20 Stories About Moms That’ll Make You Want to Call Yours

Updated: May 28, 2024

These mom stories submitted by readers offer much-needed love and inspiration for Mother's Day and beyond

There is nothing in the world quite like a mother’s love. With Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday, May 12, you may be in the mood for some heartwarming stories about motherhood. Well, you’re in luck: We’ve gathered readers’ short mom stories about lessons learned, great compassion and love, nostalgic remembrances and the mother-child bond.

Share these stories with your mom, your kids and anyone who could use a laugh, a cry or some mothering. It’s a great Mother’s Day idea that’ll warm your mom’s heart long after the holiday is over. So keep reading for some of the sweetest and most heartfelt mom stories from our readers.

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Mother of rock

For my brother, sister and me, Guitar Hero was a competition of who could score the most points on the hardest level. Mom, on the other hand, would play “Freebird” for 10 minutes on the easiest level while we kids prepared for our next showdown. When Mom restarted the song after missing a note, we all shouted our disapproval. “Rock stars do what they want,” she said, and we laughed because we agreed: Mom was a rock star. That’s why, later, her funeral felt more like the last stop on a farewell tour, with “Freebird” as the perfect send-off. —Paul Anderson, Mount Pleasant, Michigan

My favorite barista

Mother in armchair with coffee cup smiling at her son jumping on the bedzoranm/Getty Images

One morning, I jokingly told my husband he dropped the ball because he didn’t make me coffee and I was having trouble getting motivated to start the day. My 5-year-old son overheard me and asked me to explain what “dropped the ball” meant. A few minutes later, he came into our bedroom holding an overflowing coffee mug with a dishcloth underneath it to catch the drips. He said to my husband, “You dropped the ball, but I picked the ball up,” and he handed me the worst-tasting, most watered-down yet sweetest cup of coffee ever. —Jennifer Stockberger, Mount Vernon, Ohio

The greatest adventure

When doctors told us we would never have children, we decided to travel and seek adventure around the world. Shows at the Sydney Opera House. Tables and buffets in Las Vegas. Majestic fjords in Bergen. Tranquil beaches in Honolulu. Abandoned castles and old churches in the Scottish Isles. Endless pools in the Bahamas. Races at Daytona. We were about to book a trip to the Blue Lagoon when we learned I was pregnant. Now, with our toddler, we travel very little. Parenting, it turns out, is the greatest adventure of all. —Katherine Colandrea, Winter Garden, Florida

Sweet Baby James

I was rushed to the emergency room with complications from my high-risk pregnancy. After weeks of mandated bed rest in the hospital, I found myself suffering from an unfamiliar sadness. One day, my nurse brought a surprise to my room—a newborn named James.

James’ mom (who also experienced a high-risk pregnancy) sent her precious, healthy son for me to hold, along with an encouraging message: “This is the reason you are here in the hospital.” Three decades later, my heart is still full of gratitude for Baby James and his mom. And I am thankful for my own healthy son, Hunter. —Lisa Stevens, The Woodlands, Texas

No boys allowed!

Mother and daughter tending to crying baby on changing matMint Images/Getty Images

When attempting to prepare my 7-year-old daughter for a new baby in a few months, she repeatedly stated, “No boys in our house!”

After several months, the big day arrived. My daughter came into the hospital room, and I told her the baby was a boy and asked her, “What are we gonna do?” She placed both of her hands on her hips and without missing a beat said, “Well, I guess we’ll have to love the little thing!” —Karen Dugger, West Plains, Missouri

Open house

We lived in the Bronx, all seven of us kids and my single mom. It was mid-January, and a huge snowstorm hit. The snow was so thick, the highways came to a complete stop. We lived a half of a block from the highway. The darkness of night was approaching. There were several cars stuck with people and their families and/or pets inside.

