There really is a Mummy Issue in Secret. We have on one hand, the Absent Mummy (Jin-wook’s mum), and on the other hand, the Overly Present Mummy (Yoo-mi’s mum).We are unsure why Jin-wook’s mum (Mdm Kim) chose to leave the Cha household – either she is forced to go or she voluntarily left. But in both cases, I don’t agree with her choice in abandoning her son. Even if it is for “his good”, since he will have more access to material needs that can “help” him while he grows up. She should have guessed though, that her departure will scar him permanently. Which it does. Prior to being a workaholic, Jin-wook spends his time partying hard and creating as much scandals to annoy his dad. Even today, he fears being alone and views Yoo-mi’s disappearance 3 years ago as a form of abandonment.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have Mdm Jo. She is a mother who juz can’t leave her progeny alone. If we put a positive spin to it, at least she doesn’t dump anyone. When she divorces her (new) husband, she makes sure that her 3 year old son goes along with her. Unfortunately, her refusal to “let go” of her children has a darker side. Thanks to her inappropriate behaviour, she embarrasses Yoo-mi, who is forced to run away from her friends and colleagues.
Tbh, I do find Mdm Jo’s over confidence in her body (and her previous flaunting of it as a soft porn actress) pretty refreshing. She breaks down the stereotypes of mothers having to be “motherly”, “demure”, and “proper”. I also have no issues over her scolding anyone for “looking down on her womb” and for raising a sceptical eyebrow when she clarifies Dong-goo is her son and not her grandson – like why do we assume older women MUST be grandmothers or incapable of being pregnant?
However, I do agree she does lack EQ. In her narcissism (or maybe she is juz pea-brained), she fails to recognise that she is hurting Yoo-mi. Her insensitivity to the possibility of her daughter being ostracised by her friends stem from her lack of interest in her children. As we can see with Dong-goo, although she brings him along post-divorce, she hardly cares for him. Most of the time, Dong-goo is left under Yoo-mi’s care, while she goes chasing after a (very dead) acting dream. Mdm Jo probably doesn’t understand that unlike herself, Yoo-mi is shy, and therefore, has a higher tendency to be badly hurt by negative criticisms.
Take the recent brouhaha in ep11 which Mdm Jo creates on national TV – she airs all the dirty laundry in public and is so caught up with “being on TV”, she reveals the identity of Jin-wook’s (ex) girlfriend as her daughter, whom is rumoured to have a one-night stand with him. Although I get it that Mdm Jo’s expose on TV is THE catalyst to bring back our OTP, it is still repulsive. I fully sympathise with Yoo-mi and why she sometimes feel so frustrated with her mum’s loose lips.