The Best Audiobooks for Moms

New, single, working, stay-at-home, or seasoned—for every type of mom, these exceptional listens are sure to resonate and satisfy.

Moms are some of the hardest working, most resourceful, and most amazing people on this planet. The audiobooks on this list show appreciation to all the moms of this world, from new moms to single moms, from moms with adult children to moms who have lost their children. Some of these books are fictional. Some are about self-improvement. Some are personal memoirs. If you're a mom or if you know a mom who needs a good listen to boost her spirits, offer reassurance, or simply speak to her, you're sure to find the right one in this list. 

And Now We Have Everything

Is anyone ever totally ready to become a mother? Author Meaghan O’Connell certainly wasn’t when she got pregnant shortly after she got engaged. In And Now We Have Everything, O’Connell documents this unexpected turn in her life in the hopes of helping other women struggling with the emotional and existential impact of motherhood, especially when it is unplanned. The author herself narrates this audiobook with honesty and humor.

Grounded

In an audio essay that listeners have called moving and beautiful, honest and relatable, and engrossing, Doreen Oliver shares her experiences as a young mother balancing her own aspirations with her desire to provide a nurturing life for her children. Oliver’s own upbringing, raised by a stay-at-home mom dedicated to providing every opportunity for her children, left an impact on her perception of motherhood. With great compassion and vulnerability, Oliver discusses both the sacrifices and challenges associated with raising children and the endless depths of the love she has for her family.

MotherStruck!

New moms and those who are struggling to become moms will identify with author Staceyann Chin’s story. At 35, after another devastating break up, Chin realized she was running out of time, so she set out to make her dreams of motherhood a reality through more unconventional means. In MotherStruck!, Chin lets listeners in on her struggle to become a parent with the assistance of her friend Peter, a gay man she marries with the intention of starting an army of children. The audiobook is narrated by the author and features an original score by Grammy-nominated songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello.

The Bubbe Diaries

After having a child, navigating your relationship with your own parents (and those of your partner) can feel overwhelming. Paula Span, who writes the popular New York Times column The New Old Age, offers a reassuring guide for new moms and new grandmas alike in The Bubbe Diaries. From research regarding sleep and bonding to the tensions that might arise between a new mom and her mother-in-law, Span’s thoughtful reflections and sweet, hilarious recollections of her experiences with her own granddaughter are sure to offer hope and comfort.

Operating Instructions

Like most of the audiobooks on this list, Operating Instructions is the perfect listen for moms of all kinds: new moms, single moms, and really any mom who could use a little bit of support. With openness, thoughtfulness, and yes, humor (because how can anyone get through motherhood without a bit of humor?), Anne Lamott shares her experiences being a single mother during the first year of her son’s life.

Little Fires Everywhere

Celeste Ng's best-selling novel, Little Fires Everywhere looks at motherhood through the lens of various women: adoptive mothers, biological mothers, mothers who are married with multiple children, and mothers suffering from the loss of a child. One of the two central characters is a single mother, Mia Warren, an artist who is trying to juggle the stresses of raising a teenage daughter while also struggling with her mysterious past. If you’re looking for a novel that really explores all the nuances and difficulties of motherhood, this is it.

Year of Yes

Shonda Rhimes is a familiar name to most as the creator of beloved television shows, including Grey’s Anatomy and Bridgerton. But she deserves just as much recognition as an author. In Year of Yes, Rhimes talks about motherhood, specifically being a single mother, and also covers a wide range of topics—nurturing creativity, intersectional feminism, and more. Because while mothers care about motherhood, they’re also fully realized women with a wide range of concerns and interests. Of course, Rhimes narrates her own memoir with the enthusiasm and encouragement listeners would expect from an audiobook that's about saying yes to every opportunity.

Breathe, Mama, Breathe

Motherhood is a blessing, of course, but sometimes it can also be...well, a lot. That’s why it’s so important for every mother to remember to take moments for herself, to relax and just catch her breath. That’s where Breathe, Mama, Breathe comes in. In this audiobook, psychotherapist Shonda Moralis outlines the benefits of meditation for moms who are dealing with a lot and shows how you can get those benefits in just five minutes.

I Just Want to Pee Alone

Not getting any time to yourself? You’ll relate to I Just Want to Pee Alone, a collection of observations and rants from disgruntled mom bloggers everywhere who are sick of the awful hours, terrible pay, and zero personal days that come with the job of motherhood. This audiobook includes hilarious essays such as A Pinterest-Perfect Mom, I Am Not and So She Thought She Could Cut Off My Stroller. Vanessa Daniels’s stellar narration of these stories of motherhood will have you laughing out loud.

