Friday, March 18, 2016

Motherhood and tattoos

I had  a wave of inspiration today and thought I would write about it. I came across an article on social media that got me thinking about my personal experiences being a tattooed, Goth mom.

The article is actually a series of photos of alternative mothers. The photographer, having tattoos herself and who is also a mother got inspired to take these pictures because she was told she did not look like a mom.

For myself personally, I am not surprised to read this because I was told the exact same thing. Also, prior to becoming a mom and for the first two years of my kid's life, I only had a little rose on my shoulder, which was only visible when I wore certain articles of clothing. It was a shock for some people when I got tattooed from my shoulder down to my elbow when my son Philip was about two years old. One of the remarks I heard from someone was that I should not be spending my money on such expensive things (re:tattoos because they just finished praising us for buying a second car) I was also told that I should be saving that money, after all, I have a child to take care of. Why do people think they could get off with giving us unsolicited advice or tell us how to spend OUR money?

I don't want to write too much about the negative remarks I received after I rediscovered goth or after I got my half sleeve because I feel like I covered a lot already in this blog. In fact, I much rather focus on the positive at this point. So here are some positive, sometimes humorous points I observed with regards to my appearance:

(1) When my son Philip started school, the staff members familiarized themselves with us immediately! It made the transition that much easier on all of us. They knew who we were because "you guys are the cool parents" or more specifically "I know you are Philip's mom because of your tattoo."

(2) If something sinister should ever happen to me, my body would be easy to identify!

(3) Being alternative teaches Philip acceptance towards others. It also teaches him that some people are not so tolerant and he is better equipped at dealing with those situations.

(4)  I had people compliment me, some other parents want to talk to me because I am apparently "a really cool mom."

(5)  I want more tattoos and well, I like to think this enables Philip to see his mother appreciate, even love her body. In fact, I like to think my body is like a temple, I decorate the walls!

(6) The most visible part of arm tattoo while wearing a regular short sleeved shirt is Philip's birth date and it makes a great conversation starter since I can be shy meeting people face-to-face.

(7) Tattoos are cool, enough said!

What does it mean to look like a parent, anyway? Does that mean we need to look "normal?" I thought tattoos were becoming more mainstream or am I wrong? Does that mean we need to spend all that money we should be saving on tattoo removal? At the end of the day, in my opinion, don't worry about looking like a parent. If a little bit of ink or a huge ass tattoo makes you happy, you can afford it, it is something you think you won't regret later on, and your workplace allows it (or can be easily covered up) why not? If you had tattoos before becoming a parent and they are tasteful, then why should we even be concerned on whether or not we look like a parent to some people? In my very biased opinion, having tattoos or piercings or being goth makes you one cool parent! We don't need to look a certain way to be parents! I like to believe that as long as parents love their children and we do what is best for them, we don't need to stop being who we are or who we want to be for the sake of parenthood. You are entitled to live your life too and spend money on yourself. Those were some very valuable lessons I had to learn those many moons ago.

Now all this tattoo stuff makes me want to go look up more designs for my future tattoo!

aw yeah:
Taken from Pinterest


  1. Can I invert this post a little? I get told I'm not a proper goth because I have no tattoos or piercings - frequently.

    I have nothing against either and live in a city where actually both are now the norm - but I do have a very hypersensitive body that reacts quite aggressively to any perceived foreign bodies. I did have my belly button pierced and the piecing was basically forced out painfully through my skin reacting to it - I dread to think what it would do to tattoo ink.

    It pisses me off that I'm judged as non alternative or a fraud by the uber crowd because I'm not dripping ink or metal. Tattoos are often a thing of beauty and I admire them - but just like cats, I can't have one because it could make me sick.

    Rant over! Your tattoos are lovely and have utterly no impact on your ability to be a brilliant mother.

    1. Of course you can invert this post! I am so glad you comment because I never even considered your point of view! Thank you so much for commenting! That is a very valid point. You are absolutely right. You don't need tats or piercings to be considered alternative. If it makes you feel better, my body rejected my industrial piercing so I can relate to how you feel. Thank you again for commenting, that is such a valid point. I am sorry I missed it.

    2. I don't have any tattoos either. The thought of somebody drawing on my flesh with a needle freaks me out.

    3. Ah, don't worry about it. It's not something that I noticed way back in the 80s / 90s - then tats were mainly for the metal heads I knocked around with. Goths not so much. Now, at festivals, I've been called fake and 'mall goth' - which I suppose to a degree I am given my penchant for girly frocks! But being called out for not having tats and mods really does annoy me :)

    4. Yeah it would annoy me too. I dont think you look like a Mall goth though. I always thought you looked fab whenever I see pictures of you on FB. I am very grateful we became online friends!

    5. I don't have any tattoos either, and I could see how there's this weird pressure to get one 'cause everyone's doing it. Thankfully (for them!) no one's ever told me I'm not 'a proper goth', and I'm sorry they've said that to you

  2. I couldn't of put this better myself!! You are a cool mum but just having tattoos etc doesn't mean you aren't, even without the physical representations we are still cool people on the inside too! I also get alot of people tell me I don't look like a mum, even co-workers and old friends tell me they find it weird to think of me as a mum. To be honest though looking 'like a mum' or mumsy in any way, is kind of my worst fear. Being a mum isn't my sole identity and my daughter needs to understand that as much as I do :)

    1. Given my sudden onset of a 'matronly chest' I hear you on not looking mumsy!!!

      You look fab :)

  3. Such ridiculous stereotypes! Of course you can be a great mum with tattoos! And you can give your kid more sound advice about tattooing- what not to do and what to do- because you know from experience!

  4. Just what do these people think when an inked girl walks by? 'Look, she has tattoos, she surely can't do whatever all the other - not tattoot - people do...' Ridiculous...

  5. Pah. I remember drawing my dads and moms skin with pens... tattooed parents make perfect coloring books.



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