I was late to the “New Girl” bandwagon. Nine years late to be precise. I didn’t watch New Girl until the pandemic, when our family was eager for a TV show to watch together. My teen son turned it on one night and the rest is history. 

I instantly fell in love. But not a fleeting kind of binge-TV love, like the love I felt for “Bridgerton” or my love-hate relationship with “Yellowstone.” This is an enduring tv love. 

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Confession: I am currently re-watching New Girl for the fourth (yes, I said fourth!) time. Not only do I love it just as much as the first time around, but the more I watch New Girl, the more I realize that it hasn’t just been feel-good entertainment; it’s actually made me a better mom. This might seem odd since the show isn't about motherhood at all. In fact, the show centers around 30-something-year-old roommates Jess (Zooey Deschanel), Schmidt (Max Greefield), Nick (Jake Johnson) and Winston (Lamorne Morris) and their various shenanigans. Jess's BFF Cece (Hannah Simone) rounds out the friend squad. But it's true–New Girl has upped my mom-game too.

When I watch New Girl, I feel like I'm a better mom (and person)—here’s why:

1. My kids see my laugh like a giddy schoolgirl

There can only be one word for the kind of laughing that “New Girl” brings out in me: raucous cackling. I laugh much longer, louder, and more often than anyone else in the family—and that’s a good thing. Most of the time, my kids see me in “mom mode”–making lunches, reminding them to pick up their socks, and hustling to get my work done. But watching “New Girl,” my kids get to see me as a light-hearted, carefree woman who loves to laugh. 

2. It gives me all the feels – all of them

I laugh until I cry. I cry until I laugh. And everything in between. It gives me an outlet to feel all these feels so that I don’t carry them around, all bundled up and ready to explode.

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3. When I watch New Girl, it calms my mom rage

I don’t want to minimize the sources of mom rage—which, for me, are usually some combination of anxiety, burn out, and lack of sleep—but a few episodes of New Girl is often enough to chill me out just enough so that I don’t take my anger out on my family.

4. It sees the good in the world

There are so many things wrong with the world right now. If I’m not careful, I can sometimes let it all weigh me down until it feels like I’m in a pit of despair. But between Jess’s quirky optimism, Schmidt’s exuberant self-confidence, and Winston’s wholesome authenticity (balanced, of course, with Nick’s witty cynicism), it’s hard not to see the world as a little brighter and more hopeful. 

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5. My kids and I enjoy watching together.

I have teen and pre-teen boys, so it can be hard for us to find something that we all enjoy watching together. But "New Girl" hits the spot every time. Even if one of them moans and says “didn’t we just watch New Girl?!” (yes, we did), it takes about 45 seconds before they are immersed. Basically watching "New Girl" with my kids keeps me from feeling like this...

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6. I can re-live the debauchery of my pre-kids days without the repercussions

Simply put: I was a different person before having kids. More fun. More carefree. And certainly more irresponsible. Watching the shenanigans of Jess and the crew, I can reminisce about the “wild days” without any of the unpleasant consequences that inevitably follow.

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7. It celebrates parenthood with humor and authenticity

No spoilers, but let’s just say “New Girl” incorporates the joys and challenges of modern parenthood with humor and authenticity, with each character staying true to who they are. It doesn’t shy away from the challenges of parenthood, but it also celebrates the joys with just the right amount of sappiness.

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Related: You’re not imagining it: Mothers need friendships to thrive 

8. It reminds me that friendships are still important even when motherhood feels consuming

I'll admit it: when I get consumed with parenting, work, and marriage, sometimes my friendships can slip down the priority list. But every time I watch New Girl, I'm reminded of just how powerful and important good friends are.

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Bottom line: “New Girl” is my go-to television pick-me-up. It makes me a better person and a better mom. It’s just that good.

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