Earlier yesterday I was flicking through my Instagram feed as I do, when that enticing little rainbow circle informed me that Celeste Barber had new insta stories – I watch her every day for a laugh & thoroughly enjoy her piss taking. It was then that I saw her promoting her new show due to air at 9.30pm last night on the ABC – it’s called The Letdown, and it’s about new mums & the reality of parenthood. My heart sank.
Having just published an unusually personal and candid post last week about my fear around having kids I immediately felt a sinking feeling based on the name of this show but hoped it may have something more to add to the narrative around parenthood. I hoped that it may have some depth, an undertone of gratitude, or love even? Nope.
I anxiously curled up on the lounge to watch The Letdown (taking a breather from binge watching Suits) and within the first few minutes felt that same anxious heart flutter I’ve felt regularly over the past decade. I immediately realised I was to be let down by The Letdown.
Tonight I watched 30 minutes of the same repetitive “FML” #mumlife propaganda about parenthood which has haunted me for the better part of a decade, and I’m really getting sick of it. I mean, it’s not helpful. This is a show which was promoted by Celeste to her 2.5 MILLION Instagram followers, (and really, I love her – she was voted funniest woman on Instagram for a reason) and I don’t know what the ratings got but I’m assuming a lot of Celeste’s followers and women across the country tuned in, many of whom I’m sure are just like me – yet to have kids, or as per many of my friends, currently pregnant.
Tonight I was confronted by another heartbreaking message that becoming a mother is, a what – a let down? Really?
I get what the show is seeking to do. I’m not oblivious. I’m sure there are loads of women who laughed through the show & shared a sigh of relief as the credits rolled thinking “what a breath of fresh air… finally something on TV that I can relate to”.
BUT, was there any thought for the mums-to-be when this show was pitched & produced? I get that there are mums out there who aren’t loving life, and that becoming a mum overnight is a tough gig, with allll of the complexities, but… Can’t the cup be half full, ever?
I was texting a pregnant friend over the past week since writing my last post, discussing the state of motherhood across social media, and media in general, and agreeing that there is nothing positive in the media about motherhood. Nothing. (Well, except ONE book I’ve just finished reading, but that belongs to another blog post entirely).
I said it last week and I’ll say it again, the repetition of this message is harmful. Not just because of the anxiety & fear it creates among women who aren’t mums yet, but because of its lack of purpose. If there really is this common theme, this agreed upon conclusion that motherhood is a Letdown with a capital L, then isn’t that saying a bit more needs to be done socially than to just throw ya’ll hands into the middle and collectively cheer “MOTHERHOOD’S F*CKED”??
I for one know that I seek to have a different experience of motherhood, or at the very least a different perspective, and laugh all you want… but, I at least plan to try.
So watch this space, I’ll be chatting soon about that book I read, and feel free to add your thoughts in the comment below & share with friends.
Image sourced from ABC.net.au