10 Moms Tougher Than Any Man

We all know moms are tough. The phrase Mama Bear wasn’t pulled out of thin air. But sometimes, the media gets it wrong. It so loves to portray man as the protector of the house that it often forgets that moms do more than bake cookies and keep things clean. But every once in a while, TV gets it right. These 10 TV moms aren’t just tough as nails: They’re tougher than any guy we know.

Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls

We don’t want to glorify teen pregnancy. But Lorelai Gilmore not only raised her baby from the age of sixteen, but raised her well. She worked hard her entire life and put herself through school while raising a daughter who not only made it into a prestigious private high school, but who eventually went on to an Ivy League school. And she defended Rory no matter what was going on, which is amazing.

Catelyn Stark from Game of Thrones

Lots of parents say they’d take a bullet for their children, but Catelyn Stark actually follows through on defending her children with her life. Hard and tenacious, she’s even willing to go up against Tywin Lannister when she thinks his son made an attempt on her son’s life. And though she wasn’t always right, no one can deny that she’s tough as nails.

Beth Pearson from This is Us

Sometimes, a lot of being a good parent comes down to being a good wife and learning to navigate relations with the in-laws. Beth Pearson is a great example of how to handle those relationships with aplomb. She never loses her grace or humor about it. And as anyone with troublesome in-laws will know, that takes some serious strength.

June Osborne from Handmaid’s Tale

Even with the entire government against her, June never stops fighting for her daughter. She fights both for the rights of women, so that her daughter can grow up to be more than just a handmaid, and for her right to be a mother to her daughter. When you see it in action, it’s completely heart-breaking. But it’s also proof positive that June Osborne is tougher than any man she goes up against—even without the resources they have.

Joyce Byers from Stranger Things

You’d take a bullet for your kid—but would you go into the Upside Down? Joyce Byers literally fights interdimensional monsters to get her son back. She fights against accusations of insanity and she does some seriously awesome stuff to ensure that her son comes home safe and sound. There’s not a mother’s day present in existence that can say “thank you” for that enough.

Claire Dunphy from Modern Family

It’s tough when you’re constantly made to be the bad guy in your relationship—when your husband is as much of a child as your children. But Claire Dunphy makes it look easy. She navigates her relationships with her children, her husband, her brother, and her father, all while keeping up with her career and not compromising on how she wants her children raised. We would love some of whatever it is she’s putting in her coffee!

Morticia Addams from the Addams Family

Sure, the Addams family is dark and dreary, but underneath the gothic exterior are parents who really care about their children. Morticia Addams maintains a cool exterior. She’s the type of mom who never needs to raise her voice because she can cut her family to the quick with a look alone. And outside of being a mom, she has some deadly hobbies. If forced to face off against either Morticia or Gomez, we know which one we’d choose!

Cora Crawley from Downton Abbey

A smart, sharp woman with more business savvy than she’s credited for, Cora Crawley has won the respect of her household by being the kind of mother we all wish we could be: patient, understanding, and unyieldingly loyal. It’s not that she’s never disappointed by her daughters, or that she never addresses that. She does. But she also finds a way to support them and to help them grow from their mistakes. Especially in the time period the show takes place during, her unwavering dedication to her girls is amazing.

Becky Katsopolis from Full House

It’s hard not to admire the mother of multiples. Becky has active twin boys, and yet somehow manages to maintain her sense of humor without ever turning blame towards her husband, Jesse. Raising twins is hard in general, but when you’re doing it in an in-law suite in someone else’s home, we can only imagine that it would be even harder. We’d love to see any guy who can handle that same stress without losing their cool. Thumbs up to Becky!

Caroline Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie

If the Caroline Ingalls from the television show Little House on the Prairie is any indication, the real-life woman she was based on must have been amazing. Caroline Ingalls had to follow her husband through multiple moves across the country, all while raising three young daughters to be polite and well-educated. They dealt with malaria, and they dealt with their eldest daughter going blind, and yet Caroline was never anything but strong and tough. She even fought off a bear! That’s one woman stronger than any man we know.

We spend a lot of time talking about all the ways media gets it wrong when depicting women. But sometimes, it gets it right. We’d let any one of these moms have a key to our home; they’ve already wormed their way into our hearts.