parent opinion

AJLT's Charlotte just nailed what we all think about ‘women’s work’.

There have been many moments as a parent and working mum when I have stopped to question my life choices. 

Of course, I love my children so much I can cry watching them sleep, but during other less Instagrammable moments, the mental load, constant juggling and the WORK of being a carer combine and I lose my cool. 

Because in the work and the worry of being a parent on top of the work and worry of being a grown-up, there is not a lot of time left just to be yourself. The fully rounded person you were before life's heavy load landed on your plate.

Which is why Charlotte York-Goldenblatt's recent speeches – one to Harry and one to her family in And Just Like That – resonated with me, and mums everywhere.

Watch: Charlotte's speech to Harry about double standards. Post continues below.

Video via Instagram / JustLikeThatMax

In what was my favourite scene of the season finale of AJLT, Charlotte's husband Harry wakes her from her drunken slumber to tell her that Anthony is downstairs to talk about losing his "ass virginity".

After clarifying what was happening with Anthony and the kids, an exasperated Harry throws his hands in the air and says, "I can't do it all Charlotte!"


Well, a hungover smudgy-eyed Charlotte has THE most glorious response that I copied down and plan to get turned into a tattoo. Or maybe just printed on a tea towel.

"You're not doing it all," she says. "I know because you made a few breakfasts and ran a few errands it feels like you are. In fact, you are doing the bare minimum of what I and other women have been asked, no, expected to do around the house for years and years and years.

"And now, I am asking – no, no, expecting you to help me with some of it, not all of it."

*Mic drop* 

All hail Queen Charlotte!

Mums everywhere were sitting up straighter and cheering for Charlotte's impossibly accurate and succinct words on double standards. 

She has barely started her new job – which she loves – after years of being at home looking after everyone else, and Harry thinks he is now 'doing it all' after a couple of long days of getting his own kids fed and out the door. 

Charlotte calmly telling Harry that she expects him to support her with some of the domestic load and not all of it is... perfect. I felt it deep in my soul.

As is the fact that Harry listens to Charlotte speak this universal truth and then later, buys her a new iPhone. 


Fathers everywhere – please take note.

It wasn't her only mic-drop moment from this season, either. 

The week before this particularly epic speech to Harry, Charlotte earned icon status after blasting Rock, Lily and Harry for being useless without her.

In that episode, we watch Charlotte slaying at work while juggling various messages and phone calls from Harry and her kids. Then, as she rushes off to be with them (as usual), she makes a last-minute decision to join her colleagues for a celebratory night out instead.

After many drinks and dropping her phone into a pitcher of margaritas to avoid the incessant calls and texts, she stumbles home to find her bemused family waiting for her to get back into 'mum mode'. As they realise she is drunk, daughter Lily delivers a classic teenage putdown: "Mom, you're so gross!"

But rather than feeling 'mum guilt' or sheepishly apologising, Charlotte is in fine fighting form and she responds with, “Hey! I was a person before you! I was a person before all of you! I am more than just your wife and your mom! You need to get it together!”

She then storms into her bedroom, only opening the door for her dog, Richard Burton.

I loved every minute of Charlotte in that outburst scene and the highly relatable storyline had me in tears. 

Not because it was funny (it was), but because it was the gospel truth. I have felt that lack of personhood outside of motherhood and it's hard to navigate.


I loved this moment because it showed Charlotte trying to do it all by smashing it at work while being there for her teenage kids while also being completely underappreciated by them or supported by her husband. 

Yes, she was messy drunk and maybe she should have let them know where she was, but as a mum, I completely felt her rage at having a few hours of fun and then being told she was "gross".



As mums, our kids might understand in theory that we are people with hobbies, friends and the right to an occasional night out, but they do sometimes need reminding that we are not just their carers or servants. We love them deeply, but that doesn't mean we can't get cross at them at times.

Charlotte's simple but feisty clapback really spoke to me because I, too, was a person before my kids and yet sometimes, under all the work of parenting, it is hard to remember who that person is and and where she is living.

As Charlotte's words played over in my mind, I had my own 'I'm not just your mum' moment with my kids. 

On Friday, I finished work at 5pm and rushed out the door to collect my youngest son from after-school care before driving across town to drop my other son off to tennis. We stopped to pick up some groceries and before I knew it, I was finally home with both boys by 7pm and assembling an 'easy' Friday night meal.

The boys were desperate for some screen time after a big week and I agreed, but almost as soon as I got myself into a hot bath with my book, the fighting began. 

I ignored it until I could no longer and then walked into a room with dinner crumbs all over the floor and two boys fighting over something someone had said. The mess, the Friday exhaustion, and the disrespectful comments to each other and to me all just layered together, and I lost it. Screens were banned and doors were slammed and I am not proud.


But at that moment I was simply tired and angry about having to parent, manage silly fights and clean up crumbs from their half-eaten dinner. Like Charlotte, I was fed up with being taken for granted and I wanted them to know it; that I was more than just their mum and I also needed a minute to relax.

I apologised later of course, as did they, and we all hugged it out and I hope my rage-filled moment has not given them a lifetime of psychological distress.

While I don't plan on losing my s**t at my husband or kids on the regular, it doesn't hurt for them to have an occasional reminder that I am a person and they can support me in the work of looking after them.

And if the 'perfect mom' character of Charlotte York-Goldenblatt can take a moment to stand up for herself and demand Harry and her kids support her and do better, then so can I – and so can you.

Laura Jackel is Mamamia's Senior Lifestyle Family Writer. For links to her articles and to see photos of her outfits and kids, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

Feature Image: Instagram/justlikethatmax

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