Ambitious (unachievable) lists about how one can better one’s life in the next 365 days.
As the new year approaches, the media are filled with stories reflecting on the past 12 months. And there are lists of every type imaginable. Here at Mommy Track’d , it’s no different. I’ve come up with my own list of the top 10 things I’d like to see happen in American pop culture in 2008, at least when it comes to the portrayal of moms (and dads), their work and their lives:
10. A movie where writers who are also moms of small children, are not psychopaths and do not sacrifice their children’s emotional and mental health for their craft and their own narcissistic self-fulfillment.
9. A reprieve from the odious post-pregnancy/bouncing back stories , oftentimes accompanied by airbrushed images  of mom-celebrities (many of whom obtain some type of surgical assistance  or who simply live in the gym with personal trainers) which send us, mere mortal working moms, the message that we too could look like them . . . if only we devoted the bulk of our waking moments to sculpting our bodies.
8. No more “mommy wars ” stories. Or books. Ever.
7. How about a TV series where mothers’ work-life troubles are authentically chronicled, like “Desperate Housewives ” used to be in its freshman and sophomore seasons.
6. Speaking of “Desperate Housewives” . . . whatever happened to Lynette Scavo’s (Felicity Huffman’s) job as the manager  of her family’s pizzeria? Why haven’t we seen any depictions of her at work? Last season, the mother of five was itching to re-start her career and provided a voice for working mothers. Hey Marc Cherry , I want the old Lynette back.
5. More TV dads who struggle – successfully and unsuccessfully – with being a professional and an active, involved father , a la “Big Shot’s ” yummy Michael Vartan character, James Walker.
4. Women’s magazine’s should stop, for the love of all that’s good and holy, giving us charts, check-off sheets and the like that accompany earnest stories which promise to teach us how to achieve the “perfect” home-career balance. There is no such thing. There’s just muddling through, hopefully, with one’s sanity (somewhat) in tact.
3. Fewer moms portrayed in film, on TV, in commercials and in all form of media making school lunches for their offspring. Do you mean to tell me that today’s modern dads are utter morons who don’t know how to slap together two pieces of bread slathered with two condiments? Please. Moms aren’t the only ones who pack lunches.
2. How about more kick-ass moms like “Heroes’ ” Niki Sanders (Ali Larter) and Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) from the cancelled spy series “Alias ” which still lives on in DVD land?
1. Speaking of kick-ass . . . more of Chandra Wilson’s Miranda Bailey character on “Grey’s Anatomy .” Bailey has been in a precarious place  where she’s trying to simultaneously be a take-no-prisoners chief resident and a mom of a baby  whose at-home husband is fed up with her long hours. This storyline has compelling elements of role reversal. Let’s just hope that the Hollywood writers’ strike -- and any other potential
Meredith O'Brien is the author of A Suburban Mom: Notes from the Asylum , a collection of humor columns, and the mother of three. She writes the Boston Mommy  blog about parenting for the Boston Herald's web site and teaches journalism at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.