Since Disney first acquired the distribution rights to the animated children’s show Bluey in 2019, broadcasting episodes of the critically acclaimed children’s show on Disney+, Disney Channel, and Disney Junior, the Heeler family has continually added new members to its fanbase.
The nearly viral popularity of the show is based on a number of elements that can be found in each episode of Bluey, not the least of which is the show’s spot-on relatability for kids and adults alike.
But a recently released episode of Bluey takes that relatability to a whole new level, as it empathizes with–and points to the endearing value of–moms of all ages, proving that creator Joe Brumm and the writers of Bluey really get us and understand at least a part of the daily challenges we face along this wonderful journey called motherhood.
‘Bluey’ is For Everyone
You don’t have to be a preschooler to enjoy the simple joys and life lessons that are a part of every episode of Bluey. Despite the show falling under the heading of “Children’s Programming,” Bluey has maintained a mass appeal for audiences of varying ages since the first episode debuted in 2018.
Originally created as children’s programming with an outside-the-box approach to the educational component and value of the show, Bluey immediately became a hit with preschoolers, older school-aged children, parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. It has long been popular even in households where there are no children of any age.
But that appeal isn’t solely based on the simple enjoyment of the show.
Adults Seem to Identify With Characters & Scenarios in ‘Bluey’
Over the years, many adult fans of Bluey have confessed that the show has helped them to embrace parenthood to the point that, by their own admission, they have ultimately become better parents after having watched the show.
Some of those adult fans have even written about their experiences online, each one citing numerous ways in which spending a few minutes each day with Bluey and her family–her little sister Bingo, mom Chilli, and dad Bandit (and her friends)–has pulled them from the depths of mediocre parenting to a better version of themselves as moms and dads.
‘Bluey’ Creators Just “Get” Us
While part of the success of Bluey, which was first commissioned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for ABC Kids and BBC Studios in 2017 and created and produced by Ludo Studio for the first time in 2018, is a direct result of the writers’ abilities to tell stories and develop characters that resonate with viewers of all ages, there’s more to it than that.
Adult viewers of other children’s programs–often the parents of young children who watch them–say they enjoy those shows as well, but it’s often simply because that’s what’s on television in their respective homes (sort of an “if you can’t beat them, join them” scenario).
Bluey, however, seems to maintain its popularity with parents based on its own merit, part of which has to do with the show’s uncanny way of relating to parents.
But one of the newest episodes of Bluey, titled “Relax,” which was released in the United States on Disney+ on January 12, specifically relates to moms–and on a whole new level, making it obvious that the creator and writers of the show have a good grasp on some of the emotional challenges faced by moms who have become so intent on doing a good job as a parent, that they’ve simultaneously misplaced a part of themselves in the process.
Bluey’s Mom Is the Real Deal
Women face unimaginable–though often invisible–pressure when they become mothers. Much of that pressure is self-inflicted, but a lot of it is imposed by society, social media, other parents, and even people who are not yet mothers.
In a surprising turn of events, women who have long looked forward to becoming moms and are filled with joy as they begin their respective journeys in motherhood are often shocked by the deluge of emotions and feelings of inadequacy that often accompany this new season in life.
Moms want the very best for their children, which means they must be at their very best–always on, always cheerful, always prepared, always willing, always wise, always intuitive, always perfect.
The problem is that perfect isn’t attainable, though social and print media often promote an illusion of perfection having been achieved by other moms. “So, why can’t I be like that?” moms often ponder in the pin-drop silence that comes right before sleep should arrive.
But those thoughts keep sleep and relaxation at arm’s length.
Women often over-analyze themselves as moms: Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much? Are my children happy? Should I have done this? Should I have done that? What could I have done better? And they always come up short–at least in their own minds.
And on occasion, when a mom dreams of just a few minutes of alone time, she finds herself in over-analysis yet again, vilifying herself for thinking about her own wants and needs.
