When I was pregnant with my first child I envisioned motherhood going a lot differently than it actually did. What no one prepares you for is the amount of time you spend stuck under a newborn. You’re either feeding them, or they are sleeping on you, or they just want you to hold them all day. Someone really should tell new moms this. They say, sleep when the baby sleeps (yeah, right), or swaddle them (do you know how hard that is to do when your baby keeps flailing their arms about? Velcro baby swaddles are a game changer). None of these things are productive. Being told that you will be holding a baby for almost twenty four hours and what to do about that would have been better advice. I was not prepared for how boring it could be and how lonely I would feel.
I breastfed both my girls but introduced a bottle after a while for a few feedings a week so my husband could partake in the feeding of our children.I needed a break and a free hand if only to eat a meal. Feeding still fell on me mostly though so I needed to find ways to entertain myself when they would fall asleep in my arms. I couldn’t hold up a book without the risk of it falling onto their faces, so that was out. I turned to my phone and Netflix to entertain me in those lonely times and during some of the midnight feeds.
I love film and television so I don’t have a hard time getting into a good show. When I was stuck under one of my kids I would stick to TV shows. They are easier to watch, especially when you don’t know how long you will be feeding a baby, or are required to pace around the house with the baby strapped to you.The latter could take an hour or more depending on what mood the baby was in. My babies were both very willful and they still are. If you do a movie you may have to stop it part way through and that isn’t any fun. A tv show is anything from twenty minutes to an hour so you have options and will probably be able to finish a show or three before you have to be on again.
I have come up with a list of the top ten Netflix shows to binge watch during the newborn phase. Some of these are older because they were shows I watched when my children were small. My youngest is 18 months now so I was watching some of these shows over a year ago. Something to keep in mind is that I am located in Canada so my list is based on Canadian Netflix, although I think you can find most of these shows on American Netflix if that’s where you live.
With that said and without any further ado, here is the list:
1. The Good Place
The Good Place is a quirky comedy starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. Bell’s character is sent to the “Good Place” after she dies, a heaven-like utopia for those who have lived good and righteous lives. She soon realizes, however, that she was sent there by mistake. In order to stay and avoid going to the “Bad Place” she must hide who she really is and try to become a better person. It’s a funny and clever show that manages to make the topics of ethics and philosophy entertaining. It’s definitely worth a watch.
2. Queer Eye
I was a big fan of this show when it was Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and it aired on cable television. I’m an even bigger fan of it now. This show is just wonderful and filled with joy and positivity. It’s life affirming thru and thru. Unlike the first series, this reboot focuses not just on lost straight males, but they seek out to help and share some love to a variety of individuals who are stuck, struggling, or in need of someone to talk to. The new Fab 5 delve deep into the individuals they are helping to bring out the best versions of themselves. It is the perfect show to watch when you feel like a pick me up or just want to watch a really good makeover show. Be prepared though because you will cry in every episode. Now, you may not think that watching a show that might make you cry is the best choice with post baby hormones, but these are tears of happiness and those are the best of all.
3. Santa Clarita Diet
This next show may not be for everyone. It is a horror-comedy after all. Santa Clarita Diet stars Drew Barrymore, your typical working mom who’s boring life changes dramatically when she becomes a zombie. Her husband and teenage daughter look for a cure for her condition while also living with the fact that she eats human flesh and her new impulsive personality. The cast is excellent, the show is funny, and is strangely relatable for many women out there, especially mothers. The level of gore might not be your cup of tea, so if you don’t like blood I would give this one a skip. BUT if you like a little dark humor in your life, like I do, then you won’t be disappointed.
4. Schitt’s Creek
This has to be one of the best ensemble casts in a comedy ever put together. Schitt’s Creek is funny, witty, and oh so heartwarming. In this show the once wealthy Rose family lose all their money and are forced to move into the motel inside the town Mr. Rose (Eugene Levy) once bought his son (Dan Levy) as a joke. The show follows the trials and tribulations as the family must adjust to a life without money. The show starts off slow, but if you stick with it you will uncover a funny, well-written, and charming comedy.
5. The Letdown
The Letdown will hit close to home. It’s an Australian sitcom about a new mom struggling with her new role who joins a parents support group and makes some new friends. The show is incredibly accurate in its portrayal of new motherhood and all the fears, insecurities, guilt, and life changes it brings. It is nice to see these things through a comedic lens. It’s incredibly relatable and just what you will need in those first few months, if only to show you that you are not alone.
6. Jane The Virgin
Jane The Virgin is a romantic comedy and satirical telenovela about a 23 year old chaste woman, Jane, played by Gina Rodriguez, who becomes pregnant after getting artificially inseminated by her gynecologist. I love how this show has brought the telenovela format to North American television. Being of Latin American descent I grew up around telenovelas. All the women in my family watched telenovelas and they have a special place in my childhood memories. The show is whimsical and unapologetically emotional. It’s a fun show and I highly recommend it.
7. The Great Canadian Baking Show/ The Great British Baking Show
I am a sucker for a good baking/food show. I love watching other people create tasty things. I think everyone wonders how they would do if they were on a show like this. This to me is part of the fun of watching it. Both the Canadian and British versions have the same format and I have watched both so they are both on this list. You easily get drawn into the challenges and you get invested in the contestants. This is a good choice for the middle of the day when you are forced to walk the baby around the house and can’t go outside because it’s raining. It’s Just a fun light hearted show and sometimes that’s just what you need.
8. The Office (U.S.A.)
I love The Office so much. It makes me laugh even after rewatching it a couple of times. The reason why the show is so good is that it makes the normal day-to-day of working in an office funny. The comedy is found in the mundane. Every type of person you encounter in an office job is depicted in this show, but they are not just caricatures.They may start off that way but then they grow into whole dynamic characters who are not only relatable but hilarious. You will always finish an episode with a smile on your face.
9. The Crown
I have been obsessed with the royal family for as long as I can remember. I am so obsessed that I have read up on monarchs as far as King Henry VIII. Learning about the lives of the monarchy is so fascinating and now with everything that has happened with Meghan and Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, The Crown is even more intriguing. The Crown offers up a dramatic albeit fictionalised story of the current monarch Queen Elizabeth II from when her father became King George VI and up to the time of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. It’s a great show that intertwines the monarchy’s lives with major historical events and allows us some insight as to what life in Buckingham Palace may be like. It’s dramatic and can be quite serious, but the acting is superb.
10. Working Mom’s
Like The Letdown, Workn’ Moms offers some realities of motherhood that often get looked over because TV executives seem to think we want to look at a glossy version of motherhood that we can’t relate to. The show follows the personal and professional lives of thirty-something mothers trying to balance home and work. It’s a funny and realistic look at this balancing act we all must do no matter if you are a working mom, or a stay-at-home mom, or anything in between.
There you have it. I will update and add to this list as more shows get added to Netflix and I get a chance to see them. I will also make more lists of these types because I really enjoy doing them. I will do a few that feature shows from other streaming services also. Let me know what binge worthy shows you are watching on any streaming service in the comments. I am always on the lookout for something new to watch.
Happy watching and don’t worry mama this too shall pass. Things will get better. I won’t say it gets easier because things just change and things become more manageable. Remember that newborns and infants go through phases. They will eventually nap in their cribs. It’s all a combination of trial and error and what phase in their development your baby is in. YOU’VE GOT THIS!