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Parenthood need not be the mother and father of all struggles

Eimear McGovern


Despite what TV shows display, there is no universal experience

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Anna Maxwell Martin in Motherland

Anna Maxwell Martin in Motherland

Anna Maxwell Martin in Motherland

In the television sitcom Motherland, it’s a mum-eat-mum world. Main character Julia, who works in PR, is seen speeding along a road to deliver her two children to school, hitting speed bump after speed bump before they arrive at the main gates.

Running towards the classroom, they are stopped by a teacher who asks Julia whether she’s forgotten it is half term. Later, the hassled mum has a fraught exchange with her own mother, who has recently decided to take a step back from taking care of her grandchildren in favour of having a second to herself — the nerve! As Julia fields calls from her boss asking her to step up her performance at work, you get the impression it’s all just seconds from falling apart.


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