Since becoming a mother, I read my favorite children’s books with different eyes. I find myself more interested in Marmee than Jo March and more fascinated by Caroline Ingalls than by Laura. One of my favorite mamas from literature is Molly Weasley. But what exactly makes this stay-at-home mom of seven so admirable?
(Note well! Spoilers within!)
1. She opens her heart. Although she loves her children fiercely, Molly’s motherly affection isn’t confined to her immediate family. She thoughtfully considers “the odd one out.” Whether it’s throwing a birthday party for the orphaned Harry Potter, or sharing a spot of tea and wise advice to the awkward and lovelorn Nymphadora Tonks, Molly always seems to notice and fill the need to be loved and cared about. She’s a mama to anyone that needs one.
2. She opens her home. Molly excels at hospitality. One of the things I’ve always admired in my own mother is her commitment to open her home. Molly Weasley does the same. She bustles around tirelessly, sharing her delicious food and motherly affection. When I read about her culinary accomplishments, I can’t help but wish I were sitting at her kitchen table, chatting with her and helping her chop veggies (with my magic wand, of course.)
3. She has an abundance of skills she uses for the good of her family. She cares for her family so well that her son Ron assumes she can make tasty food from thin air (an impossibility in the wizarding world). Although she’s fantastic at domestic spells, they aren’t her only claim to fame. As is revealed in the final book of the series, Molly can best one of the most prodigiously talented women in the wizarding world in a duel without batting an eye–when her only daughter is in danger! She’s a talented woman and she uses her skills to love and protect her family.
4. Her deep love isn’t self-centered. She gives tight hugs and knits her loved ones sweaters every Christmas. She constantly worries about the safety of her family (remember the boggart in Order of the Phoenix?). Yet, she encourages her children to do the right thing–even if it means they will be in danger. Although she sometimes errs on the side of overprotection (I certainly sympathize, Molly!), she believes that fighting for a better world is more important than safety. Maybe when one of your six sons works with dragons, another is a curse breaker, and several family members are in the movement to fight the world’s most evil wizard, you get used to the anxiety!
5. She pushes her kids to grow. When her kids do really dumb things, she lets them know. Steal dad’s flying car and get spotted by muggles? You’re going to receive a howler. Don’t study for your O.W.L.s and get low marks? She knows you can do better and she’s not afraid to make her opinion known! But…
6. She cheers her kids on. Get chosen as a school prefect and you can expect Molly to throw a party. Show the world you’re adept at a career even she was skeptical of? She’ll sing your praises. And she’ll work her fingers to the bone to give you an amazing wedding, even if your choice of bride isn’t the sort of girl she had in mind.
7. She loves her husband. Although they sometimes passionately disagree, Molly and Arthur love and respect each other. She is his biggest fan and can’t wait to proclaim his accomplishments. She believes in him despite his quirks, instead of wishing he were more financially successful…and less interested in muggle artifacts.
8. She cheerfully makes do with what she has. Although the Weasleys are often under financial strain, Molly doesn’t complain about their situation. I know how it is to run a household on one income and I’m always inspired by her resourceful and positive attitude even when times are tough. She knows the real treasures in life are her children and isn’t that so true?
Do you have a favorite literary mom? What makes her admirable?