If you've run through all your "after the kids are in bed" shows, we've got a suggestion for your next Netflix binge: Workin' Moms.
It's sometimes a comedy, sometimes a drama and often relatable.
Showrunner Catherine Reitman also stars in the series, which was originally greenlit by Canada's public broadcaster, the CBC, before being exported to Netflix. Reitman (a mom of two young sons who's spoken publicly about her own postpartum struggles) created an all-female writers room for the project, and you can totally tell.
The show follows four moms who are going back to work after becoming parents, and moms all over the world are relating to the series, likely in part because staffing the production with so many women infuses the show with an undercurrent of authenticity that's hard to come by in television.
"Because there is less female storytelling, especially motherhood storytelling, there has been immense pressure on my storytelling to represent more people, and to do so in a sort of of [sic] unrealistic way," Reitman recently told Forbes.
The moms—Reitman's character Kate and her longtime friend, Anne, who meet fellow mamas Jenny and Frankie at a moms group—deal with work problems, sex problems (this show has some very "not for kids" moments), relationship and parenting problems.
Reitman's characters are in some ways more privileged than many working moms, and some of the humorous scenarios are unrealistic, but the feelings the moms are dealing with aren't.
Reitman and her team get it. They get pumping in the bathroom, they get being frustrated, they get the mental load of motherhood and the unrealistic work culture expectations that stress parents out.
"There's a repression against mothers where we're expected to be full-time workers and pretend we're not mothers, and then expected to be full-time mothers who pretend we're not working. Simultaneously, within the hours of the week that exist," Reitman tells Variety.
That's the reality for so many working moms who can see themselves reflected in Reitman's work, which isn't just about creating stories for women, but also creating opportunities for them. The show has women in 70% of the department led positions, and Reitman was serious about considering women for high-level positions, even when, on paper, their resumes had a gap or showed they hadn't been given the kinds of opportunities they were looking for.
"We've hired a lot of less-experienced women and I'll tell you, the gamble has paid off every time," says Reitman, who is proving that when women have the opportunity to lead they can create international success stories.
The first and second season of Workin' Moms is available on Netflix right now and the third season is airing on CBC in Canada.
[This piece was originally published March 5, 2019 and has been updated to reflect that season two is now on Netflix.]
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