Mother’s Day is just around the corner and right about now you are trying to figure out what to get the woman who dedicated her life to taking care of you. Whether she’s your biological, adopted, step, or friend-mom, she means everything to you, and it’s quite likely this is the sentiment you wish to share with her. 

But, what do you get her? What gift could you give that would completely sum up all that she means to you and be something that she would value? 

As a team of moms we decided to find out. In a survey that we conducted we asked participating moms what mattered most to them, receiving gifts or receiving letters from those they loved? As it turns out, moms of all ages ranked the idea of receiving gifts very low. It appears that moms value letters more than gifts. 

But not just any letter. Before you put pen to paper we furthered our research on what mom’s most wanted to hear from their loved ones and the results varied depending on the age groups. 


* Mothers aged 18 – 24 most valued hearing stories of lessons or support for their children, followed by memories of their children’s “firsts”.

* Mothers aged 25 – 34 wanted most to hear stories of overcoming hardships.

* Mothers aged 35 – 44 wanted to hear stories of family traditions.

* Mothers aged 45 and up valued stories of children’s “firsts” and fond memories.


There were messages that all mothers wanted to hear as well, such as messages of love, that their kids feel loved and that they are doing/have done a great job. Hearing words of encouragement also scored highly amid the various age groups. 

The fact that moms of all ages desire to hear meaningful words and stories from their loved ones is not surprising. Research shows that the human body is socially constructed and designed to respond to our words in the same way we respond to physical sensations like hugs.  In fact, research has shown that even writing to yourself can have profound healing benefits.

What is surprising is that although receiving letters appears to be highly valued, and physically makes us feel good, nearly 42% of mothers polled reported that they never recieve letters from their children.  

So as you’re thinking about what to “gift” a mother, consider giving her the gift of words.  Whether in person or on paper, your stories, fond memories, words of love and encouragement, matter and they long to be heard from the one who means everything to you.

For a more detailed breakdown of our research on what moms want to hear, click here.

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