40 Meaningful Mother Daughter Tattoos You’ll Love
The early mornings before preschool were the best…
Feeling drowsy and betrayed after the abrupt end of your precious sleep, you wake up in a sour mood. You put on a sulky pout as an act of defiance.
But as you walk into the dining room, the sweet smell of breakfast wafts softly into your 5-year old nose…and all your troubles disappear.
Your half-shut eyes snap open as your mother pinches your cheek—taking you by surprise.
She gives you a kiss on the forehead and chuckles as you wipe it off…home truly is where mom is…
Missing mom? She probably misses you too.
The mother-daughter bond is like nothing else in the world. When you can’t help but feel doom and gloom, mom’s always there to save the day. She’s your #1 cheerleader and your closest confidant. Can you imagine life without her?
With a mother-daughter tattoo, you won’t have to.
A mother-daughter tattoo helps you feel mom’s warmth wherever you go. A constant companion in a crazy, crazy world.
In this article, I’ve compiled 40 meaningful mother-daughter tattoos for you to choose from.
Each artist is given due credit, so if you want to check out more of their work or message them directly, their names and Instagram accounts are all there.
Towards the end, I’ll also answer some FAQs and talk about the various symbolisms associated with xs, so keep reading!
Mother-Daughter Flower Tattoos
Flowers are a great design theme for any mother-daughter tattoo. Since ancient times, flowers have been a symbol of femininity and have been given to people as gestures of our love and care.
One thing that’s great about the theme is that it allows so much room for personalization. There’s a plethora of flower species to choose from—each one representing different ideas.
The rose alone has multiple meanings depending on the color you choose. The red rose stands for love and beauty. The white rose stands for purity and remembrance. The pink rose for sweetness, and the yellow rose for joy.
Whichever flower you choose, it’s best to pick one that resonates well with you and your mother and does well to represent the precious bond that you two have.
by Stanley Drayton Bullard. (@stanleydraytonbullard on Instagram).
by Unknown Artist
by keaks__hurtado. (@keaks__hurtado on Instagram).
by Denise Machado. (@dnsmttt on Instagram).
by Ryan Ikler. (@meridiantattoo on Instagram).
by Bad Influence Tattoo. (@tattoobadinfluence on Instagram).
by Steven Kline. (@iamstevenkline on Instagram).
Mother Daughter Holding Hands Tattoos
Holding hands is one of the first ways we are taught to connect with other people. As children, we hold our parents’ hands while crossing the street or browsing the grocery store aisle.
If you want a tattoo design that reminds you of the times when your mother held your hand and made you feel safe, you’ll love this design theme.
by Federica Leppo. (@romanordtattoo on Instagram).
by Lisa. (@lisa_tattoo_on Instagram).
by Little Monsters Tattoo. (@littlemonsterstattoo on Instagram).
by Hard Ink Saigon. (@hardinkstudio on Instagram).
Mother Daughter Symbol Tattoos
Symbolism is a great way to approach your mother-daughter tattoo. It’s a style that isn’t too in-your-face but still evokes the same powerful emotions.
Some of the most popular symbols for mother-daughter tattoos are hearts that represent the love and care you have within your relationship.
Another one is the infinity sign which stands for the unconditionality and permanence of the love you have for each other. You can also opt to use runes and other symbols to represent your relationship.
What’s so great about this theme is that it allows so much room for creativity. But if you ever run out of ideas, just ask your artist! They’ll definitely have some great ones hidden in their portfolio.
by Pistolero. (@pistolero.tattoo.piercing on Instagram).
by moxietattoo. (@moxietattoo on Instagram).
by Juliana Simões. (@julianasimoes_tattoo on Instagram).
by csipi_tattoo_art. (@csipi_tattoo_art on Instagram).
by Joyce van Dam. (@joyce_van_dam on Instagram).
by Unknown Artist
by Mark Madgin. (@wolfman_tattoos on Instagram).
by Monika T. (@minks_tattoo on Instagram).
by Inkprobable. (@inkprobable on Instagram).
by Zahira E. (@zahmes.art on Instagram).
by river.ink_. (@river.ink_ on Instagram).
