TV Shows to Binge on Maternity/Parental Leave

Congrats on welcoming a new child to your family! Yes, you will be happy and mostly exhausted, but no one tells you that this will actually be a very boring period in your life. You will be tied to your home A LOT in between baby naps and feelings and loads and loads of laundry. This is the perfect opportunity to catch up on binge watching!
  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Seasons 1-4)
    This show (particularly first 2 seasons) is a great start-and-stop show. You can power through a few eps, but it's perfectly ok if you have to pause & come back to it later when you have to deal with a diaper explosion. Fun snark, witty dialogue, sudsy romance plot lines, and tiny babies sleep really well with slaying sound effects in the background (no, for reals). Make sure you STOP after season 4, though — shit gets real staring in season 5 with some intense family sorrow. Avoid til toddler.
  2. Gavin and Stacey
    British show from a few years back. Light, hilarious rom-com about 2 lovers from opposite sides of the U.K., totally different worlds. Their love brings together their families and friends. You will want an Uncle Bryn and a Pamela by the time you're through.
  3. Community
    A story about how family is what you make it. Group of adults attending a community college make a wholly imperfect and eccentric group of friends. Plus each episode is about 24 minutes long, so it's easy to fit in between feelings and such.
  4. Gilmore Girls
    Welcome to a show that will teach you many clear parenting lessons. You'll learn what NOT to do (see Emily) and what to mostly do (see 85% of Lorelai). Lighthearted, fun levels of drama, nothing too heartbreaking to set you on a hormone-induced crying jag.
  5. The IT Crowd
    Do you like absurdist comedy? Do you miss your work place and want a reason to remember that you really don't? Watch this British workplace show. You may need to stifle your laughter if it sets baby crying (this happened to me with my son).
  6. Veronica Mars
    The grittiest of all the shows I'll recommend. Teen private eye works with her father (former sheriff) to solve episode-long mysteries. There are also season-long arcs surrounding murder and rape. It's emotional, but a great father-daughter pairing. You'll also be totally inspired on raising an empathetic and strong kid.