Mother’s Day was this past Sunday – I hope you all had mothers to celebrate, but I know that the holiday can be bittersweet, or simply bitter, for some people. Luckily, we all have plenty of literary mothers to love who can make Mother’s Day a better experience, even if you’re simply snuggling up with a good book.
When we first meet Mia, she won’t get out of bed as she battles depression. Through the narration and Francesca’s memories, though, we get to meet the loud, full of life personality that is Mia, a woman who loves her family with all her heart but still struggles with mental health issues. If anything, this book was a wonderful reminder that people who struggle with mental health issues aren’t selfish and are capable of just as much love as neurotypical people, but their disease makes it difficult to be selfless all the time. Mia is a perfect mother because she’s imperfect, and you want her to get better just as much as her family does.
I haven’t read If I Stay for a while, but I remember that one of my favorite things about it was Mia’s family – and, of course, it made it so much worse that the book opens with the death of Mia’s parents. The more you get to know them, the more heartbreaking it is that Mia lost them and that her life has been changed so drastically so suddenly. Kat and her husband were a bit offbeat, but they obviously loved their children and love in general, which made for a beautiful family and a heart-wrenching book.
Suze’s mother didn’t know about Suze’s mediation powers and that ghosts were real, but she obviously cared about her daughter and making her new home and family work. She wanted her daughter to succeed, even if she sometimes had trouble remembering that her daughter wasn’t a younger version of herself.
Also, I don’t think we ever found out her name, but I saw it online somewhere – Meg Cabot has a knack for naming her mothers “Helen,” as you’ll see later on.
The Garretts are one of the best things, if not the very best thing, about My Life Next Door, and Mrs. Garrett is a large part of that. It’s so heartening to see literary adults who actually seem like they’re still very much in love, even with all of the difficult things that live throws at them, as well as the every day monotony of raising many, many children. She also had to deal with too many people judging her simply because she had a large family and was comfortable breastfeeding anywhere, so she gets props for that as well.
Who doesn’t love Mrs. Weasley – other than Bellatrix Lestrange, obviously. Mrs. Weasley cares so much about her family, and that doesn’t stop with her flesh and blood children. She can be overprotective, which made it difficult for Harry and the others to figure out what was going on in the fifth book, but it’s simply because she cares about her family during a very difficult time.
See, another Helen! Mia’s mother wasn’t perfect – I don’t think many people would like their mother marrying the teacher of a subject that they’re currently failing in, including Mia – but she cared about her daughter and did what she thought was best. And yeah, we didn’t get a woman who threw darts at paint-filled balloons with her daughter ala the movie, but she was still a creative soul who helped offset some of her daughter’s neuroses.
She didn’t get to be a mother for long, but she literally gave her life for her son and it protected it throughout the whole series, so you better not tell me that Lily Evans Potter wasn’t an amazing and kickass mother, and all-around awesome person to boot.
Reece is probably the least perfect mom on this list (not that any of them are perfect – no one is, mother or otherwise), but that’s part of what makes her great. She was only 17 or so when she had the protagonist, so she left her with a father who never wanted her and moved on – until said father died and Devan ended up with a woman she didn’t know. It was hard for the two to get close, but they did over the course of the book, with a growing list of character traits to help them.
Elaine made Ruby’s life difficult most of the time, but she obviously cared about her daughter and tried to help her, especially when she was dealing with her anxiety and such. She’s also quite entertaining, even if Ruby might not agree.
I need to reread this trilogy again, but I remember being heartbroken when tragedy happened in the second book involving protagonist Clara’s mother. Yeah, Maggie kept secrets and wasn’t always forthcoming, but she obviously cared about her children and did her best to raise them, wings and all.