Before we get into this, a public service: Mother's Day is this coming Sunday May 8. Don't forget your mom.
To help you remember, here are 101 smart quotes about mothers--their perspectives, their dreams for themselves and their kids, their sacrifices, their humor--that will inspire you to be a better person and make your momma proud. (This article is part of a yearlong series: 366 Daily Inspirational Quotes for 2016.)
1. "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
2. "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
3. "My mom has made it possible for me to be who I am. Our family is everything. Her greatest skill was encouraging me to find my own person and own independence."
- Charlize Theron
4. "The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children."
- Jessica Lange
5. "My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it."
- Mark Twain
6. "It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding."
- Erma Bombeck
7. "That strong mother doesn't tell her cub, Son, stay weak so the wolves can get you. She says, Toughen up, this is reality we are living in."
- Lauryn Hill
8. "I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars."
- E. M. Forster
9. "Mothers are the necessity of invention."
- Bill Watterson
10. "Yes, Mother. I can see you are flawed. You have not hidden it. That is your greatest gift to me."
- Alice Walker
11. "My mother used to tell me man gives the award, God gives the reward. I don't need another plaque."
- Denzel Washington
12. "Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials."
- Meryl Streep
13. "My mother was a personal friend of God's. They had ongoing conversations."
- Della Reese
14. "There was never a child so lovely but his mother was[n't] glad to get him to sleep."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
15. "Mothers and children are human beings, and they will sometimes do the wrong thing."
- Maurice Sendak
16. "I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it's such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her."
- Ellen DeGeneres
17. "Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing."
- Ricki Lake
18. "I may be the only mother in America who knows exactly what their child is up to all the time."
- Barbara Bush
19. "The real menace in dealing with a five-year-old is that in no time at all you begin to sound like a five-year-old."
- Jean Kerr
20. "An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy."
- Rudyard Kipling
21. "My mother gets all mad at me if I stay in a hotel. I'm 31-years-old, and I don't want to sleep on a sleeping bag down in the basement. It's humiliating."
- Ben Affleck
22. "I was a brownie for a day. My mom made me stop. She didn't want me to conform."
- Sandra Bullock
23. "When I was 7, I came up with the idea of 'charm socks.' My mom would take me to buy bags of plastic charms, we would sew them on frilly white socks, and I sold them at school."
- Sara Blakely (Founder of Spanx)
24. "I think in a lot of ways unconditional love is a myth. My mom's the only reason I know it's a real thing."
- Conor Oberst
25. "Once you're a mom, always a mom. It's like riding a bike, you never forget."
- Taraji P. Henson
26. "My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all - the gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we would be, and much less about what we would do."
- Mitt Romney
27. "Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy."
- Tina Fey
28. "It's a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful."
29. "There's no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one."
30. "If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?"
31. "Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation."
--Robert A. Heinlein
32. "To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow."
33. "The phrase 'working mother' is redundant."
34. "Love as powerful as your mother's for you leaves its own mark ... to have been loved so deeply ... will give us some protection forever."
35. "My mother was the one constant in my life. When I think about my mom raising me alone when she was 20, and working and paying the bills, and, you know, trying to pursue your own dreams, I think is a feat that is unmatched."
36. "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."
37. "Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother."
38. "It's not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it."
--Dorothy on The Golden Girls
39. "I finally understand / for a woman it ain't easy tryin to raise a man / You always was committed / A poor single mother on welfare, tell me how ya did it / There's no way I can pay you back / But the plan is to show you that I understand / You are appreciated"
40. "Acceptance, tolerance, bravery, compassion. These are the things my mom taught me."
41. "I would say that my mother is the single biggest role model in my life, but that term doesn't seem to encompass enough when I use it about her. She was the love of my life."
42. "[My mother] always said I was beautiful and I finally believed her at some point."
43. "Most people's mothers are the most influential person in their life. But my mother survived the camps, and she was very strong. She made me strong, but she wanted me to be strong. That's more important."
--Diane von Furstenberg
44. "A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dates all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."
Agatha Christie, "The Last Sance"
45. "God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers."
46. "I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life."
- Abraham Lincoln
47. "Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs... since the payment is pure love."
- Mildred Vermont
48. "A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after."
- Peter De Vries
49. "The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness."
- Honore De Balzac
50. "The best place to cry is on a mother's arms."
- Jodi Picoult
51. "Behind all your stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where yours begins."
- Mitch Albom
52. "No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement."
