Gone are the days when mothers were only depicted in films as always organized and put together characters. After years of portraying unattainable models of what it means to be a good mom, it seems we’re finally ready for more authenticity. The nominees at this year’s Oscars certainly proved that.
A New Era for Moms in Cinema
For generations of cinema movements, there was one specific character that somewhat remained the same. The depiction of a good mom largely revolved around building the character of a mythical mother figure that was ever-smiling, ever-present, ever-prepared. Think Leigh Anne Tuohy from The Blind Side or Mary Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life.
Pop culture wasn’t too kind to mothers’ characters either. When they were allowed to stray from the common depiction, mothers were often portrayed as the other extreme — overbearing, cold, distant, evil even, and selfish. Think Mommie Dearest and Arrested Development — both iconic films and signature performances, but ones that send the wrong message once again.
As we are entering a new era, we’re finally beginning to see the many layers of motherhood going beyond the singular devotion to their kids, but also showing the raw reality of everyday life as a mom and as a woman. One-dimensional characters aren’t going to cut it anymore, and more and more filmmakers are beginning to see that. This renaissance for mothers in films is also due to the fact that more and more female directors are entering the spotlight.
The Many Faces of Motherhood at the 2022 Oscars
It’s an exciting time in the film industry for mothers. Filmmakers, albeit slowly, are dipping their toes into the chaotic and messy world of parenting that women occupy. From Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley’s enthralling performances in The Lost Daughter to Penelope Cruz in Parallel Mothers, it’s definitely been a year of celebration for the complicated mother at this year’s Oscars. Ann Dowd in Mass and Gabby Hoffman in C’mon, C’mon are an absolute must-see as well.
While all of these new films try to ponder the fabric of motherhood, there’s still a lot to be achieved. Filmmakers continue to focus on the image of white women, thus leaving women of color off the screen. Yet, there’s never been a more receptive time for films to offer a brutally honest and raw portrayal of what it means to be a mother in the modern world. If the 2022 Oscars are anything to go by, we’re definitely headed in the right direction.
5 Main Mom Friendship Issues and Ways to Overcome Those Hurdles
Parenthood can be a truly rewarding time. However, it’s not uncommon for a new mom to feel isolated, especially if she’s the first in her friend group to have a baby. Your obligations and priorities change drastically and your regular group of friends might not be able to understand and empathize with everything you’re experiencing. That’s why creating a support network with other mothers that are going through the same challenges can be invaluable during this time.
Don’t Feel Awkward Reaching Out to Strangers
Making new friends can be challenging, but if you’re a new mom, having a network of other parents to share experiences with can be extremely beneficial. Start showing up with your child to places where mothers are likely to be. This can include the park, library story hours, music classes, and more. Ask other parents how they are managing, and suggest having coffee or organizing playdates sometimes.
Pre-Kids Friends Might Drift Away for a While
As a new mom, you might feel like your old group of friends is drifting away. You don’t have to go out of your way to remain an active part of the social group. Choose an old friend to message and ask how they’re doing. If you keep old relationships open and easy, they will likely come together again once the pressure of the first stages of parenthood subsides. In the meantime, look for friendships with people going through the same things and who are able to share experiences.
Mom Friends With Different Parenting Styles
When making mom friends, you’ll meet people with parenting styles and ideologies that differ from yours. A good rule to follow is not to offer unsolicited advice so long as their practices aren’t a danger to your child. Time will tell whether parental friendships were meant to last or fizzle out. It’s important to start learning to deal with different parenting styles early on. The trend will continue with potentially greater consequences as the kids get older and being able to teach tolerance by example is important.
Bridging New and Old Friends
Making friends with other moms is a way to meet people from many different walks of life. If you have friends from your college days, work, and your life as a parent, and you want to throw a party with all your diverse friend groups, don’t hesitate to do so. Learn to feel comfortable being yourself no matter who’s there and enjoy spending time with all your different types of friends for different reasons. While some of your friends might not get along, you’ll also see unlikely friendships being made as well!
Is It Too Late to Join a Formed Mom Group?
If you’re a new mom taking your baby out for a stroll around the park, it’s likely that you’ll see already formed groups of moms walking together. Trying to break into a formed clique might seem intimidating. However, one shouldn’t be discouraged about trying to enter a formed friend group of moms. Talk about the motherhood experience with them, ask them about their interests, offer to trade babysitting hours or carpool, and friendships will form naturally over time.