8 Reasons Molly Weasley Is a Great Literary Mama

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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?

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  1. Janet Bavido says

    I’m so glad to hear you sing Mrs. Weasley’s praises because I’ve always held her up as the model of the woman I would like to be.

    Like Molly, I am a stay-at-home mom with, hopefully, many talents that the world could use, but I choose to put what energy I have into my family first. I have a quirky husband who could make a lot more money than he does, but he is wonderful in all the best ways and strongly believes in doing the right thing, no matter what. So, you can see why this character is so close to my heart.

    I don’t mean to say that I am as talented and wonderful as Molly Weasley, but as far as her situation in life, it feels like Rowling was looking in my windows when she wrote it all up.

  2. says

    Love this! Go Molly Weasley! I think my favorite literary Mom is Mrs. Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, not because she is a good Mom, per se, just because she is hilarious, always worrying about her nerves

    • Haley says

      Oh my goodness. Mrs. Bennet. She is hysterical. I can’t read Pride and Prejudice without laughing out loud.

  3. says

    Thank you for this! I love all things Harry Potter. It’s kind of nice that even my favorite “no-brainer” literature gives me good advice when it comes to parenting. When this baby comes, I know Molly will have some good advice 🙂

  4. says

    Greats post!! I love this. I think my favorite literary mom is Marilla Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables….she’s so real and certainly isn’t a perfect mom, but she tries so hard and you can Marilla grow in her mothering skills while Anne grows up.

  5. says

    Oh, how I love being able to discuss literary characters in detail with another person! Molly Weasley is, no doubt, an amazing woman.

    When you mentioned Caroline Ingalls, I thought of her quote in one of the later books (maybe Little Town…), “I’m so tired of being dragged from pillar to post…” in response to hint from Charles Ingalls that he was thinking of the west again. I feel like there’s so much meat in that one statement and that it’s one that Laura remembered then and there. Was it truly the first time she spoke up, was it the first time she did so in front of her children, or was it just an opportunity for Laura to describe a little of the tug-of-war between her parents? I always had sympathy for Pa and his wanderlust growing up, but now as a mama myself and more awareness of the difficulties of Caroline Ingalls’ life, I see her point. 🙂

    • Haley says

      I’m getting geared up to read the series with my kids this year or next year and I can’t wait to revisit them with new eyes! 🙂

  6. Renee says

    Thank you, Haley. Molly Weasley is a dear character, indeed.

    I also like Moominmamma (she is, in fact, a simplistic version of Molly Weasley, I believe, although some books of the Moomin series reveals that she is a quite complex character).

    And there is also that cool mom from The Railway Children by E. Nesbit.

    “Hooray!” said Mother; “here are some candles – the very first thing! You girls go and light them. You’ll find some saucers and things. Just drop a little candle-grease in the saucer and stick the candle upright in it.”
    “How many shall we light?”
    “As many as ever you like,” said Mother, gaily. “The great thing is to be cheerful. Nobody can be cheerful in the dark except owls and dormice.”


    “Good night, chickies,” said Mother. “I’m sure there aren’t any rats. But I’ll leave my door open, and then if a mouse comes, you need only scream, and I’ll come and tell it exactly what I think of it.”

    I noticed that all those cool literature moms are not only warm-cosy-and-cheerful, they are also BRAVE. This is a necessary feature for me to consider a mom as a great mom.

    • Haley says

      I think courage is such an important virtue for a mother and one I am always lacking! I seriously need to read the Railway Children. I love Nesbit but haven’t ever gotten around to that one!

  7. says

    I love Molly, but if I had to pick the best mom in all of literature… it would have to be Marmee. I tried calling my mom Marmee for a while, but it didn’t stick. She just seems like the epitome of quiet strength and motherly love and she always makes me cry. (It probably helps that Little Women is my all-time favorite book…)

    • Haley says

      My mom is called “Marmee” by my kids. I just love Marmee March. I hadn’t read the books in a few years and listened to the audiobook last year. I totally sobbed through most of it!

  8. Mama Cat says

    Marmee is a favorite, but the first favorite who came to mind is Mrs. Brisby. I like how the little mouse is genuinely frightened often during her adventure, but she pushes through so stubbornly for her kids. She was obviously supportive of her deceased husband and possesses an admirable tenacity that in the end saves her kids’ lives.

  9. says

    I love this! My daughters once told me I was just like Mrs. Weasley, and I consider it such a high compliment! And I don’t even cook well!

  10. Tess says

    I just saw this and I love it – I have always loved Molly Weasley – and my kids have said I look like Molly Weasley. (It helps that I used to have red hair (gray now) and four of my six children are redheads. It’s nice to hear of another Catholic mom out there who loves Harry Potter! Thanks Haley!

  11. Chris says

    Haley, I recently discovered your blog after reading The Sorcerer’s Stone with my 8 year old son. I couldn’t believe the change in how I related to the book while reading it with my child. Also, I felt that there was a lot about Harry Potter that he should be able to relate to as well. So I was happy to find a Catholic blog post in support of reading it to children. Anyway, my boy loved the book and has moved on to reading the series.

    Since then, I’ve found that all of your posts seem relevant and very interesting. I feel like I’ve found a kindred spirit in you and that’s saying something because I mostly feel like I’m an outlier in my thinking. So keep it up! Please. 😉

  12. Tee says

    Not a mother (yet!), though I do have to say, it is SO true that how I read the books when I was 14, 18, and now 29 are so vastly different.

    I now want to adopt Harry rather than befriend him.

    Great article!

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