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14 Beautiful Mother-Daughter Quotes That Will Stay with You

It’s difficult to explain the amazing and sometimes complicated relationship that you have with your mom, but these quotes sum it up perfectly.

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The most important woman in your life

The connection between mother and daughter is one of the most complex and intense relationships in the universe. One minute you’re calling your mom for advice, and the next you’re texting “MYOB!” to her in all caps. Truth be told, she was your first friend—and, quite possibly, the best friend you’ll ever have. She is the shelter in any emotional storm and the person who will always be there for you. As Ruta Sepetys aptly writes in her novel Salt to the Sea, “Mother was comfort. Mother was home.” Looking for the perfect words to celebrate your mom this Mother’s Day? We curated a list of 16 brilliant mother-daughter quotes that capture the beautiful bond you two share.

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A mother’s loving protection

“My mother shed her protective love down around me and without knowing why people sensed that I had value.” —Maya Angelou

Mother-daughter relationships aren’t always easy, and, of course, some are more complicated than others. In her book Mom & Me & Mom, Maya Angelou explores her complex relationship with her own mother, Vivian Baxter. This quote illuminates how a mother’s love can make a daughter feel protected and valued. Don’t miss these other quotable quotes from Maya Angelou.

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The best advice

“My mother told me two things constantly. One was to be a lady, and the other was to be independent.” —Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The superlative Supreme Court Justice’s mother, Celia Bader, stressed the importance of independence for women—advice that was certainly ahead of its time. Ginsburg poignantly concludes this quote by saying: “The study of law was unusual for women of my generation. For most girls growing up in the ’40s, the most important degree was not your B.A., but your M.R.S.” Her mom would be proud of these 15 ways her independent daughter made history.

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Shaping your identity

“When someone asks you where you come from, the answer is your mother…When your mother’s gone, you’ve lost your past.” —Anna Quindlen

Author Anna Quindlen expresses the intensity of the mother-daughter relationship in this quote from One True Thingnoting how it shapes who you are. She also brings light to how difficult it is to lose your mother. Here some tips on surviving Mother’s Day without your mother.

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Your biggest role model

“My mother was a force. She had little tolerance for fools, she kept her hair short and wore practical non-fussy clothes. Everything about her radiated confidence and calm.” —Michelle Obama

In her best-selling book, Becoming, Michele Obama reveals where she got her no-nonsense swagger and confidence. Even if your own mom wasn’t quite like Marian Robinson, she definitely taught you some serious life skills—many of which you learned just by watching her. You’ll also love these 25 inspiring quotes from the former First Lady.

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The beauty of having your own daughter

“Having a little girl has been like following an old treasure map with the important paths torn away.” —Heather Gudenkauf

This gem of a mother-daughter quote from Heather Gudenkauf’s The Weight of Silence shoots like an arrow through the heart of moms raising little girls. Raising daughters brings mothers to new and unexpected places in their self-discovery journeys, even as they simultaneously revisit their own childhood memories. Looking to bond with your daughter? Check out these 24 books every mother and daughter should read together.

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The magic of motherhood

“God couldn’t be everywhere, so that is why he invented mothers.” —Diane Keaton as Daphne Wilder in Because I Said So

Ever notice how your mother’s voice lives inside your head and how she somehow manages to turn up right at the exact moment you need her? In the movie Because I Said So, protagonist Daphne Wilder points out that mothers are truly ubiquitous. Read these 14 heartwarming stories that prove there’s nothing in the world like the mother-daughter bond.

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The ultimate support system

“A mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled.” —Emily Dickinson

When Emily Dickinson penned this sentiment in a letter, she summed up a feeling shared by daughters around the world: When we need advice, a shoulder to cry on, or just someone to listen to us, we want our moms. Try these fun mother-daughter bonding activities on Mother’s Day (or any day).

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Expert advice

“I tell my daughter every morning, ‘Now, what are the two most important parts of you?’ And she says, ‘My head and my heart.'” —Viola Davis

In an interview with Glamour magazine, Viola Davis reveals this daily affirmation that she shares with her daughter. That combination of your head and your heart is so important, she adds, “because that’s what I’ve learned in the foxhole: What gets you through life is the strength of character and strength of spirit and love.”

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The perfect combination of softness and strength

“My mother, she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her.” —Jodi Picoult

Don’t mess with a mama bear. She may be soft and sweet, but she is also a lot stronger than you realize. That’s the sentiment behind author Jodi Picoult’s description of her own mother, and something we can all relate to—and aspire to if we are mothers ourselves. Enjoy a dozen short, sweet stories about moms that will make you want to call yours.

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Following in our mothers’ footsteps

“Maybe I stepped into the skin my mother left behind and became the girl my mother had been, the one she still wanted to be.” —Laura Kasischke

In this mother-daughter quote from White Bird in a Blizzard, Kasischke paints a beautiful picture of the fluid relationship between mothers and daughters and explores just how much we are influenced by our moms. Looking for the perfect gift? Check out these 100 Mother’s Day gift ideas she’ll actually love.

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Thinking for two

“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” —Sophia Loren

In her 1984 book Women & Beauty, actress Sophia Loren succinctly sums up what it’s like to be a mother. Once you earn the title of “Mom,” your kids will always be on your mind, and you will never again make a decision without considering how it will affect them. Watch these 10 great movies that celebrate moms for Mother’s Day.

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An overwhelming love that knows no bounds

“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” —Agatha Christie

The mystery writer penned some powerful—and accurate—prose in her novel A Daughter’s a Daughter, which was published under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. The bottom line: Moms would do anything for their children, so you might want to get out of the way. Many daughters feel the same way, including the one who worked tirelessly to establish this holiday. Discover the surprising history of Mother’s Day.

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The unmistakable nature of your relationship

“If you want to understand any woman, you must first ask about her mother and then listen carefully.” —Anita Diamant

Whether or not you realize it, what you say about your mother reveals a lot about who you are and how that relationship turned you into the person you are today. As Diamant further explains after this all-too-true mother-daughter quote in The Red Tent, “stories about food show a strong connection. Wistful silences demonstrate unfinished business. The more a daughter knows about the details of her mother’s life—without flinching or whining—the stronger the daughter.”

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Mothers speak the language of love

“A mother understands what a child does not say.” —Jewish Proverb

Mothers can make an intuitive beeline to their daughter’s heart, and that mysterious and magical connection is divinely beautiful. Here are another 29 beautiful Mother’s Day quotes to show your mom how much you love her.

Stacey Marcus
Stacey Marcus is a regular contributor to where she covers subjects ranging from penguin secrets to Jeopardy! conundrums. Stacey’s work has also appeared on and as well as in top regional and national outlets including Boston magazine, Boston Common Magazine, Destination I Do, Ocean Home Magazine, and She earned a BA in Communications from Simmons University.