It’s no secret our favourite time of the day here in Singapore is when the kids are tucked up and we finally get some R&R. As soon as the bedtime book’s closed and the light’s turned off, you’ll find us enjoying a glass of wine, heading to a date night restaurant or curling up with the latest must-read. But maybe, just maybe, you prefer making a beeline for the most covetable object in the household: the television remote. While we can’t resist a good movie (even better if it’s a film based on a book!) or gripping drama, sometimes we’re in the mood for TV shows… about parenting. Full of LOLs, gob-smacking reality checks and tear-inducing scenes that make you feel all the feels, we can’t get enough of art imitating life. So grab the chips, pour yourself some plonk and snuggle up in front of the tellybox with our faves…
If you haven’t watched this binge-worthy Netflix offering from creator and star Catherine Reitman, do it. Now. We’ve never laughed out loud so hard (one word for anyone who’s seen season two: eyebrows). The series, now in its third season, follows the members of a mums’ group in Toronto, Canada, as they juggle bringing up babies with returning to work. Along the way, they deal with crises of confidence, difficult older children and postpartum depression. It’s realism laced with lots and lots of humour and boy, do we love it.
This Is Us
Goodness, this one really knows how to pull at the heartstrings. Starring Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia as heads of the household, Rebecca and Jack, this family saga follows the Pearson clan over the years. From childhood fun to hardcore adulting, watch as their warts-and-all lives intertwine. The story isn’t told chronologically, so jumps back and forth in time, but that only adds to the surprises. Added bonus: Kevin (Justin Hartley) is verrrrry easy on the eye, which makes watching it a helluva lot easier. Not that you’ll need it to be. Catch the first two seasons of the Golden-Globe-winning saga now on Prime Video.
Similar in concept to Workin’ Moms, this series is the Aussie offering, based in Sydney’s inner west. The second season recently dropped on Netflix after a whopper of a cliffhanger at the season one finale and we binged all six episodes in record time. It’s funny regardless, so local and expat parents alike will get a kick out of its dry wit. But if you hail from Down Under and can smugly nod at the in-jokes and subtle digs at ‘those’ mums, you’ll love it all the more. The best part? Celeste Barber, whose posts on Instagram we ADORE, stars as Barb. Check it out on Netflix.
The Beginning of Life: The Series
This doco series requires a bit more of an attention span than your fluffier Netflix offerings, but the brain power needed (i.e. subtitles) is worth it, promise. Each episode sees experts and clued-up parents explaining and demonstrating how important loving relationships are in a child’s early years. Themes include the stages of learning, the importance of adult-child interaction and the challenges of becoming a parent. It might not be binge, GoT-esque material, but a dabble is definitely enlightening.
One Born Every Minute
I was hooked on this fly-on-the-wall British doco series after life in the labour ward while pregnant with my first baby. In some weird, twisted way, I actually found this TV show about parenting useful as ‘prep’. Then, after my baby was born, I’d watch back-to-back episodes, bawling my eyes out at each new arrival (#hormones). It was like I was reliving my own labour on loop – total fruitcake move, right?! Me being a nutter aside, this successful series has been going strong since 2010 and is moving, funny and eye-watering in equal measure. Catch episodes of OBEM on YouTube – I challenge you not to shed a tear. What’s especially cool is that, several years on, you can watch some of the kids who were featured on the show watch their own births. Quote of the year: “Did I come out of your bum?”
Not exactly high in parenthood realism, this reality show is, however, high in entertainment value. If you’re a fan of anything of the Real Housewives ilk, this series is one for you. Just take it with the biggest handful of salt! The series follows a gaggle of cashed-up preggo Aussies who support each other through the challenges of pregnancy (like how to throw the most lavish baby shower) and motherhood. Catch it on Netflix now.
This is one of the more authentic TV shows on parenting and we’ll forever mourn its departure from our screens. For six seasons, it dared to dish the dirt on the uglier aspects of family life. Plus its avoidance of sickly-sweet storylines about the Braverman clan made us full-on addicts. Because, at the end of the day, being part of a family is gritty, chaotic and emotional, but these are your people. Grab a big bag of chips, a bottle of wine and get in your jammies – you’re in this one for the long haul. Catch it on Prime Video now.
It won a Golden Globe, so it must be good, right? While you might be met with different opinions about this one, the figures speak for themselves: 11 seasons, more than 100 industry awards and countless gags. The mockumentary series first aired in 2009 and has enjoyed a decade-long tenure, with this year’s upcoming season reported to be the last. The comedy follows three interconnected, sometimes odd and dysfunctional families living in the LA ‘burbs as they navigate life’s trials and tribulations. As well as many LOLs, this show also brought us refreshingly-real celeb Sarah Hyland, for which we are forever grateful. Catch it on Netflix now.
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