On Mothering

With writing from 20 contributors.

Illustrated by Wenting Li, photography by Lenka Clayton.

In this collection of honest stories and full-colour visual art, 22 contributors tackle their feelings about the most universal of human experiences: the balancing act of caring for someone else without losing yourself in the process.

The term “mother” conjures different associations depending on our own personal experiences, our cultures, and our desires. We need to consider what care means in our communities, and the value that we ascribe to it.

The stories in this collection are for and by mothers, future mothers, but also atypical caregivers like doulas and pet moms. It is for anyone who has ever had a mother; for parents who have birthed or raised children; for anyone who has ever questioned their relationship to care, emotional labour, or sacrifice in the name of love.

Stop thinking about mothering as exclusive to women with babies. Consider mothering an essential life-saving skill, like CPR, or knowing how to breathe. Make mothering political. Teach mothering to every grade and age and gender. Value the practice of mothering as the highest good, and place those most skilled at the work at the centre of every table, policy, and social movement.
— Jessika Hepburn, On Mothering

erin ashenhurst

Erin Ashenhurst is a writer and educator living in Vancouver, BC. She is responsible for two exuberant children, and several despondent house plants. Her essays have appeared in Slate, Vice Canada, The Globe and Mail, The Tyee, and Room Magazine.


farrah abdel-latif

Farrah Abdel-Latif is an Egyptian-Canadian Muslim with an MA in English Literature, Print Culture and Book History from U of T. When she is not paused in awe of the universe, she is a writer, a tutor, an astrologer, a tarot reader, and a medium.



chantelle blagrove

Chantelle Blagrove is a writer based in Toronto. She is an emotional second generation Jamaican who feels too deeply, thinks too much, and attempts to understand human interaction by documenting it.


fauzia asim

Fauzia Asim is a friend, wife, and mother. She loves to read, write, cook, travel and most of all, laugh out loud.



lenka clayton

Lenka Clayton is an interdisciplinary artist whose work considers, exaggerates, and alters the accepted rules of everyday life, extending the familiar into the realms of the poetic and absurd. Her work has been exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum, NY, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, PA,The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, the Columbus Museum of Art, OH, and more.


alison carson

Alison Carson is a suburban mom, struggling to keep her big city-vibe as she raises her first child with her wife. When she isn't on mat leave, she is an educator with a specialty in English, Dance and Drama and an equity leader within her board, with a passion for anti-oppression education and supporting LGBTQ2IA youth.



tarralik duffy

Tarralik Duffy is a multidisciplinary artist and writer who lives and works between Salliq (Coral Harbour), Nunavut, and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. From jewellery and apparel to graphic works, Duffy’s creative output shares distinctly Inuit experiences, which are often infused with humour and pop culture.



jessika hepburn

Jessika Hepburn is a subversively multicultural, racially ambiguous Blackish-Jewish-Scottish mash up using her superpowers to craft a culture of care and community goodness. You can find Jessika gathering good folks around a common table at the rural cafe she co-owns in Mahone Bay, NS; organizing a region to make a better economy with Maritime Makers; and stepping up as a candidate for the NDP in the next federal election in her riding.



dara gordon

Dara Gordon is a health policy researcher and writer living in Toronto. She has published and performed her writing with invisiblities zine and has also performed her work at Unruly Bodies via With/out Pretend. Found on Instagram @dara.e.gordon, she self publishes prose from the journals she kept after the death of her mother in 2011, which she aims to turn into a book one day.



jessica kasiama

Jessica Kasiama is a Congolese writer, living between Toronto and Hamilton. She is highly interested in the intersection of arts and activism. Her work has appeared in Shameless Magazine, Sophomore Mag, Feels Zine, Nuance, and Plasma Dolphin.



wenting li

Wenting Li is an illustrator and inveterate reader working out of Toronto. Her work is preoccupied with colour and movement, the relationship between shapes, and the subtleties of complementing story with picture. She wishes she was friends with your cat.



alix maclean

Alix MacLean is a writer and researcher from Prince Edward Island who now lives in Ontario with her partner and three-year-old son. She has written for The Buzz, an arts and culture newspaper in Prince Edward Island, and is currently working on a novel.



sara black mcculloch

Sara Black McCulloch is a writer and fact-checker living in Toronto. Some of her writing has appeared in The Believer, i-D, Fashion Canada, The New Inquiry, This Recording, and The Hairpin.



tania peralta

Tania Peralta is a Honduran writer living in Toronto. She is currently focused on breaking generational trauma and creating generational wealth for her daughter Xylo.



ramna safeer

Ramna Safeer is a part-time writer and a full-time law student in Toronto. She is a writer of a book of poetry titled Year of Saving Self, published by Rahila's Ghost Press in June 2018. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Room Magazine, Reel Honey Magazine, and Gal-Dem Magazine, among others. She is the current Project Manager at Sophomore Mag



amanda scriver

Amanda Scriver is a freelance journalist best known for being fat, loud, and shouty on the Internet. Her written work has appeared on Buzzfeed, The Washington Post, FLARE, The Walrus, Thrillist, and Playboy. The things that spark joy are drag queens, reality television, bold lipstick and potato chips — in no particular order.



robin snip

Robin Snip is a mother, actor, writer and artist based in Prince Edward County.



cassandra thompson

Cassandra Thompson is a queer, black woman who is a T'karonto/Toronto-based full circle doula and radical plant medicine healer. She is the owner of Seed and Cerasee, a birth care business and apothecary, and is a founding member of Ocama Collective, a QTBIPOC doula collective seeking to reclaim and renew ritual in birth care.



shulamit sappire

Shulamit Sappire is a Nigerian/Israeli storyteller. In her work, she explores relationships between her multiple selves, between others, and as a sick body. Her work has previously been published in Toronto Prose Mill and in a collection of short stories called The Memory Machine.



simone simms

Simone Simms is the mother of three beautiful children under six, an entrepreneur, and a hands-on-healer. Hailing from Vaughan, Ontario, she strives for her holistic products and services, her soul bearing words, and for her energy to be impactful to those who cross paths with it.



christine vu

Christine Vu is a Vietnamese-Canadian writer living in Toronto. Her work has appeared in NOW Magazine, Chatelaine, Noisey, and Dear Journal.



kyisha williams

Kyisha Williams is a Black, queer femme artist whose primary mediums are filmmaking, acting and dance. Kyisha also has a master’s degree in Public Health and works with Black, queer, trans, youth, racialized, criminalized, and HIV+ communities. Her writing has been featured in Dear Sister, Critical Approaches to Harm Reduction, Shameless, Peak and mimp magazine.