Happy Mother’s Day to all the dystopian fans out there!
As an author of dystopian MOM fiction, I love reading, watching, and writing dystopian societies. Not so much living in one as we have the past couple of years. In a world recovering from collapse, many struggle with a new semblance of normal. With a holiday like Mother’s Day fast approaching, I wonder what the moms in my favorite dystopian worlds might want for their special day.
You know her from Apparent Power By Dacia M Arnold
Who is she? Valerie is a working mom who finds herself stranded at work when disaster strikes. With electricity on the fritz, she has no way home from her 100 mile commute but to walk.
What would she love? A reliable babysitter without an expiration date. Just like other over worked moms, Valerie does not want to stress about what time her sitter has to be home. What if there is traffic? Her relief is late? Shit hits the fan? Or a dormant gene awakens in a quarter of the world’s population and causes apocalyptic devastation? Having a reliable babysitter and peace of mind goes lengths for this mama.
For the modern day mom: If you are looking to shower a hard working mom with this gift, consider getting her a baby sitter would can stay out late, into the early morning, or even overnight. I promise, she is constantly worried about her children being a burden to others and hates the idea of being away too long. A stern reassurance to take her time will give her the best relief and encourage her to really enjoy herself with minimal guilt.
You know her from Bird Box and Malorie By Josh Malerman
Who is she? Malorie leaves her obstetrician’s office when a worldwide suicide epidemic strikes. Six years later, unable to open their eyes outside lest they fall victim of the same, Malorie blindly navigates two children away from the constant threat.
What would she love? A food delivery service. While keeping Malorie and her children safe in doors, food delivery would save her the stress of having to forage neighboring abandoned homes for life-sustaining supplies. Also consider she would have more time on her hands to actually cook and enjoy the meal. This would make porch-delivered meals a slam dunk.
For the modern day mom: For moms who love to cook, Blue Apron and other meal prep companies provide fresh ingredients to cook whole meals taking the stress of shopping from your introverted mom friends. Do they hate to cook? Uber Eats will have any restaurant in the mama’s area delivered straight to their home. Short on cash? Cook the meal yourself!
You know her from The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Who is she? Offred is a reproductive surrogate for a powerful figure and his resentful wife taken from her former home where she had a husband, daughter, and her own name.
What would she love? AN ESCAPE! On top of a reliable babysitter, gifting Offred with a hotel stay where she could sit in silence and solitude away from the oppression of her predicament. I know Offred would never advocate for her own escape, as she is pretty complacent in her situation, leaving her without excuses to say no would be a gift from the heart.
For the modern day mom: While running away from your family is only temporary, I know few mamas who would not rush out the door to enjoy peace and quiet. A paid hotel for one night, and someone to watch the kids could be the mental R and R your mom friend needs to refresh and recharge to better handle the demands of motherhood.
Get Your Dystopian Fix!
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Perfect 4 book gift for the dystopian mom fan in your life. You can also have the inscription customized for the bad@ss woman you know she is.
Gift for yourself??? EVEN BETTER! Happy Mother’s Day you amazing super woman!
You know her from The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
Who is she? Maggie is a long time character of The Walking Dead comics and graphic novels and serves as the leader of the Hilltop Community in a zombie ridden Virginia. She’s the widowed mother of two, Sophia whom she adopted and Hershel named after her late father. Governing a city and raising two little ones is hard work, but Maggie’s one tough cookie.
What would she love? Maggie would do just about anything for a solid cup of coffee. Surviving a zombie apocalypse is one thing, but rebuilding and keeping a society together takes long hours and never ending stress. Just one sip of real coffee could transport this leader to a place of pure bliss, even just a moment. Then no one would be more ready to tackle the issues at hand than this caffeinated matriarch.
For the modern day mom: Coffee is the love language of most women, but the sentiment is in the beverage itself. What’s her favorite drink? Coffee? Tea? Soda? Mimosa? The fact you know what it is and delivered it hot (or cold… you get it) tells her you pay attention. This may not be an extravagant gift, but ask me if I have ever turned down coffee.
You know her from Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Who is she? The Mocking Jay. The Girl On Fire. District 12’s Final Female Tribute. And by the end of book three (SPOILER ALERT) she becomes a mom.
What would she love? In all seriousness, I would hook this woman up with some therapy. After going through so much death and destruction, having an outlet to work through her issues could save her and her family anymore undue heartache. Anything to help her process what she went through. I know it. You know it. Yes it’s fiction but let’s be real.
For the modern day mom: No one is perfect. We all know someone who admits they need professional counseling but makes up excuses for not seeking out real help. BetterHelp is an app which connects you to a therapist who meets with you virtually. While this is not a cheap gift, the service can be invaluable to those bogged down moms who just need to talk and gain perspective, or finally address the serious issues they have been avoiding. I have used this service to get me through a rough transition in my life. No regrets.
It’s a little different perspective going into Mother’s Day weekend in the real world. If nothing else, you might consider the characters you read a little differently. Remember, moms need heroes too. Maybe this is the year you come through for a mom friend.
Dacia M Arnold is an award-winning American novelist, mother, and ten-year Army Veteran. She is the author of dystopian science fiction and coaches writers of all caliber and discipline to enhance their writing and create better balances of authorship and daily life.