Having A Baby Didn't Change Who Hannah Is On 'Girls'

Mark Schafer/HBO

If TV has taught me anything it's that on the eves of major life events, you must take a moment to soul search or panic or doubt how you got there. Whether it's the day of your wedding, the day you move, or — in the instance of Hannah Horvath — having a child, no big decisions come simply for most fictional characters. Yet, Hannah slightly broke that mold by being pretty certain in her decision to have her baby and she continued that mold breaking by not changing who she is after Hannah had her baby during the Girls series finale.

Of course, major aspects will change in your life after you have a child — that is an inevitable outcome of bringing another tiny human into this world who solely depends on you for everything. But having a child does not have to change the core of your being since you should still be the same person you were before you had your child — just with perhaps a clearer sense of purpose (like, "I'm going to keep this child safe and healthy") and much more responsibility. The Girls finale showed Hannah with her son after a five-month time jump and though it was clear that her circumstances had changed, it was also evident that just because Hannah is a mom now doesn't mean that her identity is different.

Mark Schafer/HBO

Just as with most TV tropes, Girls used its series finale to subvert them again in terms of pregnancy, motherhood, and the after effects of giving birth. While a TV character may fret about becoming unexpectedly pregnant, most of those same characters somehow morph into model mothers once they have their baby — complete with all of the maternal instincts and mommy know-how that you'd want in an ideal mom. A certain amount of maternal instinct is most certainly very legitimate since humans are animals, but becoming a mother doesn't have to completely erase your own identity — regardless of what TV shows you. And someone as distinct, impulsive, and egocentric as Hannah shouldn't — and wouldn't — have all of those potentially not positive attributes of a mother erased just because she gave birth.

That's exactly what Girls showed during the series finale as Hannah's mental health issues started to come up again as she struggled parenting with Marnie (of all people). Not only was she treating Marnie in the same difficult matter as before (not like Marnie is a walk in the park though), she was also "treating the baby the way she would a boyfriend," like Judd Apatow said in the "Inside the Episode" segment after the finale. Lena Dunham agreed saying, "She's responding the way she's responded to every guy she's ever had in her life."

Hannah couldn't continue to treat her son like any other man in her life, so after a talking to from her mom and a chance encounter with a selfish teenager, Hannah realized she needed to adjust the way she thought about parenting. This adjustment was an indication that Hannah has the capacity to be a good mother while also being a rare example of a TV character who is able to keep her identity intact. It's an important distinction for all women, men, and children out there to know — that while raising a child you choose to have should be a top priority in your life, a woman's mother status does not need to solely define the person she is.