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Things Only Moms With Tattoos Understand

Just about everyone has a tattoo these days, but some of us moms have many, and they just cannot be covered. Not that we want to cover them! We thought we got some looks and comments about our tattooed skin before kids, but once the kids arrived, those looks and comments became even ruder. We know it’s just art on skin, it’s just like wearing your favorite clothes (except you can’t take it off), and it’s a personal thing. So why all the judgement? We may never know.

But being a tattooed mom isn’t all bad comments either—there are some uniquely awesome parts of the experience, too. And, so here are some things only tattooed moms will understand, the good, the bad, and the beautiful.

1. That weird discussion about tattoos you have with your kids’ friends’ parents. Some of these conversations are quite lovely—there is a talk about a mutual love of art, and tattoos become part of the discussion. (Much better than those awkward chats where a parent you barely know gives you the stink eye and starts asking about your ink.)

2. Your kid proudly showing off the tattoo you got for her. My kids love my tattoos, and their favorites are the ones with their initials in hearts. Their sweet faces light up when they look at them, and their little fingers trace the hearts with their letters.

3. The realization that you cannot get mad at your kid for drawing all over her skin with marker to “look like Mommy.” I remember driving to a wedding three hours away, and so I gave my kids plenty of things to do in their carseats, including new coloring books and markers. My daughter was especially into drawing, and the drive wasn’t too bad. When we got to the hotel and I went to her side to unbuckle her, I saw why she was so content. She had drawn “tattoos” all over her legs and arms. She said, “Look, Mommy! Just like you!” How could I be mad?!

4. Hearing someone say, “Moms shouldn’t have tattoos.” In these instances, I wish I could say, “People shouldn’t be rude.” Instead, I just smile a big smile and take the high road. My usual response is that expression and art are beautiful—it’s too bad not everyone thinks so.

5. Having people ask, “Are you done getting them now that you have kids?” Does having kids mean you cannot be yourself anymore? That all the things you love suddenly no longer mean anything? Our lives change: That is certain. But just because I had kids doesn’t mean I don’t like cheeseburgers or some black winged eyeliner or listening to rock and roll or getting tattoos anymore.

6. That delicate question from strangers: How do you explain your tattoos to your kids? How do you explain anything? By telling kids the truth. I love art! On my skin. Why is this such a big deal to some?

7. Hearing “What are you going to do when your kid wants tattoos?” This one is my favorite: I’m going to run to the tattoo shop with them, of course, and we’re going to get matching tattoos! Of course, that might not be what really happens. But if your kid is old enough, and she has a cool idea for a design, then why not be open to the possibilities?

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