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8 Exquisite Examples of Amazing Moms in Real-Life and Fiction

Photo by Madeline Bassinder on

Mothers, real or imaginary, are powerful figures throughout history and in literature. There are countless examples of the selfless act of mothering, from the regal and brave Cleopatra to the sassy and endearing Marge Simpson. With Mother’s Day right around the corner (hint, hint, this Sunday, May 9th) we thought we would highlight 8 exquisite examples of mothering… Enjoy!



We start off with this amazing real woman who was, by all accounts, poor and uneducated and supporting herself by scavenging through the trash in Jinhua, China. Despite her hardship, Lou adopted and rescued at least 30 babies she found in the flotsam and jetsam of the trash-strewn countryside of China.  Her first baby, a girl found in 1972, was just lying in the junk on the street and would have died had Lou not rescued her.   Over a period of forty years Lou, who had one biological daughter of her own, rescued 30 babies, keeping four and passing along the rest to loving families.  Even at age 82 and living with kidney failure, she stopped to rescue a boy from a garbage can and raised him until her death.  


Sacagawea (right) with Lewis and Clark at the Three Forks, mural at Montana House of Representatives. Photo: Wikimedia

At the age of 16, this real Shoshone superwoman – who would only live a short 25 years –  guided Lewis and Clark  on their expedition from the northern plains through the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean and back. Her intimate knowledge of the terrain and skills as a translator made her invaluable to the expedition but no more so than her calming presence and the fact that she brought and cared for her two-month-old son.. Why did this matter, you ask? She and her newborn were clear signals to others that the exploration was peaceful in intent, thereby assuring passage through sometimes hostile territory.


This mother is fictional. Marilla Cuthbert hoped to adopt a son but instead found a chatty and imaginative redhead named Anne. We love this story that combines the unconditional love of a mom for her surprisingly opposite child into one loving family.



While Soujourner and her baby daughter escaped slavery in New York state, her 5-year-old son Peter was not as lucky. But, he was lucky to have Sojourner as a mother. In 1828, raised money, hired a lawyer and steadfastly navigated the court system to remand her son out of slavery. Her landmark case marked the first time  a black woman successfully sued a white man in court… and WON.



Using the code name Jolanta, a Polish employee of the Warsaw Social Welfare Department smuggled almost 2500 Jewish children out of a Warsaw ghetto during the holocaust.  She prepared false identification documents for them and hid them in convents, orphanages, and family homes.  Ultimately found, Sendler was arrested by the Nazis and tortured, and sentenced to death.   Sendler never gave up the whereabouts of the children or the inner workings of her smuggling operation.  She escaped her death sentence and was ultimately awarded Poland’s Order of the White Eagle in 2003.


Yes, the Charlotte of the web, who can diminish the love that she has for Wilbur!  She teaches him about life, death, happiness, and friendship all important lessons for any child to learn in life.



Elizabeth Cady Stanton was raising seven of her own children while a leader in the woman’s suffrage and abolitionist movements Working in tandem with Susan B. Anthony, Stanton helped women earn the right to vote via the 19th amendment.  Throughout her lifetime Stanton never stopped fighting for women’s suffrage and supporting education for girls, with her own daughters attending Vassar and Columbia colleges.


Photo: From the book “Stuart Little” by E.B. White, illustration by Garth Williams

And, here’s a shout out to one good literary mother for simply loving a little mouse named Stuart Little and treating this little fuzzball just like one of her own.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful moms out there!  Before we go if you’re still looking for a gift for mom there’s still time to order online at Go pick something gorgeous and do it today (Friday, May 7th) by 4 PM EDT and select “Saturday Overnight” shipping for Mother’s Day delivery. Don’t worry, we won’t tell her you were last minute! See you in the next blog.

Deb Fries is a freelance writer and designer and worked at Julianna Rae in Customer Service and Graphics, she now writes for the blog at