5 things all tattooed parents know to be true
Whether you had your first encounter with a tattoo machine long before you answered to mum or dad, or you’ve only started your love affair with being inked since having kids, here are 5 things all 5 things all tattooed parents can relate to.
- Having tattoos as a parent opens you up to being judged before you’ve even opened your mouth
Sadly, even though we’re now in 2016, tattoos still act as shortcuts to certain stereotypes for some people. Most heavily tattooed mums and dads will have felt judgemental eyes stare at them across the playground and been the subject of gossip. You can lazily be referred to as ‘the one with tattoos’ and people will make assumptions about your lifestyle before even speaking with you. Some will automatically assume that just because you’ve been within 10 metres of a tattoo machine (and you are a tattooed parent) that you ride a motorcycle and listen exclusively to heavy metal. Those even ruder may speculate that you can’t possibly have a professional career with a good income because of how you choose to display your art. It’s hard being judged as it is but it’s even more upsetting knowing people are making unfair assumptions about you as you drop off your kids at school.
- You will constantly be asked if you’re going you’re going to have your tattoos removed now you’re a parent
When you commit to getting tattoos you’re quite aware that they will be with you for the rest of your life; including the years you spend as a tattooed parent. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop people asking you whether you’ve ever considered having them removed since you’ve had kids. Why would you spend hundreds, maybe thousands, of pounds and enduring hours of pain to create beautiful art across your body only to have a child and suddenly decide you want to endure the agony of laser removal. Becoming a parent does not mean you suddenly change your entire image and personality and why should it? Being heavily tattooed has no impact on how your raise your children. In fact, perhaps it just teaches them not to judge others based on appearances.
- You constantly have to answer unnecessary questions about how you raise your kids
“No, of course I won’t let my child have a tattoo before they’re 18” you hear yourself saying to a stranger for the 100th time. For some reason, people seem to think they can ask these kinds of questions that they wouldn’t ask those without tattoos and it’s ridiculous. Just because your a tattooed parent does not mean your kid’s toy box is filled with needles and a tattoo machine for them to play with. If your child makes the decision to get a tattoo at 18, that’s their choice – as it is for children of parents without any.
- It will be assumed you’re a ‘cool parent’
And hey, this isn’t a bad thing at all. You could be the strictest, most embarrassing mum or dad going… but when your kid’s friends clock that awesome sleeve of yours they’ll assume you’re not like the other ‘lame’ parents. They’ll work out soon enough that tattooed parents still set rules and curfews – but it’s fun while it lasts.
- It’s pretty awesome to be able to get your kid’s drawing inked on you
If you’re lucky enough to have some space left on your body, you might be able to have a little design inked on courtesy of your child.
Some will only get to pin their kid’s artwork on their fridge, you get to wear yours on your body for the rest of your life which is worth all the judgemental stares in the playground.
Thank you to Jennifer Nixon and the folks at The Tattoo Shop in UK for this thoughtful article…
What about YOU? Have you had any of these experiences as tattooed parents?