Alternachicks - My Mother and my Tattoo

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01-27-2008, 09:22 PM
I just finally got enough money to get my tattoo that I've been planning for 2 years. Its a purple faerie/tribal style butterfly with swirly purple and turquoise dust with floating white daisies, in honor of my mother (who is still alive). I've tried to talk to her about it gently, but all I get are strained silences and cold looks. She hates tattoos, and I respect that she doesn't like that I'm getting one, but I thought that since it was about her, she would at least be somewhat interested or have an opinion about it. Last time I asked, she got mad because she thought that tattoos about your family only happened when you were dead. I'm so hurt and frustrated right now that I'm about to forget the whole thing and just get something else. I wanted to have something on me that would always make me smile and think about my mom, since she's been my biggest supporter about almost everything, except this, in my life. I know I shouldn't need a tattoo to think about her, but I wanted my first to mean something special that was about something permanent in my life, so I wouldn't look at it and go "geez, why did I get this again?". So I don't know, I'm about to get a flower or something.

01-27-2008, 09:32 PM
Hi :wave: I rarely post in this section of the forum but I will anyways :devil: ...

You see I'm a mom and I don't like tattoos either :shrug: what can I say? BUT my son got one in November, behind my back :rolleyes: and I felt angry and disappointed that he would do this. The tattoo is not about me at all but now that I see it, all the time, well it's kinda grown on me and I like it :yes: ME like a tattoo, go figure. I just wouldn't get one myself though, I don't think :chin: ... What I am getting at here is, get the tattoo that you want that reminds you of your mom, you won't be happy with just an ole flower that means nothing to you... your mom will get used to it, I promise, specially if it's about her :yes: ...

Zen Pharmacy
01-27-2008, 09:37 PM
From someone with lots of ink and disapproving family, get what makes you happy and what you want.

It's going to be a part of you. You have to get what you want.

My grandma just shakes her head at me now, and my mom eventually took it in stride and helped me with ideas on my back piece about 6 years after my first.

01-27-2008, 09:39 PM
I agree with Ilene. where are you planning on getting it?

Valentine's Day Mini Goal (

01-27-2008, 09:54 PM
I don't get honoring your mom with something she doesn't like - that's like making a donation in her name to a Pro Choice organization if she is Pro Life supporter - she wouldn't thank you for that either!

If you want a tattoo and she hates them, get a tattoo that you like (and get it to remind you of your mom if you want). Just don't expect her to get happy and excited about something she doesn't care for. A lot of people HATE tattoos and a lot of people will never like them/think they're attractive/appreciate the meaning or art - it's something to get used to when you have one.

<-- inked in 2005

01-27-2008, 09:55 PM
My mom has a butterfly shaped brown birthmark on her thigh that you can see when she wears shorts. Its her pride and joy, why she loves butterflies in the first place. I was going to have it put on the same thigh as hers, maybe with her birthday on it somewhere.

01-28-2008, 02:58 PM
I remember when i got my first tattoo on my 18th birthday. I showed it to my mom and she said "I'm your mother and i love you but I HATE IT!" lol. Get the tattoo that makes you feel good. You dont have to share it with your mom to know what it means :)

01-28-2008, 06:54 PM
"I'm your mother and i love you but I HATE IT!"That is so true, we love our children UNCONDITIONALLY, but it doesn't mean we have to like everything they do...

01-28-2008, 06:57 PM
I think that you might want to reconsider a tattoo with a special meaning to you that doesn't involve your mother. You said "... but I thought that since it was about her, she would at least be somewhat interested or have an opinion about it."

She does have an opinion about it - she hates tattoos, and that isn't going to change by you making it about her. In fact, I think it makes it worse, because it's a kind of emotional blackmail, it's as if you're saying "I know you don't like tattoos, and I respect that (well not really because I intend to find a way to make you like this one). In fact you HAVE to like this one, because it's about you. A GOOD mother would be flattered that her daughter wants to do this.

I know that's a bit of an exageration, but there's a shred of truth in there because it is obvious that you want the tattoo and your mother's approval, and are trying to find a way to get both. You can't, so if you really respect her, don't try.

01-29-2008, 04:53 AM
Hey there! Now that you've explained your rationale, with your mother's butterfly-shaped birthmark, I do get why you're connecting this with her in your head. But the thing is, if the poor woman loathes tattoos, it's a bit like celebrating a Jewish friend's birthday by giving them a roast pork dinner, you know? I mean, it's nice that you're thinking of her, but you can't expect her to start liking tattoos just because you're telling her it's in her honour. I think that ultimately the tattoo needs to be for you, regardless of whether parents, lovers, friends or whoever will approve or like it, and it needs to be something that you'll still enjoy in 40 years time. Because you're the one who's got to live with it 24/7 for the rest of your life.

