Motherhood

Jane The Virgin doesn’t shy away from the realities of motherhood

Jane having just given birth to her son Mateo, Jane the Virgin

The following contains spoilers for Jane The Virgin, now streaming on Netflix.

The CWs Joan the Virgin, the five-season romantic comedy-drama, offered audiences a mix of whirlwind romance with comedic soap opera twists involving evil twins, criminal masterminds and faked deaths. But he didn’t just do that, he’s also been known to openly address many important topics around grief, religion, immigration and motherhood.

When Jane Gloriana Villanueva, played by Gina Rodriguez, was 23, she was accidentally artificially inseminated with Rafael Solano’s sperm. This causes nun Jane to become pregnant, even though she is a virgin and reserved herself for marriage. She decides to keep the baby, which causes many conflicts with her then-fianc√©, Michael Cordero, and eventually gives birth to her son, Mateo. Jane is by no means the perfect mother. She struggles to balance her career, friendships, and love life while caring for her son. However, this is where the show shines, as it presents a realistic picture of what it is like to be a young, single mother who does her best every day to give her child the love and support that he needs.


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Jane joins other famous TV moms, such as Grey’s Anatomyof Meredith Grey, who reconciles being a single mother and working under high pressure. Like Meredith, she is career-focused and wants an identity for herself that goes beyond just being a mother. In Jane’s case, what makes this even better is that while she can sometimes struggle to balance work and private life, that doesn’t stop her from taking care of Mateo. The choice between career and motherhood is something that many women face, which was also discussed in Invent Anna when journalist Vivian Kent must try to salvage her career before giving birth.


The series also doesn’t shy away from the hurdles it faces in the early stages of motherhood. A few days after giving birth, she is shown as a complete mess, covered in baby fluids and having not showered in a week. Jane is faced with many questions about what to do and is afraid of these new changes. She often has trouble breastfeeding, panics about leaving Mateo on his back for too long, worries about leaving the house, if they have enough diapers, and a number of other things.

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She also worries about how having a baby will affect her friendships and potential romantic relationships. However, she always makes sure to talk about her struggles. This focus on early motherhood provides insight into the realities new moms face and how exhausting and all-consuming it can be. After the three-year time jump in Season 3, Jane encounters several more obstacles. Right now, Mateo is six years old and struggles with having high energy and low impulse control.


To combat this, Jane does everything she can to help him by taking him on long runs early in the morning and cutting sugar from his diet. This support is similar to how Kate and Rebecca in It’s us led and guided their families through difficult times. However, Mateo didn’t appreciate this, and it also drained Jane. He was then diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The show is honest about how it impacted Mateo as well as Jane, but they manage to get through it together. When it comes to motherhood, Joan the Virgin gives an authentic portrayal of how scary, exhausting and sometimes disgusting it can be to be a mother while still focusing on Jane’s love for her son.




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