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Why moms are loving ‘Barbie’: It’s eerily similar to postpartum motherhood

"I’ve had to tell myself that I will no longer abandon myself in service to others, and I think that really came through in the movie."

The highly anticipated film "Barbie" has become a summer blockbuster hit, shattering opening weekend records and leaving a shortage of Barbie's iconic pink in its wake.

For moms, the film also hits close to home as they see Barbie embark on a journey that is eerily similar to life as a postpartum mom.

"I definitely saw those early years of motherhood in it," Meg St-Esprit, 39, tells

The mom of four says she "related to Barbie feeling like she was physically unwinding," especially when she quit her job shortly after becoming a mom and got rid of all her "professional clothes."

Michelle Garrett, a mom of two living in Ohio, agrees, adding that the film reminded her of how difficult it is when, as a new mom, "other moms judge your choices."

"As a 'pleaser,' I have definitely experienced that feeling of no matter what I do, not everyone is going to be happy," Garrett tells "You exhaust yourself trying to please everyone."

'You don’t recognize your body, your appearance or your emotions'

In the film, Barbie faces an existential crisis after venturing into the "Real World," questioning who she is, experiencing the trappings of perfectionism and the pitfalls of gender expectations.

Like, St-Esprit, Angela Christian, 42, says the overall plot — from Barbie's suddenly flat feet, once-perfect-now-messy hair and an allusive sense of self — felt similar to her postpartum experience.

"I’ve experienced that postpartum feeling — as well as severe postpartum depression — three times," Christian, a mom of three living in California, tells  

"You don’t recognize your body, your appearance or your emotions," she adds. "It’s a very unsettling feeling during a time that 'should' also be joyful. Then all of the questions start coming in, such as: 'Am I going to be a good mom?', 'How will I juggle more than one child?' and 'What if I mess up?'"

Christian is not the only mom who saw the film as a subtle ode to the difficult transition period that is the postpartum phase.

"The first part that hit me was when 'Weird Barbie' (Kate McKinnon) was holding up the shoes, and 'Stereotypical Barbie' (Margot Robbie) has to make a choice: Act like nothings happening and forget it all, or move forward and figure it out," Erin Gallagher, 41, tells

"'Weird Barbie' holds up a pair of Birkenstocks, and my 4-year-old literally yelled out in the theater: 'Hey mom, those are your shoes!' I was like: 'Oh my god, that is me as a mom.'"

Gallagher, a mom of two living in Chicago, says that moment was indicative of new motherhood — a choice to try something you know will be daunting, joyful and life-changing, while you also feel terrified and determined to hold onto who you used to be before you became a mom.

"Every major milestone as a mom — and life in general — has forced me to come to the table and meet myself again," Gallagher says. "I've had to lose and release parts of myself that no longer serve me. I've had to tell myself that I will no longer abandon myself in service to others, and I think that really came through in the movie."

'Seeing that so plainly on the big screen is helpful for moms'

The film's director, Greta Gerwig, gave birth to her second child with partner and her co-writer, Noah Baumbach, earlier this year, prior to the "Barbie" premiere.

The pair also share a son, Harold, who was born in 2019.

While the film certainly means different things to different people, that Gerwig was in the throes of early motherhood and a second pregnancy during the film's creation makes the parallels to parenthood all the more prominent for many viewers.

"The postpartum experience was subtle in the beginning (of the film)," Cassie Brooks, a 39-year-old mom from Tennessee, tells

"There’s a moment where as a woman you realize that the ideals you have for yourself and living what you dreamed isn’t that all the time," she says. "This is a feeling I think everyone experiences, but it was more obvious with the flat feet and messy hair."

The "intrusive thoughts" the "Stereotypical Barbie" character experiences also resonated with Brooks, who says it's common for new moms to feel "insecure and unsure" of themselves during their foray into motherhood.

"Seeing that so plainly on the big screen is helpful for moms who experience this and gives voice to what we a lot of times remain silent about because we’re worried about how it makes us look," she adds.

For Garrett, the takeaways from the film as they pertain to motherhood extended far beyond the postpartum period.

"I liked that the film made the mom the hero," Garett says. "Yes, Barbie helps save the day, but the mom is the hero."

For St-Esprit, the film also serves as a reminder to all moms that "everything is a season of stretching, growing, and change."

"We cling to some comforts of the past," she adds, "while looking for new comforts in each season that comes upon us."