My Mother's Keeper Tattoo Meaning, Placement, Designs & Ideas (2024)

The thrill of the idea of getting a tattoo has crossed the minds of everyone (including you) and a major part of the excitement comes from deciding on what you will have inked on your body. Some people can take extensive amounts of time planning and deciding on a design (after all, tattoos are a form of body modification and are permanent) and for some, this decision can only take a matter of seconds.

Over the expandable amounts of designs to create or choose from, several signs and symbols rise in popularity due to the connections forged around them. Although similar in connotation, our relationships with these figures remain truly idiosyncratic and personal. One of the most popular tattoo designs integrates the phrase, “my mother’s keeper.

So, What does ‘my mother’s keeper’ tattoo mean? Does the bible say anything about this tattoo? What are the various “My Mother’s Keeper” Tattoo designs & Ideas? Well, let us see..

My Mother’s Keeper Tattoomeaning:

Before you dive further into the meaning of this heartfelt tattoo design, it’s worth enlightening you with a brief history lesson of tattoo artistry and its vast uses over different parts of the world as it is significant to how tattoos are practiced today.

For thousands of years, significant markings on the body called tattoos have become a catalyst of evolution in the art’s history, just like many forms of art. As a method of cultural representation, this system of decorative body modification has become a widespread practice, especially amongst different parts of the world; each with their own form of symbolism. During the ancient Greek and Roman times, inked skin was affiliated to barbarians and slavery. In the Butbut Tribe of the Philippines, hunters and warriors would have their skin inked as a symbol of dauntlessness and markings on women of the tribe were considered a token of elegance and allure. Although the practice remains selfsame, the symbolism and cultural associations with tattoos differ immensely. Over the years, the ritual of inking the skin has evolved and can also be used as an expression of individuality, commemoration of a significant moment in life or movement, or simply as a form of appreciation for the art.

Now as you are reading this article with brief knowledge on the history of tattoos, it is time you learned the meaning of the “my mother’s keeper” concept. The popular yet powerful phrase has been defined in various ways in the form of tattoos. To put it straightforwardly, “my mother’s keeper” is a symbol of guidance or protection.

My Mother's Keeper Tattoo Meaning, Placement, Designs & Ideas (1)

It emphasizes the concept that you are protected or seeking protection and wisdom by a motherly figure, whether that takes the form of a guardian angel or even your mother if she is someone you share a special bond with. Additionally, the phrase can also be approached as a method of showing respect and appreciation for any mother figure that has caused an indescribable impact on your life or as a token of gratitude to the sacrifices and hard work a mother endures to provide and raise their children.

Does the bible say anything about being a mother’s keeper?

Well, apart from the protective and gratifying expressions of the phrase, “my mother’s keeper” also serves as a strong reference to the bible. The phrase is also a variation on the biblical phrase, “my brother’s keeper” as referenced:

“Then the lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Then he said, ‘What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground.’”

Genesis 4:9-10

The message of this passage highlights the importance of family. Instead of protecting one another, Cain murders his brother in envy over God’s rejection of his offerings and questions why he must care and protect his brother. As a consequence for his actions, God impells Cain to separate from his family and he loses everything. Cain is then obliged to wander the earth. This reference to “my mother’s keeper” serves as a promise to serve and protect the most important people in their lives: their motherly figure or family in general; whether by blood or forged over kinship.

Various “My Mother’s Keeper” Tattoo Designs & Ideas

If you are having some difficulty visualizing how you wish to express this phrase, your tattoo artist is already a viable asset to providing assistance in creating your own personal visualization of “my mother’s keeper.”

Carefully planning out your design, analyzing what “my mother’s keeper” means to you, and communicating with your artist will prove to bring out the best in the designing phase of your tattoo.

To reference, the meaning of “my mother’s keeper” has been presented and interpreted through numerous forms. Some people incorporate an angel, a bird, flowers, butterflies, hearts or even have the phrase itself in their designs. There are also occasions where people have added the names of their mothers on their designs, sometimes with the phrase, “For her, I’ll risk it all” accompanying the name.

One notable tattoo design that embodies the meaning of “my mother’s keeper” beautifully is one done on a popular YouTuber, Jesse Wellens. On his right shoulder extending down to his elbow, a tattoo of an angel with his mother’s portrait is seen with extended wings and a halo. The tattoo design is his personal expression to “my mother’s keeper” taking the form of a guardian angel. Wellens quotes in a post on Instagram:

My Mom will forever be my guardian angel. I Love you. Massive thank you to Kat Von D for the most important tattoo I will ever have.

Your personal significance on how you choose to express this phrase is imperative to your tattoo design choice or creation if you choose to design the tattoo yourself. Here are a few “My mother’s keeper” Tattoo designs and Ideas..

My Mother’s Keeper Tattoo Placement:

Whatever the design you decide, where you place your mother’s keeper tattoo, is completely up to you. Though, there are a few factors to consider when deciding on the placements of any tattoo.

If you are employed and visible tattoos are prohibited, you can have your tattoos placed on parts of the body that can easily be covered up like on your upper thigh, shoulder, chest or anywhere on your torso. Regardless, if you have the liberty of placing tattoos anywhere on your body, people frequently place their “My mother’s keeper” tattoos on the back of their shoulders or the trapezius, arms and thighs. These are popular tattoo placements for this tattoo.

Furthermore, if you choose a more minimal design for your “my mother’s keeper” tattoo, you can go for the poetic route and place the tattoo on the left pectoral area or around the clavicle because it is the area in which the heart, a symbol of love and affection, and the center of all emotion, sits.


My mother’s keeper” is a powerful and incredibly personal emblem to have tattooed on your body. Everyone’s relationship with the phrase is unique and it holds such a poetic and meaningful promise to anyone bearing tattoos conveying this concept.

Mothers or motherly figures oftentimes are the catalysts of unconditional love in the lives of many individuals. “I am my mother’s keeper” tattoo is the ultimate symbol of promise and commitment to doing whatever it takes to protect and accept guidance from the woman who made the same promise and commitment to raise you, provide for you and support you throughout your entire life.

Hannah Robyn Wellington

Hannah Robyn Wellington is a professional Tattoo artist, designer, and writer who lives in Olongapo,Philippines. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Art Education at the Arizona State University, and started off as a tattoo apprentice back then. Hannah is currently working as a resident tattoo artist at Inksomnia Tattoo and Piercing, in Olongapo City, while also pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Multimedia Art and Design at the iAcademy Institute. Hannah Robyn Wellington also owns a blog page of her own and loves writing novels on the side.

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My Mother's Keeper Tattoo Meaning, Placement, Designs & Ideas (2024)


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