I remember coming home from school in my teens and watching Oprah. At the time, she was competing with Phil Donahue for the 4 o’clock spot in NYC. Her show was so different. Coming from a woman’s perspective, it presented unique and controversial topics with dignity and meaning. When I grew older, I watched Oprah while feeding babies and cleaning up afternoon toys. Her name skyrocketed into an empire and she became a cheerleader for women everywhere to live their best life. Through it all, the meaning behind her empowerment message remained waiting there for us every weekday at 4pm.
So it was with an eager eye that I tuned into the OWN network over New Year’s weekend. My expectations were high but I was afraid because I kept wondering how she could create a whole network with quality programming. A one hour show of her own was one thing but a 24/7 network was quite another.
The problem is that the bar is set so high. Everything Oprah does is not only spot-on, but meaningful and inspirational. Would this measure up?
I was anything but disappointed. In fact, after watching the previews of the shows to come, I felt compelled to tweet: “Just found the #OWN channel and may quite frankly never leave the house again”.
Let me explain why this network is so important to moms.
Each show is targeted to one specific self improvement area and is hosted by either an expert in that field or someone (in many cases a famous someone) who is struggling through a situation. Viewers get up close and personal look into their lives, witness the effort and the work that goes into it, and in turn, learn how to better improve their own lives. The shows dig deep at the heart of problems in marriage and parenting but more importantly, address issues not often given enough time on mainstream television: perseverance, strength and self worth. It helps moms recognize sometimes hidden parts of ourselves and also teaches us ways to live through our challenges with the goal of being a better person, which always translates into being a happier and more involved mom.
Here is a run down of shows that parents should check out:
Enough Already! With Peter Walsh, Mondays at 8pm
Organizational expert Peter Walsh helps families get rid of their clutter. While it seems like an ordinary home show, Walsh doubles as part time therapist and helps families discover the reason behind the mess. In the augural episode, Walsh helps a mom whose home has become a hazard zone for her 15 month old son. Stunned by this realization, the mom just hadn’t recognized that her home had spun out of control while she was so involved in work and childcare.
Master Class, Sundays at 10pm
The idea behind this show is that there are some famous people who are mastering life, not just living through it, but being the best they can be, successful, and giving back to the world. Through the stories of these famous folk, we learn how anything is possible and how we can always be better and achieve what we want. It’s something we often tell our kids but forget for ourselves. Well-known masters on beginning episodes include Sidney Poitier , Maya Angelou, and Diane Sawyer.
Kidnapped By the Kids, Coming in Spring
It’s just what the title says. Kids kidnap their workaholic parents and take them on a week long vacation solely to spend time with them. With so many parents working day and night, a lot of kids are suffering, plain and simple. When mom and dad are always on the computer, texting, and emailing, it’s often the children left in the shuffle. It’s not only prevalent but easy to do with modern technology. I’m guilty of it myself. This show puts the kids in charge, forces the parents to ditch the tech gadgets, and shows parents how much their children need and miss them. With forced family time and no distractions, parents learn how to prioritize their children in this uplifting program.
Deliver Me, Weekdays at 7am
Talk about girl power! This show follows three OB/GYN doctors (and best friends) living in Los Angeles who are also moms raising families. Viewers get a sneak peek into their busy lives. The docs met in school and are now partners in a medical practice that caters to women with high risk pregnancies.
In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman, Mondays at 10pm
Intimacy, control, and fear of abandonment issues are explored with a different couple each week. Hosted by a sex therapist, Berman shows that it’s never about just the sex or the lack of it that brings a marriage down. From the wife with the fear of intimacy to the couple who needs a laundry basket in the bedroom, Dr. Berman gets to the bottom of the issue in this very candid program. Be advised this is not a show to watch with the kids around.
To find the Own network in your area, click here.