- Florida Scott-Maxwell
53. "As my mom always said, 'You'd rather have smile lines than frown lines.'"
54. "Having children just puts the whole world into perspective. Everything else just disappears."
- Kate Winslet
55. "[Motherhood is] the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It's huge and scary - it's an act of infinite optimism."
- Gilda Radner
56. "When your mother asks, "Do you want a piece of advice?" it's a mere formality. It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no. You're going to get it anyway."
- Erma Bombeck
57. "Before becoming a mother I had a hundred theories on how to bring up children. Now I have seven children and only one theory: love them, especially when they least deserve to be loved."
- Kate Samperi
58. "A child's hand in yours - what tenderness and power it arouses. You are instantly the very touchstone of wisdom and strength."
- Marjorie Holmes
59. "Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to 'jump at de sun.' We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground." Zora Neale Hurston
60. "All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his."
-- Oscar Wilde
61. "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much."
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
62. "Making a decision to have a child-it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
- Elizabeth Stone
63. "If nature had arranged that husbands and wives should have children alternatively, there would never be more than three in a family."
- Lawrence Housman
64. "Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your children."
- Sam Levenson
65. "When I stopped seeing my mother through the eyes of a child, I saw the woman who helped me give birth to myself."
- Nancy Friday
66. "I'm a mother with two small children, so I don't take as much crap as I used to."
- Pamela Anderson
67. "The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found."
- Calvin Trillin
68. "My mother's love has always been a sustaining force for our family, and one of my greatest joys is seeing her integrity, her compassion, her intelligence reflected in my daughters."
- Michelle Obama
69. "My mother gave lots of good advice and had a lot to say. As you get older, you realize everything she said was true."
- Lenny Kravitz
70. "To be a mother you must be strong. Even if you don't feel it, you have to pretend."
- Sade Adu
71. "You make sacrifices to become a mother, but you really find yourself and your soul."
- Mariska Hargitay
72. "When I had nothing else, I had my mother and the piano. And you know what? They were all I needed."
- Alicia Keys
73. "Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly."
- Ambrose Bierce
74. "I love my mother. She's my first love. She has been through a lot and is a sole survivor."
- Missy Elliott
75. "Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; A mother's secret hope outlives them all."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes
76. "No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement."
- Florida Scott-Maxwell
77. "Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws."
- Barbara Kingsolver
78. "There is such a special sweetness in being able to participate in creation."
- Pamela S. Nadav
79. "Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown. In my heart it don't mean a thing."
- Toni Morrison
80. "Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible."
- Marion C. Garretty
81. "My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. I attribute all my success in my life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her."
- George Washington
82. "The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant
--and let the air out of the tires."
- Dorothy Parker
83. "I think every working mom probably feels the same thing: You go through big chunks of time where you're just thinking, 'This is impossible
-- oh, this is impossible.' And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible."
- Tina Fey
84. "Life began with waking up and loving my mother's face." -George Eliot
85. "I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them." -Phyllis Diller
86. "A mother's arms are more comforting than anyone else's."
--Diana, Princess of Wales
87. "It may be possible to gild pure gold, but who can make his mother more beautiful?"
- Mahatma Gandhi
88. "You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around--and why his parents will always wave back."
- William D. Tammeus
89. "I need you, I need you here, I need you now. I cannot do this alone. I need my Mommy, and dammit, I don't care who knows it."
Rory, Gilmore Girls
90. "Who is getting more pleasure from this rocking, the baby or me? -Nancy Thayer, author
91. "Mothers of teenagers know why animals eat their young."
~ Author Unknown
92. "My mother loved children - she would have given anything if I had been one."
- Groucho Marx
93. "There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it."
- Chinese Proverb
94. I really learned it all from mothers.
- Dr. Benjamin Spock
95. "She raised us with humor, and she raised us to understand that not everything was going to be great--but how to laugh through it."
-- Liza Minnelli
96. "Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. No love so instantaneous and forgiving."
- Gail Tsukiyama
97. "Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together."
- Pearl S. Buck
98. "We have a secret in our culture, and it's not that birth is painful. It's that women are strong."
- Laura Stavoe Harm
99. "Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease."
- Lisa Alther
100. "A mom forgives us all our faults, not to mention one or two we don't even have."
- Robert Brault
101. "A good mother loves fiercely but ultimately brings up her children to thrive without her."
- Erin Kelly
Got any other good quotes? Let us know in the comments below. Don't forget Mother's Day, and download the free bonus e-book, How to Raise Successful Kids.