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An ode to Mom: Mother’s Day poems and quotes

Quotes, poems and stories about the moms we love.

My three moms — Susie Wang, Diane Serna and Shellie Dunlap

As I reflect back on my first year of motherhood, this quote by Henry Ward Beecher particularly speaks to me: “We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves.”

I have the privilege of being surrounded by three incredible moms — my own mother, who has taught me incredible life lessons, and two wonderful mother-in-laws, who have welcomed me into their families as one of their own.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m sharing a collection of quotes, poems and stories by moms and about moms. I hope you enjoy these sweet sentiments and the accompanying family photos. (I’m admittedly partial to the first quote listed from my mother-in-law Shellie Dunlap, which includes a memorable bonding moment she shared with my daughter.)

Happy Mother’s Day moms!

– Melissa Dunlap


A quote by Shellie Dunlap

Shellie Dunlap with her granddaughter Delilah
Shellie Dunlap with her granddaughter Delilah

“Motherhood is a lifetime hike to an undetermined destination requiring the sturdiest boots and an endless supply of age-appropriate gear.

Grammiehood is a barefoot stroll in the park requiring only a butterfly net and a handful of dandelions.”

Shellie Dunlap is the author of A Nantucket Experience – A Year in the Life of a Wash Ashore, a chronicle about her experience living on the island. Visit A Nantucket Experience.


A poem by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer

Jayne Jaudon Ferrer and her sons
Jayne Jaudon Ferrer and her sons

The Play’s the Thing

By Jayne Jaudon Ferrer

Forgive me, Lord
for all the tasks
that went undone today.
But this morning when my child
toddled in and asked, “Mommy play?”
I simply had to say yes.
And between the puzzles and trucks
and blocks and dolls and old hats and
books and giggles,
we shared a thousand special thoughts,
a hundred hopes and dreams and hugs.
And tonight, when prayer time came
and he folded his hands and softly whispered,
“Thank you, God, for Mommy and Daddy and
toys and french fries, but ‘specially
for Mommy playing,”
I knew it was a day well wasted.
And I knew You’d understand.

– Jayne Jaudon Ferrer is the author of five books, including three poetry collections for mothers. This popular poem is from A New Mother’s Prayers. Visit the Jayne Jaudon Ferrer website.


A quote by Margie Klein

Margie Klein at her 90th birthday; photographed by Dave Cooperberg
Margie Klein at her 90th birthday; photographed by Dave Cooperberg

A Mother’s Day Quote

“As long as I have food and a remote control, I’m happy.” – Margie Klein

– Quoted in Mom’s the Word: The Wit, Wisdom and Wonder of Motherhood, written by Allen Klein, Margie Klein’s son.


A story by James David Nicol

Hilda Nicol
Hilda Nicol

My mother, Hilda, served as a wireless operator in the Women’s Royal Air Force during WWII, mostly stationed in the south of England, close to London.

Decades later, and after a few sherries, she’d regale us with her adventures; dancing to swing bands, sneaking back to the barracks in the early hours and the time that she narrowly missed being flattened by a German bomb while on a weekend pass in London.

“Oh yes,” she would always say, “I had a wonderful war.”

– James David Nicol is a native of Scotland and author of Mac and June: Love In The Time Of Oil, a tale of an American who fell in love with a Scottish woman — and her whole family. Visit the James David Nicol website.


A poem by Sherri Mills

Author Sherri Mills with granddaughters Braidy, Hailey, Hanna and Maegan
Author Sherri Mills with granddaughters Braidy, Hailey, Hanna and Maegan

A Mother’s Lament

By Sherri Mills

The perils of being a mother, are equal to not any other
For granted she’s taken and often mistaken — for a robot, “She’ll do it — why bother?”

A mom has a time clock she punches — breakfast dishes done — oops, time for lunches.
From 8 to 12 Hey! All her time’s slipped away — her work comes in bunches and bunches.

The lunch turns up — half on the floor. And they turned up their noses like before.
As usual — she fixed it. And as usual — they nixed it, and then in an hour they want more.

After supper she wails to her spouse, “I’ve got to get out of this house!
I think you will find that I’m losing my mind, and yes — this is blood on my blouse!”

The day has been just like another — and so ends the day of A MOTHER.

– Sherri Mills is the author of I Almost Divorced my Husband but I Went on Strike Instead. Visit the Sherri Mills website.


A quote from Jacob Markiewicz

Rebecca Brooks (mother), Jeff Markiewicz (brother), and Jacob Markiewicz
Rebecca Brooks (mother), Jeff Markiewicz (brother), and Jacob Markiewicz

“You can’t spell ‘moments’ without mom. Life may be full of moments, but you only get one mom to experience them with.” – Jacob Markiewicz

– Jacob Markiewicz came up with this quote when he saw a picture frame that read “Life is full of moments” and realized that “mom” begins the word. He used the above quote with his mom a year ago, which she loved.


