Beautiful Mom Tattoos to Appreciate Your Mother

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You don’t have to wait until Mother’s Day to pay tribute to your mom’s love. Tattoos that honor a loved one are incredibly common, and one of the most common relationships to pay tribute to is the bond between mother and child.

Your mom is there from you from day one, and she’s a pillar of support throughout your whole life. If you’re interested in symbolizing this love with permanent ink, you’re not alone. 

Believe it or not, mother tattoos have a long history through the art of tattooing. The classic mom tattoo is an easy to recognize symbol of love and parental affection, so it’s no surprise this design has only become more popular in recent years with the increase in body art.

In this guide, we’ll share the history of mom tattoos as well as some ideas for creating a beautiful mother tattoo to appreciate this special person in your life.

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History of Mom Tattoos

Mom tattoos are traced back to the golden age of American traditional tattoos. These tattoo designs were most often done on sailors. Irish sailors were the first to pick up on this trend, especially because of a popular folk song “Kissed me darling mother.” Since then, these mother tattoos spread to sailors everywhere. 

The most iconic image of this classic tattoo can be seen on the cartoon sailor Popeye. His mom tattoo is easy to spot on his bicep, and the cartoon’s popularity might have also led to the growth of this design. With the most stereotypical design being a heart shape with the word MOM across it, this type of tattoo has truly evolved in recent years.

Why Get a Mom Tribute Tattoo?

A tribute tattoo is any tattoo you get in honor of someone else. This could be a relative, friend, pet, or even a celebrity. There are a lot of reasons to get a tribute tattoo of your own:

  • Express your love for someone special
  • Show off your affection for a specific celebrity
  • Honor someone’s death

While you can most definitely get a tribute tattoo while someone is alive, people have used this as a way to memorialize friends and family since the Civil War. Near the battlefield, tattoo artists took up shop to help soldiers honor their fallen comrades and document life serving in the army. The first-ever tattoo parlor opened in 1846 from one of these Civil War artists. 

If you’re considering a mom tattoo, think about what it means to you. As you can see, this tradition has a long-standing history in American and body art culture. You want to give a lot of thought to the type of mother tattoo that’s right for you.

Mother Daughter Tattoos

If you want to commemorate the mother daughter bond, a specific mother daughter tattoo is a great way to do it. As tattoos become more normalized, this is something family members are getting done together. Mothers and daughters can get matching tattoos or complementary tattoos. 

Most mom-daughter duos get something that is meaningful to them, whether it’s an important date, each others names, or one of these popular ideas below:

Mother Son Tattoos

The bond between mother and son is also hard to break. Many sons honor this undying love with a mom tattoo. Again, mom and son can get matching tattoos, complementary tattoos, or just one person gets the tattoo. Either way, it’s a touching tribute. 

Here are the most common tattoo ideas for men to dedicate to their mothers:

More Mom Tattoo Inspiration

Are you ready to take the next step to honor your mom? Most people find these tattoos to be a loving, kind way to share your love with the world. There are so many ways to make this idea your own. From choosing a classic design that dates back to the early days of tattooing to something more modern, there’s no such thing as a wrong choice. Make sure to heal your tattoo well, and it will be a beautiful memory you’ll hold onto easily for the rest of your life.

Explore more inspiring mom tattoo ideas below. You never know what might speak to you! Just make sure you talk to your mom about it first. She should probably have a say on her own legacy!

Are you looking for a custom mom tattoo design? We got you.

Our expert tattoo artists will provide a quick initial draft to get you going.
Happy inking ❤

Read later: Would you like to save this post for future reading or use one of the ideas? Save THIS PIN to your Tattoo Ideas Board on Pinterest:

Guide to Mom Tattoos
Milena Petrovic

Milena Petrovic

Co-founder of Tattoo Stylist

About the author

Milena has decided to start an organization that will create a safe environment for everybody to get their first, second or third tattoo and to encourage young people to transform their ideas into tattoos safely, with talent and vision.

You can find her writing about tattoos on Quora or updating our Pinterest profile with awesome tattoo ideas!

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