Glamorous Single Mother YKTTW Discussion

Glamorous Single Mother
(permanent link) added: 2010-07-01 10:20:08 sponsor: Some Guy edited by: SomeGuy (last reply: 2010-07-01 10:20:08)

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In Real Life, being a single mother isn't easy. Let's be honest here. Children kind of need a lot of attention. It can be an overwhelming task for two parents, let alone one who also needs to have a day-job just so she can put food on the table.

Because viewing audiences tend not to like being reminded of how tough things can be, TV land has given us the Glamorous Single Mother- a character who juggles children, personal life, and work life expertly with little trouble or complications. In particularly extreme examples, her life will be indistinguishable from those of similar characters who do not have kids- they'll be little more than an adorable little Plot Device every few episodes.

This trope, coupled with Babies Make Everything Better can create some dastardly Unfortunate Implications in that they make getting pregnant appear to be a substantially less physically and emotionally draining task than it really is. It's probably not coincidental that this trope almost always involved upper-middle-class women, as opposed to the working poor that are affected by this in Real Life.

See also "Friends" Rent Control.

  • Probably the most famous invocation of this trope is the title character on Murphy Brown. Dan Quayle famously attempted to question the Unfortunate Implications this trope creates- and ended up the target of ridicule for suggesting that television could influence people like that. Interestingly, Candice Bergen herself thought Quayle had a point.
  • Gilmore Girls uses this, but mostly in the backstory. When the show starts proper, daughter Rory is a teenager and the relatively easy time Lorelei has raising her can be rationalized along those lines.
  • The Perfect Man was mocked for its use of this trope (along with many other things). Jean's predilection of moving to a new state every time a relationship fails would rightly be viewed as a sign of mental illness in nearly any other movie. Here, though, the only apparent consequence of these actions is that her daughter Holly wants to keep her mom from being let down again. How Jean manages to do things like afford a two-bedroom apartment in New York on a baker's salary is...not explained.
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