The One Defining 'Gilmore Girls' Moment That Makes Lorelai Gilmore The Best TV Mother Ever
It's no secret that many Gilmore Girls fans, though they love her as a character, don't especially love Lorelai Gilmore as a mother . With her approach to motherhood seeming to specifically revolve around feeding her daughter a consistent stream of junk food and caffeine alongside an attitude that they're best friends first and family second, it's easy to see why Lorelai's mom skills haven't always impressed viewers. But these traits are pretty harmless (personally, I think junk food, good coffee, and a strong friendship are great foundations for any relationship), because though she overall has a different approach to raising Rory than most parents, there's definitely one defining trait that makes Lorelai the best TV mother — and it's pretty hard to argue with.
Throughout Gilmore Girls, Lorelai is portrayed as being fiercely independent, rejecting her parent's wealth and lifestyle so that she can lead her own life free of their control, opinions, or judgment. This is a belief system which she also passes on to Rory by teaching her daughter that hard work leads to financial freedom and that independence comes from believing in yourself and following your own instincts. Sadly, we come to realize that Rory takes after her mother a little too well in these respects, and as a result, the two of them fall out with each other more than once during the course of the show due to both of their independent spirits clashing with each other.
When Rory steals a yacht, gets arrested, drops out of Yale, and decides to move in with her grandparents, she doesn't speak to Lorelai for a protracted amount of time. At first, it's easy to dismiss Lorelai's response to Rory's choices as being a stubborn refusal to support her but actually she's doing the most supportive act possible for her daughter; she's teaching her the value of true independence. Initially, Lorelai objects to her daughter's decision and even attempts to deliver an intervention with Emily and Richard, but when both her objections and her plan of support from her parents fall through, her decision to instead opt out of Rory's life for as long as she needs is actually the best thing for her.
Instead of remaining in Rory's life, condemning her decisions (or falsely supporting them), and attempting to control a situation which she has no rights to really intervene in, she instead abandons her daughter to the regiment of Emily and Richard, and by doing so, allows Rory to come to her own conclusions. Not only does this prove that Lorelai respects her daughter enough to make her own decisions (and to come to the correct conclusions in her own time) but it also teaches her daughter that she's smart, capable, and worthy of the freedom to navigate her own life on her own terms.
This is a crucial lesson for any young woman to learn, and though Lorelai's approach feels a little juvenile and stubborn at first, in the long term it ultimately teaches Rory that though she'll make mistakes in life, it's important that she remains true to herself and follows her own path, regardless. In doing so, Rory eventually comes to the same conclusion that Lorelai did — but she reached it on her own terms and in her own time. This is true independence, and it reaffirms the idea that women should be able to do whatever they want and become whoever they want free of constraints.
When we try and control people too much or imprint our personalities onto those of another, then we basically send the sort of message which can poison a young mind into apathy, defeat, and nihilism. Emily and Richard definitely delivered this kind of parenting to Lorelai, and as a result, you can see in her character that she's learnt from their mistakes and is trying to teach Rory to become the woman which she had to teach herself to become as a teenager.
You can even see this approach in the way that Lorelai treats Lane; giving her a space within her home within which she can be herself, express herself musically, and do and say whatever she wants without judgment. Lorelai even donates her garage to Lane for a certain amount of time so she can practice with her band, encouraging and supporting her to develop her passions and to trust in her own sense of self. Whenever Lane needs support of any kind, whether it's a place to stay, a helpful chat, or an awkward conversation with her highly religious mother, Lorelai is always right there to deliver it.
This is what makes her the best mother on TV; conventionally, she might not be delivering the sort of parenting that produces perfect children (FYI: perfect children don't exist), but she is delivering the sort which raises young women to dream big, believe in themselves, and to have fun with their lives on their own terms. And that's the kind of parenting that you can't put a price on.
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