5 Reasons Why Every Mom Needs a Tattoo

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If you are like me, you probably grew up being told:

Tattoos are trashy,
Tattoos signal to the world what kind of woman you are,
People with tattoos are judged more harshly than people without,
You will mature and you will regret your decision to get a tattoo
Tattoos are an exercise in frivolity.

Well, I have news. That’s all some foul-smelling excrement of the male cow variety.

I believe that every mom should get a tattoo, and here’s why…

Our bodies are our own

Kids – life – spouses – family.

We lose a bit of ourselves every year. And sometimes, it’s hard to remember that, as much as I love my toddler, my body does not exist to house his spirit.

1. My body exists to house my spirit.

And, there’s something about marking your body that makes that statement reality.

I will sacrifice.  I will give of myself. I will smile and love and give emotionally even when I know that I’m tapped out.

But, this body — she is mine. She is home for MY soul. I love her. I decide the marks she will bear for me.

2. Our agency is worth celebrating.

Actually, I said perfectly in my last point:  “I decide the marks she will bear for me.”

Our lives don’t just happen to us. The good marriages and the bad. The stretch marks and the miscarriages. The injection sites. The self-harm scars. The scars left to us by cancer.  All of these, we choose to walk through. We choose to bear. We choose to survive.

Every day, we own our experience. We own our history. We own our present.

We don’t always choose what happens to us but we choose to carry our body forward with those burdens.

Tattoos remind us of that. It’s our choice to carry our bodies, marks and all, into the future.

We are our own.

3. Who we were at this point in our lives matters.

Sometimes we forget that; we get lost. In the busyness of it all. In our kids. In our marriage. In our jobs. We forget who we are and where we came from.

A tattoo is like a journal entry: a snapshot of this moment of who we are, who we love, who we want to be- so that ten years from now, twenty years from now, thirty years from now- we never forget.

Do you ever wish your past self could speak to you now? Do you ever wish you, now, could speak to your future self?

Nearly everything in our lives can change. You know what can’t change? Who we were.

Who we were is a part of who we are. We don’t have to let ourselves forget. We don’t have to lose ourselves.

Tattoos help tell our future selves who we are.

4. Self-expression is a human right.

Tattoos also help tell others who we are.

When we aren’t able to show who we are, to vulnerably express and show ourselves to the rest of the world, we start to die inside.

Sometimes life feels like switching between mask after mask trying to find the perfect one for the current situation. But we spend so much energy choosing and maintaining our masks, the spirit that is hiding behind these masks starts to atrophy.

Pretending to be something you’re not is an American pastime. Tattoos are a crack in that mask. Tattoos display our true humanity.

You don’t get to take your tattoo off for church or work or family events. You don’t get to trade this part of yourself for something a little more amenable to the people around you.

This is you.
This is me.
This is us.

And that little brush of vulnerability is the most beautiful thing ever.

5. Tattoos model self-love.

When we write our truths on our bodies – whether they be names, words, images, cultural patterns – those truths merge with our souls and provide a light guiding us back to who we are.

It’s the greatest expression of self-love to remind yourself of YOUR truths, to proudly declare to yourself, to your loved ones, to everyone: who you are.

It is self-love to remind ourselves that:

We deserve to take up space.
We deserve to be known.
We deserve to be seen.
We deserve to see ourselves in the mirror.
We deserve to hold on to who we are.

Momma, you deserve to hold on to who you are.  Get the tattoo.  You’re more than worth it.

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Hannah Parker is a queer mom living in the center of Oklahoma City. She enjoys spending life with her partner and toddler. She loves making politics, philosophy, and sociology accessible to everyone possible. She aspires to one day cook by feel rather than by recipe (a.k.a. experiments on the family members). Oh, and Insomnia Cookies or Pie Junkies any day of the week.

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