Many people, unfortunately, believe that having tattoos makes you a bad parent. The stigma surrounding the choice to permanently ink your body, while slowly disappearing, hasn't completely been eradicated from society, so inked mothers are forced to live with judgement, shame, and the fictitious assumptions forced upon them by relative (not to mention, nosy) strangers.
Little do those strangers know, however, that having tattoos provides you with multiple lessons that actually make you a better parent. From teaching your kid to love and respect their body, to learning how to weather that next toddler tantrum because, hey, you can handle a needle going into your skin a thousand times; a tattooed mother is a prepared, capable, ready-for-anything mother. There's nothing a newborn baby or a defiant kid can throw at an inked mom that she hasn't been prepped for, thanks to a tattoo artist, a few hours of tattooing, and a little (or sometimes, a lot) of pain.
So enough with the judgement. Having a tattoo doesn't mean what it used to mean 50 years ago. Now, having a tattoo means that you can handle motherhood, and the scrutiny that (sadly) comes along with it. Having a tattoo means that you're a great mom, who has learned valuable lessons in a tattoo shop that will make you a better parent to your kid. Don't believe me? Well, here are 9 things having a tattoo teachings you about parenthood. Because it isn't just the ink that stays with you, forever.
Patience Is A Virtue
Whether you're sitting through a long tattoo, or you're waiting to get your tattoo, patience is key. You're forced to sit still for an extended period of time, or you're forced to wait in line before you can even begin the tattooing process. Getting a good, quality piece of artwork tattooed on your body requires patience, and that learned patience will definitely make you a better mother. Whether you're weathering a toddler tantrum of epic proportions or you're waiting in a crowded pediatrician's office, patience is a necessity if you're going to be a good parent.
Pain Is Temporary
No matter how badly a tattoo hurts while you're getting it, it won't hurt forever. Eventually, the artist will be finished and the itching will go away and you'll be left with a gorgeous piece of artwork on your body. This lesson is a great one to carry with you into motherhood. Whether it is childbirth itself, a difficult and scary parenting moment, or unending sleepless nights or a frustrating toddler-type situation, it is only temporary. No matter what you're going through, you will eventually get all the way through it.
Don't Do Something If You're Not Ready
You shouldn't get a tattoo if you're ready, and you shouldn't do something as a parent if you're not ready. If you feel nervous about taking your kid to a certain place or doing that "hip" parenting thing that everyone else seems to be doing, don't do it.
Always Do Your Research
You definitely don't want to go to some random tattoo artist and let him or her permanently mark your body, without doing some background checking first. Take a look at their previous work and talk to others who have had ink work done by them before. Research is key to finding someone you're comfortable with, and the same can be said for finding a pediatrician or a doctor or a childcare provider or a nanny or anyone that will come into contact with your kid. Always, always, do your research, so you can be informed.
Sometimes, You Just Have To Spend The Money
Let's face it, a cheap tattoo isn't good and a good tattoo isn't cheap. You have to spend the money if you're going to get a quality product. The same goes for products that help you parent or your kid, well, be a kid. You don't want to cut financial corners (if you can) with important items like a carseat or a crib. Sometimes, you just have to spend the money. Does it suck? Oh, yeah. But will it be worth it? Definitely.
Your Opinion Is The Only One That Really Matters
It doesn't matter if anyone else likes your tattoo. The only person who should be in love with your ink, is you.
It doesn't matter if anyone else agrees with your parenting style or mothering choices. The only person who should feel comfortable about what you're doing and why, is you.
Creativity Is Important
I feel like Kanye speaks for me well enough right here.
Self-Expression Is Healthy, Even If No One Else Understands It
Tattoos are all about self-expression, and anyone who is willing to get a permanent piece of art on their body knows how important it truly is to express oneself in a positive, healthy way. Tattooing provides that ability, for many people, and the knowledge that letting a person be who they truly, unapologetically and authentically are, will make you a better parent. Even if don't completely understand, when the time comes and your kid starts to express themselves, you will know that it is important that you provide the space and avenues for them to do so.
It's OK To Change Your Mind
Whether it's picking out a tattoo, a tattoo artist or (because yes, it happens) eventually hating a tattoo you once loved, it is OK to have a change of heart. You don't have to be sold on absolutely everything you do, and as you evolve as a parent and a person, you will undoubtably change your mind about something you were once so sure of. That is OK, and it is essential if you're going to learn from your mistakes and become the best parent you can possibly be.