As by way of example, let's look at the constant ranting about 'time, not toys' the characters make when bleating about how Evil Domineering Social Climber Monster Mom Mira tries to destroy Deanna's freedom of expression by selfishly getting the children all worked up and expecting terrible, terrible stimulation that Deanna is too exhausted to provide and that they don't actually need anyway. We see a stupid young woman getting her tit in a wringer because her mother isn't transfixed by the idiotic and self-serving delusion that children are little dummies who should live in glass cases and can only move, think and act when Mommy wills is. Lynn and her fans see a monster unleashing chaos only to have Elly save everyone by giving Meredith and Robin neither time nor toys. I mean, Elly sat on her arse drinking coffee willing herself to not think about what her children were doing and they turned out great. If Deanna were to fall into the trap of having to keep them in mind, they'd win and be her boss and totally destroy her and so on and so forth.
Good thing for her that her utter lack of empathy for her children prevents that. This is a woman who agrees with her idol Elly and her idle husband that the best way to handle children is to not have to think about where they are and what they might be doing. If the kids aren't seen, heard or thought of, everything will be great no matter how many Martians embarrass Elly by almost dying.
This need to think that Elly's way is always right leads us to realizing why Mike sees Deanna as a viable partner: her refusal to think for herself. From her endless championing of every self-serving and stupid decision he makes to her near-infinite capacity to turn Elly's crippling flaws, chronic malingering, criminal stupidity and glaring incompetence into The Perfect Model For Life, the only 'thought' she has is "I hate Mommy for BOSSING ME and MY DADDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" This means that she's too damned busy not getting over not being parented by the callous brute father of her authoritarian horror fantasies to notice that hanging around the Pattersons is why her life is so bleak and joyless. She'll never do anything crazy like make a decision for herself and since Mike was brought up to believe that women just shouldn't think for themselves, this horrible defect is a positive.