A story by Tsara Shelton

Tsara Shelton with her mother Lynette Louise
Tsara Shelton with her mother Lynette Louise

Coffee, Mom and Me

When I was a little girl, I would watch my mom closely, seeing her as a beautiful example of what it is to be a grown-up. For some reason I mostly focused on her hands wrapped around never-ending coffee mugs. Her slender, pretty fingers were so different from my short chubby ones. And the look of reflective calm that came over Mom with the first few sips of each steaming cup of that grown-up beverage seemed to me the epitome of adulthood. Watching my mom, I knew that it was wonderful to be a grown-up!

So as I sit and sip my adult coffee brew today and look far off into myself, I feel as though I am mostly grown-up. I see a bit of my mom in me, and that’s beautiful!

And when I look down at my still short and chubby fingers, I am reminded that I will always have more growing up to do. I see a bit of only me in me, and I smile.

My mom taught me to be myself, and she encouraged that by exampling it always. So now I am a comfortable mixture of us. I love that.

– Tsara Shelton works with her mom, Lynette Louise, a mental health and parenting therapist, to share resources with families touched by autism. Visit Brain and Body.


A poem by Sarah Marchant

Sarah Marchant and mother
Sarah Marchant and mother

Gestures of Love

By Sarah Marchant

The smallest, flickering moment —
the turning-on of a lamp, the brewing
of just one more cup of tea,
the contribution of spare change
because of one mention that it bought
thrift store paperbacks;

tiny affectionate expressions
pile up, a hand at my shoulder
or a kiss on my cheek.

Smiles in my direction
crank up the atmosphere,
wiping away the
grime of my thoughts —
listening, supporting, forgiving.

Love of a mother is
sweeter than chocolate,
stronger than hurricanes,
thicker than blood, and

– To see more of her poetry, follow Sarah Marchant on Twitter @apoetrybomb.


A poem by Aureon Johnson

Sedaria Williams (mother) and Aureon Johnson; Prism Photography
Sedaria Williams (mother) and Aureon Johnson; Prism Photography

“Here is a poem my daughter wrote for me last month after I told her I was finally graduating college,” shared Sedaria Williams. “It brought tears to my eyes.”

My Mother, My Twin, My Hero (Shero)

By Aureon Johnson

I look like her, I sound like her at times
I find myself reacting to situations like her with all the grace of a ballerina
People ask are we sisters, Momma laughs and says “She wishes…”

I never knew her journey until recently
Being a teen, I didn’t want to look like mom or sound like her
She was middle aged…. We had twenty years between us

I found out that after 12 long and hard years, she is finally graduating from college
Her journey lasted this long because she was willing to give me everything I need and more

She sacrificed for me… She forfeited her life to make my life better

So, yes I look like her, I sound like her at times
I find myself reacting to situations like her with all the grace of a ballerina

People ask are we sisters, Momma laughs and says “She wishes…”
I say no — that’s my mother!!!

My mother, my twin, my hero


A poem by LinDee Rochelle

Florence (Connelly) Sizer and LinDee Rochelle (Sizer) in 1954
Florence (Connelly) Sizer and LinDee Rochelle (Sizer) in 1954

My Mother’s Day Prayer

By LinDee Rochelle

My Mother, who art in heaven,
hallowed be her name.
Her spirit comes
though her job is done
and she rests now, in heaven.

She gave me each day her daily bread (of life),
forgave me my trespasses,
and urged me to forgive those who trespass against me,
she guided me away from temptation
and protected me from evil.

My heart is now her kingdom,
with all her power, and glory
within, forever and ever.


LinDee Rochelle, author of Blast from Your Past book series, reverently adapted this poem from The Lord’s Prayer for all whose mothers are in spirit only.


A poem by Holly Rodriguez

Holly Rodriguez
Photo credit: Holly Rodriguez

Mama Blooms

By Holly Rodriguez

– A poem about my mother, who died two years ago.

Beautiful spring blossoms conjure memories of you,
My sassy marmalade Mama at age 42.

“Don’t take shit from anybody,” she often said to me,
“Get your degree, then a marriage, then, think about a baby.”

As she grew into her fifties and the arthritis got worse,
She still carried Fashion Fair lipstick in her overstuffed purse.

Once she arrived in her sixties I could see her growing tired,
But she always kept me focused on reasons to stay inspired.

“Keep your heart close to God and believe the truth of your intuition,
Accept the gift that is your life and follow rules of your own definition.”

More Mother’s Day ideas

Say “I love you” with these quotes for Mom
Mother’s Day gift basket ideas
How to make your own Mother’s Day corsage

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