Jordan Catalano, And My "Mom Reality"

I sit here and write this from my couch, where I am half typing, half watching the glorious (and tragically, prematurely canceled) show My So-Called Life.  I’ve watched it countless times before, but only recently has it hit me with a bit of an epiphany.  You see, I’ve always been a Jordan Catalano kinda girl, and I’ve always related to Angela in the deepest way. Throughout my adolescence I’ve had my Rickies and my Rayannes, and my junior high girlfriends and I even had a favorite local band we’d pretend were the Frozen Embryos. And as I got older I still found that I totally “got” Angela. In my mid-twenties I still did. But now, suddenly, I am relating more to Angela’s parents. The English teacher. The neighbor boy’s Mom. The bus driver.

By television standards, I’m all grown up.

I don’t know why it took My So-Called Life to tell me I was a full-fledged adult, but it did. And since that moment when I said, “Whoa. Hey. Angela’s Mom- I feel you, I know what you mean,” I’ve been noticing my interests have shifted in other areas too. In fact, while watching Twilight the other day, I noticed that neither Edward nor Jacob is my Twilight crush. It’s actually Mr. Charlie Swan, Bella’s Dad.  That hunky, mustached Dad. Yup, I’m Team Charlie. And I got where he was coming from. I mean, I wouldn’t want my child hanging out with a vampire, no less upstairs, with the door closed!  I mean, really!  See, I can relate.  And then again while watching the Real Housewives of NJ, I found myself appalled at Ashley’s behavior, and thinking about how Jacqueline really needed to do something about that girl. Thinking her entitled self can just ask for her own place in the city after crying about the commute? Puh-lease.

It’s funny how little moments like these sneak up on you and kind of jolt you into your reality. And it’s not like I spend all day with my son not thinking about the fact that I’m a mother. But because it all just feels so natural and it kind of just happens, I don’t always think about it, nor do I think about the fact that I’m 29, a stay at home Mom, and happily living in a small town. Maybe this is just a new mama thing, but it still makes me laugh.

And furthermore, outside of relating more to the parental figures in movies and television shows, I’ve caught myself doing some curious things that really jarred me into that “I really am a Mom” reality when I realized what I was indeed doing:

1. Finding myself getting totally excited when I suck a really good booger out of Henry’s nose with that blue nose sucker thing from the hospital. I’m talking Super Bowl excited.  My husband and I stopped mid-high-five the other day and looked at each other. “Are we really high-fiving to celebrate a huge piece of snot right now?” Yup.

2. This one is embarrassing. And somewhat creepy. But I kind of find those Anne Geddes baby pictures cute now.  I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been immersed in all things baby for the past year, or maybe my hormones killed off all traces of my normal level of sanity, but just the other day I found myself admiring a photo of a chubby, squishy baby, dressed as a bee, set in a hive. Before you jump to conclusions, no, I wasn’t googling Anne Geddes baby photos- our pediatrician just clearly has a keen eye for decorating and they are all over the place. And apparently, I like them now.

3. And one more- the mama bounce. When Henry was a newborn he liked to be bounced and rocked all the time. He’d prefer to have me standing, doing a little back forth step and bounce, one foot to the other. Even though he’s out of the wanting to be bounced stage, I still find myself doing it…while I’m just standing there, not even holding a baby. In fact just the other day I was pushing a shopping cart in our local market and caught myself doing the step and bounce all the way down the pasta and soup aisle. And I only noticed I was doing this when a girl said, “look Mommy, that weird lady’s dancing past the raviolis!” Thank god for her though, or I would have found myself bouncing and stepping all the way through the store.

When it comes down to it though, even though I’m relating more to the parents in movies now, and finding myself getting excited over a particularly good nose suck, it’s not like I’m gravitating towards Bill Cosby or Mr. Belding. And even though I am relating more to Angela’s Mom, the Mom in me still finds Angela Chase’s dream boy right up her alley. So maybe I’m drinking wine out of a sippy cup, and maybe I’m finding pleasure in receiving jogging strollers for my birthday. My “Mom reality” still has room for a little Jordan Catalano, even though it was he who actually jolted me into that reality in the first place.

How about you?

Have any of you mamas had one of those moments where you’ve caught yourself watching a television show, or doing something so “Mom-like” and all of a sudden have that “Ohmygosh I’m a grown up/a parent/how did I get here” moment?  Or even if you’re not a Mom, have you had one of those “ahh I’m an adult” realizations?

Do share in the comments below!

Images via annegeddes.com and popdose.com


Danielle Hampton is a high school English teacher turned stay-at-home Mom, living in Arizona. She blogs daily at Sometimes Sweet and tweets too much via @danihampton. Come say hello!