Mom stood up and said to my brother, “I will open my house to the stranded people on the highway.” She said, “Please go and invite them to our house.” We had 13 families come. Our living room was covered in sleeping bags, blankets and pillows. In the morning, we had three pots of coffee, one huge pot of hot chocolate, bacon, eggs and warm French bread. Everyone showed such gratitude. Mom’s act of kindness and humanity was so profound to me. She showed us all the selflessness of helping others. —Diana Allen Castaic, California

Two simple words

On the first day of first grade, I stood by the front door with butterflies in my stomach. I voiced my biggest concern to my mother: “How will I make friends?” Crouching in front of me, she handed me advice I carry with me to this day: “Be Switzerland.” Be friends with everyone. Treat everyone equally and fairly. For all of my 20 years, I have lived by these words. Soon I will graduate and become a part of the real world. And on that first day, nervously facing new responsibilities, I know I will whisper two words to myself: “Be Switzerland.” —Abigail Wortman, West Long Branch, New Jersey

My little St. Nick

My 6-year-old son, Nicholas, sat in the grocery cart as I perused the canned vegetables. “How about this one, Mommy?” he asked, handing me a can of asparagus. “I love asparagus!” I told him. “Asparagus is my favorite vegetable, but it’s just too expensive.” I put the can back on the shelf. Three months later, I opened a crudely wrapped present from under the Christmas tree. It was a can of asparagus. Nicholas beamed in delight as he explained how he had saved his pennies to buy me the best Christmas gift I’d ever received. —Brenda Bokor Wismer, Pinedale, Wyoming

The need never goes away

Gettyimages 1224492151 20 Sweet Stories About Moms Jvcropmapodile/getty images

“Mommy, you are a fairy,” I said. My mother laughed like tinkling bells. “I am serious, Mother. You know everything.”

“My child, I try to answer as best as I can. When you grow older, you will not need me,” she said.

“No, Mom. I will always need you. Nothing can change that,” I said.

Her response echoes in my heart as I look at the blue sky: “Dear daughter, nothing remains the same except the vast blue sky.” It has been 10 years since I lost my fairy. Mom, you were wrong about one thing: I still need you. —Saman Rahman, Peshawar, Pakistan

A stand-up woman

My mom had a great sense of humor and a knack for making everything fun. One thing that resonated with me, even as a small child, was how much she seemed to enjoy her own company and found ways to entertain herself. As a kid, I remember her giggling while paying bills. What was so funny about bill paying? She would put humorous notes in the reference section of the check: For the electric bill, she might put, “You light up my life,” and for the mortgage, she’d write, “Four shingles closer to owning it all.” —Robin Hynes, Slingerland, New York

The hardest choice

Thirty-five years ago, when my mom was 22, she became a widow and a mother within the same month. The life she had imagined was stolen in a heartbeat. She tried to move on, but she was lost. She gave me to my father’s family to be raised in the United States. Some call her weak; others call her selfish. I could be mad or bitter. Instead, I’m grateful for the life I have and to have a mother who sacrificed our relationship to give me a chance at a better life. She is courageous. She is my mother. —Andrea Cortinas, El Paso, Texas

Just one more question

Newborn Baby Holding Adult FingerConstantine Johnny/Getty Images

“I was chosen to be your mama,” I tell my 4-year-old daughter as my younger boys pull at my clothes.

She looks at me tearfully and asks, “Why couldn’t I grow in your tummy like my brothers?”

“Well,” I tell her, choking back my own tears, “the doctor said I couldn’t grow a baby in my tummy, so your daddy and I decided to adopt a baby. That baby was you.” I hold my breath and wait for a more difficult question.

“Can I have some ice cream?” she asks.

