The best part about having the kids to bed by 8? The rest of the evening is Mom Time.
Yes, there are the usual chores like folding laundry and paying bills, but once the kids are in bed, the house belongs to just my husband and me, and we get to pretend we’re adults instead of parents for a few hours.
You’ve probably heard that the 2013 Emmy Nominees just came out, right? Well, my husband and I decided we were going to catch up to pop culture by watching at least one episode of every nominated series. Everything from 30 Rock to Game of Thrones. Here’s the list of which shows made it into our Netflix queue:
- The Big Bang Theory: We were already watching this one, and have been for years. I like it because it reminds me of when I first met my husband. He liked to wear turtlenecks under sweaters and he had way too many action figures for a man in his 20s. I made him lose the turtlenecks but let him keep the action figures.
- Girls: An immediate pass. It’s about a bunch of young girls trying to make it in New York, but it’s totally in-your-face with how awful it is to live in a gross apartment and get harassed by jerks. You couldn’t pay me to be that age again.
- 30 Rock: This is already a house favorite. I have a pint of Liz Lemon frozen yogurt in the freezer, and we make regular jokes about “night cheese.”
- Veep: Meh. We get our political humor from The Daily Show, and the one episode we saw didn’t convince us to switch over. It’s a shame that Julia Louis-Dreyfuss hasn’t yet found a role as good as Elaine on Seinfeld.
- Louie: This surprised us. I always assumed Louis C.K. would be crude or offensive. Instead we binge-watched four episodes. His observations on parenthood – like the story of talking to his daughters about fairness – could come straight from our house.
- Modern Family: Oh, dear. My husband and I loved the first season. However, as the show went on the situations became more contrived and less interesting. It seemed like every single episode had Phil being stupid and Claire being uptight, and then it turned out that the lesson was to be less uptight. (As a mom, I hate examples like that. Sometimes you have to manage things carefully to make sure they get done.) So we skipped Modern Family this time around.
- Breaking Bad: Another surprise. I hadn’t wanted to watch it because I thought it was about drug dealers or something. Turns out it’s much smarter – and much more compelling – than I thought. Added to the queue.
- Downton Abbey: Boy oh boy did my husband not want to watch this. At one point in our courtship I tried to get him to sit through the 1995 BBC Pride & Prejudice (the one with Colin Firth) and he made it 45 minutes. So I didn’t expect much, and he told me at the end he didn’t need to see any more. I think I may watch some of this by myself, if I get the chance.
- Game of Thrones: It’s funny how I’ve never seen a single episode of this show and I already know which characters die. Twitter and Facebook have spoiled us all. I thought the costumes were gorgeous, but I really didn’t need to see the blood and gore quite so close up. We added it to the queue, but I’m not sure if we’ll ever actually watch it again.
- Homeland: Good but not great. Didn’t make the cut.
- Mad Men: My husband and I started watching this show the first year we were married, and now, two kids later, we’re still watching. I’m really sad there’s only one season left to go. It’s truly one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.
So that’s our roundup and my recommendations. As always, we’ll have a small Emmy Party in September and even let the kids stay up to see the awards, even if they only recognize a few of the children’s shows. It’s one of the things I remember doing when I was a kid, and it’s an experience I’m glad to pass along to my children. Then, the night after the Emmys, it’s back to “bed by 8,” and the rest of the evening is mine.