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528004179 Jane Murphy

    Oh wow, dude! I’m also 29 and a new mum (my girl is five months old) and I keep having these ‘remember, you’re grown up now’ moments. The most significant ones came when I was still at work. My workplace was pretty much all women and I get on fine with them all, but then one day I started to notice that I wasn’t agreeing with the 20 year olds so much…..yikes!
    Love your blog, by the way. I’m super duper impressed that you can post so much while looking after your boy! I haven’t managed to keep up with my blog so well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/danihampton Danielle Hampton

      Yay for new mamas! And thanks for the kind words about my blog- sometimes I don’t know how I do it either, but in a way it’s kind of relaxing/therapy for me! I feel weird when I don’t do it. <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenny.conroy Jenny Conroy

    Hahaha, this is so great. I’m nowhere near ready to have babies (although I do think of it fairly often… yet, still can’t quite imagine it)
    I’m 25 in September and find myself getting weirded out when I get excited about buying linens, or catch myself dreaming about the day I have a yard to tend to. (I live in a downtown loft with my boyfriend currently — no green space!)
    Growing up is such a funny thing. Sometimes I go on a weekend party binge just to feel young again. I guess you can’t keep the inevitable from happening, though 😉
    Keep bouncin’ lady! xo.

    • http://www.facebook.com/danihampton Danielle Hampton

      I was the same way before having a baby too! I remember in college I totally freaked out when I bought my first vacuum. I suppose I could have justified some of my crazy weekends with “combating feeling of getting older.” haha! So glad you could relate to this! <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/cpribyl Carly Anne Lockman

    Dani, I just had this SAME experience. With My So Called Life, no less!

    My husband and I were watching the box set and I had to stop an episode midway through to freak out a little bit about the fact that I now sympathize with Angela’s parents instead of Angela. Really puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? Ha.

    And, yeah, that English teacher? Totally hot.

    • http://www.facebook.com/danihampton Danielle Hampton

      Carly, YES that English teacher. I love him in all his nerdiness. Oh, great minds do think alike my dear. So glad you’re right there with me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667437003 Jessica King Cooper

    I had this realization a while back, as I was the first of my circle of girlfriends to become a mommy. When the next one jumped on the mommy train, I was more than a little excited to have someone truly understand what a grueling, yet totally joyful job being a mama is. Now that I am off for the summer, we have spent a few mornings sitting by the baby pool in the back yard while the littles play, enjoying this stage of our lives. It’s cool to be real adult, especially when there are other real adults to hang with.

    • http://www.facebook.com/danihampton Danielle Hampton

      Oh I sooo feel you on that. Whenever I get to hang out with my other mama friends I swear I’m on a high for days. Most of my friends with kids live a couple hours away, and it’s hard to be the only one of my friends up here with a baby. Totally different worlds!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=654934562 Olivia Grace Vasquez

    We got Netflix a month ago and the first thing I watched was Season One of “My So-Called Life”, one of my favs from back in the day! And I had the same epiphany!! My husband and I laughed so hard at how suddenly we were relating to the parents’ story lines so much more. Even though I’m still the girl in flannel and Doc Marten’s lusting after the boy in the obscure band, I really understood Angela’s mom’s need to get a haircut and break out of the box. It’s so amazing, the process of growing up and evolving. How many time have Shawn and I been at dinner and realized that we were spending our date night talking about whether or not the baby had pooped that day or worrying about Isabelle’s upcoming math test. Wow, how times have changed! Such a great article, you are the best!

    • http://www.facebook.com/danihampton Danielle Hampton

      I know, right? I never got it when my parent friends would say they were going out, but with rule to NOT mention the kids. I always wondering why it was so hard to just talk about “adult” stuff. Now I know!

      And thank you so much for the kind words!

  • http://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.p.fink Elizabeth P. Fink

    I’m not a mom, or even a wife, but at less than 2 weeks away from my 28th birthday I had this same realization while watching Everwood (said to say it was such a lame show). I realized I was actually into the adults’ relationships, that I was totally grossed out by a 20 year old girl dating a 16 year old boy, that I would have sent my back talking, drug taking, lying (maybe stealing) daughter away for a while to cool her jets – basically I knew I was a grown up. But I also realized I don’t really care that I’m not relating to the teenagers anymore, and maybe that is really the lesson about growing up.

