1. Clair Huxtable, The Cosby Show
Played by: Phylicia Rashad
What made her so awesome: The always eloquent and elegant Clair managed to perfectly balance having a successful career as an attorney and raising five children — all while putting up with her husband, Cliff, in the process.
2. Norma Arnold, The Wonder Years
Played by: Alley Mills
What made her so awesome: Norma was a supportive, upbeat, and nurturing mother. She eventually became a bit of a feminist, breaking out of her homemaker role and going back to college to earn her degree.
3. Mrs. Garrett, The Facts of Life
Played by: Charlotte Rae
What made her so awesome: OK, not technically a mother, but Mrs. Garrett was the warm, motherly figure who always offered advice and support to the girls of Eastland Academy.
4. Peggy Bundy, Married… with Children
Played by: Katey Sagal
What made her so awesome: Peggy Bundy was the anti-housewife; she refused to cook or clean for her family, and instead would sit on the couch all day, smoking and eating bonbons. But what made Peggy great is that she never gave up on Al and always fiercely defended her family.
5. Sophia Petrillo, The Golden Girls
Played by: Estelle Getty
What made her so awesome: Sure, Sophia may have had a sharp tongue and some strong putdowns, but she deeply loved and cared for her daughter Dorothy, and she even saw Rose and Blanche as surrogate daughters.
6. Angela Bower, Who’s the Boss?
Played by: Judith Light
What made her so awesome: Angela proved that you don’t have to be a housewife to be a great mom. Instead she pursued a high-powered career in advertising to support her son and made a man do the housework.
7. Elyse Keaton, Family Ties
Played by: Meredith Baxter-Birney
What made her so awesome: Elyse, a former hippie, always approached motherhood with total flower-child ease, treating each of her kids (Alex, Mallory, and Jennifer) with respect and love…“Sha la la la.”
8. Maggie Seaver, Growing Pains
Played by: Joanna Kerns
What made her so awesome: Maggie was the quintessential ‘80s sitcom mom. Unlike the TV moms before her, though, Maggie made her husband work from home so she could pursue her career.
9. Nell Harper, Gimme a Break!
Played by: Nell Carter
What made her so awesome: Nell agreed, as a special favor, to become a housekeeper and surrogate mom to her late friend’s family.
10. Kate Tanner, ALF
Played by: Anne Schedeen
What made her so awesome: She was cool with harboring a smart-mouthed alien in her home and always went out of her way to look out for his well-being.
11. Roseanne Conner, Roseanne
Played by: Roseanne Barr
What made her so awesome: Despite her dominating nature, Roseanne is a loving mother, works hard, and is the glue that holds her family together. (Also, unlike most of the other moms on this list, Roseanne represented lower-middle-class working moms.)
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