Motherhood Gets Real When Maternity Leave Is Up on 'The Mindy Project'

We could talk for days about how much we love The Mindy Project (the jokes, the sexual tension, the COSTUMES), and ever since Mindy became a mom on the show, we only love it more. Mindy's mom status raises so many motherhood-related discussions, and the show deals with them openly and in a modern setting. It's amazing. Where else do you see this happening these days?

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(Note: I am about to spoil the hell out of yesterday's episode.)

Last week, we got to chat with Min about breastfeeding babies in public (and, more importantly, how to weaponize breast milk), but this week, the discussion was not only more central to the story line, but it was also about something most moms have thought or talked about at some length: SAHM-ism. (FYI: SAHM stands for stay-at-home mom.)

In Mindy's case, she was faced with the question at the end of her (too short) maternity leave. Her fiancé, Danny, turns into this sexy demon of traditional values and not only assumes Mindy will be staying at home with their son, but also bullies her into it when he realizes she might not want to. (Nice bullying, though. Like the kind of bullying that involves stripteases and diamond earrings.)

Meanwhile, I was like ... ex-SQUEEZE me?!

We're still obviously a ways away from the perfect, perfectly equal society we dream of, but we've also come a really long way from where we were. I mean, we live in a time and place that allows us to talk about being a stay-at-home mom as an option, not a given. 

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It's a choice we're lucky to have, but that doesn't make it any easier. Aren't you essentially choosing between your well-being and your baby's? Your desires or your partner's? Or even between your ability to do your job and your nanny's ability to do his or hers?

Mindy spent the whole episode working toward the realization that she wasn't going to be a SAHM -- not because she couldn't or wouldn't be good at it, but because she didn't want to. She realized what was obvious to us since the beginning: Danny is the better choice. 

Danny felt an obvious passion for baking pies and for organic cleaning supplies -- but also for having a parent home with his son. Mindy made tomato soup and grilled cheese every day for dinner because she didn't want to learn a new recipe (although by Friday it was "queso sandwich and my take on hot gazpacho").

She's happier in the operating room and Danny's happier in the kitchen, so why the hesitation? Because her stupid fiancé is stupidly attached to his stupid values, that's why.

Sometimes we don't evolve the way we thought we might. Mindy and Danny didn't -- it'll just take some time for them to figure out that they're the new modern family and then work from there.

 

Image via Splash News

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