Televisionary: How TV Moms Have Changed

From June Cleaver to Claire Dunphy and all those in between, TV moms have become more contemporary.  Since times have changed, many modern-day women are finding it easier to relate to the moms on TV because they share the daily hassles of the busy mom/wife/career woman.  The following moms made a name for themselves in homes across the country.  All have been, and will forever remain, some of my favorite moms on TV.

TV Mom: June Cleaver(Barbra Billingsley)

One reason I watched reruns of Leave It To Beaver was because of the older son, Wally (a total hottie back in the day, played by Tony Dow), but it was more than that.  I was fascinated with June Cleaver and the pearls she wore around her neck – I’d like to assume they were a gift from Ward (Hugh Beaumont) because he loved her, and were a gift of his appreciation for her daily chores as a wife and a mother.  I remember watching an episode where she was vacuuming in pearls.  I hadn’t seen anything like it, especially in real life.  When my mom vacuumed, somehow it never looked as glamorous as June.  Between doing household chores, she somehow found time to occasionally socialize with friends and volunteer at Wally and Beaver’s school.  How did she make this look sodarn easy?  In reality, this is only a dream!  Am I right?  However, if you are one who can pull a June Cleaver without breaking a sweat, keep sipping your martini.  I’ll join you when the dishes and laundry learn to clean themselves, the kids have moved out, the husband has stopped following me around like a lost puppy, and I’ve had a very long nap.

TV Mom: Clair Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad)

The Cosby Show was the first show that I watched where not only did the dad work, but also the mom.  Married to Dr. Heathcliff “Cliff” Huxtable (Bill Cosby) and mother of five children, lawyer Clair is one of the greatest multitasking women who has ever been on TV.  To some, she’s also known for her bright 80s clothing and hairstyle.  After coming home to her family, somehow Clair finds time to still put a meal on the table and devote herself to her family.  While Clair can be strict (my favorite episode of this example is thisepisode when Vanessa gets drunk), the message she instills in her children is that she loves them no matter what.  I think that Clair’s character was the first step in modernizing all moms on TV.  It allowed them to feel comfortable being that busy mom, but still be able to create a loving household.  Oh, and one little tidbit: I read that her character was based “loosely” on Bill Cosby’s wife!  How cool is that?  Clair Huxtable rocks!

TV Mom: Debra Barone(Patricia Heaton)

Debra is a wife of sports writer Ray (Ray Romano) who travels a lot, and mother of three young children, a girl and twin boys.  She’s the typical stay-at-home/soccer mom who does it all.  She is judged about how she cleans the house and about the food she puts on the table by her mother-in-law, Marie (Doris Roberts), who lives next door and comes over at all hours.  Debra is not fooled by the silly antics of her mama’s boy husband; like when they fight about a suitcase that neither of them has put up since going on vacation weeks prior in the Baggageepisode.  She isn’t afraid to speak her mind when needed and even sometimes when not needed, but family comes first.  When it comes to her kids, Debra’s motherly instinct is visible in every episode of this hilarious sitcom.  I love Debra Barone because she seems real and is someone you or I could be friends with.

TV Mom: Claire Dunphy(Julie Bowen)

If you’ve ever watched this laugh-out-loud show, you know Claire Dunphy is an extremely busy woman to whom you can probably relate.  As a wife to Phil (Ty Burrell), mother to three teenagers and part of a large extended family, she hardly has time to rest.  Being an overachiever and perfectionist, Claire is known as the ringleader of this crazy and loving family, and rarely says “no” to any of their requests – no matter how wild or extravagant they may be.  Between attending her kids' school activities and helping them with projects, she doesn’t neglect paying her husband attention.  She knows she’s aging, but that hasn’t stopped her from wanting to spice things up behind closed doors.  The My Funky Valentine episode is a personal favorite.  She definitely isn’t June Cleaver!  I love Claire’s character because she doesn’t sweat the small stuff and stands up for what she believes in the most: her family.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Isabella Louise Anderson is a member of the RWA, and she is the owner of the website Chick Lit Goddess. She resides in Dallas, Texas, where she’s a housewife and mother to 12-year-old cat, Thorndike. A regular contributor at Good Humor Girl, you can learn more about Isabella here.