So I think your design sounds cool, and the idea of it being significant to you because it reminds you of her is lovely - but I also think you need to accept that it's simply NOT going to signify the same thing her.

...and I think I sound a bit grumpy and bossy, which isn't at all what I meant to do! I got my first (and thus far, only) tattoo in May of this year. It took 6 hours, and it crosses my back from my left hip to my right shoulder, and I love it love it love it love it, and it's meaningful to me - but I know my mum isn't going to love it any time soon.

('Course, I'm 34 and live in another country, but I would love to be able to share it with her, because it makes me so happy. But - she hates tattoos. It's not going to make her happy.)

01-30-2008, 10:47 PM
Thanks everybody for the advice. I went in yesterday for my consultation, and the receptionist was impressed with my sketch. The artist was in the middle of another tattoo so she took it in for him to look at. Its a bit pricier than I thought with tip, but the receptionist really liked the design (and I liked her double lip rings). I'm scheduled for Tuesday, so cross your fingers!

My mother called me yesterday when she thought I was getting it that night. The conversation was absolutely hilarious. I felt it was well worth sharing.

Mom: So, did you get it?
Me: No, it was a consultation, thought I might have. I'm scheduled for Tuesday.
Mom: Was the place clean?
Me: Yea, the building was clean, and the website said that they're trained in first aid and everything is disposable.
Mom: You do realize that getting a tattoo hurts, right?
Me: -silence- Um... yea Mom, the whole needle thing kinda clued me in to that.
Mom: Just checking.

You just can't help but love her.

01-30-2008, 11:52 PM
:D A true Mom :yes: ...

01-31-2008, 12:14 AM
I love her to death, and I just could not stop laughing when I got off the phone with her. I'm still laughing now!

01-31-2008, 04:42 PM
When my son came in with his tatoo I said: '' You know that's FOREVER you know'' :lol:... He probably got a good chuckle on my behalf too...

01-31-2008, 06:12 PM
About 25 years ago I poked some extra holes in my ear with a safety pin :eek::dunno: and my mother hit the roof (well, I was only 14 and this wasn't done often back then...). A couple of years later, she was buying funky earrings for me.

People adapt to things they don't like. You want this because you want something you like that reminds you of your mother. My mum also hates tattoos, but I've been debating getting something for a similar reason (not presently inked). I don't know if I'd show her - it's for me and my memories, but I might.

If it's an attractive design, I'll bet you she'll be admiring it in a year's time.


01-31-2008, 07:57 PM
Bless her! (fwiw, I found the pain okay. I mean, it DOES hurt, but it doesn't go on hurting afterwards, and since you know why it's hurting it's not bad. 'Course, I used some numbing stuff. But it wore off after an hour, which left me with a further five hours of being inked...)

Of course, one of my colleagues said that it was worse than the pain of childbirth, ih her opinion, so your mileage may vary!

Where on your body are you planning to have it? Any chance of a link to a pic?

01-31-2008, 08:07 PM
On my right thigh just below my hip. Its where she has her birthmark. That was the other part of the conversation I forgot!

Mom: Where are you putting it?
Me: Where your birthmark is.
Mom: Oh. I thought you were putting it somewhere else.
Me: Like where?
Mom: I don't know, somewhere not nice.
Me: -silence- Ok...

When its on next week, the first thing I'm doing is snapping pics before the bandage comes on. I'm going to dig through my stuff today and find my digital camera and take some shots of the sketch. I do NOT want to wait another 5 days!

broadabroad, I LOVE the peacock feather! That runs all the way down to your hip? Ow...

01-31-2008, 09:13 PM
Geez, the thought of getting a tattoo in "a not nice place" to remind me of my mother - major willies. Well, she's got to be relieved I guess.

02-01-2008, 04:48 AM
"a not nice place"...gosh. The mind boggles. Bless her.

Looking forward to your pictures! Glad you like the peacock feather - this photo was taken with Photobooth on my MacBook, which works like a mirror - in truth the feather goes from my right shoulder down to my left hip. The end is sharpened to a quill point. I chose this because (1) it's a writing instrument (I love writing, and am perenially working on fanfiction or a novel or something); (2) it's so shiny and full of bravado - and I tend to dress in pretty bright, vivid colours, and quite often have sequins or other shiny things going on somewhere; (3) it's a feather, which is of course associated with flight - and I'm all about the travelling. (Presently living & working in Bangkok.) AND it's a design which should be pretty damn forgiving of weigh-gain or weight-loss, in a location which should also be pretty damn forgiving of same. The thing that clinched it for me, though, was that a few weeks after I'd settled on this design, I was in India, on the way to the Taj Mahal - and a wild peacock flew across our path. Stunning, it was, with its tail a great swag of feathers trailing out behind it as it flew. I took this as the universe's way of saying "YES! THIS is your design! Go for it!"

