My favorite books to give to your mom on Mother’s Day
Straight and funny, award-winning journalist, feminist icon and bestselling author Caitlin Moran extols the virtues of motherhood as Mother’s Day approaches.
âMotherhood is the biggest unpaid job on the planet, both in a good way and in a bad way. This is the most intense crash course you can take to improve yourself, âshe says eagerly.
“At the end of your first two years of motherhood, you feel like a superhero.”
Moran, 45, married to music journalist Peter Paphides with whom she has two daughters, aged 20 and 17, has previously discussed various aspects of motherhood in her bestselling book More Than A Woman.
She has a great relationship with her daughters but never wanted to be their friend, she explains. âI don’t denigrate anyone’s parenting skills, everyone does it differently – but I wanted to be their mother.
âI wanted to give them limits, rules and understandings. The fact that I’m a hilarious light entertainer and joke maker was a bonus for them.
Her own upbringing as one of Wolverhampton’s eight children was very different, she observes.
âMy parents were hippies with no rules and they were parents in what I would describe as not ‘mammal’. Mammals give birth to one child at a time and care for them until they are old enough to take care of themselves.
âMy parents looked more like fish. They just laid a lot of eggs and went swimming. They had eight children and kind of abandoned us.
So what is her wish for Mother’s Day?
âMy perfect Mother’s Day is the one that I have been able to vibrate for the past three years. My daughters have young and healthy backs and knees, but I don’t, so on Mother’s Day I ask them to do all the double digging in my back yard. They hate it! But they must be so happy and positive about it.
Although Moran describes herself as an ‘incorrigible optimist’, there were some tough times, especially when she found out a few years ago that her daughter had an eating disorder and was self-harming. , which she wrote in More Than A Woman.
Moran now says his daughter is fully recovered.
âDuring the last lockdown, she woke me up at three in the morning and she was skateboarding outside the house drinking cider. So I would say it’s a full recovery.
Did the experience change her attitude towards motherhood?
âYes, I learned a huge lesson. In general, I was and am a very good parent. I am very open, we are constantly there, but the only thing I realize I hadn’t been able to do before was deal with the sadness.
âI grew up in a family where you just weren’t sad – nobody cared, everyone was too busy. You just plastered a smile and broke down. It worked for me, but when you’re dealing with someone with a mental illness, you can’t do that. But I tried for two years.
âAfter going through therapy for myself, I could finally sit down with my daughter, look her in the eye and say, ‘Okay, I’m going to say what I see. You’re sad. I can see that, I’m going to be with you and we’re going to do whatever we can to heal you. ”
She knows how hard life can be for moms, so for Mother’s Day she invites them to escape with one of her favorite books from a selection she handpicked for a box exclusive Mother’s Day subscription in partnership with LoveMyRead.
Moran’s recommended readings for Mother’s Day are …
âImagine if Adrian Mole had moved to London in the 80s and become the au pair of a luxury literary woman who lived next door to Alan Bennett. Well that’s basically what happened and [Stibbe] wrote about it, based on the letters she sent home, âsays Moran. âShe didn’t even know who Alan Bennett was at the time. She just thought he was this kinda weird man who lived next door.
âAs a working class girl from the Midlands, as Nina was and still is, I just found it such a joy. You hope that if your daughter finds a job as a teenager, she will eventually become the au pair of one of London’s greatest literary figures.
âLeilani is a new voice who writes very honestly about what it’s like to be single and black and dating in the 21st century. The main character has an affair with an older white man and mingles with his family. It’s incredibly honest, âsays Moran.
âI wanted to put that in there, because it’s one of those books that you assume everyone has read. But if you didn’t get it, it’s based on the life of Nancy Mitford. She came from a family that had just too much money, too many castles, too many words and too many ridiculous loves. Now is the time to read it as the BBC is about to launch an adaptation. ”
Moran recently re-read this story of a woman called Ifemelu who moves from Nigeria to the United States to study, in a story of race and dislocation, while her boyfriend, Obinze remains behind. âShe explains what it’s like to be a young Nigerian woman who has lived in America for 15 years and is about to come home and find out what Nigeria is like now,â Moran notes.
This non-fiction bestseller focuses on inequalities and data, presenting compelling case studies across a number of industries.
“[Criado Perez has] done five years of research and put it all in one book and at the end of it you feel five years smarter. For example, the new iPhones are designed so that you can text with one hand, but only if you are a man with hands the size of a man.
âThe symptoms of a heart attack that we all know are the symptoms in men. The symptoms are different for women, so heart attacks tend to go undiagnosed in women, and the death rate from heart attacks is much higher in women.
âFrom top to bottom, Caroline explains why women have been invisible as we’ve planned everything in the world, from the phone to diagnosing a heart attack. She proves it, then says we need to change that.
âThe movies are constantly on the air now, and they’re still a comfortable watch, but the books are so much funnier and smarter.
âHelen Fielding is a huge book nerd with a classical upbringing, so there are a lot of literary jokes. The right understanding of feminism and politics is in there, but done in a light and hilarious way. You can see exactly how Fleabag was fathered by Bridget Jones
âWhen I first read it as a teenager I bonded a lot with Bridget, then you reread it 20 years later and I can really relate to Bridget’s mom. He’s my newly discovered hero. My daughters haven’t watched the movies yet, so if I’m allowed to make a wish on Mother’s Day, I’m going to force them to read Bridget Jones’s diary.
- Caitlin Moran is LoveMyRead’s VIP Curator of the Month for March. Caitlin Moran’s Mother’s Day Box is now available at lovemyread.com.