It’s been a week since I was fully engulfed by Netflix’s Sex/Life and the several layers of themes covered throughout the show. The 8-episode series managed to take me through every emotion known to humans while still teaching important lessons.
We followed the life of Billie, a mother of two and wife to Cooper who found herself in a deeply introspective point in her life. Married to Cooper for 8-years, having given up her PhD dream to focus on doing the really difficult job of being a stay at home mother, Billie takes herself on a journey of self-discovery. From having her life together presently, to opening up old wounds which forced her down a fast-tracked journey into unveiling her best life past, and discovering a different version of herself.
As frustrating as it was to watch the cast navigate the runaway train that was Billie and her decisions making capabilities, it really showed the multiple layers to each character and their contribution to certain themes throughout the series.
Becoming a mother
I honestly don’t think that words can ever entirely express how drastic the change from just being focused on yourself to being a mother is. No matter how much you prepare, how much research you do, how much support you have, the entire process of going through a pregnancy and birthing a child will change your whole life and how you navigate things. Having a child changes everything, the adjustment can often feel like it has blindsided you and you’re expected to float on a boat with a leak in it. Motherhood is a beautiful journey, but it can feel incredibly lonely, difficult and frustrating. This was one of the few shows I’ve watched that have been able to encapsulate the drastic transition.
Navigating being a wife and a mother, neglecting your career
For the longest time, women have been taught that their end goal in life is to become a homemaker and to fall into the role of a stay at home mother. Watching Billie move from being a career-focused woman to Cooper’s girlfriend and then to a stay at home mother was probably the most glaring part of the show for me. The presentation of how women can have it all often does not often highlight or showcase what we have to do to get to the point of having it all. Being a mother to two young children, looking after them all day every day, cooking and cleaning, trying to find time throughout your day to make yourself feel great and still being at a point where you feel lonely and invisible to those who love you, is a very real experience. Too often women find ways to keep quiet about that feeling and navigate their day as if nothing is affecting them. If you know a mother, maybe take a moment to ask her how her day has been.
Unresolved and unspoken feelings
We’re always talking about the importance of communication, the importance of saying what you feel when you feel it because that too is important. Communication is a skill that needs us to work on it daily because it can help alleviate some of the truths we’re carrying that are weighing us down. Had Billie communicated with Cooper about what she was feeling, and who she was, a lot of what they went through in season 1 could have been resolved with a conversation.
Own your truth
Society has really done a number on women, we’ve been taught to suppress our experiences because they will alter the interest a man has on us, or negatively change the dynamic of the relationship with our partner. Although, we shouldn’t always focus on what society has dictated to us our entire lives, its also important that when we choose to live our truth we’re aware of the different repercussions that can come from it. There are more women who own their truth that find themselves living happier lives than those who are living a life that’s a shadow of what they wanted. Living your truth is important because it provides you with a certain freedom. Any partner that doesn’t accept who you are and who you could (positively) evolve to be, isn’t someone you should be with.
Communication is important
The reality is that when Billie began reliving the life she had with Brad, but kept Cooper in the dark, she made a conscious decision about the importance of communicating with her husband. The reality is that even if the conversation is uncomfortable, it would have been better for her to communicate where she felt things were now lacking in her marriage. Additionally, Cooper could have just spoken to her about what he read instead of trying to morph himself into Brad. A relationship that’s devoid of honesty and proper communication will always end in chaos.
Compromise, not sacrifice
The life that Billie had with Cooper seemed all too perfect in the beginning, she was a housewife and homemaker who looked after their children and home, while Cooper went off to go and earn money for the family. For many modern-day women, this is still a dream of theirs. However, there are modern-day women who sacrifice so much of who they are in order to keep this picturesque public image. Compromises are often better when they’ve been discussed and both parties uphold their end of the bargain, in growing into who you are meant to be don’t give up on all the goals and dreams that you had before you became a mother and wife. Look for a way to find a healthy balance between the two.
There is nothing better than a supportive partner
Once Billie realised the chaos she had unleashed on her seemingly perfect life, she was forced to deal with and communicate with her husband. Towards the end, we begin to see how important it is to have a partner that understands when you want t course correct because your dreams and goals are valid too. Anybody that isn’t supportive of your healthy decisions isn’t someone you should stay with.
There are several other lessons I learnt from the Space I hosted with Gugu and Kea, and it has honestly highlighted so many other aspects of the series that I may have missed, what that has told me is that I need to go watch the series again – this time with a finer – less emotive lens. Taking into consideration all the reviews from consumers lately, it seems like it’s definitely a bingeworthy show and maybe worth watching a second time.