Thursday, July 21, 2011

Being a Tattooed Mama

I'm not sure how or why I haven't written about this before, but here we are. The editors over at Babble put together list of Moms with tattoos and their feelings about them here .

First of all, I don't see any heavily tattooed Moms on the list, at least not visibly heavily tattooed. That is not to diminish their credibility or their opinions, I just feel that I'm coming from a totally different world. I mean, I can't really compare my full sleeve to Monica Bielanko's tiny little flower on her toe. (I chose Monica because I love her blog, and find her to be hilarious.)

So, how do I feel as a tattooed Mom? Well.. I feel a lot of different ways. I love my tattoos, and have every intention of getting more. I don't love how I'm treated as a tattooed person. Now, being treated differently was not a suprising effect of being tattooed. I completely expected it, and I thought long and hard about how I'd be treated once I had children. I was aware of the looks and snickering that would be possible, I wasn't prepared for the outwardly rude people of the world. I have a somewhat idealistic view of other people, and I live by a "live and let live" philosophy and I ignorantly expected the same respect from others.

Well, I was sadly mistaken. People have accused me of being a satanist, a gang member, violent/dangerous, and unintelligent. By far the most hurtful thing that I've been called is an "unfit" mother. Strictly based on my tattoos. I'm talking about a lady in a grocery store, who had never seen a BIT of my parenting skills.

People are often FLOORED when they actually speak to me and I'm a fairly well-educated, articulate, nice person. They expect, because of that tattoos, that I'm some backwoods hillbilly, or white trash whore. Nope, sorry.

I am a woman who wears many hats. I play the role of mother, wife, student, business owner, homeowner, family gal, and licensed preschool teacher. Yep. I have studied child development and psychology and have a Preschool Teaching Certification from the state of MA. But, since I enjoy a little art on my skin, I'm completely unfit to be a mother.

Come off of it, people. I don't regret my tattoos. I love my tattoos. I don't feel like I'm setting a bad example for my son (or future children). I was 21 years old when I started getting tattooed. I waited until I was old enough to make a responsible decision. I know that my tattoos are going to fade, and sag, but that's part of the beauty for me. Because they are on MY body, which will also be (and already is) fading and sagging.

Do I worry that my kids will want to be heavily tattooed? Nope. They can do what they want, once they are old enough to do so. In all honesty, I think kids rebel against what their parents do anyway, and since my husband and I are both heavily tattooed, I don't think my kids will be interested. But if they are, so be it. There are FAR worse things kids could be doing.

I will say that Lucas just recently discovered my tattoos. He never seemed to notice them before, but now that he can talk a little bit, he has been pointing out the various animals, and then running to ask Daddy if he has the same animals (he doesn't). I also think that as Lucas grows, he will not judge people so quickly after seeing how quickly we are judged. He doesn't bat an eyelash when we see people that look "different" in a store or in public. I've seen other kids nearly fall out of shopping carts pointing at my arm and yelling "Mama, colors!!!!". (I'm not offended by kids' curiosity, btw).

What are your thoughts on tattoos? Yay, nay? Why?

PS - expect a post very soon with a sketch of my next tattoo - if I can ever afford to get one.

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