Brackish Waters

Stressed out and in need of a laugh? Check out Brackish Waters, a riotous Audible Original that follows stressed-out mom Kate who hopes for salvation (both for a stalled career and failing marriage) in the form of an all-expenses-paid trip for the whole family to the SeaView at Sandpiper Bay. There’s only one problem: the luxurious resort isn’t what it seems, and Kate and her family are awarded a vacation from hell. Furious and frustrated, Kate sets out to write the most epic takedown of a Yelp review ever—and the ride along the way is made all the more hilarious with the star power of the ever-talented Christina Applegate at the mic.

How to Be a Girl

When her three year old declares that she should have been born a girl instead of a boy, Marlo Mack agrees to raise her child as she wishes. Inspired by the acclaimed podcast of the same name, How to Be a Girl is the author’s story of motherhood in transition. As much her daughter’s story as it is her own, Mack's heartfelt memoir is the perfect listen for every mother seeking to better understand and strengthen the bond with her daughter.

The Bonesetter's Daughter

Amy Tan’s beautiful novel The Bonesetter's Daughter follows the story of a mother and daughter living in San Francisco. Ruth Young has always had a difficult relationship with her now-widowed mother, LuLing. But now that LuLing is getting older and her memories are beginning to fail her, she shares writings with her daughter that reveal secrets of her past in China—and perhaps also open a pathway to reconciliation and understanding for the pair.

Force of Beauty

A multigenerational tale of three remarkable women, Mikki Taylor’s exceptional Audible Original memoir Force of Beauty is the perfect listen for mothers and grandmothers alike. With a lovely cadence and a voice that's practically musical, Taylor traces the histories of her hometown and her family's roots, zeroing in on the stories of her grandmother, Bessie, and her mother, Modina. Whether Taylor is describing her grandparents' arrival in Newark, New Jersey, or the joyful atmosphere at her mother’s salon, every recollection is elevated by a feeling of love. Beyond the familial, Taylor draws compelling connections between beauty and a sense of belonging, community, and empowerment for mid-century Black women, examining the significance of hair salons during the civil rights movement.

I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This

Mothers and daughters share a special and powerful legacy. A mother passes on stories, a history, beliefs, and even personal traumas to her daughter, and she passes them on to her daughter, and so on. In I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This, Nadja Speigelman looks at the history of mothers and daughters in her own family, most notably her mother—French-born New Yorker art director Françoise Mouly—and her grandmother.

The End of My Heart

Author Gayle Forman, perhaps best known for her best seller If I Stay, tries her hand at a new genre in this haunting work of historical fiction that muses on the relationship between a mother and daughter. A post-WWII-era multicast drama led by award-winning actress Diane Kruger, The End of My Heart is told through the voice of an imaginative teen girl and her stoic German mother, who works as a domestic servant for a wealthy family in Columbus, Ohio, and whose mysterious past and recent transgressions begin to surface in the summer of 1946. Interspersed within the main narrative are entrancing snippets of a radio serial (aka soap opera), beautifully complementing this captivating and heart-tugging story.

What We Carry

In her affecting memoir What We Carry, Maya Shanbhag Lang delves into an unsettling truth at the core of many mother/daughter relationships. In childhood, we have certain ideas and narratives we tell ourselves about our mothers, and as we get older, those ideas become complicated. Or sometimes we realize our image of our mother was flat out wrong. Such was the case for Lang, who grew up idolizing her brilliant physician mother. But when her mother begins to struggle with Alzheimer’s, the stories she told her daughter about the past fall apart. And the startling truth comes to the surface.

Given Away

For many mothers, adoption offers a wonderful opportunity to bond with a child. But for adopted children, the bond with their non-biological mother can be complicated. In Given Away, Korean adoptee Glenn Morey and his wife, Julie Morey, share their experiences interviewing 100 Korean adoptees from across the globe. With the rise of international adoption, thousands of children had their lives upended and reset in a completely different culture, leaving them to navigate both trauma and a search for their own identity. A story of survival, family, and strength, this Audible Original is one you won’t soon forget.

