A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this family-friendly reality series about stay-at-home moms who secretly sneak off for a week to work at a career they've left behind highlights some of the challenges mothers often face when deciding whether or not to work outside the home. While the moms must lie to their families when they're at work -- which doesn't send a great message -- the overall show is both positive and age-appropriate for kids.
What's the story?
THE SECRET LIFE OF A SOCCER MOM follows stay-at-home moms as they return to the careers they put on hold to raise a family. In each episode, a homemaker secretly goes to work, experiencing the life she opted out of to become a full-time wife and mother. For a week, each mom strives to find her place in the professional world while her husband and children learn to cope without her. At the end of the week, the moms are surprised with a job offer and must quickly choose whether to keep pursuing their dream career or return to life at home.
Is it any good?
The series, which is hosted by Growing Pains alum Tracey Gold, highlights the difficult choices that women must make when faced with the demands of raising a family and building a career. It also shows some of the challenges they face when they do return to the workforce after a long break, including being able to keep up with changes in their industry as well as finding the strength to put home issues aside in order to do their job. Meanwhile, unsuspecting husbands quickly learn how difficult it is to be a stay-at-home parent.
The women's mixed feelings about their choices are very real, but the way the show corners them into choosing a job over staying at home at the end of each episode seems a little unrealistic and somewhat unreasonable. Still, The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom sends some positive messages about family. Content-wise, it's appropriate for viewers of all ages (though little kids probably won't be interested or necessarily get what's at stake) and may even encourage families to talk about some of the issues it raises.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the choices that parents have to make. Is being a stay-at-home mom (or dad) as hard as working at a job in an office or at a job site? Why or why not? Do fathers have to make the same kinds of choices as mothers when it comes to working outside of the home? How come? Does the media play any role in that divide? Families can also talk about lying. Is it ever OK to tell a lie? What if it leads to something positive?
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