Mother’s Day in Quarantine + Books About Motherhood

“To a parent, your child wasn’t just a person: your child was a place, a kind of Narnia, a vast eternal place where the present you were living and the past you remembered and the future you longed for all existed at once.” —Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere ⁣

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On the left is a postcard I made for my mom, and on the right is a photo book showing my son and myself 


Mother’s Day in the Philippines is celebrated every second Sunday of May. This year, it was the 10th. Needless to say, it was a very different experience. We are still in extreme quarantine in Metro Manila so a lot more of my listed plans have been cancelled. Please indulge me in imagining my ideal Mother’s Day: a trip to the flower shop to get flowers, getting my new iPhone (my contract is due for a renewal with my service provider), then visiting my favorite bookstore to get a new read or two, lunch or dinner at my favorite pasta place, and finally my usual earl grey tea and cheesecake for dessert.

Instead, we stayed at home and tried to order cake but there were no available deliveries to our area. We settled for ice cream though I’m not complaining, I love ice cream! I also opted for dried blooms instead of a fresh bouquet because they are way cheaper and sustainable, and also because they are very pretty and I love the aesthetic. I invented new games with my son — one involves a giant spider who chases an anglerfish to tickle him (I’m the spider!). All in all, a very different day than I had envisioned but I find myself really appreciating the change in perspective this quarantine has given me. I am grateful everyday for the little things. Disconnecting from unnecessary interactions including toxic social media and focusing on my family has done so much for the improvement of my mental health as well.

 

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As always I turned to books for inspiration, and to add to the celebration I thought of rounding up some books I loved that explore how it means to be a mother and/or the complexities of motherhood: ⁣

 


34273236._SY475_Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng ⁣

From Goodreads: Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster. — I loved this because it explores almost all kinds of motherhood, and how our choices in life will always define who we are. It also has a very intricate plot and various characters that only a highly skilled writer could have pulled off. 

 

40121959Miracle Creek by Angie Kim ⁣

From Goodreads: How far will you go to protect your family? Will you keep their secrets? Ignore their lies? A showdown unfolds as the story moves across characters who are all maybe keeping secrets, hiding betrayals. — Miracle Creek is an intricate and soulful tale that will challenge the way we see humanity: its relationships, its sense of justice, and the consequences of our actions no matter how big or small. I especially loved how it showed that a mother’s love is her own power and vulnerability all at the same time. Read my full review here.

 

19486412._SY475_Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty ⁣

From Goodreads: Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive. — On the surface an intriguing crime mystery novel, Big Little Lies for me is made more special by its insightful portrayal of motherhood and families with different personalities and from different backgrounds. It also has one of the most memorable female friendships I’ve ever read. 

 

41806986Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

From Goodreads: “Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Grimms’ Fairy Tales. Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking―and rechecking―your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe. — The story feels like a metaphor on postpartum depression. It speaks of a woman’s journey towards motherhood stripped off of the rainbows and butterflies, and with only the gory details laid bare. Read my full review here

 

41398025The Farm by Joanne Ramos ⁣

From Goodreads: Nestled in the Hudson Valley is a sumptuous retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, private fitness trainers, daily massages—and all of it for free. In fact, you get paid big money—more than you’ve ever dreamed of—to spend a few seasons in this luxurious locale. The catch? For nine months, you belong to the Farm. You cannot leave the grounds; your every move is monitored. Your former life will seem a world away as you dedicate yourself to the all-consuming task of producing the perfect baby for your überwealthy clients. — The book is a meditation on what it means to be a woman and a mother, and of the sacrifices a pregnancy entails. It is also a tribute to the nannies, baby nurses and house helpers who choose to take care of other people’s children just to earn money for the future of a family they left at home. It perfectly captures the essence of combined hopelessness and strength of this kind of love.

 

I know that this is such a short list, so do let me know if you have other titles to add. What book/s have you read that celebrates mothers? ⁣


 
I’d like to end this post by sharing this illustration made by my talented husband Mervin Malonzo. I believe he created this for me a few years ago as part of a campaign to normalize breastfeeding. I do think the art celebrates and empowers not just breastfeeding women, but all mothers and mother figures who nurture and take care of people other than themselves.

Happy Mother’s Day! All moms are blessings and let’s show them our love all year round 💕

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xoxo

13 thoughts on “Mother’s Day in Quarantine + Books About Motherhood

  1. What a coincidence- I just bought little fires everywhere for my mum for Mother’s Day. Know next to nothing about it other that it was a hit and some of the reviews looked interesting. Seems that I chose a nice book for her.

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  2. Awww, belated Happy Mother’s Day to you Princess! I really admire mothers who are also readers; you’re alternate scenario for yesterday would have been perfect ahahahha anyway, you can never go wrong with ice cream :>

    I’ve only read Miracle Creek in this list and I do agree that “it showed that a mother’s love is her own power and vulnerability all at the same time.” I really loved that booked and cried over it ahhahaha. Thank you so much for this list, I’ll probably pick up Little Fires Everywhere this month as well. I can recommend Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo as well because it really showed how motherhood is laborious. It’s more like a feminist reportage of the oppression women face in Korea from the 80’s to the present.

    Lastly, I really love the illustration!!! It looks ethereal and whimsical at the same time. Happy reading to you and keep safe there! P.S. You’re son is soooo cuteeee ahahhaha.

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    1. Awesome! If you loved Miracle Creek I‘m sure you will enjoy Little Fires Everywhere. I will definitely check out Kim Jiyoung, thanks! ❤️

      Yes. He is the cutest for me. haha. Proud mommy here. Thank you, dear! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy belated mothers day, Princess! It’s great that you were able to celebrate and have fun with your son 😄💕.
    These recommendations are fantastic! The Farm has been on my TBR for a while, but you’ve definitely bumped it up in my mind haha.
    Also, that illustration is beautiful 💖.

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  4. I love the illustration. 💜

    Making up a game to play with your wonderful son was a good way to spend some of Mother’s Day. 😍 You are such a trooper because I am going to admit that I mourned not having fresh flowers. 🙈 I missed them even more than my favorite take-out, but moms can be celebrated any day, and we’ll get our fresh flowers and special meals another day and they’ll be just as grand. 😊

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