When art imitates real-life parenting

With the kids back in school, I have a little time to catch up on some shows from the DVR.  And nobody’s asking to watch the Disney channel every time I have a few minutes to sit down on the couch and watch TV now.

Over the past couple of summers, I have enjoyed watching “Royal Pains” on the USA Network.  It’s one of those shows that fills the void in the summer.  It has the advantages of beautiful location scenery, set design, and fashion since it’s based in the Hamptons.  I’m a sucker for TV shows that do a good job of pulling in the locale and make me feel like I’m visiting a fabulous destination.  (“Hawaii Five-0,” anyone?)

One of the things I like about “Royal Pains” is that it’s a fresh approach to the medical drama genre.  As a concierge doctor, Hank often has to devise creative solutions outside the typical hospital setting.  In that respect, it reminds me of the TV show “MacGyver” from the late 80s.  Maybe that’s part of its charm for me, since I have fond memories of watching “MacGyver” with my brother to see the inventive problem solving.

Of course, regularly making medical devices on a moment’s notice is not super realistic.  I’ve found that most TV dramas are not the place to expect realism.  That’s why I was surprised to identify so much with Divya’s struggle to balance her work as a physician assistant with her new role as a mother this season on “Royal Pains.”

This is a storyline that definitely resonates with moms.  My own motherhood journey involved the same struggle to find a balance between work and family life.  Like Divya on “Royal Pains,” I came to the conclusion that working on a part-time basis was the solution to create the best balance for our particular family.

Part-time work has its own challenges, however.  It was particularly hard for me to leave work behind in others’ hands when my part-time hours were done for the week and my colleagues were still hard at work.  It made me feel like I wasn’t giving it my all – even when I worked hard to accomplish as much as possible while I was on the clock.

It’s always a trade-off between work and family.  With Divya’s storyline as a new mom, the show has depicted that ongoing struggle for parents.  It’s been a nice, very relatable aspect of this summer series.

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