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My Mother’s Day Gift to You: 5 Awesome (and Awesomely Bad) Movie & TV Moms

While few if any of us could ever claim with a straight face to be the best mom in the world (despite what a certain coffee mug you may been given would lead you believe), most of us can still sleep soundly at night, confident in the knowledge that we’re far from the worst. Why? Because TV and movies tell us so, duh!

Indeed, though they may be slightly cracked or warped mirrors, TV and movies have always reflected back to us mediated visions of our collective maternal nightmares alongside soft-focus idealizations of motherhood — unreal extremes we can all find a comfortable middle ground for ourselves to fit into . And whether these representations serve to make us feel inadequate or reassure us that maybe we’re really not all that bad at this parenting thing after all, the following characters to me represent some of the best portrayals of motherhood – the good, bad, and NO! WIRE! HANGERS! EVER!-ugly – ever shown on the small and big screen:

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  • Ellen Ripley 1 of 5
    Ellen Ripley
    "GET AWAY FROM HER YOU B*TCH." Ellen Ripley's Sci-Fi-flavored Mama Bear is a badass, one-woman-army-like force to be reckoned with - one that makes each of us ask ourselves: would we as mothers suit up in a robotic loader and fight a hideous, giant-insect-like alien queen for our kids?

    Yes. Damn straight we would.

  • Lucille Bluth 2 of 5
    Lucille Bluth
    Egocentric, needy, and utterly devoid of anything resembling a normal human conscience, Mother Bluth's shallow and vicious sniping is hilariously cartoonish and eminently watchable, but she still manages to elicit plenty of genuine cringing with her self-centered antics. That mix of amusement and horror makes her rank as an all-time favorite, at least for me.

  • Marge Simpson 3 of 5
    Marge Simpson
    Sure she's a cartoon, but she's also more supportive, sensitive, thoughtful and grounded than most non-animated moms on TV or in film. Over the years Marge has shown that while she possesses a degree of patience that borders on saintly (see: Homer, Bart), she's no nicey-nice pushover -- particularly where protecting those she loves is concerned. She's kind of like a modern June Cleaver... but with a gigantic blue beehive and the voice of Edith Bunker -- quirks that if anything make her all the more charming.

  • Joan Crawford (as depicted in Mommie Dearest) 4 of 5
    Joan Crawford (as depicted in Mommie Dearest)
    Arguably the most notorious example of Motherhood Gone (Awesomely) Bad on film, Crawford's parenting highlights (or rather, lowlights) include beatings with wire hangers and randomly chopping her kid's hair off. Whether you appreciate the high camp factor of "Mommie Dearest" or, like me, find yourself sort of terrified by it, it's hard to not concede that this is one Mom who is hard to forget (no matter how much you might want to).

  • Sarah Connor 5 of 5
    Sarah Connor
    As a character, Terminator's Sarah Connor embodies the power and strength of a mother's love, and by way of her outward roughness and toughness paradoxically show a depth of emotion, tenderness, and Noble Mama Protectiveness that, as far as I'm concerned, warm and fuzzy Hallmark Card sentimentality can't begin to touch.

Who ranks among your favorite TV & movie moms? Holler back in comments below!

Read more from Tracey at her personal blog, Sweetney

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More of Tracey on Sweetney & Spice:

- Does Your Marriage Have an Expiration Date?
- What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Divorce
- Do Parents Have the Right to be Happy?

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