Tattoos Ideas

Tattoos honouring a mother’s love


A mother’s love is said to be unconditional – an unbreakable bond like no other. Something so meaningful it needs to find a home permanently on your skin in ink. Editor Rosalie chats to tattoo artists and collectors about their mother tattoos and the stories behind them…

Tattoo by @tattoosbyzipporah

“I’ve done quite a few mother and daughter portraits now. They have become more and more popular. It’s lovely to see a design come to life that represents a mother and child’s love.”

” I have a baby girl on the way and I will be looking for someone to create something similar for me when the time comes. It’s been lovely tattooing while pregnant. It’s nice to hear positive birth stories from my customers. I’ve not got a tattoo to represent my own mum but if I did it would be something expressive yet minimalistic.”

Tattoo by @tattoosbyzipporah

“This tattoo is definitely a favourite of mine. It’s on a woman who got in touch with me and kindly travelled to get this special tattoo, she wanted to commemorate the feeling of motherhood and love for her two children.”

Tattoo by @hollietoldmeto

“This tattoo experience was lovely, we got on really well and found we spoke a lot about our motherhood experiences – I do that with a lot of women I tattoo (and men, although I tattoo a lot less of them, the conversation generally moves to parenthood). It always makes me reflect on my own experiences, it’s nice to compare notes and swap stories and listen to other parents about their lives and how their children fit into it. I love listening to people’s birth stories too, if they’re happy to talk about it. “

“When it comes to tattooing women, as a mother, it can also bring up occasions when customers talk about their own struggles to conceive or even trying to figure out whether they want children or not too.”

Tattoo on @hollietoldmeto

“I had both of my children’s names tattooed on my hands not long before returning to work, so it felt like I had them with me even when we were apart”

Tattoo collector Corinne

“In 2013, I had an ectopic pregnancy. I’d been trying to get pregnant for a while and after waking one night in excruciating pain I was rushed into hospital where I found out I was finally pregnant, but unfortunately it was ectopic. Not long after I had the lyrics: ‘there is a light that never goes out’ tattooed on my side, because that’s how it feels when you lose a baby. At the time, I only had a few tattoos, so I just went to a guy in town to have it done and it wasn’t great.”

“But I started getting tattooed more and more, and discovered so many amazing artists. A few years later, I was lucky enough to get tattooed by Susanne König (@suflanda) and after two tattoos from her I knew I wanted her to do a new tattoo in memory of the baby I lost. I really clicked with Susanne and I have loved everything I’ve ever seen her draw so I knew she’d create the most beautiful tattoo for me.

“I emailed her with my idea, but for the most part left it up to her – I feel you get the best art when the artist isn’t too constrained. When I saw the drawing it was more beautiful and special than I could ever have imagined. I couldn’t get over the expression she’d captured in the mother’s face.”

Tattoo and book by @suflanda

“It’s my most favourite and meaningful tattoo and I’m so happy I got it from a wonderful woman. I went on to have a baby through IVF in 2017, my daughter loves it and she thinks the baby is her.”

“I guess really it’s just the perfect depiction of a mother’s love for the babies we have and the babies we have lost”

“My client, Molly, sent Klimt’s The Three Ages Of Woman as a reference – as well as some other tattoos inspired by the original artwork. She asked for an overall softer look and was open to interpretation in my style. We focused on the embrace as this was an important nod to my client’s mum who passed away a few years ago. I don’t often base tattoos solely off an artists’ work, but I really enjoyed re-imagining this one.”

“I am heavily inspired by renaissance and baroque artists, particularly when it comes to designing pieces based on Greek and Roman mythology. This was a really lovely thing to tattoo – it made me think of the unique kind of love that exists between a parent and their child. I really wanted to capture tenderness in the mother’s expression and a feeling of safety and comfort for the child – I hope I did that.”

Molly’s tattoo by @alicepeppatattoo

Tattoo collector Molly

“My mum died of cancer when I was a teenager and the tattoo represents that everlasting maternal love between mum and baby. Love that endures even if mum or child has passed away. The tattoo is permanent to remind me that I still embody that love – I am tied to her even though I can’t reach out and touch her anymore. The Klimt painting was just inspiration and Alice captured the embrace perfectly.”

“My mum was the most amazing selfless woman and if I had to choose my mum again, I would choose her”

Tattoo collector Cicely Jackson (@cicely.rae)

“My mum and mother tattoos were both done by @shedwolf in Huddersfield, my hometown. I wanted a tattoo that would serve as an everyday reminder of my mum, who sadly died in 2005, and I love how special the tattoo looks.”

