I remember the first time I re-read one of my favourite books after having become a mom. I knew the plot, I had read the story a million times before, but somehow it all sounded completely new to me. Every sentence that spoke about the connection between a mother and her child especially stopped me in my tracks. It was then that I realized just how much motherhood blesses you with a new perspective.

In celebration of what words can make us feel inside, I’ve come up with a list of 30 Tug-At-Your-Heart Quotes About Being A Mama every woman will feel deep down in her soul. I hope you enjoy the following compilation of sayings from public figures, celebrities and authors.

30. “We have a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It’s that women are strong.”

Laura Stavoe Harm

29. “Birth is the sudden opening of a window, through which you look out upon a stupendous prospect. For what has happened? A miracle. You have exchanged nothing for the possibility of everything.”

William Macneile Dixon, The Human Situation

28.  “In giving birth to our babies, we may find that we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves.”

Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn

27. “Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.”

Charles R. Swindoll

26. “But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins.”

Mitch Albom, For One More Day

25. “Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did – that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that – a parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.”

Debra Ginsberg, Raising Blaze: A Mother and Son’s Long, Strange Journey Into Autism

24. “Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood – finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.”

Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match

23. “Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”

Donna Ball, At Home On Lady Bug Farm

22. “No one is ever quite ready; everyone is always caught off guard. Parenthood chooses you. And you open your eyes, look at what you’ve got, say ‘Oh, my gosh,’ and recognize that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one you should not drop. It’s not a question of choice.”

Marisa de los Santos, Love Walked In

21. “When my mother cries, I burn like the dry branches of a tree. I don’t think about rational reasons, I just discover that we are one person, who cries with four eyes.”

Mohammed Hassan Alwan

20. “‘Can anything harm us, mother, after the night-lights are lit?”Nothing, precious,’ she said, ‘they are the eyes a mother leaves behind her to guard her children.'”

M. Barrie, Peter Pan and Wendy

19. “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, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

18. “The greatest thing a father can do for his children is to respect the woman that gave birth to his children. It is because of her that you have the greatest treasures in your life. You may have moved on, but your children have not. If you can’t be her soulmate, then at least be thoughtful. Whom your children love should always be someone that you acknowledge with kindness. Your children notice everything and will follow your example.”

Shannon L. Alder, 300 Questions LDS Couples Should Ask for a More Vibrant Marriage

17. “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, Silver Linings

16. “The mother memories that are closest to my heart are the small gentle ones that I have carried over from the days of my childhood. They are not profound, but they have stayed with me through life, and when I am very old, they will still be near. Memories of mother drying my tears, reading aloud, cutting cookies and singing as she did, listening to prayers I said as I knelt with my forehead pressed against her knee, tucking me in bed and turning down the light. They have carried me through the years and given my life such a firm foundation that it does not rock beneath flood or tempest.”

Margaret Sanger

15. “This is what we do, my mother’s life said. We find ourselves in the sacrifices we make.”

Cammie McGovern, Neighbourhood Watch

14. “No mother is ever, completely, a child’s idea of what a mother should be, and I suppose it works the other way around as well. But despite everything, we didn’t do too badly by one another, we did as well as most.”

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

13. “I took her into bed with me and propped myself up with pillows against the headboard to let her nurse. As she nursed and the milk came, she began a little low contented sort of singing. I would feel milk and love flowing from me to her as once it had flowed to me. It emptied me. As the baby fed, I seemed slowly to grow empty of myself, as if in the presence of that long flow of love even grief could not stand.”

Wendell Barry, Hannah Coulter

12. “I think motherhood is the noblest task of all, because you cannot do it at your convenience, or tailor it to suit your preferences. You have to be ready to give up everything when you take on this task: your time, restful nights, your hobbies, your pursuit of physical fitness, any beauty you may have had, and all of the private little pleasures you might have counted as a right, from late dinners and long soaks in the tub to weekend excursions and cycling trips…I’m not saying you can’t have any of these things, but you have to be ready to let them all go if you’re going to have children and put them first.”

Johann Arnold, Endangered: Your Child In a Hostile World

11. “When you hold a child to your breast to nurse, the curve of the little head echoes exactly the curve of the breast it suckles, as though this new person truly mirrors the flesh from which it sprang.”

Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber

10. “Every mother can easily imagine losing a child. Motherhood is always half loss anyway. The three-year-old is lost at five, the five-year-old at nine. We consort with ghosts, even as we sit and eat with, scold and kiss, their current corporeal forms. We speak to people who have vanished and, when they answer us, they do the same. Naturally, the information in these speeches is garbled in the translation.”

Karen Joy Fowler, Black Glass

9. “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

8. “Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.”

Sharon Jaynes

7. “Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; a mother’s secret hope outlives them all.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes

6. “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

5. “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

4. “The attitude you have as a parent is what your kids will learn from more than what you tell them. They don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”

Jim Henson

3. “My mother was a continual source of wisdom and great advice. She used to say, ‘Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.’ And she taught me that there is always a way around a problem — you’ve just got to find it. Keep trying doors; eventually one will open.”

Ariana Huffington

2. “I believe the choice to become a mother is the choice to become one of the greatest spiritual teachers there is.”

Oprah Winfrey

1. “There is no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one.”

Jill Churchill