Life Lessons from TV Moms: Sarah Manning from ‘Orphan Black’

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan BlackBBC America

With the return of BBC America’s fantastic sci-fi series Orphan Black this weekend, we’re reminded that clones are mothers too. Sarah Manning, played by Tatiana Maslany, is one of the many mothers on the show, but as the (arguably) main character we figured we should feature her first. Sarah may have missed out on almost a year of her young daughter Kira’s life, but she’s proved that she truly loves being a mother. We could learn a few things from Sarah, that’s for sure.

1. Put Your Child First — Always 

Though fans of Orphan Black still don’t know why Sarah left Kira in the hands of Mrs. S, given that Sarah seemed to be a general delinquent at the time, it was most likely the best decision for Kira. (We certainly would not want to see Kira and Vic the Dick in the same room.) Sarah put the needs of Kira ahead of her own, and that selflessness is admirable — at least, we think it’s selflessness.  

2. Don’t Try to Fool Your Kids

In the first season, Sarah needs to be in two places at once. So, she sends a fellow clone, Allison, to visit Kira and prove to Mrs. S that she’s serious about being back in Kira’s life. While Allison fools Mrs. S, Kira is not so easily deceived. Afterward, Sarah is upfront with her daughter and it leads to a closer relationship. Kids are smarter than many adults give them credit for and you might not be able to pull one over on them.

3. Do Whatever It Takes to Survive

One of the coolest aspects of Sarah’s character is that she is willing to do whatever needs to be done, whether that means drinking soap to save her cover or using a fire extinguisher to bust through a wall (seriously, that was epic). Although most people probably aren’t getting themselves into these kinds of situations — impersonating your clone, running from gun-toting religious nuts, etc. — the lesson is still worthwhile.