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Angela Garbes Essential Labor Intervew
Authors & Illustrators

Mother Essentials: Angela Garbes, Author & Mother Of 2

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

If you haven’t read Angela Garbes’ new book, Essential Labor: Mothering as Social Change, please do yourself a favor and scoop it up as soon as you can. The fantastic read explains how all forms of mothering (i.e. caretaking) are absolutely essential to a functioning society—yet often severely disrespected. In addition to her deep-dives into the past and present of caregiving, the Seattle-based writer also shares her unique personal story of mothering (daughters Noli, 7, and Ligaya, 4) and being mothered (by Filipinx parents who immigrated to the U.S. before she was born).

Angela has been interviewed by everyone from Terry Gross of NPR and Trevor Noah of The Daily Show on the topic of mothering and now we have the treat of soaking up her top 12 Mother Essentials of the moment—which are as honest (and sometimes humorous) as her book.

Cory Silverberg Books. “Cory Silverberg is a national treasure. If, like me, you are figuring out how to talk to your children about bodies, sex, and puberty in ways that are open, relaxed, age appropriate, and truly inclusive of all genders and sexualities, you cannot do better than their work! Each of Silverberg’s books—What Makes a Baby?, Sex is a Funny Word, and You Know, Sex—are an invaluable resource navigating these topics with kids from preschool through adolescence.” Cory Silverberg Books via Bookshop and Amazon.

Everyday Oil. “I’m a daily moisturizer and the name says it all. Essential to me.” Everyday Oil, $48, Credo.

Ilana Kohn Jumpsuits and Pants. “I have no time for low-rise, tight-fitting, and constricting clothing anymore. Comfortable is the most beautiful, satisfying state of being. These are my uniforms.” IlanaKohn.com.

Supergoop Unseen Suncreen. “I’m a big believer in SPF and water as the keys to healthy skin. This is the best, lightest, fast-absorbing sunscreen that I apply every morning.” Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, $36, Supergoop.

Ghia Spritz. “Now that I am 45, a hangover can last up to three days? I am spending more time in the moderation and sobriety zone and Ghia spritzes—delicious, complex, non-alcoholic apertifs—have been great companions.” Le Spritz, $60 for 12, Ghia.

Donita Reason. “A friend of mine says that writers don’t get paid in money, they get paid in props and kind words. It’s hard to make a living through writing, but launching my newsletter Donita Reason, growing my community of readers, and getting direct financial support from them has given me new energy and joy as an artist. As a reader, I love my subscriptions to newsletters such as Momspreading and A Place is a Gift.” AngelaGarbes.Substack.com.

Meal Train. “This summer my spouse tore his Achilles tendon and I sprained my MCL. To say it was hard is an understatement. Meal Train saved our sanity and our physical energy. To be able to ask for meals and groceries from friends and community—and to receive it—is such a gift.” MealTrain.com.

Parehas Filipino Bingo. “As a first-generation Filipina American raising mixed-race daughters, I think a lot about how to cultivate pride in Filipinx culture. Parehas is a wonderful game for my family to play together—a way to build our Tagalog, vocabulary, learn, and celebrate together.” PAREHAS the Filipino Bingo Game, $29.99, PAREHAS.

Theragun. “Middle age brings so many random aches and pains, but this little massager makes it possible to work some of those tensions out from the comfort of home. It’s also really nice to be able to give your partner or friend a massage without wearing out your own hands.” Theragun Mini, $184.89, Amazon.

The Bridge. “Sometimes I just need straight escapism, to be taken verrrry far from my everyday life. The Bridge is a crime drama set at the border between Denmark and Sweden. It’s dark and occasionally gruesome, but the character development is just incredible. I fell in love with Detective Saga Noren and binged four seasons of her in just a matter of weeks.” The Bridge via Amazon Prime.

Dance Church Go. “I’ve been going to Dance Church classes in Seattle for almost ten years. It’s central to my mental and physical health, and one of my most important communities. During the pandemic, Dance Church created an online platform that allows anyone, anywhere to feel the euphoric magic of movement.” GoDanceChurch.com.

Letting Shit Go. “As I type this, I’m sitting in my living room scattered with books and Playmobil figurines. There are plates with maple syrup drying on the dining room table. I like to keep a clean house, but I also have so much to do all the time. Some things can wait. The older I get, the more I realize that I can let go of shit and deal with it later! The world won’t end and I can take the time I need.”

For more Mother Essentials, peep our recent features on The Mamas author Helena Andrews-Dyer, Olivia J founder Shae Jones, author Brynne BarnesTisha Thompson of LYS Beauty, Blueland’s Sarah Paiji Yoo, Heirloom’s Sri Bodanapu, Lady Falcon Coffee Club founder Buffy Maguire, the mama-duo behind Spring & Mulberry chocolate, Dear Bella Creamery co-founder Alice Cherng, designer Becky Hui Chan, author Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, ByHeart co-founder Mia Funt, Backdrop founder Natalie Ebel, Oui The People founder & CEO Karen Young, author-illustrator Grace Lin, the co-founders of ODDOBODY, Happy Family Organics’ CEO Anne Laraway, YA author J.Elle, kid-lit authors Karen Chan and Suzanne Greenlaw, the founders of EADEM, and Minimalista author Shira Gill.

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