Illustrative Mother Daughter Tattoos
Sometimes, the ambiguity and subtleness of metaphors and symbolism don’t quite cut it, and what we need is a tattoo design that shows us exactly what we want to see.
Illustrative tattoo designs do just the thing. Illustrative tattoos cut past all the symbolism and show us an exact illustration of our deeply cherished memories and feelings.
If you have a picture of the two of you that you’re particularly fond of, you can ask your artist for an illustrative version of that tattoo. You can go with a hyper-realistic or minimalist approach, depending on your preferences.
It’s a fantastic way to immortalize your relationship with each other in a creative way.
by Deftinks Tattoo Studio. (@deft_inks on Instagram).
by Unknown artist
by Sliwka. (@sliwka.tattoo on Instagram).
by Elena Papajovan. (@el3na_s on Instagram).
by valeria_scorpiontattoo. (@valeria_scorpiontattoo on Instagram).
by NB Tattoo Studio. (@nbtattoostudio on Instagram).
by libbyguy tattoos. (@libbyguytattoos on Instagram).
by Stephanie. (@bambie_tattoo on Instagram).
by Unknown Artist
Mother Daughter Animal Tattoos
For a lot of women all over the world, mothering is an instinct. It’s part of their wiring. Without needing to hear a word, a mother will know what her child needs, and she will do everything in her power to make sure that that need is met and her child is safe.
And animals are no different. The eyes of a protective human mother burn as brightly as those of a fierce lion’s. It’s a trait that mothers everywhere have.
One of the most motherly animals is elephants. While humans all over the world struggle to move past the patriarchal society developed over hundreds of generations past—elephants are the complete opposite.
Elephants live in a matriarchal society. Each herd has a female leader, the oldest and largest, who watches over the rest of the herd. They stick closely together and protect each other intently.
Another motherly animal is the kangaroo. A mother kangaroo carries her child (called a joey) in her pouch for six whole months. During this time, she protects the joey from all harm and lets it suckle from her pouch until it has grown large enough to fend for itself.
All over the animal kingdom, there are various species of animals that are fantastic mothers. They’re all fierce protectors and loving caregivers.
If you appreciate animals and their motherliness as well, you’ll love these tattoos.
by Melania Showen. (@melaniashowen on Instagram).
by lirontattoo. (@lirontattoo on Instagram).
by JenI Moss. (@jeni_moss on Instagram).
by Unknown artist
by Helen Tinc Etherington. (@helen_tinc_etherington on Instagram).
by Out of the Norm Tattoos. (@inkedinthe906 on Instagram).
by mr.jones.tattoo. (@mr.jones.tattoo on Instagram).
by yam oz. (@yamoztattoo on Instagram).
by Ashlee Hawkins. (@ashleemshar on Instagram).
Mother Daughter Tattoo FAQs
Why should I get a mother-daughter tattoo?
Feeling homesick? Missing mom? A mother-daughter tattoo can help you cope with the distance. We don’t always get to see mom, so a tattoo is a great thing to remember her by.
A mother-daughter tattoo can help you feel mom’s presence even when you’re hundreds of miles apart. If you’re ever feeling down, just look at your tattoo and you’ll immediately feel the warmth of her embrace.
It’s a special thing that only the two of you will have, a symbol of your incredible bond. A constant reminder of all the warm hugs, deep talks, heated arguments, and precious laughs over the course of your relationship.
Where should I put my mother-daughter tattoo?
Most people place their mother-daughter tattoos on their forearm. They’ll often get matching designs or ones with similar themes.
The forearm is by far the most popular because it provides a lot of visibility. Since people get mother-daughter tattoos as mementos of each other, visibility is very important for this tattoo theme.
When either one is feeling sad or lonely, it only takes a single glance on the forearm to feel motivated to face life again.
It’s also a good location because it accommodates the length that a lot of designs have.
Designs usually include the words “mother” and “daughter” along with a symbolic motif that represents their relationship. And because the forearm is longer than it is wide, it generally does well to accommodate similarly oriented text tattoos.