These stressors–combined with the everyday stresses that serve as accessories to the privilege of being alive on planet Earth–at times seem to create within those kind and selfless moms an inescapable feeling of unhappiness, a lack of fulfillment, loneliness, and even an inability to relax. Though they are temporary feelings, they are unpleasant nonetheless.
Bluey’s Mom’s Struggle is Real
In the Bluey episode, “Relax,” the Heeler family is on vacation or holiday, as it’s referred to in the land Down Under. And though vacation should be a time for Bluey, Bingo, Chilli, and Bandit to unplug from the daily stresses and demands of life, for Bluey’s mom, Chilli, relaxing seems an impossible feat.
As the episode opens, the Heeler family is driving to the condo where they’ll be staying while on holiday. As soon as they park their vehicle in the parking garage, Chilli says to her family, “Let’s get all this stuff up to the unit and head straight to the beach; I want to start relaxing.”
Bluey’s mom is the first to mention relaxing and the only family member who’s unable to participate in it.
Chilli, Bluey, and Bingo step into an elevator that will take them to the floor where their condo is located, but as soon as she’s inside the elevator, Chilli tells her girls, “We haven’t got all day,” to which Bluey responds, “Yes we do.” After all, the family is on holiday. But it’s clear that Chilli doesn’t feel like she’s on holiday.
Then the canine mom of two realizes she’s forgotten to pack the “after-sun” care. And when she tells her family that she’s looking forward to going to the beach and reading her book, titled How to Be Happy, it’s clear to moms watching the episode that Chilli, like most moms from time to time, is struggling.
She’s likely worn out from attempts at being the perfect mother, and over time, it has made her forget where true happiness originates.
When the Heeler family opens the door to their vacation condo, Bluey and Bingo are thrilled about every element of their home away from home.
Their mom tells them once again, “I want to start relaxing,” urging them to get ready to go down to the beach, but the youngest members of the Heeler family are instead nearly struck speechless by all of the exciting things in the condo–bunk beds, cupboards, and the condo’s two award-winning toilets.
Bluey’s dad, Bandit, senses Chilli’s frustration at not being able to get her children to hurry up and head to the beach, so he tells her to go on and that he will get their daughters out of the new bathtub they’ve just discovered and meet her at the beach shortly.
The offer is a promising one, but the look in Chilli’s eyes as she reaches for the doorknob to step out into the hallway is one with which most moms can identify. She seems to feel guilty, questioning whether she should go ahead of her family, but she ultimately accepts her husband’s offer.
Once she’s at the beach, Bluey’s mom finds it hard to decide what to do first–read or enjoy the beach? She finds herself restless instead of relaxed and eventually returns to the condo before Bluey, Bingo, and Bandit have left to meet her.
It’s then that she admits to her husband, “I don’t know how to relax; it’s harder than it looks.” But they are interrupted by the cheerful sounds of Bluey and Bingo, who’ve discovered yet another joyfully exciting feature inside the vacation condo–a recliner with a footrest that kicks out–and kicks them in the rear end, evoking shrieks of laughter in both of them.
“You kids just go about it, don’t you?” Chilli asks them as she watches her children enjoying simplicity and relaxing in the moment.
Finally . . . Peace and Relaxation
Bandit brings her a cup of tea and encourages her to step onto the balcony, and once she does, she’s taken aback by the beauty of the place. She sees the trees swaying in the ocean breeze, she watches the birds taking flight in the sky, and she marvels at a giant ocean liner gliding along the horizon.
Once she gives herself permission to pause and take it all in, Chilli finds a sense of calm. She rediscovers peace and relaxation in the seemingly mundane.
“Relax” is a beautiful story that serves as both a testament to the emotional challenges most moms face from time to time, as well as a reminder to those moms to take the time to breathe, to relax, and to give themselves permission to find peace and joy in the everyday.
The episode also serves as proof that the creator and writers behind Bluey not only have a knack for creating children’s programming that is engaging and fun, but they also have an understanding of some of the challenges moms face, as though they just “get” us. And it makes us fall in love with the children’s series all over again.