The Year of Magical Thinking

Moms don’t cease to be moms when they lose a child. So, when putting together a list of audiobooks for mothers, it’s important to remember the mothers who have lost and are looking for support from other mothers who have experienced similar pain. When celebrated writer Joan Didion’s life was altered forever, she wrote a new chapter. In this adaptation of her iconic memoir, Didion transforms her story of shattering loss into a one-woman play performed by Tony Award winner Vanessa Redgrave, who originated the role on Broadway in 2007. Written with Didion’s trademark style of cool observation, The Year of Magical Thinking weaves back and forth in time, taking listeners on a poignant journey through heartbreak, grief, and resilience. It’s an unforgettable theatrical experience that resonates with anyone who has ever loved.

Wave

On December 26, 2004, author Sonali Deraniyagala lost the people she cared about the most: her parents, her husband, and her two young sons. In a single day, they were all taken from her in the tsunami on the southern coast of Sri Lanka that she miraculously survived. In Wave, Deraniyagala offers a heartfelt exploration of that grief and coming to terms with the absence of loved ones. While speaking to the heart of mothers who have lost a child, this is a poignant and highly relatable listen for anyone who has experienced loss.

The Goodbye Diaries

As anyone who has ever lost a loved one to a terminal diagnosis can attest, saying goodbye is incredibly hard. In The Goodbye Diaries, Sally Bardach and her daughter, Marisa Bardach Ramel, share alternating perspectives on Sally’s battle with stage four pancreatic cancer. Marisa, devastated by her mother’s illness, closes herself off and tries distraction after distraction to avoid her painful reality. But Sally, who has accepted her doctor’s prognosis—two months to live—with immense grace and hope, is determined to prepare her daughter for a life without her. Heartbreaking and a testament to the connection between a mother and her child, this listen is a stirring, moving tribute to one of the most powerful bonds on Earth.

Like Mother

Like Mother isn’t an audiobook, but something even better: an Audible Original podcast. This podcast is a comedy about a mother-daughter duo who are alike in a lot of ways, even though they prefer to believe they are not. The story is performed by Susie Essman, who plays the daughter, Allison, and Bridget Everett, who plays her mother.

Maculate Conception

The road to motherhood is difficult for so many. From the mourning of miscarriages to the promise of IVF and surrogacy, countless couples have struggled with conceiving a child. For families who might be having fertility difficulties, the Audible Original podcast Maculate Conception offers commiseration, understanding, and hope. Chronicling the ups-and-downs of couple Abbe Meryl and Isaac Feder in real time, each episode sheds a little light on this common struggle, reassuring other struggling couples that they are not alone.

And Now We Have Everything

Is anyone ever totally ready to become a mother? Author Meaghan O’Connell certainly wasn’t when she got pregnant shortly after she got engaged. In And Now We Have Everything, O’Connell documents this unexpected turn in her life in the hopes of helping other women struggling with the emotional and existential impact of motherhood, especially when it is unplanned. The author herself narrates this audiobook with honesty and humor.

Grounded

In an audio essay that listeners have called moving and beautiful, honest and relatable, and engrossing, Doreen Oliver shares her experiences as a young mother balancing her own aspirations with her desire to provide a nurturing life for her children. Oliver’s own upbringing, raised by a stay-at-home mom dedicated to providing every opportunity for her children, left an impact on her perception of motherhood. With great compassion and vulnerability, Oliver discusses both the sacrifices and challenges associated with raising children and the endless depths of the love she has for her family.

MotherStruck!

New moms and those who are struggling to become moms will identify with author Staceyann Chin’s story. At 35, after another devastating break up, Chin realized she was running out of time, so she set out to make her dreams of motherhood a reality through more unconventional means. In MotherStruck!, Chin lets listeners in on her struggle to become a parent with the assistance of her friend Peter, a gay man she marries with the intention of starting an army of children. The audiobook is narrated by the author and features an original score by Grammy-nominated songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello.

The Bubbe Diaries

After having a child, navigating your relationship with your own parents (and those of your partner) can feel overwhelming. Paula Span, who writes the popular New York Times column The New Old Age, offers a reassuring guide for new moms and new grandmas alike in The Bubbe Diaries. From research regarding sleep and bonding to the tensions that might arise between a new mom and her mother-in-law, Span’s thoughtful reflections and sweet, hilarious recollections of her experiences with her own granddaughter are sure to offer hope and comfort.

