I Never Claimed to be Donna Reed!

My daughter zoned in on the Donna Reed Show when I started falling short in the motherhood department.  In case you don’t remember, Donna Reed was the perfect wife and mother, always prissing around in cinch-waist dresses with petticoats, high heels and jewelry.  She played bridge, called her friends Mrs. So and So, and kept an immaculate house.  If Donna had slipped in the mud, she’d have fallen daintily and ended up with a charming smudge on her cheek, whereas, I’d have busted my butt, ripped my britches, and farted.  No one would have been able to help me for laughing.  I could have fallen in a rose bed, and come out smelling like manure.

When Donna’s children lapsed into naughtiness, she’d rein them in with an understanding, quizzical smile, knowing they’d fall at her feet and confess because she was such a good mother. They only got in cute scrapes, like maybe accepting two dates for the prom or losing a library book, never anything involving calls from the school counselorf or requests for bail. The queen of her home, effortless meals appeared on her dining table out of the air, no budgeting, shopping, or messy kitchen to consider.  Naturally, her handsome husband adored her.  Even though he was a doctor, it was clear he’d married “up.”

Donna never lost her cool when her children announced they needed a million dollars for a school trip as she dropped them off for school.  I have been known to be annoyed.  Should Donna’s kids want to eat what she’d cooked, she’d coax them along in the name of nutrition. If my kids didn’t want to eat what I’d put on the table, I told them, “Fine, that leaves more for the rest. It won’t be that long till breakfast.”  Donna was vigilant about nutrition, whereas,  I figure kids eat if they get hungry.

I can lay so many of my motherly shortcomings at Donna’s door, but thank goodness, she’s gone and I’m still bumbling along.



29 thoughts on “I Never Claimed to be Donna Reed!

  1. I watched those shows but didn’t believe them. They weren’t like any mothers I’d ever met. I probably figured they were like that in some city in California but not in Ohio or any other city I’d been in at that point. I saw the shows occasionally, but my Dad ruled the TV every other day and would have never watched them. He worked 24-hour shifts on the fire department. Donna didn’t even dress like that in “It’s a Wonderful Life”. 😀 — Suzanne


  2. Yep…between her and Mrs. Cleaver…yikes. How did women ever live up to those standards? The vacuuming in high heals and pearls always got to me. ☺ Thankful when Roseanne Barr came along.


  3. I’ve heard of Donna Reed, but never watched her show, even though I’m in my early 60’s. A really funny look at the media representation of a perfect mom (media balderdash) and the reality of mom’s everywhere. I hope it was a humorous show. Nicely written.


  4. I think the producers put this show on tv hoping women would aspire to be like her. LOL! Perfect mothers were also found in the shows, Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, the Brady Bunch…


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