Why a Harry Potter mom is my parenting inspiration

Photo by Sarah Ehlers on Unsplash

From the very first moment we meet Molly Weasley in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, she’s everything you could want in a parent or surrogate parent in Harry’s case.

She’s warm. She’s loving and she will give you just the encouragement you need to get where you need to go.

In fact, without Molly Weasley, Harry Potter may not have made it to Hogwarts at all, because she’s the one who tells him how to get to Platform 9 3/4.

“All you have to do is walk straight at the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Don’t stop and don’t be scared you’ll crash into it, that’s every important. Best do it at a bit of a run if you’re nervous,” she tells him.

Now, ordinarily, I’m not a huge fan of adults telling children to run headfirst into walls, but since this actually how you get to Platform 9 3/4, it was a good call in this case.

Plus, as a kid and well, an adult with anxiety, I appreciate the fact that Molly acknowledged that yeah, it’s totally normal to be anxious about running headfirst into a wall. But instead of making Harry feel bad about having that fear, she just acknowledged it without judgement and told him how to face it — just run right through it.

Harry trusts her, makes it through the barrier, arrives on to the platform, goes off to Hogwarts and eventually saves the wizarding world and all that. But we all knew that already, because everyone’s always talking about Harry.

I want to talk about Molly instead, because Molly is the best.

For the record, I sort of hate the phrase “strong female characters” because we rarely/almost never use the phrase “strong male characters” when we talk about male characters in books.

We hear the phrase “strong female characters” in literature talk because it’s supposed to be an anomaly — it’s something we don’t always see. It’s the literary equivalent of seeing a unicorn holding a four-leaf clover jump over a double-rainbow or something. It’s a big freaking deal.

We expect our male characters in books to be smart, be strong and make decisions for themselves. But, sadly ,we can’t always expect as much from our female characters.

This is not because women aren’t smart, strong and make decisions for themselves. Duh, of course they do. It’s just that these type of women, aka normal, average everyday women and girls like pretty much all the women and girls you know, don’t get talked about in books enough.

Instead, for centuries really, female characters have been relegated to “damsel in distress” mode where they stand around and look pretty while they wait to be saved by some dude.

Molly — like damn near every female character in Harry Potter — isn’t like that.

She’s a badass.

Toughness in female characters and well, women in general is underrated. And the best part about almost all the female characters in Harry Potter is how tough they are.

For instance, in addition to being warm, loving and probably always smelling vaguely of cookies, Molly Weasley is tough as nails.

This woman does not suffer fools.

She sends a mean Howler. She’s possibly the only woman in the world who could keep Fred and George in line and she protects her children with a fierceness that makes mama bears look tame.

Molly is fierce and protective of all her children, and Harry too, throughout all of the Harry Potter books, but at no time are her super mom powers more evident than when Bellatrix Lestrange goes after her youngest child, Ginny.

I mean, I can’t be the only one who cried tears of joy when Molly stormed after Bellatrix with her cry of “NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!”

If that’s not the reaction you want from your mom when you are attacked by a deranged Death Eater, I don’t know what is.

Plus, like all powerful moms, Molly is not all talk and no action. She has the skills to back up her words. So, naturally she crushes Bellatrix — one of the most powerful dark wizards in the world in their duel. She blows her into smithereens — easy peasy, with about as much exertion as you’d expect she’d have making a pot roast or a Swiss cake roll or something.

Because in addition to being warm, loving and knitting you lovely sweaters, Molly is the kind of mom who will always have your back and will attack your enemies with a vengeance as fiery as her red hair.

These skills hopefully aren’t needed in our Muggle world, but it’d be nice to know your mom has them, right? Of course it would.

Everyone wants a mom like Molly Weasley. And if they don’t, they damn well should, because as I believe I’ve mentioned, she’s the best.

So, if I end up being half as good a mother as Molly Weasley myself one day, I’d consider that pretty darn good.

Not bad for a muggle at least.

I’m a freelance writer and editor. I’ve written nonfiction children’s books, bar reviews, health care communications and more: https://ashleystrehlehartman.com/

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