Say what you will about Season 2 of And Just Like That…; there’s certainly a lot to say. Many aren’t pleased with the continuing story of Sex and the City, and some of it has sure been a bit of a train wreck. Criticism abounds about Miranda’s storyline, tons of people aren’t enamored with Aidan’s return at all, and others are just opting to sit the majority of the show out á la Samantha.
But one storyline that’s resonated with me this season — and that’s continued to pull me through the episodes — is Charlotte’s new struggle to identify as both a mom and as a human person, both as she raises two teenaged kids and as she re-enters the workforce after years as a stay-at-home mom.
The pot has been simmering all season. In earlier episodes, Charlotte is reduced to no more than a delivery person during a snowstorm as she struggles to get condoms to her oldest daughter, Lily (relatable). And she then tries out the role of stage mom when her other kid, Rock, tries out modeling. At the same time, she is always the picture of perfect SAHMness, with hot cocoa on the stove on cold days, nutritious dinner perpetually at the ready, a happy and satisfied husband, and every perfect First Lady-looking outfit.
Then, a couple of episodes ago, she decided to jump back into the art world and her steadfast husband Harry agreed to pick up any slack at home. Welp, I bet you can guess how that went.
It all came to a head last week, when Charlotte decided to celebrate a big art sale by going out with her 20-something art gallery colleagues… and, you know how it goes, eventually throwing her phone and all of her family responsibilities into a margarita blender. It happens.
When she arrives home drunk, she lets her feelings out.
“Hey! I was a person before you,” she says drunkenly to her entire family. “I was a person before all of you! I am more than just your wife and your moms! You need to get it together!”
She then goes into her bedroom alone, only allowing her dog, Richard Burton, to enter.
In this week’s episode, very hungover, she expresses herself a bit more clearly.
“I can’t do it all, Charlotte!” Harry screams with exasperation.
“I can’t talk loud, so so please just listen,” Charlotte answers. “You are not doing it all. I know because you made a few breakfasts and you ran a few errands that it feels like you are, but 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’m asking — no, I’m expecting you — to help me with part of it. Not all of it, because I love my work and I’m good at it. I want to keep doing what I’m doing — minus the black out drinking — so I need your help and your support not your words of help and support.”
The moment is so relatable — especially to anyone who has a partner who thinks that they are pulling their weight because they can’t see all of your invisible tasks or your mental load. It’s relatable to any woman who’s gone back to work after having kids. And it’s relatable to any woman who is trying to develop their career while also juggling a full-time, 24/7 job of raising a family simultaneously.
Does Charlotte’s speech solve anything for her? Well… Harry gets her a new phone. And maybe he heard at least some of what she told him. But for anyone who was watching who carries a similar load, it was a moment of being seen. And maybe a few people who were watching who don’t carry the load gained some understanding.
Will Charlotte and Harry solve a problem that feels unsolvable for so many working families? I guess we’ll just have to see — and we will, because And Just Like That… Season 3 is officially a go.