Ariane Sherine, who writes for The Guardian, once said: "It is hard for all mothers, even those who desperately wanted children, but especially hard for single mothers on low incomes. We can't afford childcare, can't take a sick day, can't take a rest unless our child falls asleep. There is no one to share the enchanting moments and tantrums with, no one to read a book to our child while we have a bath, no one to reassure us that we're doing just fine."
This is a sentiment that plays out in the first season of the comedic drama SMILF (Single Mom I'd Like To F*ck) - now available first and only on Showmax. It depicts how hard life can be for a single mom. Here, we list moments from SMILF that give a glimpse of these hardships (SPOILER ALERT):
1. Issa Lot!
Right from the first scene in Episode 1, you get overwhelmed seeing how 28-year-old Bridgette Bird goes through the most (to say the least). We see her attempting to go from month to month on an uncertain (low) wage; trying to find a date and somehow have a sex life without a babysitter (something she can't afford); all while striving to be a good daughter and mother. And at all of these things, she seems to fail dismally.
2. Strong Woman For Who?! For What?!
For all the times we get mad at SMILF's Bridgette for being so damn reckless (like having unprotected sex with her teenage former student ... while wearing his mother's robe, in his mother's bed), we also find ourselves wanting to reach into the TV (or laptop) screen and give her a hug for all the lemons that life throws at her.
One of the hardest things that single moms have to face is the way society reacts when they make bad decisions or act impulsively (often out of desperation). Bridgette may have a tough exterior, but sometimes, in secret, she suffers moments of weakness - like in episode 1, when she gives into her eating disorder and binges on huge bags of chips and chocolate bar after chocolate bar.
3. It's Messy
Most single moms will tell you that doing it on your own (or with a not-so-helpful father) is messy. But then again, so is life. They get on with it.
In the sixth episode of SMILF, we see Bridgette literally wilding out – running around looking for her kid's toy, while dealing with the fact that the child's father and her mom tried to baptise the child behind her back... and trying to decide whether to let the child spend Father's Day with his dad. Yep, it's messy. And so is life.
4. Those Innocent Eyes
Every single mom knows that the (only) good thing about being a single mom is watching their children grow (with all their adorableness). While life happens, there's always the thought of the kid (even if it's just about keeping them alive) to keep you focused. Baby Larry is the cutest thing on our screens right now! Larry actually happens to be played by the twins Anna and Alexandra Reimer.
5. I Want My Mama!
One guy wrote on Twitter: "What blew me away was the acting dynamic between @Rosie and @frankieshawisag. It felt so real."
In the sixth episode, we see the Bridgette and her mother, Tutu (brilliantly played by Rosie O'Donnell) having a moment in their otherwise turbulent relationship. Tutu opens up to Bridgette after her heart gets broken by an old flame. You can't help but get the feels as you learn how vulnerable Tutu really is underneath her blunt exterior. This is the stuff real life (and awards) are made of.
6. Dating Is An Extreme Sport
The typical single mom works really hard, often having to provide for their child on their own, makes their kid priority number one and often doesn't have the time or the desire for dating, because, well, it's a jungle out there, and that's how they found themselves in this situation in the first place. But it doesn't necessarily stop them from trying. Especially if, like Bridgette, they really just want to get laid.
From the first episode, we can tell that Bridgette's not going to have much luck with dating, when a guy shows interest in her after a basketball game, only to be turned off by her son calling to her from the sidelines. Then she takes her old high school flame to bed, and he freaks out when he sees her child's foot poking out from under the blankets right next to them. But it's not until later in the series when Bridgette takes to, first, Craigslist, and then Tinder, that things get really, really messed up...
See SMILF for yourself, uninterrupted (or in chunks, if you're a single mom) on Showmax.