#MomLife is new to me this year, so this will be my very first Mother’s Day! The journey through motherhood has already (in just five and a half months!) surprised me with a joy that I could never capture in a sentence.
To celebrate, I’d like to share my list of my FAVORITE Fictional Moms. These moms span from childhood picture books to blockbuster hits, from traditional mother figures to nannys and caretakers. Here are my favorite fictional moms and how they exemplify and celebrate the real moms in our lives.
Love these mammas as much as I do?
Grab this free download! These are easy print-and-write cards for your students to write to their moms. Each card contains a famous quote from each of these incredible women!
1. Miss Honey - Matilda
Jennifer Honey has a special place in my memory of childhood reading. I remember loving Matilda and loving Miss Honey even more. While Miss Honey is Matilda’s adopted mother, she reminds me of how much she inspired me to be a teacher and how important all of my elementary school teachers were. They, too, fostered a love for reading in me that grew into a college degree in English and secondary education. Miss Honey is the ultimate teacher/mother figure that embodies the compassion and love for both children and reading that so many incredible teachers manage to do, just like her.
2. Offred - The Handmaid’s Tale
In The Handmaid’s Tale, we only get to learn about Offred’s experience as a mother through her flashbacks. At the beginning of the novel, her daughter is ripped from her arms and never seen again - a true horror story for any parent Through her detailed memory, readers cling to tiny moments of their family before the government collapsed. Offred remembers smelling the back of her daughter’s hair - this is literally the first thing my mom and I do as soon as we get to hold a new baby: take a big whiff of baby smell! I imagine Offred (well, whoever Offred used to be) would have been an amazingly kind, loving mother.
3. Mrs. Doubtfire - Mrs. Doubtfire
Oh, Robin Williams. We miss you so much. Mrs. Doubtfire - the cross-dressing dad who wants to be near his children during a difficult divorce nanny mother figure - has to be one of my favorite fictional moms. Mrs. Doubtfire shows playful looks at the feminine side of mothering, but at its heart, the story is all about the inseverable tie between parent and child. The extremes that Mrs. Doubtfire would go to in order to be near his children and be in their lives are remarkable, and downright heartwarming.
4. Leslie Knope - Parks and Recreation
Leslie doesn’t become a mom until the second to last season of the show, but when it finally happens, she “hits triple cherries” on her first try! As the mother of triplets, Leslie manages to maintain a household (and never apologizes for its lack of order), works full time, and supports a husband running for congress. She’s the ultimate working mom that struggles in so many real ways that I can relate to. She’s pure badass at work and shows us that it’s okay to ask for help with our kids when we need it.
5. Frankie Heck - The Middle
No show in the history of TV shows reminds me more of my OWN family than the Heck family. Chillin in suburban Indiana, Frankie is an hysterical, unapologetic mom of three. She finds plates under her son’s bed, forgets about her other son’s birthdays, and is just about as real as it gets. Her huge heart and sarcastic sense of humor are some of her most admirable qualities.
6. Minerva Mirabal - In the Time of the Butterflies
During the late 50s, the Dominican Republic was suffering through the reign of a tyrannical dictator. The Mirabal sisters, famously nicknamed “Las Mariposas”, were the leaders of a revolution against that horrible regime. Minerva, a mother, fighter, and true ambassador for justice, shows us how to be the role model a mother should be for her children - and in Minerva’s case - for her entire country. She's not a fictional mom, but her legacy is written in Julia Alvaerz's historical fiction account of their history called In the Time of the Butterflies.
7. Marmee - Little Women
Sweet, docile Marmee is one of my favorite mother figures from my chidhood. I read and watched Little Women at least twice a year and was enchanted by Marmee’s wise words, encouraging speech, and her biting discipline. She especially showed us how moms have a gift for giving each of their children what each child truly needs -- I can still distinctly remember the scene where she hugs Jo after chopping her hair off comforting her and reminding her that it will grow back.
8. Claire - Lost
So...you’re on a plane, you’re eight months pregnant, and your psychic told you not to get on that plane. Oh - and your plane is taking you from Australia to America so that you can have your baby and give him up for adoption in California. Thennnnn your plane crashes on an island, you survive the end of pregnancy on said island, then deliver the baby in the middle of the jungle haunted by a crazy, murdering monster. You go, Claire. You go.
9. Rosa Huberman - The Book Thief
She’s a tough one, but Rosa Huberman might be my favorite mom on this list. No only does she adopt Leisel out of the kindness of her heart, but she finds a way to stretch every dollar and every meal so that everyone is taken care of. She provides refuge and protection at all costs for the ones she loves, and although she swears like a sailor, everyone in her family loves her for it.
...and one real one: Michelle Obama - Mother-In-Chief
She’s not fictional, although sometimes I feel like her time in office felt like a too-short lived fairy tale. Michelle Obama has been a champion for her own children as well as America’s children. I’ve never gotten to meet her, but if I did, man would I just give her a huge hug. I don’t know how on earth I would ever be able to raise two daughters in that kind of a spotlight during their childhood in the White House, but she managed to do it. Michelle Obama was able to simultaneously be knee deep in dirt planting an herb garden AND dressing up in the most elegant evening gown to wrestle international politics with equal poise. That’s #goals.
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