10 parenting lessons from TV’s greatest moms
?:: This is Us 

I love TV. I always have. For me, it is probably my number one way to unwind after a long day. I can zone out and become one with the couch and enjoy some time to myself. (Or with my husband if he agrees to watch what I want to watch because, truth be told, I dominate the remote in our house.)

And I will say—I do have other hobbies I enjoy, too—like reading and writing and taking a bath with a face mask on, etc. But watching a show I’m really into is truly relaxing to me.

So, I’m excited for all the fall TV shows to come back (This Is Us!). My summer shows have ended and I’m experiencing withdrawals from good television. I need to reconnect with my favorite characters, my people, especially the TV mamas I relate to so much nowadays.

Because to be honest, I’ve learned a lot of pretty key mom lessons from these wise mama characters I watch on the silver screen. Like from Gloria Pritchett—you can be sexy and still be a mother or from Meredith Grey—you can dominate the medical field and balance #MomLife.

Here are some of the best lessons I’ve learned from the greatest TV moms ever.

1. Tell it like it is—Claire Dunphy from Modern Family

She’s a competitive perfectionist who stole our hearts with her dedication to honesty. She doesn’t sugar coat—she tells it like it is. And personally, I could learn to care less about what people think and more about speaking my mind like Claire. ?


2. Coffee is life—Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls

Lorelai is a fun, free-spirited mama. No wonder Rory wants to be her BFF. You know the biggest lesson this mom taught me? The importance of coffee. The art of mommin’ with caffeine. The appreciation for a solid cup of joe. Cheers to you, girlfriend. ☕


3. Your dreams are worth it—Jane Villanueva from Jane the Virgin

Jane is a Type-A young woman with big goals. She gets accidentally artificially inseminated and decides to go for it—to become a mother. I love this show so much. And I love Jane. Jane teaches everyone each week that no matter how hard this motherhood gig gets, you and your personal dreams are always worth it. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. ?


4. You’re a mom for lifeCamille Braverman from Parenthood

Camille is an experienced wife and mom. One who has been through a lot with her husband and her kids—infidelity, bad (secret) investments, unending dramas between children—the list could go on for this mama who was married for 46 years. I think the main message Mrs. Braverman sent me is that—Mommin’ doesn’t end. Ever. No matter how old your children get. (Oh and #BackyardGoals for family dinners. ?)


5. Mamas are warriors—Rainbow Johnson from Black-ish

Rainbow is so cool and I’d like to be her in my next life. She’s an anesthesiologist who was raised by hippies. We watched Dre and Bow go through a very scary situation at the end of season three when Bow was diagnosed with preeclampsia and had to deliver their sixth child by emergency C-section eight weeks early. Rainbow Johnson—you taught me how to be a warrior mama. We are really strong, aren’t we? ?


6. Laughter is the best medicine—Kitty Forman from That 70s Show

I’m trying to remember if there is any scene Kitty is in where she hasn’t left me in hysterics. This funny lady has not only taught me the importance of a well-coiffed ‘do, but also the importance of laughter and looking on the bright side. ?


7. Speak up for yourself—Rebecca Pearson from This Is Us

Last season ended with Rebecca asking her husband Jack to move out because they needed space. I mean—this is a mother of three busy kids who is married to an alcoholic who basically just gave up her dream of being a singer because it was too hard to balance it all—I get the desire for space. One lesson we can take away from Mandy Moore’s character is that speaking up for yourself is always worth it, and sometimes you do need a break from insanely stressful situations. ?


8. Confidence is key—Claire Huxtable from The Cosby Show

Claire has been Mom Bossin’ since the eighties. She’s a mother to five and a partner at a successful law firm—who clearly runs the show at home and the office. She’s always shown us the true power of a strong woman, and that going after what you want or asking for what you want are always a good idea. Main takeaway from this mama? Confidence rules. ?


9. Sometimes, all you need is patience—Marge Simpson from The Simpsons

ln the wild Simpson household, Marge is the voice of reason. The grounded one. She keeps things steady and tries to maintain some sort of order on the regular. She may be more reserved than some other TV mamas, but she has a good, kind heart and lots and lots of patience. So, yes, patience, Mrs. Simpson—thank you for showing us that if you can be patient with Homer, we can be patient with our family, too. ?


10. Hard work gets you places—Kris Jenner from Keeping Up With The Kardashians

Love her or hate her, Kris is quite the businesswoman and mama of six. She has created a successful show based on her family, launched many successful business ventures, and always seems to strive to help her kids achieve their goals. This momager clearly has two things going for her—she’s loyal and clearly hardworking. ??


So aside from learning how to be a mom from the real life moms in my personal motherhood dramedy—like my mother, sister, aunts, etc.—there’s something to be said about what TV moms have taught us. I’m always excited to get to know strong female characters, and I can’t wait to follow their stories this season.

Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.


Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.


Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.


Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.


BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.

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