“Yes!” I say, thankful for her innocence. —Katina Brown, West Monroe, Louisiana

Memories in verse

The day I was dreading had arrived—it was inevitable. I had seen it coming but had chosen to ignore it for as long as possible. My very capable, intelligent mom had started forgetting to pay her bills, and it was time to take over her finances. As I looked through her wallet, I made a remarkable discovery. Tucked away in a tiny compartment were four Mother’s Day poems I’d written for her in the 1960s. She had saved and cherished those simple gifts for 50 years. What a happy surprise! —Pat Witty, Fairmont, Minnesota

To Mom, on her special day

In 1976, my grandfather wrote a story about his fondest Christmas memories and submitted it to Reader’s Digest. Recently, while cleaning out his basement, my mom discovered the well-preserved writing as well as the letter of regret from the magazine, as the piece was not published. After reading his story, I learned that my mom came from an amazing family—and with the help of my dad, she raised an amazing family herself. Mom, if you are reading this, “Happy Mother’s Day! I love you.” —Megan McPartland, Levittown, New York

Might as well face it

woman dancing in her houseMaskot/getty images

Coming home from work one day, I found my mom dancing to Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love.” I watched, enthralled, as she moved and sang along, her hips twisting to the beat, a big smile plastered on her face. It had been a long while since I’d seen her dance, so this display of pure joy was infectious. She died unexpectedly in her sleep a few weeks later. I have many memories of her that I’ll always cherish, but none quite as happy and carefree as her dance that day. It’s definitely the simple things—thanks, Robert Palmer! —Beth Kailukaitis, Kalamazoo Township, Michigan

Pay it forward

You reap what you sow: In her old country, my mom saw a very poor blind woman with her young daughter. She felt sorry for them and loaned them all her savings. Although Mom was worried sick about it, they miraculously returned every cent. Two decades later, when Mom left her Communist country and came to America as a refugee, the Catholic Church gave her money to feed her many children. She returned every single cent, and her children continued to pay back through worldwide charities. Mom is now 90 years old and has a richly blessed life. —Teresa Martin, North Aurora, Illinois

A scarlet symbol

Northern Cardinal Perching On Bare TreeMark Hairston/Getty Images

My mother was my best friend. She loved cardinals, the male red ones. When she got sick with pancreatic cancer and knew death was near, she told me to always look for the red cardinal—that would be her. I never paid too much attention to that statement; I was too busy becoming an adult. Twenty-five years later, every time I feel at my wits’ end, there is a cardinal flying past me or in a nearby tree. Is it a coincidence or my mother, all these years later, letting me know that everything will be OK? I’ll take the latter. —Priscilla Hartling, West Allis, Wisconsin

A new chapter

“Goodbye,” she sang cheerily, skipping off to her new dorm after giving me a light peck on the cheek as though we were no more than acquaintances. A young woman. A college freshman. No longer my baby. Her casual parting stung me. Had she outgrown me? As I walked away, I was arrested by a child’s voice shouting, “Mommy!” (A word I hadn’t heard in years.) Before I could turn around, she was in my arms, her face buried in my neck. She didn’t need to say anything. I knew then that she’d always be my little girl. —Jamie Larson, Atlanta

Reunited by Mom

While shopping, I noticed a credit card on the floor. I picked it up, went to the courtesy desk and asked them to page the owner. I waited. No one came. They said that her cart was still there and she had gone to her car to look for her card. When she came back, I asked if she had lost something. I asked her name and established that it matched the card, which I then gave her. She said she had prayed to her mother, who had passed away recently, to help her find the card. We talked, and I introduced myself. “My name is Claire,” I said. She responded, “My mother’s name was Claire.” —Claire Salem, New City, New York

Dress shopping

Rows of wedding dresses on display in a specialist wedding dress shop. Close up of full skirts, some with a lace overlay, in a variety of colour tones. .Mint Images/Getty Images

We went looking for a wedding dress on Sunday. Laughing, we made for the door of a bridal shop. This would surely be the first of many stores before we found the perfect gown. Having witnessed other brides and their mothers, we vowed to be happy in these moments. Unexpectedly, my mind went back to the day we brought her home some 27 years ago. I said a silent thank-you to the young mother who, by letting her go, allowed her to be mine at this precious time. Two hours later, there she stood, in the dress of her dreams. My beautiful girl. —Marybob Straub, Smyrna, Georgia

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest