Instant Mom

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Instant Mom TV Poster Image
Funny family sitcom appeals to older kids and adults.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 8 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series makes light of the flawed nature of family life and the struggles of blended families. Nobody's perfect, and mistakes and misbehavior always have consequences, even if they pack less of a punch here than they do in the real world. Through compromise and patience, family can be the greatest source of strength.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Being a full-time mom isn't what Stephanie signed up for, as she often reminds her husband. Adjusting to her new role is stressful, but she quickly makes it her priority and does her best. Her naivete at times allows the kids to manipulate her, which they do for their own gain. When they need guidance, though, they have two caring parents (and, to some degree, a grandparent figure).


A married couple cuddles and kisses in bed, usually with the woman dressed in lingerie. Dialogue suggests that sex will follow, with the partners exchanging come-ons such as, "Do you want to get this?"


"Butt" and "Oh, my God" are as strong as it gets.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink wine at home to relax, especially when they're stressed out over one kid or another. Stephanie's mom often pushes drinking for this purpose as well. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Instant Mom is a mostly family-friendly sitcom that has fun with typical family issues like sibling spats, teen rebellion, and the frustrations of parenting. Kids' and parents' missteps usually have consequences (though they're less serious than they'd be in the real world), and love is always shown to conquer all. Expect some mild foreplay in the parents' bedroom (lingerie, suggestive comments, and some cuddling) and a fair amount of grown-up drinking, especially when the stresses of parenting prove too much for stepmom Stephanie.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRachelGlzr April 17, 2014

Drunk stepmom, bad parenting, smart mouthed kids

Well today's episode featured the oldest brat going to the store to buy $200 pants, her talking about the size of her butt, and the sons stealing and selli... Continue reading
Parent Written byKari 123 June 8, 2014

Highly inappropriate

My husband and I have questioned this show all season. There are a lot of suggestive comments between the parents and bedroom scenes that are inappropriate for... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bym77ori.ah December 13, 2020
Kid, 10 years old April 20, 2019

So funny.

There were innuendos but they were sooo funny. They treated a doctor’s manoeuvre or whatever as a kind of... uh... naughty, naughty thing. It’s funny though it... Continue reading

What's the story?

INSTANT MOM stars Tia Mowry-Hardrict at Stephanie, a longtime-party-girl-turned-full-time-parent when she marries Charlie (Michael Boatman) and becomes stepmom to his three kids: Gabby (Sydney Park), James (Tylen Williams), and Aaron (Damarr Calhoun). The transition isn't an easy one, especially given the kids' knack for always being one step ahead of her in their schemes, but, as time goes on, she proves she's up to the challenge. Also, when things get too hairy for Stephanie, her mom, Maggie (Sheryl Lee Ralph), is all too happy to put in her two cents on raising kids and being a good wife.

Is it any good?

Instant Mom is a funny family sitcom with a little something for everyone. Kids are sure to chuckle over the siblings' antics that may or may not reflect what goes on in their own homes. Be it Gabby's attempts to shed childhood and become a full-fledged teen (much to her father's chagrin) or James' ploys to turn a profit on others' needs, there's never a dull moment in this household. Parents, on the other hand, may take a different view, empathizing with inexperienced Stephanie and her trial by fire of her savvy step-kids.

The show is predictably fluffy and presents a very sanitary view of life. No one's problems are particularly stressful, and every loose end is neatly tied up by the show's culmination, in keeping with the sitcom tradition. Still, there are some feel-good takeaways that reflect the bonds of families of all sizes and shapes, and the characters (both kids and adults alike) do learn something from the chaos they live through. All in all, this is not a bad choice for families looking for a show to enjoy together. Given the frequent allusions to the parents' bedroom play, though, it's best to wait until the little kids are asleep.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this TV family compares to theirs. Do their problems seem realistic? Do they deal with them in relatable ways? How do your relationships with your siblings stack up? Do you ever bicker? Why?

  • This family isn't a traditional one, but they are very close. Is there a one-size-fits-all definition of what a family is? Do all members have to be related? Are there people in your life who aren't relatives but whom you consider to be family?

  • Discuss the family rules that are addressed (and sometimes broken) in each episode and relate them to their own. Why do they exist? Are they respected? What are the consequences when they're disregarded?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

Themes & Topics

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