Caroline Ingalls – Little House On The Prairie
One of my earliest memories of TV moms is the precious and earnest Caroline Ingalls. Watching those reruns on TBS convinced me I could live on the prairie. Caroline made it look so effortless and comfortable. She treated her children like precious objects. But she was also concerned about strengthening them into women who could live a hard-scrabble life such as hers. The prairie wasn’t for the weak-spirited, and she knew they had to harden themselves to it if they were going to survive.
Caroline was a soft-spoken woman with a kind spirit and an endless amount of resolve and grit. She could chop wood just as easily as she could braid her daughters’ hair. When her husband (the very dreamy, young Michael Landon) needed help, she sold eggs and cooked breakfast at the local restaurant. When that restaurant owner was rude to her African-American co-worker, she stood up to her with a fierceness you always knew she had in her. She’s fair, beautiful, and never, ever let the prairie harden her.
Known simply as “Ma” to her children, she was not just simply their mother or her husband’s wife. She carved out an identity in a time when women were viewed as little more than extensions of their kitchen and hearth. She was well respected and admired by everyone, but became known as a woman of integrity and justice.
Her reputation allowed her to go on to own the restaurant she once worked at. You can be sure she treated everyone with respect and love. She was a beloved member of her Walnut Grove community, and we could all stand to have a little more Caroline Ingalls in us.
Which of these women is your favorite mom on television?