“My mum tattoo is actually a matching tattoo that I got with my sister, in honour of what would have been our mum’s 60th birthday. It felt like such a celebration getting this tattoo together and for an event that would have been such a big one to celebrate if my mum were still alive.”

Tattoo by @shedwolf

“I had wanted my knuckles tattooed for so long but I always felt like it was such a huge commitment, and I really wanted to find a word that fit my knuckles and also meant a lot to me”

“I love my MOTHER tattoo so much, as it combines my love for being a mum, as well as honouring the mum I lost. I have always wanted to be a mum, and when my daughter was born it gave me that mother/daughter connection that I had been missing for so long. I really feel like this tattoo represents that.”

“I got my mother tattoo before Mother’s Day and that felt like a real treat to me. A lovely day of self care getting a tattoo that meant so much to me as a mum and as a daughter.”

Tattoo by @shedwolf

“Both the kewpie tattoos for my children were done by @wolfspit in Manchester. I have always loved Jemma’s kewpie baby tattoos and knew I would get one once I had a baby of my own. We put so much thought into naming our kids and both hold such strong meanings, I love that Jemma could work that into the designs.”

Tattoo by @wolfspit

“My son is called Abel Wolfe so his tattoo includes him cuddling a baby wolf. My daughter is named after Lilith, the first woman on earth who was banished from Eden, and rumour has it she returned as the snake that tempted Eve, so her tattoo includes her sliding down a snake. These tattoos mean so much to me and I love that they are pride of place on my arm.”

Tattoo by @wolfspit

“I am so happy with my current collection for my mum and my children, I don’t have any plans set in stone for anything else. Although my daughter does keep doing some really cute drawings of flower fairies and I’m so tempted to get one in a little gap. Both the kids have some phrases that me and my husband really love and we have discussed getting a matching one related to that.”

Read more about Cicely’s beautiful tattoo collection here.

“This was my customer Alisia’s first tattoo to commemorate the birth of her first baby, Everly. Alisia sent me a photo of her holding Everly in this position, as well as a few other mother and baby references she liked. Alisia specified this hairstyle as that’s how she wears hers. The flowersare cherry blossom, which is Everly’s birth flower. It’s always special when someone trusts me with their first tattoo but this felt even more special. I’ve done a few mother and baby tattoos and I always love translating someone’s memories into something they’ll wear forever.”

Tattoo collector Alisia

“This was my first tattoo and the experience was great. Hollie made me feel relaxed offering lots of breaks if needed. I wanted someone to represent my first daughter and our bond, I always wanted a tattoo but really wanted something with meaning.”

“My daughter had colic at a young age and was very uncomfortable and upset a lot as a baby. This position used to always comfort her and soothe her and to this day it’s a position that makes her feel safe and comforted. It just reminds me of my little girl as a baby.”

Tattoo by @tarynmce_tattoo

“The client was wanting to celebrate her own journey through motherhood and breastfeeding. She was great to work with and gave me the general idea and let me run with the artwork. I really enjoyed getting to make this piece for her. I have three daughters and it reminded me of those sweet moments when they were babies.”

Tattoo artist Melanie Milne (@melaniemilnetattoos), Hot Copper Studio, Melbourne, Australia

“I’ve done quite a few mother and baby tattoos, I love connecting with clients over being a mother/parent. Children are the most important thing in most parents’ lives and it makes sense you’d want to get a tattoo to immortalise that.”

Tattoo by @melaniemilnetattoos

“This tattoo’s story (above) is that the client is a friend of mine who has given birth to three babies and is now done having kids. She wanted to express her love of being pregnant and bringing humans into the world. Birth is so magical and transformative.”

“Being a mum has changed a few things for me in terms of tattooing. I have less free time so I have to be more efficient getting my drawings done and making sure I’m home in time for bedtime. Tattooing used to be my main priority but that has changed now.”

“I also think being a parent makes you softer, I’m definitely more affected by people getting memorial tattoos, especially for their children or just hearing stories of loss or fertility struggles”

“My wonderful friend Sera Helen made me the most beautiful tattoo of a charm necklace with my son’s name OZZY on my neck. I got it on my first Mother’s Day so it was very special. I’m pregnant with my second baby now, due in July, so I’ll have to come up with something for them as well.”

Melanie & Ozzy

“Ozzy is 14 months, he hasn’t really noticed any difference between tattooed and non-tattooed people yet. I’m sure it won’t be long. My husband and I are both pretty heavily covered so I’m sure there will be questions in a few years.”

If you love finding out about the people behind the tattoos read our latest blogs:


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