How ‘Being Kara’ Reminds Us that Motherhood is a Game of Survival

Every parent damages his or her child in one-way or another. Even the most successful and well-meaning parents do something to their children that will undoubtedly follow them from childhood into adulthood and possibly a welcoming seat on the therapist’s sofa.

The theme of the latest episode of Being Mary Jane was motherhood and survival. The episode, titled, “Being Kara” shows the character Kara attempting to juggle a budding relationship, an entitled Mary Jane, an annoying ex-husband, a demanding career, and two children, one of whom may have a learning disability. We see Kara struggle to be “every woman” and attempt to bring her best self to every aspect of her life, but she soon realizes that shit is just way too trill.

As a full-time employee, mommy and wife with too much gall and too few psychotropic medications to call it quits on the whole blogger-freelance writer shenanigans, I saw glimpses of my life being played out on television. Kara’s feelings of failure, regret, anxiety and trepidation are shared. Her near breakdown after burning brownies and failing to join the ranks of “together moms” who seemingly care perfectly for their perfect children and bake Pinterest-perfect goods for the school bake sale is simply Thursday ‘round these parts. Only none of my friends bake, leaving me to walk the dirty linoleum floors of the nearest 24-hour Wal-Mart searching for the least sugary cupcakes that can be pawned off as homemade. No one is fooled, but I feel like a better mom for having gone through all of the effort. 

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As I struggle more and more with how I parent, my ability to be a decent role model, and how, without being too abrasive, to teach my daughter valuable life lessons, I wonder what will be the definitive effed up thing(s) I will do or say to eventually be the cause of my daughter’s a) recurring therapy appointment, b) the muse behind her award-winning art, c) the reason my future son-in-law will hate me or d) all of the above.

Being Kara means being a headstrong mommy and an “every woman” who hasn’t quite learned that every hat worn doesn’t complement her outfit. Being a parent means accepting that you will likely be the subject of more than a few of your child’s journal entries. Being Kara, being a parent, being a mother means being a survivor. I survive by unashamedly taking moments for myself.  Kara survives by climaxing and managing her anxiety with prescribed anti-depressants.  We survive. 

So Kara, from one mother to another, you are understood.

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