Operating Instructions

Like most of the audiobooks on this list, Operating Instructions is the perfect listen for moms of all kinds: new moms, single moms, and really any mom who could use a little bit of support. With openness, thoughtfulness, and yes, humor (because how can anyone get through motherhood without a bit of humor?), Anne Lamott shares her experiences being a single mother during the first year of her son’s life.

Little Fires Everywhere

Celeste Ng's best-selling novel, Little Fires Everywhere looks at motherhood through the lens of various women: adoptive mothers, biological mothers, mothers who are married with multiple children, and mothers suffering from the loss of a child. One of the two central characters is a single mother, Mia Warren, an artist who is trying to juggle the stresses of raising a teenage daughter while also struggling with her mysterious past. If you’re looking for a novel that really explores all the nuances and difficulties of motherhood, this is it.

Year of Yes

Shonda Rhimes is a familiar name to most as the creator of beloved television shows, including Grey’s Anatomy and Bridgerton. But she deserves just as much recognition as an author. In Year of Yes, Rhimes talks about motherhood, specifically being a single mother, and also covers a wide range of topics—nurturing creativity, intersectional feminism, and more. Because while mothers care about motherhood, they’re also fully realized women with a wide range of concerns and interests. Of course, Rhimes narrates her own memoir with the enthusiasm and encouragement listeners would expect from an audiobook that's about saying yes to every opportunity.

Breathe, Mama, Breathe

Motherhood is a blessing, of course, but sometimes it can also be...well, a lot. That’s why it’s so important for every mother to remember to take moments for herself, to relax and just catch her breath. That’s where Breathe, Mama, Breathe comes in. In this audiobook, psychotherapist Shonda Moralis outlines the benefits of meditation for moms who are dealing with a lot and shows how you can get those benefits in just five minutes.

I Just Want to Pee Alone

Not getting any time to yourself? You’ll relate to I Just Want to Pee Alone, a collection of observations and rants from disgruntled mom bloggers everywhere who are sick of the awful hours, terrible pay, and zero personal days that come with the job of motherhood. This audiobook includes hilarious essays such as A Pinterest-Perfect Mom, I Am Not and So She Thought She Could Cut Off My Stroller. Vanessa Daniels’s stellar narration of these stories of motherhood will have you laughing out loud.

Brackish Waters

Stressed out and in need of a laugh? Check out Brackish Waters, a riotous Audible Original that follows stressed-out mom Kate who hopes for salvation (both for a stalled career and failing marriage) in the form of an all-expenses-paid trip for the whole family to the SeaView at Sandpiper Bay. There’s only one problem: the luxurious resort isn’t what it seems, and Kate and her family are awarded a vacation from hell. Furious and frustrated, Kate sets out to write the most epic takedown of a Yelp review ever—and the ride along the way is made all the more hilarious with the star power of the ever-talented Christina Applegate at the mic.

How to Be a Girl

When her three year old declares that she should have been born a girl instead of a boy, Marlo Mack agrees to raise her child as she wishes. Inspired by the acclaimed podcast of the same name, How to Be a Girl is the author’s story of motherhood in transition. As much her daughter’s story as it is her own, Mack's heartfelt memoir is the perfect listen for every mother seeking to better understand and strengthen the bond with her daughter.

The Bonesetter's Daughter

Amy Tan’s beautiful novel The Bonesetter's Daughter follows the story of a mother and daughter living in San Francisco. Ruth Young has always had a difficult relationship with her now-widowed mother, LuLing. But now that LuLing is getting older and her memories are beginning to fail her, she shares writings with her daughter that reveal secrets of her past in China—and perhaps also open a pathway to reconciliation and understanding for the pair.

Force of Beauty

A multigenerational tale of three remarkable women, Mikki Taylor’s exceptional Audible Original memoir Force of Beauty is the perfect listen for mothers and grandmothers alike. With a lovely cadence and a voice that's practically musical, Taylor traces the histories of her hometown and her family's roots, zeroing in on the stories of her grandmother, Bessie, and her mother, Modina. Whether Taylor is describing her grandparents' arrival in Newark, New Jersey, or the joyful atmosphere at her mother’s salon, every recollection is elevated by a feeling of love. Beyond the familial, Taylor draws compelling connections between beauty and a sense of belonging, community, and empowerment for mid-century Black women, examining the significance of hair salons during the civil rights movement.

I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This

Mothers and daughters share a special and powerful legacy. A mother passes on stories, a history, beliefs, and even personal traumas to her daughter, and she passes them on to her daughter, and so on. In I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This, Nadja Speigelman looks at the history of mothers and daughters in her own family, most notably her mother—French-born New Yorker art director Françoise Mouly—and her grandmother.

