Getting inked can be an extremely personal decision, especially when you take the plunge with someone important to you. These mothers and daughters decided to declare their love for each other in the cutest ways possible, and their stories will make you want to grab your mom and race to the tattoo parlor, stat.
Where You Lead
“When I was born, my mom was a young 20-year-old who had no plans to be married. She worked hard every single day, and even though we may have struggled when I was young, I never felt like I went without. We would watch the show Gilmore Girls every chance that we could and compared our relationship to the characters. About three years ago, I left home to live a couple hours away for college. Although this was my mom’s greatest dream for me, we also missed each other like crazy. So when she came to visit me one weekend, I asked if she would be interested in getting matching tattoos. I brought up the theme song of our favorite show Gilmore Girls, ‘Where you lead, I will follow,’ and she agreed it was perfect. We got our simple ankle tattoos, and I found a way to commemorate the person who has done everything to make my life as great as possible.” —Paige, 21, and her mom Beth, 41, Roxana, Illinois
Lock and Key
“The reason we got these is because I have raised her on my own when I was her age now. I myself have grown up with her. She has been through struggles with me, and she is the reason I have accomplished so much. She is the only person who will ever fully occupy my heart. This is why I got the lock and she holds the key to it. Only she can unlock it! She is my best friend!” —Jess, 37, St. Petersburg, Florida
You Are My Sunshine
“My mom and I decided to get matching tattoos last year. 2016 was a pretty rough year for both of us, and we wanted a way to remind each other that no matter what happens or how far apart we are, we’ll always be there for one another. It’s a way to show our love and support for one another always.
“The reason we picked these phrases is because it was a song we used to sing to each other when I was really little, plus it’s like a little sunshine on a cloudy day or like a reminder that no matter how rough things get, we’ll always have each other.” —Kaleigh, 22, Savannah, Georgia
“My mum and I are more like sisters than mother and daughter, as she is only 20 years older than me, and [we] have always been very close. For years, I’ve been trying to get her inked with me but up until a few weeks ago, she’s always had cold feet (I have seven tattoos and she had … well … zero!). I showed her my idea and she loved it, so we went for it when I visited her in Italy.
“The tattoo is the mathematical congruence sign. Our meaning behind it is: same blood, different people.” —Greta, 32, Hamburg, Germany, and her mom, Lorella, 51, Milan, Italy
Where You Are
“This phrase ‘where you are’ is short for ‘my love is where you are.’ It comes from our song, ‘You Can’t Lose Me’ by Faith Hill. I am her last child to leave for college so we got these as gifts for each other!” —Bailey, 19, Birmingham, Alabama
“[She was] premature and a little bitty thing in NICU. One day on the way home from the hospital, I heard the song and was in tears by the end of the first verse. It perfectly described the mother/daughter relationship I wanted to have and how I felt about [her]. I knew no matter what, there was an indescribable bond between us. To me, our tattoos memorializes that song and what we’ve been to each other all these years, and reminds us each time that we can never lose each other.” —Bailey’s mom, Cheryl, 48, Birmingham, Alabama
“Over the course of my time in university, my love of coffee began. On the weekend when I’d visit my family back home, my mom and I would sit on the couch for hours on end, talking about our lives over cups of coffee. It brought us together not only as a mother and daughter, but as friends. We may not get to see each other every day, but the tattoos are reminders of something permanent — our mutual love of coffee and the bond we share.” —Laura, 19, Toronto, Ontario
“We had been wanting to get matching tattoos since [my daughter] was 18. She is 22 now. We could never come up with something that we liked and was meaningful. Finally she found this about arrows: ‘Arrows are for safeguarding family, two arrows crossed mean friendship, arrows represent moving forward and help seek better things in life, arrows always move forward and never look back.’
“We just really liked the meaning and we wanted something dainty and delicate … I was a young mom and I had her when I was 16. We are really close, have a great relationship, and really have grown up together.” —Angela, 38, Placentia, California
“We are huge Potterheads! We decided to get the book page where Snape confesses ‘always’ to Harry. It’s basically a huge love symbol. I also have 9 3/4 tattooed on my other wrist in my mom’s handwriting.” —Meghan, 19, Johnson City, Tennessee
“My mom and I got daisies because they’re our favorite flower and a peace sign in the middle because we’re both big proponents of peace — both inner peace and as a way to live. We got them in San Diego when she was dropping me off for my first semester of college, so it was really special.” —Maya, 22, St. Louis, Missouri
“Growing up, my mom has always had a bit of anxiety, and often found it hard to do anything that was unplanned or spontaneous. But one day while I was in college, she called me and told me that she randomly got a tattoo — and I was so proud of her that I cried. She then suggested that we get tattoos together, even though she used to always tell me I could never have one. We immediately had the same idea for what we should get and a few months later, we both got star tattoos because my mom always says to me, ‘I love you more than all the stars in the sky and all the fish in the sea.’ I got two stars to represent us, and she got five with two filled in to match mine. Every time I catch a glimpse of my tattoo, it makes me so happy. She’s the most important person in the world to me, and I love carrying around a piece of her everywhere I go.” —Madison, 23, and her mom, Debbi, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
“I decided [to get] three elephants representing my grandmom, my mom, and myself, the most important women in my life. The elephant represents my grandmom the most; she is 81 years old, and has dementia. Over her lifetime, she has collected elephant figurines, her favorite animal. Elephants are very strong in family bonds, and my mom, grandmom, and I are inseparable. We also share the name Marie, which is written below the elephants. My grandmom’s name is Marie, and my mom and I both have that name as our middle names.
I am not home as much as I used to be due to school, and having this tattoo makes me feel like I always have my girls with me. It brought my mom and I closer, and I will have my mom and my grandmom with me wherever I go. I’ll never be alone.” —Samantha, 20, Newtown, Pennsylvania
“Just before her 19th birthday, [my daughter] Devin approached me with what she said was an amazing idea — we should get matching tattoos. She asked me to hear her out and look at her concept of the mother/daughter tattoo she designed. It was a shooting star, representing something miracle-like because I had been an infertility patient for years before conceiving Devin so when she finally came along, I called her my miracle child. On the tail of the star would be seven little stars as both Devin and I were born on the seventh day of the month, and the inside of the star would be colored yellow and green — our birthstone colors (yellow/topaz and green/emerald). Soon thereafter, Devin and I got our matching tattoos. It’s something I will forever cherish!” —Jamie, 56, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania