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Modern Family

June 4, 2010

By Kendra Ringenberg

One of our favorite shows on TV these days is Modern Family – if you haven’t watched it, I would totally recommend it!  It is definitely comic relief, especially for parents.  My husband and I have slowly stopped watching a lot of the shows that we once loved because there is not enough space on our DVR, what with all the Sesame Street (Garrett’s favorite), Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (Mallory’s favorite) and Phineas and Ferb (Scot’s favorite 🙂 ) episodes taking up space.  And, it seems like shows stay on the DVR an average of a month a half before they get watched and, by that time, we have lost interest.  But, we always seem to take the 20 minutes needed to watch Modern Family!

A couple weeks ago we watched an episode where the stay-at-home mom visits an old friend from where she used to work.  The friend (played by Minnie Driver) is now in upper management, very successful and living the life of a single, professional woman.  Minnie’s character talks about her numerous lovers in different cities and countries and makes it sound like her world is so exciting. Do women like that really exist?  The mom has mixed emotions because she loves her family and is happy with her decision to stay home but there is also a sense of  jealously towards her friend.  I, by the way, am not telling any of the funny parts (which included a pretty funny porta-potty scene) so don’t judge the show based on this brief summary!

Anyway, after the show was over, I was irritated because it made it look like being a successful professional and being a good mom are two distinct choices.  Now, I know that the show is meant to be entertaining and, as Scot would say, only I could over-analyze a sitcom to come up with a hidden message about parenting, but I was irritated none the less.  The more I think about it the more I realize that what really bugged me is that I found myself wondering if there could be some truth to it. The reality is that I sometimes feel like I am not as successful as I could be as an attorney OR as a mom.  I find myself being jealous of my friends at work that don’t have kids because they can do so many things I can’t (like, go out for drinks with a client on a whim or attend networking function after networking function).  Not to mention they don’t have to clean up snot or poop, or convince their kids that an ice pack is not necessary for every injury!  And, I also find myself being jealous of my friends and neighbors that stay home and have time to take their kids swimming or to the park in the middle of the day.  Not to mention they don’t have to deal with egotistical bosses or pressure filled deadlines.

I don’t clearly fall into a category but straddle the fence between two.  My time is split between two worlds and not always evenly, and, that sometimes makes me feel like I’m getting by at both but am not great at either. But, then I look at my career and how great it has been so far and I think I’m doing something right on that end. And, I look at my beautiful, bright, funny and happy kids and I think that I’m definitely doing something right there too.  So, I think it is possible to be successful at both but there are certain limitations and barriers that are difficult to overcome on both fronts and, if you chose to do both, you need to know your limitations and know when to get help!  Lesson of the day – just watch the damn sitcom and don’t read anything into it. 🙂

One Comment leave one →
  1. Cathy Mattoon (Mom) permalink
    June 4, 2010 4:52 pm

    Just want to say that I am proud of you–both Kendy and Kendra are great at their jobs!

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