Seven TV Moms We Can Learn From

You can learn a lot from TV moms, whether they're great or they have serious problems. Modeling? Schadenfreude? Whatever the reason, I love to watch these women, and they make me think about what I really want to be doing with my own kids.

You'll notice I stayed away from the TV moms everyone knows and loves. I've learned about everything I can from Clair Huxtable and Marion Cunningham already, so I thought I'd look at some moms we don't always think about.

Watch more about TV moms on "Best in TV: The Greatest TV Shows of Our Time," airing this September.

Alice From 'Alice'

She's driving to her new life in LA, breaks down in Phoenix, and gets stuck there waiting tables at Mel's Diner. That's exceedingly crappy, but Alice, played by Linda Lavin, made a life, got her son off to college, and ended up living her dream anyway.

Takeaway: Sometimes you really have no choice, but you can still bloom where you're planted.

Sami Brady From 'Days of Our Lives'

Scheming, lying, cheating, Sami, played by Alison Sweeney, has betrayed everyone who ever loved her, but still people keep falling in love with her, putting her in charge of their companies, and giving her free apartments. In real life she'd be selling crystal meth, but in Salem she's a respectable citizen.

Takeaway: Some people are just always going to have it easier than you do. It doesn't mean they're happy.

Lexie Carver From 'Days of Our Lives'

Through everything -- kidnapping, dubious paternity, infertility -- Lexie, played by Renee Jones, has been the smiling martyr, the responsible one. But she can't outsmile the brain tumor that's moving quickly (her last episodes are scheduled for June).

Takeaway: There's no payoff to being Good all the time.

Tasha Mack From 'The Game'

Beautiful, smart, and successful, but insecure, frenzied, and self-destructive, single mom Tasha Mack -- played by Wendy Raquel Robinson -- managed to raise her son to be an external success who can't deal with his own life and ends up self-destructing. What a waste of talent from both of them.

Takeaway: Deal with your own issues now so you don't pass them on to your kids.

Janay From 'The Game'

In contrast to Tasha Mack, single mom Janay, played by Gabrielle Dennis, swallows her disappointment and keeps a cool head to give her son the relationship he deserves with his father. When his father's crazy wife tries to hurt her son, Janay takes legal steps to ensure healthy boundaries. Lucky boy to have a mom who fights for him like that.

Takeaway: Fight for your kids, even when that fight means getting along with people you don't want to get along with.

Pam Beesley Halpert From 'The Office'

The most realistic portrayal of marriage and motherhood on TV. Pam is us and we are Pam, sleep deprivation, surliness, self-doubt, baby weight and all. Pam, played by Jenna Fischer, is still doing everything as well as any of us can.

Takeaway: Just holding it together = winning.

Gloria Delgado-Pritchett From 'Modern Family'

Yes, she's crazy sexy. But what Gloria, played by Sofia Vergara, is really good at is accepting her son Manny for the brilliantly intuitive nerd that he is. Who knows how far this kid is going to go, simply because his mom believes in him and isn't trying to make him conform?

Takeaway: Your child is already who they are, and your support can help them be their best self.

Watch more about TV moms on "Best in TV: The Greatest TV Shows of Our Time," airing this September.

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