There are many women I look to for matriarchal inspiration and one of the less conventional is Morticia Addams. She’s eccentric and macabre, but also thoughtful and compassionate. She’s beautiful in a wonderfully unique way, completely detached from societal norms. There’s nothing typical about her and she embraces that. In doing so she allows those around her to feel equally comfortable in their own skin. Here are just six reasons Morticia Addams is my role model:

1. She’s a badass. When she takes Uncle Fester to the family graveyard and shows him the family credo, the implicit threat is clear: “Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc. We gladly feast on those who would subdue us. Not just pretty words.” (Ie. Don’t f@ck with my family.) When they lose their home and fortune, driving Gomez into a depression, it is Morticia who ultimately fixes everything. She never complains or whines, just gets things done.

2. She makes her husband a priority. They’ve been married for years and are still desperately in love, lacking nothing in desire. They frequently spend quality time together, from the occasional waltz to extravagant dinners and romantic evening strolls through the family tombs.

3. She’s an excellent mother. She raises Wednesday and Pugsley to be unique, creative, honest individuals. She sugarcoats nothing and as a result they have are incredibly well-adjusted and unbiased. When a little girl at camp explains to Wednesday how babies are made, (“And then Mommy kissed Daddy, and the angel told the stork, and the stork flew down from heaven, and left a diamond under a leaf, in the cabbage patch, and the diamond turned into a baby!”) Wednesday calmly responds, “Our parents had sex.”

4. She values family. Her mother and brother in law live with them and coexist in harmony. She embraces extended family and takes the time to ensure that her children know and respect their ancestry. She encourages the shared interests of the family (Wake the Dead, etc.) and as a result they take care of one another, particularly when faced with adversity from outside forces.

5. She has her own interests and goals. Potions, spells, seeking out dark forces to join their hellish crusade, Morticia has a lot going on. She is quietly self-assured and though she clearly wants Gomez, she does not need him.

6. She is without prejudice. She is accepting of everyone and every “thing”. The entire family, though darkly sardonic, lacks the judgmental tendencies that much of society seems to possess. It’s part of what makes them such a surprisingly loving family.

She’s not “normal” but something far more valuable. In a world of Real Housewives, if she’s wrong then I don’t want to be right.

“Normal is an illusion. What’s normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”

~Morticia Addams

You can read more from Michelle Redmon on her blog.

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