior partner. During her journey, she leaves work briefly to get married (the show takes place in the ’50s/’60s) and returns and continues to work even after having a baby. She brings her mother to live with her full time to help take care of her son as she works. No daycare and being in a male-dominated industry? No problem. She is a powerful, fashionable, and sexy mom who carves her own path! 

Kate Reddy (Sarah Jessica Parker) in “I Don’t Know How She Does It”

I haven’t experienced a bake sale yet for my child, but I have seen how crazy dietary restrictions can be when it comes to children in school. There’s a classic scene where Kate forgets there is a bake sale and “makes” a pie from the store look more homemade. Semi-homemade at its finest.

Amy Mitchell (Mila Kunis) in “Bad Moms”

Don’t we feel like we’re trying to do it all sometimes? Not only does Amy stand up to the uptight PTA moms, she brings herself back to earth and finds her own balance after flying a little off the rails (but who hasn’t, right?). Plus, her group of mom friends played by Kristen Bell and the ever-funny Kathryn Hahn make them the three musketeers you didn’t know you needed.

Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter) in “Arrested Development”

She’s not quite a mom role model, but her relationship with her husband and her children is a comedic blend of sass, matriarchy, and vodka. Buzzfeed shares some of her most savage moments here.

Moira Rose (Catherine O’ Hara) in “Schitt’s Creek”

If you haven’t seen her as Mrs. Johnny Rose (my spirit animal), you might recognize her as Kevin McCallister’s mom from “Home Alone.” Maybe she’s not quite a role model, but she is a career-driven mother who truly loves her husband, and their relationship is a partnership that stands the ultimate test of living in a shared motel space with their adult children. 

Kristina, Sarah, Julia, and Jasmine Braverman (Monica Potter, Lauren Graham, Erika Christensen, and Joy Bryant, respectively) in “Parenthood

My husband and I recently finished this series with my teenage stepkids, and they loved and appreciated the show and characters as much as we do. Each of these TV moms battles different challenges, whether it be their own career journey, their partner’s career, fighting for their children, or navigating dynamics with their in-laws. You feel like you’re a part of the Braverman clan laughing and crying through every season.

Rebecca and Kate Pearson (Mandy Moore and Christy Metz) in “This Is Us”

If there ever was a show about family that made you feel all the feelings and possibly cry in almost every episode (guilty), it’s “This is Us.” Rebecca Pearson experiences love and loss and raises three teenagers on her own. Her only daughter, Kate, struggles with her own battles, including navigating dating in her 30s, fertility, motherhood, and caring for a parent with a cognitive disease.

Gloria Pritchett and Claire Dunphy (Sofía Vergara and Julie Bowen) in “Modern Family”

Raising two boys in the same school grade who are also uncle and nephew? These moms bring a whole new meaning to a blended family situation. Laugh your way through the 11 seasons of this docu-style sitcom.

Maggie Bloom, Delilah Dixon, Regina Howard, and Katherine Kim (Allison Miller, Stephanie Szostak, Christina Mosas, and Grace Park, respectively) in “A Million Little Things”

This was the competitor of “This Is Us,” and while my husband and I were team Pearson, we recently binged “A Million Little Pieces” and loved this ensemble cast. One of the great things about these moms is that they depict so many different types of mom!

This article was originally published in 2021 and has been updated for 2024!

Courtney Medlin
Courtney was raised a Navy brat, growing up in Washington, South Carolina, and Virginia before her family put their roots down in Florida. She studied at Loyola University New Orleans earning her degree in communications PR with a minor in English, and she earned her master's in marketing from SNHU. She moved to the Boston area in 2008, where she met and married her partner-in-crime, John. Mother of Jackson, 5, and stepmom to two 16-year-olds (boy and girl) and dog mom to Riley. Courtney is raising her family with a love of the outdoors, scary movies, and lots of laughs. Courtney works corporate communications/marketing/pr and lives on the South Shore. She has a passion for cooking and traveling. She volunteers her time as a Gold Award advisor for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and serves on the planning gala committee for South Shore Health. She loves days that start with a latte and end with champagne.


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