New Working Mom (and Dad) On the Block: The Office Has a Baby

March 15, 2010

As some of you know, I don’t own a TV. I do, however, watch shows here and there on Hulu, when my brain is too dead for meditation and I don’t have a good book.

Well, I love The Office, and recently the character Pam had a baby, and I just have to give that show a huge thumb’s up for dealing with three very key contemporary issues for parents these days – especially ones who work:

1) Pam doesn’t want to have the baby until after midnight, because insurance only covers a one-day hospital stay. Ha! She fights her labor to try and eek out a second night of support.

2) After she has the baby, she can’t get it to latch onto her breast and nurse properly. Her frustration and angst lead one annoying nurse to try to comfort her by telling her to give up trying. Infuriating! In his new state of exhaustion, Jim, the dad, gives Pam the wrong baby to nurse in the middle of the night. Anyway, they keep trying and eventually, the latch happens. Yay!

3) Jim returns to work first, and he has a hard time being away from his wife and baby. I love the fact that the idea the dad might miss his child is dealt with here!

Ok, so it’s a comedy – but comedies matter, sometimes even more than dramas, in what they tell us about where our culture stands on certain issues. By giving credence to the feelings of these characters with regards to the limitations of insurance, the struggle to nurse sometimes even against unsupportive medical professionals, and the very real challenge of either parent returning to work after the baby is born – well, it’s all very human stuff, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of it dealt with so genuinely and so sweetly as I did on this show.

Now, if they have Pam pumping milk in a closet, I am giving them an award…