    • http://www.facebook.com/danihampton Danielle Hampton

      I agree. Just the whole realization of “who cares?” and just doing your thing is part of it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=39904575 Erin Cummins

    I had a similar “mom reality” when I watched “Easy-A” and identified with the mom more than the daughter (also Stanley Tucci is incredibly attractive)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=834518641 Tara Bolin

    Seriuosly… the other night I was in my front yard, baby on my hip, hollering at teenage drivers to slow down….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=738574408 Heather Andrews Heisig

    This is EXACTLY what I thought the last time I watched MSCL. It’s amazing how much I was annoyed by Angela during my last viewing. I kept saying “C’mon girl! Your life is NOT THAT BAD!!” and wondering if she just needed some time in her room 😉 I have a 5-year-old (also a Henry, with the initials HCH!) and find myself more and more comfortable being the mom instead of the focal point of every situation (which is definitely what I was like as a teen!).

    Also, I love your blog and am thrilled to have somewhere else to read your thoughts 😀

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10129435 Jennifer de Phoenix

    we don’t watch TV over here, but I definitely find myself stoked to win the booger battle AND I do the bounce when just standing around chatting with friends. Here’s to looking like a crazy, but really just being a mom!

  • http://www.facebook.com/meganislove Megan Fletcher

    Danielle, I love this! I love everything you write but this really hit home for me! I’m so excited for you to start writing here!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=536385506 Deidre Brill

    Um, YES. To infinity. I’m in the same boat (29 year old new-ish mama — my girl turns 1 this week, yipes). For me, the realization was more with books than movies. I’d read to the kid constantly when she was teeny; whatever I had on hand. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn all of a sudden was all about the mama, Katie, and way less about the protagonist, Francie.

    Incidentally, I have always had a crush on Mr. Chase. Even back in my 13 year old days when the MSCL first aired.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.lynn.cook Ashley Lynn Cook

    Indeed! I’m 25, married and starting to hit the crazy wife stage where I HAVE to look at the baby section in stores now even though I DON’T have a baby, and am not going to for a couple more years. My hubby thinks I’m nuts! Haha! I’ve even bought a couple of items like onesies and bibs just because they were absolutely adorable. I can just put them away till it’s time. 😉 Oh! and as far as twilight goes, Edward and Jacob can run along, I’m all about Carlisle! SOOOO handsome. 😀

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002050068179 Virginia Gazzola

    ha – you are so funny, i do the jiggle walk ALL THE TIME! many times with my boston terrier forgetting it’s not my son 😉

  • http://www.facebook.com/ROBIN.L.SHARP Robin Sharp

    I’m not a mom, but I like the 3rd Harry Potter the most and it took me years to realize that it was so appealing to me because it focused more on the adults/teachers than any of the other movies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001865043931 Jessica Vignola

    I have held one too many babies in my day without being a mom to know the walk and bounce, the sway, and the hip adjustments. One day I will have a little one (or two, or three) to bounce and walk. Just yesterday I was thinking that I needed to have a child if not for unconditional darling love, but also so I could watch fun TV like Yo Gabba Gabba. I do notice now that I have moved on from living in my parents’ house to living with my mister that “Oh man! I’m an adult!” I find myself being what I would consider a model wife. I am amazed daily at how domesticated I have become when I couldn’t boil water. The realization hit that first week I moved in and my boyfriend asked, “So what should we do about dinner?” Oh and I had such a crush on Angela’s dad along with Jordan Catalano.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.g.mcconnell Sarah Griffin McConnell

    OMG, me tooo! I catch myself cursing this “modern music”, too: just to add insult to the injury of realizing that I have become decidedly OLD. I even have problems with fashion choices: too old for Juniors styles and too young for the Ladies clothing… oh, the injustice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/emily.soler Amelia Soler

    My So-called life was such an awesome show…

  • http://www.facebook.com/peppermintannie Andrea Carpenter-Heffernan

    First of all, I’ve been obsessed with MSCL ever since it first aired on ABC every Thursday night. It’s what made me want to become an actor. Secondly, I can so relate to what you’re saying here. As much as I’ve been IN LOVE with Jordan Catalano for, like, ever, now that I’m older, I find myself sometimes wishing that Angela would have given Brian a chance… sometimes I even think that if the show continued to live on past it’s first glorious season, she probably would have chosen Krakow, when it was all said and done.

    I’m not a mom yet, but the older I get, the more maternal I become. I can imagine myself someday doing the same type of things that you describe here. Oh and finding Bella’s dad attractive? Done and done. Team Charlie, woo hoo!

    Thanks for this, Danielle. It was awesome :)

    ~Andrea @ http://hecallsmewifey.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.facebook.com/kate.hoag Kate Hoag

    You know you are a mom when poop & snot enter a conversation, just as easily as “Hey, how’s it going?. My 18 year old self would be appalled at my 40 year old Mama self!

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