When my oldest son was a few weeks old, I was glued to my recliner. It took some time for us to get the hang of breastfeeding, and his frequent growth spurts meant hours upon hours of cluster feedings. Plus, he didn’t want to nap outside of my arms and wasn’t keen on laying down next to me. Thus, I held him in my arms, kicked up my feet, and watched syndicated episodes of “Will & Grace” and “Frasier” on LifetimeTV.
Now that my second baby is here, I have less time to watch television because I’m chasing his big brother around. But when my oldest is off to school, once again, I’m glued to my couch, cuddling a baby who only wants to sleep in mama’s arms (it’s a really great problem to have!). I’ve greatly enjoyed binge watching some of favorite shows and re-watching classic episodes. I do have a few rules, though, for the shows I’ll watch while my newborn is in my arms:
- No violence (that means no “Dexter” for me, no “Walking Dead” for my husband)
- Not too much profanity
- Needs to be available streaming (to save money, we ditched cable, so I’m relying on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon)
- Lighthearted and full of humor
- Nothing that will leave me a blubbering, hormonal mess (I’m looking at you, “Grey’s Anatomy”!)
Here are a few televisions shows that are perfect to keep you new mothers entertained while you’re adjusting to life with a newborn:
The Mindy Project (Hulu)
Thank you very much, Fox, for dumping “The Mindy Project”! Now that Hulu has picked up the series, I can watch every episode from the very beginning, and new episodes are available at midnight on Tuesdays. Dr. Mindy Lahiri is an incredibly unique heroine. She’s self-centered, tactless, and irreverent. But she’s also intelligent, strong willed, loving, and, of course, hilarious. Plus, anytime I’m snacking on something that’s just plain bad for me, I do so while watching “The Mindy Project.” Mindy Lahiri is the patron saint of junk food.
Parks and Recreation (Hulu/Netflix)
“Parks and Recreation” is literally! my favorite comedy of all time. I want to be Leslie Knope when I grow up; I love that she completely owns her awkwardness and turns it into a strength. Also, her love story with Ben makes me giddy like a high school girl. For those of you who may have started watching the show but lost interest while in the middle of season one, feel free to start watching at season two — that’s when the show really picks up and comes into its own. You can go back and watch season one once you’ve already fallen in love with the characters. It’s also important to note that this show is best watched while eating waffles.
The Office (Netflix)
This fall, I read Mindy Kahling’s latest book, “Why Not Me?,” and Rainn Wilson’s autobiography, “The Bassoon King,” which both inspired me to re-watch “The Office.” Steve Carell is a comedic genius, and I think the show’s success is due to the incredible ensemble and great writing. In addition, the birth of Pam and Jim’s daughter is one of the most realistic portrayals of postpartum recovery. Except for when Pam breastfeeds the wrong baby. That was just plain funny.
Sex and the City (Amazon)
I will admit that this show breaks my “not too much profanity” rule. Samantha swears like a sailor, and there’s plenty of sex and nudity in every episode. However, the show’s heart and humor overshadow the profanity. I was absolutely thrilled to discover that “Sex and the City” is available on Amazon Prime Instant Video. I’ve seen the series finale at least a dozen times, and I still manage to tear up at the resolution of each woman’s story.
House Hunters (Netflix)
Netflix only has a handful of “House Hunters” and “House Hunters International” episodes, but they’re more than enough for me to get my fix of my favorite HGTV show. I really don’t care if the show is staged. I really like seeing the geography and house markets of different regions of the country. Plus, it’s super fun to yell at prospective home buyers when they get fixated on little things. Seriously, people, who cares about paint color?! Ask about the age of the roof!
The Golden Girls
“The Golden Girls” is my one exception to the rule that shows must be available in streaming; unfortunately, “The Golden Girls” is only available on cable (get with the program, Netflix!). Thirty years later, this show is just as funny as it was when it first premiered, thanks to the unbelievably talented cast. We watched this show while I was still in the hospital, and I was more than willing to stay a couple of extra days so that I could catch a few more episodes. I am definitely the Rose in my group of friends, and one of my life goals is visit St. Olaf, Minnesota. Also, as a woman who has had intrauterine insemination to have a baby, I find the episode when Blanche’s daughter wants to be artificially inseminated to be absolutely hysterical.
I hope you enjoy these shows as much as I do and that they provide you with some entertainment with your newborn!
And for toddler binge watching, be sure to check out Lynzi’s post, “5 Kids Shows That Won’t Drive You Crazy!”