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How Netflix's 'Ginny & Georgia' Challenges The Myth Of The 'Good Mom'

Photo: Netflix 
ginny and georgia, netflix

Warning: the following contains spoilers of "Ginny & Georgia."

What are the qualities that make a “good” mother? Depending on who you ask, you’ll get a variety of answers. 

“A good mother is someone who shields her children from all the ugliness of the world so they never have to worry.” 

“A good mother is someone who exposes her children to the real world so that they’ll be able to handle anything life throws at them.” 

“A good mother is someone who never leaves her children’s side.” 

“A good mother is someone who preserves space for their children to grow.” 

Usually, a good mother does not have to be composed of one belief or parenting style, and the idea of the hypothetical mother is challenged in modern society. 

Netflix’s hit show “Ginny & Georgia” just dropped its second season on January 5th, and has many people discussing the concepts of a good mother and debating whether or not the protagonist, Georgia Miller, is one of them. 

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'Ginny & Georgia' follows a complicated mother-and-daughter relationship that has viewers questioning if Georgia is a 'good' mother. 

The show is told through the perspectives of 16-year-old Virginia (Ginny) Miller, portrayed by Antonia Gentry, and her 31-year-old mother, Georgia Miller, portrayed by Brianne Howey, as they navigate through their lives living in the wealthy town of Wellsbury, Massachusetts. 

Through flashbacks, we learn that Georgia ran away from an abusive household as a teenager and became pregnant with Ginny at 15.

In order to provide a better life for her daughter than she had, Georgia often moves around and takes the utmost measures — including marrying a man twice her age to regain custody of her daughter who she temporarily lost after running an illegal gambling ring and poisoning her second-husband who he touched Ginny inappropriately. 

When Ginny’s therapist asks her about her relationship with her mother, she makes it clear that she does not always agree with Georgia’s intentions, even if they are designed to protect her. 

“When you’re little and the boy pushes you and you scrape your knee, you run to Mommy and you want her to hug you and tell you everything’s gonna be okay. You don’t want mommy to cut the brakes on the boy’s bike,” Ginny says to her therapist. 

Ginny is not the only person who has complex feelings toward her mom.

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Georgia’s actions as a mother have viewers asking themselves whether or not she’s a good parent at all. 

A poll was posted to Reddit asking users the question “Is Georgia a good mom?” where they had the answer options of “yes,” “no,” “h–l no,” and “she is doing the best she can.” 

Out of the 281 votes cases, 180 answered “she is doing the best she can,” and the answer that has sparked a debate among viewers. 

Some Reddit users took it upon themselves to defend their answers on a separate thread where they brought up specific moments from the show where they believed that Georgia was or was not a good mother. 

Those who believed that she was not argued that she failed to put her children before herself. 

“Georgia is absolutely terrible. She moves her children constantly because of the men she’s dating and doesn’t consider their feelings about it,” one user pointed out. “Basically puts the men she dates first before her children.” 

There are several instances in the show where Ginny reflects on how she is “constantly the new girl” since she attends so many schools and that her mother is always “running.” 

Others believe Georgia to be an unfit mother since she appears to be opposed to the idea of therapy for her children who clearly need it. 

Her nine-year-old son, Austin, portrayed by Diesel La Torraca, sparks concerns for his teacher, who notices that he displays signs of anxiety (especially after he stabs a fellow student in the hand with a pencil after he teases him) and recommends that Georgia have him evaluated and meet with a guidance counselor. 

   

   

Georgia, however, refuses and insists that he is fine and continues to dodge the subject completely when others point out that Austin could benefit from professional help. 

“I don’t think she has bad intentions but I feel like she’s a bit too lenient with her kids and doesn’t set good examples,” another Reddit user chimed in, referring to Georgia failing to get her son professional help. 

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However, others consider Georgia to be a fierce protector who takes whatever measures possible to protect her children from harm. 

“I’d kill for you, I’d actually kill for you,” Georgia tells Ginny during an intense conversation. And she isn’t wrong, as she spiked her late husband, Kenny, with wolfsbane, resulting in a fatal heart attack after she caught him groping her daughter. 

When she is explaining to a conflicted Ginny why she did it, she points out that growing up, there was no one there to protect her when she was being abused by her stepfather. 

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“I kept you safe, 'cause that hand doesn’t stop on the thigh and I spent my whole childhood wishing that my mom would stop that hand,” she tearfully admits. 

She also protects her children from the ugliness of the people they love, despite her own feelings toward them. 

Upon discovering that his father, Gil, portrayed by Aaron Ashmore, physically abuses his mother, Austin asks Georgia why she never disclosed this information to him and why he hurts her.

“Your dad is such a nice dad to you. He really does love you so, so much” she tells her son. “But he’s not nice to me.” 

In order to preserve Austin’s image of his father and to have him present in his life, Georgia put her own feelings and safety at risk. 

In perhaps one of the heaviest scenes in “Ginny & Georgia,” Georgia discovers that Ginny has been self-harming by burning herself with a lighter after reading her journal. Viewers were on the edge of their seats as she wrestled her daughter off of her bed, demanding to see what she had done to herself. 

However, her mood quickly deescalates from anger and fear to utter heartbreak. 

“I am so sorry that I missed this,” she sobs while embracing Ginny. “You give all that pain to me. I can handle it.” 

Her reaction solidified the fact that while she may not be the perfect mother, her world revolved around her children’s safety and well-being. 

“Georgia may be incredibly flawed, but she would jump over fire for her children,” one Reddit user noted. “Georgia Miller has a dozen of flaws but she is the fiercest mother and would literally make her life h–l if that is what is needed to give her kids peace,” another wrote. 

“One thing you can never take away from Georgia is that she would walk through fire and ash for her children.” 

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So, is Georgia a good mother in 'Ginny & Georgia?' 

If you haven’t already, add this show to your watch list and ponder on that question yourself, while keeping in mind that a good mother does not have to look like one who spends her days baking you cookies.

Mothers display their love and dedication to their children in a variety of ways that do not all appear the same, and none of those qualities necessarily have to look “good” to an outsider. 

It is usually up to one’s children if they are fit parents they feel secure with, which Ginny finally appears to feel by the conclusion of the second season. 

“Some people go through their whole lives not knowing what it feels like to be unwavering, unconditionally loved,” she says. “I’m lucky. I know what that feels like. So does my brother. We know it from our mom.” 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.  

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