There’s been a lot of hand-wringing and outrage ever since Viacom added a block of Mom-centric programming to its schedule last month. Much of the grievance stems from the fact that the nighttime content is too “racy” or “foul” for the preschool Nick channels. But I could care less whether a woman swears or disrobes on the same channel my daughter watched eight hours earlier in the day. What chaps my hide, and has so ever since I saw the first misguided promo during an umpteenth viewing of my kid’s favorite Max & Ruby episode, is the strange idea that I’d ever turn to Nick for comfort or distraction after a long day of playing with and chasing and cajoling a child.
Instead I want to watch Homeland, even though I’ve yet to make it past last season’s amazing cabin and now feel hopelessly out of the cultural conversation. I want to watch Parenthood, not because it’s entertainment cynically directed at parents but because it is beautifully acted and exquisitely written. (And because Monica Potter is extraordinary and she better get nominated for an Emmy for this cancer arc.) I want to watch, and perhaps I’m blowing any credibility here, The Real Housewives. (It’s for work. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. And seriously, if you ever want to feel like a good parent, just watch a couple of episodes of any city. All the kids, except for Beverly Hills’ Portia, look miserable and the moms look at their children with the same disconcerting mixture of judgment and unfamiliarity.)
No offense to my own darling daughter, but in the scrap of time before I myself belly-flop into bed I don’t want to think about her once her eyelids have finally fluttered shut. Which means I also don’t really want to watch a block of shows whose commercials suggest they’re the equivalent of Moms on a park bench discussing the nutritional value of peanut butter or the latest enraging behavior of their silly husbands or whether Love & Logic is too namby pamby when it comes to discipline. I’m not saying I’m above any of those conversations—though good lord, they can get tedious—or daring to suggest that’s all mothers talk about when they get together. But there is more to being a mother, and certainly more to being me.
In another NickMom promo, the narrator talks in soothing, familiar tones, encouraging me to pour that glass of red wine or help myself to an ice cream shake, and put my pedicured feetsies up on an ottoman. It was like a Swiffer commercial meets a Moms NIght Out! happy hour invitation meets a sippy cup. “Take a deep breath. Unwind. Get ready to laugh with the grown-ups.” You’re right NickMom, that’s exactly what I need. Which is why I will be catching up with the sixth season of 30 Rock on Hulu.
Family Roomers, am I missing out by refusing to watch any NickMom shows? Is it weird that I’m not bothered in the least by adult content on a Nick channel? What is that anger about anyways—that kids might accidentally watch it (why would they be up so late?) or that the stench of adult content could infect their morning episodes of Peppa Pig?