The same logic also applies to the calves. If visibility will be a problem for either one’s career or reputation, calf tattoos are more easily hidden and just as pretty.
Will it hurt?
Before you and your mom go charging into the tattoo parlor, it’s a good idea to be prepared for what’s to come.
It goes without saying that getting the tattoo will hurt. But everyone has a different experience.
Generally, though, here are the factors that affect pain intensity the most.
- Size & complexity of the design
- Tattoo placement
- Pain tolerance
Pain intensity varies wildly between each person. What might hurt for you might not hurt at all for someone else.
So before you go get your tattoo, go over the following points and ask your mom (and yourself) about her experience with pain.
Size & complexity of the design
A major factor that dictates how bad your tattoo will hurt is how big it is and how complex the details are.
The reason for this is because bigger and more complex tattoos take much longer to finish. If you have a particularly big and complex design, it could take several sessions to complete, meaning more pain.
Now when you get a tattoo, your body will be in constant pain. The tattoo machine repeatedly pierces and injects ink into your skin, and you will feel a slightly painful scratching sensation. This is normal.
The body adjusts to this pain by releasing adrenaline and endorphins. During this rush, you’ll feel the pain start to numb out and you’ll feel much less stressed.
The thing is, the rush only lasts about 30 minutes. If you have a fairly large-sized tattoo or one that needs a lot of intricate detailing, then you’ll definitely outlast the rush.
Luckily, though, mother-daughter tattoos often have extremely simple, small-sized designs. This means if you ever do outlast the rush, the rest of the session won’t take too long to finish.
Just remember to get a design that’s appropriate for your tolerance for pain. Too much pain can get in the way of both you and your artist.
Another factor that affects the intensity of pain you’ll experience is where you’ll place your tattoo.
The most popular location to put mother-daughter tattoos is on the forearm, which usually has a hefty enough amount of fat and muscle to dampen the impact of the tattoo needle.
In this case, you won’t have much to worry about. The forearm usually fares better when it comes to pain.
But if you have low pain tolerance, you might have to ask your artist to take it easy on the wrist and elbow area if there’s ever any overlap. Since those areas have much less fat and muscle, you can expect a spike in pain intensity.
For a comprehensive discussion on which body parts hurt most when getting tattooed, check out this article by Healthline on tattoo pain.
Some people have naturally low pain tolerances. This could be caused by a skin condition, thin skin, or recent emotional trauma. Pain tolerances vary from person to person, so it’s a good idea to figure out how well you fare before booking an appointment.
But if you’re already committed to getting your tattoo, here are a few actionable ways to mitigate the pain:
- Get enough sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep before getting your tattoo, you’ll hinder your body’s natural healing process. (Important!)
- Stay sober. If you drink before getting your tattoo, get ready for some pain. Alcohol is classified as a blood thinner. When your blood thins, it’s more prone to bleeding and bruising. (Important!)
- Stay hydrated. Drink enough water before getting your tattoo. It’ll help your skin stay supple throughout the session. It’ll also help your tattoo heal faster after your session.
- Moisturize. Hydrating your skin doesn’t just mean drinking plenty of water. You should also take the liberty of applying moisturizer to keep your skin nice and hydrated from the outside.
- Take breaks. There will be moments in your tattoo session where the pain will just be too much to handle. This is normal. When this happens, feel free to ask your artist for a short break.
According to research, a person’s pain tolerance is directly affected by their experience with tattoos. This means that if you’ve had tattoos done in the past, you’ll likely feel less pain.
A mother-daughter tattoo is your trusty companion in this crazy world. If you’re ever feeling sad or lonely, it’s as simple as looking at your tattoo to remember how truly loved you are.
It’s a constant reminder of things we often forget.
It’s a reminder that you will make it through no matter what—that tomorrow still exists for you to try again.
It’s a reminder that not everything in this world exists to swallow you up—that someone will still embrace you at your worst.
And it’s a reminder that each one of your successes matters—that you are special. No matter what.
Did you enjoy these mother-daughter tattoo designs or are you looking for more inspiration? Check out the following links to see more designs from talented artists.