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."

--Roald Dahl

29. "There's no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one."
--Jill Churchill

30. "If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?"
--Milton Berle

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."
--Maya Angelou

33. "The phrase 'working mother' is redundant."
--Jane Sellman

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."
--J.K. Rowling

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."
--Barack Obama

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."
--Michael Jordan

37. "Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother."
--Oprah Winfrey

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"
--Tupac Shakur

40. "Acceptance, tolerance, bravery, compassion. These are the things my mom taught me."
--Lady Gaga

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."
--Mindy Kaling

42. "[My mother] always said I was beautiful and I finally believed her at some point."
--Lupita Nyong'o

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."
--Jewish Proverb

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.'"
--Cindy Crawford

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.

Published on: May 1, 2016
Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you'll never miss a post.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.