30 Things To Learn From Badass Historical Moms

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Another badass historical mom tip: multitask

Image: Instagram/ @royaltyofthepast

Maria Theresa of Austria is often considered the mother of Austrian progress. She was also mother to 16 children, one of whom would turn out to be another woman listed here, Marie Antoinette. Unlike her daughter who wasn’t a political player, Maria Theresa was a mastermind in the game. She also was afraid of one thing, giving birth.

This is known because she wrote her expecting sister that she knew no peace as her sibling’s confinement drew nearer. And she was right to be worried. Her niece was stillborn, and her sister succumbed to postpartum complications short months later. Yet, that didn’t stop Maria Theresa from producing the heirs her kingdom needed. In fact, during one of her labors she instructed that a rotten tooth be pulled at the same time. Already in pain, she was willing to kill two birds with one stone. We bow to you, Empress BAMF.

She carried the weight so others didn’t have to

Image: Instagram/ @jillbowneedstravel

Vera Brittain was haunted by her past. Yet, she refused to share those dark stories with her children. Instead, for hours everyday, Vera secluded herself in a room and banged away at a typewriter. The book she produced, a forthright telling of all the losses she endured during WWI, is Testament of Youth. She didn’t let her children read it or question her about it until they were much older, not wanting to burden them with things outside of their control.

The book tells the story of how Vera learned that her younger brother, her fiance, and two of her closest friends died while serving the allied forces. Vera herself gave up much of her life to become a field nurse during the war years. Her daughter, Shirley, said this didn’t make her mother paranoid although there were times she seemed overly protective of her children. Vera’s story was reprinted in the 70’s and recently turned into a feature film.

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