A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

51 Heartwarming Mother-Son Quotes for Mother’s Day and Beyond

They say there's no love like a mother's for her son—except maybe his for her! Grab your hankie and prepare your heartstrings for these moving quotes that capture the incomparable bond between a mother and son.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

"Men are what their mothers made them." —Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The mother-son bond

Mothers and their boys have a special relationship unlike any other—and Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 8) is the perfect time to celebrate that love. Sons can get Mom one of these Mother’s Day gifts she’ll love, or some Mother’s Day flowers, but you should also make sure to tell Mom how much she means to you—maybe with some mom quotes as Mother’s Day wishes in your Mother’s Day card, perhaps! Use some of these powerful mother-son quotes on Mother’s Day—or all year round, of course! And for the daughters out there, these mother-daughter quotes are perfect.

"My mother said to me, 'If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.' Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso." —Pablo Picasso.

Funny mother-son quotes

“My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter, and I became Picasso.” —Pablo Picasso

“Ain’t a woman alive who could take my mama’s place.” —Tupac Shakur

“It takes one woman twenty years to make a man of her son – and another woman twenty minutes to make a fool of him.” —Helen Rowland

“I do what I want, when I want, where I want…if my mom says it’s okay.” —Unknown

“If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?” —Milton Berle

“Raising boys has made me a more generous woman than I really am.” —Mary Kay Blakely

“When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.” —Nora Ephron

“If I wasn’t at work, I just wanted to stay home and party with my little man — and by ‘party’ I mean, of course, endless rounds of ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider.” —Olivia Wilde

“If at first you don’t succeed, try doing it the way your mom told you to do it from the start.” —Unknown

“My mother is not a CIA agent, but she’s an Italian mother, and she’d do anything for her son.” —Adriano Giannini

For more laughs, check out these funny quotes.

"A mother’s love doesn’t make her son more dependent and timid; it actually makes him stronger and more independent." —Cheri Fuller

Inspiring mother-son quotes

“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” —Honore de Balzac

“There is an enduring tenderness in the love of a mother to a son that transcends all other affections of the heart.” —Washington Irving

“A mother’s love doesn’t make her son more dependent and timid; it actually makes him stronger and more independent.” —Cheri Fuller

Sons are the anchors of a mother’s life. —Sophocles

“My mother is my root, my foundation. She planted the seed that I base my life on, and that is the belief that the ability to achieve starts in your mind.” —Michael Jordan

“Little boy, you remind me how so much depends on days made of now.” —Allison McGhee, in Little Boy

“Men are what their mothers made them.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To be a mother of a son is one of the most important things you can do to change the world. Raise them to respect women, raise them to stand up for others, raise them to be kind.” —Shannon L. Alder

“Mothers are inscrutable beings to their sons, always.” —A.E. Coppard, in Dusky Ruth and Other Stories

“There has never been, nor will there ever be, anything quite so special as the love between the mother and a son.” —Unknown 

“The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.” —HenryWard Beecher 

“Moms are as relentless as the tides. They just don’t drive us to practice, they drive us to greatness.” —Steve Rushin 

“All I am I owe to my mother.” —George Washington. When your mom isn’t around anymore, this day can be incredibly painful. Here’s how to survive Mother’s Day without mom.

“No man succeeds without a good woman behind him. Wife or mother, if it is both, he is twice blessed indeed.” —Godfrey Winn

“You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your own eyes.” —Walter M. Schirra, Sr. 

“There will be many times you will feel like you have failed. But in the eyes, heart and mind of your child, you are supermom.” —Stephanie Precourt

“All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.” —Oscar Wilde

“My mother carried me for ten months. I asked her ‘Mother, you had an extra month, why you didn’t make me a beautiful face?’ and mother told me, ‘My son, I was busy making your beautiful hands and heart.’” —Mstislav Rostropovich

In addition to these mother-son quotes, these Mother’s Day short stories will warm your heart.

"I love you forever, I like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be." —Robert Munsch, in Love You Forever

Sweet mother-son quotes

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” —Abraham Lincoln

“Every beetle is a gazelle in the eyes of its mother.” —Moroccan proverb

“I love you forever, I like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” —Robert Munsch, in Love You Forever

“Mothers see the angel in us because the angel is there. If it’s shown to the mother, the son has got an angel to show, hasn’t he?” —Booth Tarkington, in The Magnificent Ambersons

“A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.” —Princess Diana

“There was never a great man who had not a great mother—it is hardly an exaggeration.” —Olive Shreiner

“When Jack Burns needed to hold his mother’s hand, his fingers could see in the dark.” —John Irving, in Until I Find You

“Heaven on Earth is looking at my little boy.” —Jenny McCarthy

“To wake up to the sound of my son saying ‘Mama, mama!’ It’s the best sound ever.” —Miranda Kerr

“And she loved a little boy very, very much—even more than she loved herself.” —Shel Silverstein 

“The most important mark I will leave on this world is my son.” —Sarah Shahi

“Happy the boy whose mother is tired of talking nonsense to him before he is old enough to know the sense of it.” —Augustus Hare

“When you look into your mother’s eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this Earth.” —Mitch Albom

“If you try singling me out to my mother, she’ll be down your throat. She has three sons, and she’s equally proud of us all.” —Lee Pearson

Besides just these mother-son quotes, these uplifting quotes will lift you (and your mom’s) spirits.

"A mother is the truest friend we have." - Washington Irving

Mother-son quotes about being friends

“First my mother, forever my friend.” —Unknown

“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.” —Unknown

“A boy’s best friend is his mother.” —Joseph Stefano

“A mother is the truest friend we have.” —Washington Irving

“A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.” —Irish Proverb

“Son, you will outgrow my lap, but never my heart.” —Unknown

“No matter your age, you always need your mom.” —Anonymous

“[My mom]’s a cool chick. We can hang, and she can roll with the punches.” —Bradley Cooper

“I know you have your own life, his mother said to his voicemail. I was just hoping to be part of it for a few hours.” —Maggie Stiefvater

If you’re inspired to use one of these mother-son quotes in a card and don’t have time to run to the store, fear not! Use one of these printable Mother’s Day cards.

Emma Taubenfeld
Emma Taubenfeld is a former assistant editor for Reader’s Digest who writes about digital lifestyle topics such as memes, social media captions, pickup lines and cute pets. When she’s not working, you can find Emma reading corny young adult novels, creating carefully curated playlists and figuring out how to spice up boxed mac and cheese.