Subtitles Motherland S01E01 – Pilot

Season 01, Episode 01 – “Pilot”

Harassed mother Julia is so disorganized she brings her children to school on the half term holiday and makes up an excuse about coming in to report bullying. With no help from her hippy mother Marion or ex-spouse Paul she aims to be part of a child minding share group run by the queenly Amanda but ends up minding the brood of amiable but slatternly Liz who cuts off her finger and needs a hospital visit. Finally rejected by Amanda’s clique Julia and Liz decide to form their own group with shy house husband Kevin.

Meet the Alpha Mums, headed by Amanda, very much the queen bee. Everything is organised, clean and sparkly – even the kitchen cork board is a statement of success. At the other end of the spectrum, we meet Liz, who is totally chaotic and feels the kids should enjoy free expression – if they want to do kamikaze jumps of the sofa, she drags a mattress round for safety. Somewhere between Amanda and Liz is Julia – she is organised – she has to be as she is a successful events organiser – but when her mother Marion decides she is no longer going to be the free child-sitter and school-run taxi, Julia finds her organisation skills are taxed and nowhere near the level of the Alpha Mums. Also in the mix is Kevin – he is the stay-at-home dad, who, rather than fighting against that, is embracing it with gusto – much to the irritation of the other mums. This is mothers and they really are – coping or not – competitive and helpful. If the Pulling girls had kids, this is what it would be like.

Its about navigating the trials and traumas of middle-class motherhood, looking at the competitive side and unromantic take on parenting – not the cute and acceptable public face of motherhood.