Just one more show in bed

This stay-in-bed mom (SIBM) wouldn’t get through the day without at least twenty (-ish) minutes to watch or rewatch a favorite TV show in bed. I crave catharsis, a good laugh or a good cry. Something that’s just for me. I imagine you need comic or tragic relief in your busy mom life too.

Moms, like us, have limited downtime, so it’s important we use our free time well. But choose a TV series wisely. After becoming a mom, I had an epiphany: I have very little time. So why waste it watching bad TV?

Netflix and Chill-lax (Self-Love for Moms)

My preferred way to relax is to stay in bed and watch TV. For a mom with limited free time, I give my highest recommendation to Arrested Development (Seasons 1-3, 2003-2006, aired on Fox; Season 4, 2013, released on Netflix). This TV series is my standby. It’s no longer on TV, but you can catch old episodes through Netflix.

In case you haven’t heard of AD, the show is about the fictitious and dysfunctional Bluths, a formerly wealthy family. They put the “fun” in dysfunctional. The show writers explore family dynamics, particularly parenthood (what to do and not to do, but more what not to do) among a range of other familial topics. Bad parenting choices abound.

Why the glowing recommendation? For starters, I got my blog name from AD. The matriarch of the family, Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter), coins my favorite phrase “stay-in-bed mom”. Second of all, the critically acclaimed TV series is not a waste of time. Third of all, it’s definitely great therapy for a guilty feeling, ruminating mom who likes to stay in bed.

When I’m feeling mom guilt and labeling myself as a “bad mom”, I think about two of the main characters from AD, Lucille and Lindsay Bluth (Portia de Rossi). Both could be unequivocally considered “bad moms”. They have a hands-off parenting style, which in and of itself is not a negative. However, both women are so aloof and detached from their children – with the exception of Lucille with her youngest son, Buster Bluth (Tony Hale) – that the children feel unnoticed and unloved. For example, Lindsay is so disinterested in her daughter, Mae “Maeby” Fünke (Alia Shawkat), that she doesn’t know what grades Maeby’s getting, let alone the grade she is in. I murmur to myself, “At least I’m not that bad of a mother!” And then I let out a chuckle of relief. Whew.

Lucille quotes my oft-repeated phrase “stay-in-bed mom” in Season 1, Episode Seven “In God We Trust”. Jealous of her middle son Michael Bluth’s (Jason Bateman) newfound chumminess with his sister Lindsay, the manipulative Lucille tries to sabotage their relationship. Lucille tells her daughter that Michael referred to Lindsey as a SIBM. Lindsey is so indignant she ends up taking “a two-hour angry nap”. (Yep, I’ve done that.) When Lindsey confronts Michael, he replies: “That sounds like mom”, a callback phrase and running joke heard in the previous AD episode “My Mother the Car”.

I’m not endorsing Arrested Development’s Lucille Bluth, mom to G.O.B. (Will Arnett), Michael, Lindsay, and Buster, as a praiseworthy mom. Nor am I commending Lindsay Bluth [pictured], mom to Maeby, as a picture perfect mother. Far from it.

A Final Thought – From the Pillow

It’s okay to not want to “be mom” 24/7.

So learn something valuable from Lucille and Lindsey Bluth from Arrested Development. The Bluth ladies take time for themselves amid their parenting responsibilities. Lucille and Lindsey don’t want to “be mom” all the time. Thank God.

Have you ever seen Arrested Development? Do you have a favorite episode or character quote? What do you think about the moms on the show?

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