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Tattooed Mom

When I was 18, I decided to get a tattoo.

I know that, in some circles, the issue of tattoo’s are still a “taboo” subject of conversation. I also understand that people have their own opinions (as do I) and that these can be quite fervent when it comes to the question of whether tattoos are ok. This is a potentially emotive subject…

First of all, it seems to me that we mothers have a real penchant for judging one another about almost anything; we judge each other about whether we breastfeed or not, how we gave birth, if we feed pureed homemade food or shop bought food, whether or not we co-sleep, or if (god forbid) we are still hanging on to a few of those extra kg’s from our last baby, and let’s not even mention the issue of how we discipline our children, etc, etc. We appear to enjoy judging other moms. Sometimes we reduce motherhood to little more than the silent judgment of other moms. And moms with tattoos suffer the same fate…

However, some of the most amazing mothers, wives, and friends I know have tattoo’s (some even have other beautiful quirks, like pink/blue/green hair). My question is: Does this make them mothers of a lower standard than those with unmarked skin? No! Are they still ladies? Of course! I learned long ago not to judge a parent by their appearance (I really try not to). I would hate for someone to judge my parenting on the basis of my appearance – even though I’m sure there have been times when I was the topic of conversation. And that’s OK… I’m happy to provide the inspiration for coffee shop talk. 🙂

I was once… Actually twice… asked to cover my tattoo in front of other people’s children. In both cases; because the parents didn’t want their kids exposed to such a bad example of how to treat their bodies. My reaction was to kindly oblige. Why even engage in an argument with someone so clearly ignorant. In my opinion, it’s just not worth it!

I think the real reason why I was asked to cover my tattoo was because the thought of having to have that conversation with their children frightened those parents. Was I judged? Maybe, maybe not. Do I care? No… (and I don’t intend for that to sound rebellious or snobbish).

When my kids see my tattoo they ask; “Mommy, you’ve got dolphins… who drew on you?” My reply; “A friend. One day when you are big, we can talk about it.” Their response; “OK”. Do my kids love me less? No! Of course not. Is their childhood somehow affected negatively? You’re kidding, right? Does it allow for conversation about differences in our appearances and how to care for and respect our bodies? Absolutely. And to me, that is one of the most important life lessons that I can teach my children: acceptance, love, and understanding. Even though they might have a different opinion when they grow up. (Not that you need a tattoo to discuss body-image… let’ not be petty.)

Am I a mom with a tattoo, yes. If my stomach still looked like it did when I was in my 20’s, I would still probably have a Belly-button ring. Even though it might not be deemed “fashionable”… Do I enjoy a glass of wine, yes? Am I still stubbornly hanging on to those extra kg’s after my last pregnancy, ABSOLUTELY.

I am a mother. A mother that loves fiercely…  And as long as my children are loved, safe, treasured, looked after, empowered, encouraged and always put first. What’s a tattoo got to do with it?




  • Heidi

    Ink glorious ink!!!!!!! Piercings ,hell yeah …..quirks make us who we are ?you’re right each to their own BUT it’s the heart that makes you !!!!! Never judge a book by its cover because you never know what you’re going to miss out.
    You may be inked like a road map but you teach your kids to be you is OK , be confident in who you are, you are unique or you may be a clean canvas and that’s OK it’s the love, the heart that makes you ?

  • Eb Gargano

    Great post! I don’t have any tattoos (nothing against them – just not my thing), but my brother has loads! It has never crossed my mind to ask him to cover them up in front of my kids! And sure my kids ask questions, but I just answer honestly. I don’t find that a ‘difficult’ conversation in the slightest! I am quite staggered anyone would ask you to cover them up! Maybe attitudes are just different here in the UK, I don’t know, it’s quite a ‘normal’ thing to have over here…in fact most mums I know have at least one!

  • Charlene

    I am shaking my head in disbelief. Unless those dolphins are murdering each other I can’t believe that anyone had the audacity to tell you what to do with your body #brilliantblogposts

  • laughing mum

    Love tattoos, have a few myself, although i haven’t been judged on them (well not directly anyway) I hate the way we do all judge each other.. I was at the supermarket the other day with my teen and preteen and it was warm, I was wearing a pencil skirt, a spaghetti strapped top and my sandles (nothing unusual i oddest think) and my daughters and I overheard another woman bitching about my ‘look’ to her own teenage daughter (nice parenting!) which prompted my pre-teen to ask me (while she was still in earshot thankfully) “why are they being so rude?” I literally had no idea why, and just told her to ignore other peoples disgusting manners and ignorance! (again while she was still in earshot) I honestly don’t know what the problem was.. but I would never use my daughter as a sounding board for being a downright arsehole about another person… I’m hoping her hearing us might prompt her to think about her actions in future, as it was so not necessary..

    So you enjoy your tattoos lovely, they make you happy, so who cares what others think over something they shouldn’t be judging at all anyway! #stayclassy

    • jaxbest4

      That is so sad. That poor girl! Great that you spoke out like that! Sometimes people just need to take the “blinkers” off their eyes! Thank you for your comment!! Keep wearing what you want! x

  • Davina

    I have a lot of tattoos. I recently had my kids’ names tattooed on my collarbones on a swallow scroll and they are quite large and colourful. I cover them up most of the time because of the judgy looks I get when people see them. Somehow it seems to be fine for dads to have armfuls of tattoos, but moms aren’t allowed? Weird.

    • jaxbest4

      Its so sad really, isn’t it! Overall I believe that we cannot judge a parent just by the way they look. Or if they parent in a different way than we do. We need to support and encourage each other!

  • The Mum Project

    I love tattoos! I want to get one now, after my son was born, is that weird? haha I also have a belly button piercing and one of those piercings in the top right corner of my ear (although I never wear earrings anymore). I took out the belly button ring when I found out I was pregnant. I would never judge a Mom for having tattoo, actually I would think you are a cool Mom and want to be friends with you haha : ). I’m surprised two people have told you to hide it! Who are these Moms?! So ridiculous. AND they’re dolphins? The sweetest animal in the world! I do think Moms judge each other, but silently. We should all stop this because it’s really unproductive, we need each other and should support each other. Being a Mom is tough already! Thanks for linking up with #StayClassy!

  • Sarah

    Absolutely love this post! We really need to put an end to judging moms. Its so crazy how often it happens. I dont have tattoo but the more the merrier. I think most of them are so beautiful. I hate that people get judged so much because of it.

    Personaly I got judged a lot because I didnt produce enough to breastfeed and it killed me because I wanted to so badly.

  • Silly Mummy

    I don’t have tattoos, and I don’t like them (or want the pain) for me personally, but they don’t remotely bother me on anyone else. That to me is just the same as the fact that I also don’t like blonde hair for me, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think other people look nice with blonde hair. My youngest daughter has beautiful blonde hair, I just wouldn’t do blonde for me. Tattoos are the same. Other people’s appearance is their business. Other people look nice with plenty of things I don’t think would suit me. (& even something I don’t think looks nice, is still not my business, is it?) I don’t care about my children seeing tattoos on other people, I can’t imagine why you would ask someone to cover up. #stayclassy

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