'SNL' Celebrated Mother's Day With an On-Point Illustration of the 'Perfect Mom'

The 2019 sketch, starring Heidi Gardner and host Emma Thompson, offered a relatable glimpse at the realities of motherhood that's more relevant than ever.

Mother's Day has a way of bringing a bevy of memories and self-examination to the surface as moms everywhere pay tribute to their own moms, thanking them for everything they did and everything they taught them about raising little ones. And lots of moms who feel like they're hot messes look back at their own childhoods and feel like their moms made parenting look super-easy.

If only they could only aspire to be as "perfect" as their mom was, right? Well, back in 2019, Saturday Night Live ran a sketch that definitely nailed this experience.

Emma Thompson SNL
Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

An overwhelmed toddler mom, played by Heidi Gardner, has a heart-to-heart with her mom, played by host Emma Thompson. The daughter asks her mom about all the ways she felt like her mom was pulled together, respectful, patient, and calm. But then we get flashbacks to what Thompson's character's #momlife really looked like—and it was anything but perfect.

While Gardner's character recalls that her mom always kept her cool and never yelled, we see her losing her sh*t when her L.O. got paint all over the TV. We also see her zoning out and trying to center herself before serving cake to a dozen rambunctious tots at a birthday party. We see Thompson's character taking the trash out sans pants, prompting some serious side-eye from a neighbor.

In turn, Thompson's character gives her daughter props for keeping her cool (when she's really freaking out about the diaper bag missing a toy or having to call the pediatrician about her daughter eating crayons) and having a post-baby sex life (even though we see evenings are spent pumping breast milk while her husband messes around on his phone).

The sketch rang all too true for moms of all ages.

And as if that wasn't enough on-point motherhood content, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler joined Thompson on stage at the start of the show to do a little lesson on "mom speak." The trio translated what mothers really mean when they say certain things, like, "I love all my kids the same" (translation: "Your sister is winning," according to Poehler). Regional differences matter, too. For example, Thompson shared that "splendid" in the U.K. translates to, "I'm sad. I'm happy. How are you? You embarrass me. I'm crazy. You're drunk."

Leave it to SNL to shed light on the realities of the Mother's Day holiday, while giving moms props for everything they do—perfection be damned!

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