The End of My Heart

Author Gayle Forman, perhaps best known for her best seller If I Stay, tries her hand at a new genre in this haunting work of historical fiction that muses on the relationship between a mother and daughter. A post-WWII-era multicast drama led by award-winning actress Diane Kruger, The End of My Heart is told through the voice of an imaginative teen girl and her stoic German mother, who works as a domestic servant for a wealthy family in Columbus, Ohio, and whose mysterious past and recent transgressions begin to surface in the summer of 1946. Interspersed within the main narrative are entrancing snippets of a radio serial (aka soap opera), beautifully complementing this captivating and heart-tugging story.

What We Carry

In her affecting memoir What We Carry, Maya Shanbhag Lang delves into an unsettling truth at the core of many mother/daughter relationships. In childhood, we have certain ideas and narratives we tell ourselves about our mothers, and as we get older, those ideas become complicated. Or sometimes we realize our image of our mother was flat out wrong. Such was the case for Lang, who grew up idolizing her brilliant physician mother. But when her mother begins to struggle with Alzheimer’s, the stories she told her daughter about the past fall apart. And the startling truth comes to the surface.

Given Away

For many mothers, adoption offers a wonderful opportunity to bond with a child. But for adopted children, the bond with their non-biological mother can be complicated. In Given Away, Korean adoptee Glenn Morey and his wife, Julie Morey, share their experiences interviewing 100 Korean adoptees from across the globe. With the rise of international adoption, thousands of children had their lives upended and reset in a completely different culture, leaving them to navigate both trauma and a search for their own identity. A story of survival, family, and strength, this Audible Original is one you won’t soon forget.

The Year of Magical Thinking

Moms don’t cease to be moms when they lose a child. So, when putting together a list of audiobooks for mothers, it’s important to remember the mothers who have lost and are looking for support from other mothers who have experienced similar pain. When celebrated writer Joan Didion’s life was altered forever, she wrote a new chapter. In this adaptation of her iconic memoir, Didion transforms her story of shattering loss into a one-woman play performed by Tony Award winner Vanessa Redgrave, who originated the role on Broadway in 2007. Written with Didion’s trademark style of cool observation, The Year of Magical Thinking weaves back and forth in time, taking listeners on a poignant journey through heartbreak, grief, and resilience. It’s an unforgettable theatrical experience that resonates with anyone who has ever loved.

Wave

On December 26, 2004, author Sonali Deraniyagala lost the people she cared about the most: her parents, her husband, and her two young sons. In a single day, they were all taken from her in the tsunami on the southern coast of Sri Lanka that she miraculously survived. In Wave, Deraniyagala offers a heartfelt exploration of that grief and coming to terms with the absence of loved ones. While speaking to the heart of mothers who have lost a child, this is a poignant and highly relatable listen for anyone who has experienced loss.

The Goodbye Diaries

As anyone who has ever lost a loved one to a terminal diagnosis can attest, saying goodbye is incredibly hard. In The Goodbye Diaries, Sally Bardach and her daughter, Marisa Bardach Ramel, share alternating perspectives on Sally’s battle with stage four pancreatic cancer. Marisa, devastated by her mother’s illness, closes herself off and tries distraction after distraction to avoid her painful reality. But Sally, who has accepted her doctor’s prognosis—two months to live—with immense grace and hope, is determined to prepare her daughter for a life without her. Heartbreaking and a testament to the connection between a mother and her child, this listen is a stirring, moving tribute to one of the most powerful bonds on Earth.

Like Mother

Like Mother isn’t an audiobook, but something even better: an Audible Original podcast. This podcast is a comedy about a mother-daughter duo who are alike in a lot of ways, even though they prefer to believe they are not. The story is performed by Susie Essman, who plays the daughter, Allison, and Bridget Everett, who plays her mother.

Maculate Conception

The road to motherhood is difficult for so many. From the mourning of miscarriages to the promise of IVF and surrogacy, countless couples have struggled with conceiving a child. For families who might be having fertility difficulties, the Audible Original podcast Maculate Conception offers commiseration, understanding, and hope. Chronicling the ups-and-downs of couple Abbe Meryl and Isaac Feder in real time, each episode sheds a little light on this common struggle, reassuring other struggling couples that they are not alone.

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