Confession: My kids watch trashy TV.
Well, not really trashy, like Real Housewives or American Gladiators or anything featuring a talking sponge wearing underpants. (I have some standards, after all.) But yes, my kids watch television. Most of it is "educational." But some of it?
I used to be that mom that judged other moms for watching television. E didn't watch a single second of TV until she turned two. And then, it was one show a day, and Sesame Street ONLY. Later, we branched out into some select Nick Jr and PBS Kids shows I felt were well-written, engaging, and offered either concrete knowledge or actually did promote the "social and emotional development" the commercials claimed.
Then I had a second child. Somewhere between nonstop nursing, diaper-changing and big sister soothing, I lost control of the remote. E discovered the Hub and became totally addicted to the glittery, enticing, mind-numbing, trash-tastic joys of My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake. And as child of the '80s? I sort of got addicted, too.
I didn't think too much about our sub-par television habits (a little Strawberry Shortcake never hurt anyone, right?) until recently, when we had a play date with a school friend of E's we'd never seen socially before.
"Come see my room! Wanna play My Little Pony? You can be Pinkie Pie and I'll be Twilight Sparkle!" E shouted with enthusiasm, tossing an embarrassingly large pile of acrylic-haired plastic ponies, along with miniature hair extensions and tiny pink plastic combs, into a pile on her bed.
"What's My Little Pony" the other girl asked, wide-eyed and innocent.
"You know, from the show? It's on the Hub. We watch it, like ALL the time," E said, one hand on her hip with cocky authority. She, like her mama, loves being the one in the know.
The other girl's mom raised her eyebrows over a pair of hipster plastic framed glasses and looked at me.
"We only watch 30 minutes of educational programming a week," she said, her tone mixing a perfect cocktail of derision and pity. "We don't even have cable. It's a lifestyle choice."
Ok. I get it. I've been there. I've been that mom who judges other moms for doing things like eating food that stayed on the floor past the five second rule, or sending their kids to school with gross snotty noses, or buying the kind of fruit snacks that don't have "ORGANIC" plastered all over the packaging. We've probably all been there at one point or another--the moment in a mom's day where, at least for one short minute, WE are the one doing the right thing. Making the right choice. Not totally, completely screwing everything up...like that mom over there is clearly doing a brilliant job of.
But we've also all been the judged mom. The one who gets called out on watching her kid watch My Little Pony instead of Super Why!, or eating stale Goldfish straight from the carton instead of baking homemade kale chips and seasoning them with organic olive oil.
Which is why I love this new unscripted series from Lifetime called Pretty Wicked Moms. These perfectly manicured, super-Type-A Atlanta moms bring the "mommy wars" to a whole new level. Their "mom problems" are so over-the-top they make My Little Pony look positively wholesome. Entertaining and fascinating at the same time, Pretty Wicked Moms just might become my newest TV guilty pleasure (when E's not around, anyway!)
(Also, the Pretty Wicked Moms are so devious and cutthroat, it's making that hipster mom with cool glasses and a vegan handbag who thinks I'm basically the worst mom ever for letting my four-year-old watch My Little Pony and play with toys that are plastic and pink not seem all that bad, after all...)
And you know what, judgy hipster mom? This morning E woke up at 5:45 and wanted to snuggle. So I stumbled downstairs, made a pot of coffee, and curled up under a blanket with my daughter to watch Strawberry Shortcake. And while our brains may have been rotting and she could have been using the time to learn fractions or study Mandarin Chinese...we loved every minute of it.
Do you have judgy moms in your life? Tune in to watch parenting like you've never seen before with the first episode of Pretty Wicked Moms on Tuesday, June 4, at 10:00 pm ET/PT on Lifetime!