The joys of motherhood: a pop-culture celebration

Mothers and mother figures are and will forever be underrated because no-one can ever be able to put into words, song or photograph just how amazing they are. Mother's Day may be around the corner, but we think that every day should be a day dedicated to the women that make life so much more palatable. 

Also read: So many ways to say "Thank you, Mom!"– Gifts and ideas for Mother's Day

In case you need some reminding just how amazing moms can be, just see below.

1. The playlist

We've compiled a list of ten songs about mothers. These are about days spent with mom or just thanking mom for being selfless. Even famous musicians agree that it's important to thank their mothers and tell them just how much they care and love about them!

2. The books

Life on the Refrigerator Door – Alice Kuipers

This books is about a mother-daughter relationship told entirely from notes left on the refrigerator door. It's a heart-wrenching book that will have you calling the mother figure in your life when you get to the last page. It also features a simple and sweet poem at the beginning of the book:

When I look at you
I see the woman I want to be
Strong and brave
Beautiful and free
P.S. I love you

Also read: Twinning: precious images of moms and their mini-mes to get you in your feels for Mother's Day

The Joy Luck Club – Amy Tan

Set in 1949 in San Francisco, the book tells the story of four Chinese women that meet up to play mah jong, confide in each other and eat dim sum. This book explores the beauty and complexities of mother-daughter relationships. 

The Joys of Motherhood – Buchi Emecheta

Nnu Ego is a resilient woman who has been dealt a lot of hardships. A daughter of a chief, she is expected to have many sons, but once she is married, she cannot bear her abusive husband any children. She flees to the coast and is soon remarried and has many children. But her new life is not very kind to her either. The story is about how hard mothers work to better the lives of their children and how we tend to overlook the strength, hard work and courage of our own mothers. 

Mom & Me & Mom – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou shares her personal story about her relationship with her mother. She tells the story of how her mother sent her and her brother away to live with their grandmother after her marriage failed. This lead to years of a broken relationship between Maya and her mother and how they reunited to rebuild their crumbled bond. 

That Kind of Mother – Rumaan Alam

New mother Rebecca Stone is overwhelmed by all the responsibilities of motherhood and in a moment of desperation, she asks Priscilla (a woman who helps her at the hospital) to be her son's nanny. While Priscilla helps them, Rebecca learns to grapple with her own privilege. This is intensified when Priscilla dies during childbirth and Rebecca adopts he son. Rebecca will have to learn what it means to be a white mother to a black son. 

Also read: Bookworms, unite! Great new reads

The movies

Stepmom

When Luke Harrison (Ed Harris) decides to get remarried, his children have a hard time accepting their new stepmom, Isabel (Julia Roberts). Things aren't easy for Isabel when it's clear that she can't measure up to their mother, Jackie (Susan Sarandon), who makes it very obvious she disapproves of the young woman who's trying to 'replace her'.

Also read: Mother’s Day tips for divorced fathers 

Anywhere But Here

Adele August (Susan Sarandon) moves her and her daughter Ann (Natalie Portman) to Beverly Hills to pursue her Hollywood dreams. Ann and Adele are complete opposites: Ann is a straight-laced A-student while Adele is colourful and impulsive. Will the move to California bring them closer or tear them further apart?

Riding in Cars with Boys

Based on a true story, Beverly (Drew Barrymore) becomes a teenage mom in the late 1960s. She aspires to be a writer but has to put her dreams on hold to raise her son and take care of her drug-addicted husband. 

Postcards from the Edge

Loosely based on Carrie Fischer's life, the movie explores the relationship between a Hollywood actress recovering from a drug addiction (Meryl Streep) and her mother (Shirley Maclaine) who is also a Hollywood actress with an affinity for alcohol. 

The Kids Are All Right

Two siblings join forces to look for their father, a sperm donor to their two mothers. The two moms will learn that sometimes, the children can know what's best too.

Also read: Single women and fertility treatment: a specialist answers all our questions 

Steel Magnolias

The film tells the story of six southern women and the knowledge and support they impart on each other. It particularly focuses on the mother-daughter relationship between M'Lynn (Sally Fields) and Shelby (Julia Roberts) and Shelby's critical condition as she tries to pursue motherhood. 

Losing Isaiah

A crack-addicted mother (Halle Berry) leaves her baby in a dumpster while she's high, returns and finds it has been taken. Years later, when she is clean and has a steady job, she sees him with his adopted family. Knowing her son is alive, she chooses to challenge the adoption and seek full custody of her son. The film is about the two mothers' love for a young boy who deserves love and caring. Who is rightful mother, the one that birthed him or the one that's raised him?

Also read: Adoption brings hope: Two SA families share their stories

Juno

A pregnant teenager (Ellen Page) chooses to give her baby up for adoption. She begins spending time with the married couple during the adoption process. 

Mermaids

Two daughters and their mother (Cher) move from one town to another with their sexy and whimsical mother. The eldest daughter (Winona Ryder) and her mother clash about the mother's promiscuity and the daughter's religious nature. 

Also read: WATCH: Kids tell us where they would take Mom ahead of Mother’s Day

Brave

Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is a princess that wants to follow her own path and not the one her mother (Emma Thompson) sees fit for her. This animated film is a refreshing steer away from the classic Disney films where the protagonist is either orphaned or without a mother. While it is about Merida's bravery, her relationship with her mother is vital to the story line. 

Beloved 

Based on Toni Morrison's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Beloved is a beautiful film about the ghost (Thandi Newton) of a mother's (Oprah Winfrey) past and how she has to face it. 

Terms of Endearment

Emma (Deborah Winger) and Aurora (Shirley MacLaine) have a close mother-daughter relationship, but when Emma marries against her mother's wishes their relationship becomes strained. Their love will surpass any challenges they'll face, from failed marriages to terminal illnesses. You'll call the mother figure in your life to tell them how much you miss or love him.

4. The iconic photographs

The Migrant Mother (1936) - Dorothea Lange

The pregnancy announcment (2017) - Beyoncé

To Our Baby (2018) - Kylie Jenner

More Demi Moore (1991) - Annie Lebovitz for Vanity Fair

Also read: WATCH: Gorgeous celeb pregnancy portraits

Mothers definitely deserve a day dedicated to them. How will you be celebrating the mother in your life this Sunday?

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