Catherine Reitman: ‘Being a Working Mother Is Impossible’

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If you’ve seen the Netflix hit show Workin’ Moms, you instinctively know that star and creator Catherine Reitman doesn’t hold back. During a recent interview, she talked in depth about motherhood and the attempt to balance work and parenting her two sons, Jackson, nine, and Liam, six. “Being a working mother is impossible,” she said, and moms everywhere know truer words have never been spoken.

“I’m not angry at the question,” she told Romper of the age-old “how do you balance” inquisition every working mom eventually gets. “I’m angry at the answer, only because I don’t think it exists.”

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Reitman and the rest of the cast have made the first six seasons of Workin’ Moms a huge success. Since 2017, the series, which has been renewed for a (final) seventh season, hasn’t shied away from topics ranging from postpartum depression, marriage ebbs and flows, family leave, nuanced friendships, the mental load, and the politics of parenting. But Reitman made sure the show’s focus—for the most part—centered around the women’s careers.

“If you actually watch our show, the storyline percentage of us interacting with our kids is probably less than 20%,” she said. “This is really a show about women outside of their nurseries. It’s about women who happen to have the identity of mothers going after their dreams unapologetically.” It’s that unapologetic part that’s so important, because, why can’t we want more than one thing?

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“When we sold the show initially, my only knowledge of what this show could be with the identity crisis of the first time you returned to work after having a baby, that’s all I knew,” she continued. “And then, of course, as the show progressed, so did my children. Early on you’re dealing with the fellow mothers at Mommy & Me and your transition back into the workplace to now, oh my god, I’m dealing with principals of my kids who are currently in first grade and the realities of my children’s schedules are demanding more of me or less of me. It’s all these sort of natural flux of parenthood that goes as your kids get older.”

She also knows it’s the show’s honesty and rawness that’s connected fans of the show and leaves us wanting more. “This is why the show is successful: it’s not because I’m some person who understands motherhood in a more complex, interesting way than anybody else,” she noted. “It’s just like, of course, this is draining!”

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