The design itself is my own, based on a feather I bought from the weekend market here in Bangkok. The artist traced my design onto my skin and coloured it in - she really did an awesome job with the colouring. It's got stars scattered around it, but the're not so good - my fault, I was just doodling them and didn't expect her to copy them so faithfully. At some point I'm going to get her to touch them up to be sharper and more regular in shape. ( As and when I reach goal, I may go for another tattoo... I'm contemplating an Ohm on my left wrist or foot, and Pi on my right wrist or foot. But we'll see - I had thought about getting a collection of images to symbolise different places I've lived or worked - Romania, Czech Republic, Canada, Scotland, London, Egypt, Thailand, Yorkshire...but I'm still pondering that one.)

02-01-2008, 08:08 AM
While most of you have responded to Gaia's issue with appropriate analogies, the only thing that comes to my mind is "passive-aggressive." I could be totally off course here, but consider it.

That said. I have two tattoos and my mother doesn't like them, saying something like "Why would you want to do that to your body?" Well, my mother has just had her third pair of fake tits taken out because of a life-threatening infection, so she has no credibility on the self-respect front.

Oh, and I know all about passive-aggressive mother/daughter relationships, having earned an honorary advanced degree due to life experience!

02-01-2008, 10:34 AM
Hmmm, I never thought about the possibility of passive/aggressive. I guess sometimes we are, but usually we fight outright and very loudly. We have more good times than bad (she took me to tea in Disneyworld before I left for college so we could bond and it was a great experience), and one of the biggest reasons I wanted to get the tattoo was because she is my biggest supporter in everything; my career choice, losing weight, whatever. I guess the tattoo was just a little much for her to be gung-ho about (looking back on my first post, I'm thinking "I made no sense to anyone at all").

Is the thigh a good place for a tattoo when you're losing weight? I thought it would be and I hope the tattoo won't get screwed up as I'm going down.

02-02-2008, 11:10 PM
OMG, you know, you've TOTALLY got me thinking about new tattoo ideas now! I've got several in mind already...argh!

But I think I'm going to wait until I've reached Goal.



02-02-2008, 11:46 PM
Here it is!

02-03-2008, 12:04 AM
We can't see it :(

02-03-2008, 12:14 AM
Better now?

02-03-2008, 12:34 AM
Yes, that's really pretty :yes:

02-03-2008, 10:56 AM
Yes, very pretty!

02-05-2008, 07:54 PM
And here's the final product.



It did hurt, but not enough to make me not want to get another one. It took about an hour and half, and he did some improvisation on it, like the extra curly wisps on the dust string thingy. I absolutely love it!

02-05-2008, 10:43 PM
Wow! That turned out really beautiful! :D

02-05-2008, 11:34 PM
My tattoo artist, Alex, was hilarious about doing "super-girly ****" as soon as the shop opened at noon ("but I like doing it... why all the purple?"). This place was cleaner than my doctor's office, and soap in just about every room. He talked and joked with me, reassured me that we could stop at any time if my blood sugar began to drop or if I felt woozy. They keep candy on hand just in case this happens. I did have to stop for a second twice, but for the most part it wasn't that bad. He made me stare at him in the eye as he gave me after care instructions, then gave me a card with everything he said on it. I was shaking and so tense in the chair that now my whole body aches. ^_^ It was worth it!!!!

Zen Pharmacy
02-06-2008, 09:08 AM
Tattoo guys are great. My guys are amazing. I used to help out at the shop for a while after an apprentice split, but it was mostly a social relationship.

They tend to be hilarious.

02-06-2008, 07:31 PM
gaia -- that is so colourful, gorgeous!!

02-08-2008, 03:19 AM
Very pretty indeed!

02-08-2008, 03:57 PM
Its scabbing over pretty good right now. Washing it 4 times a day, moisturizing it right after and whenever it gets dry

02-08-2008, 06:44 PM
gaia --DS's tattoo took a good 2-3 weeks to heal... He was almost anal at cleaning 3x/day :lol: ....

02-08-2008, 07:22 PM
I know! I'm so paranoid that it'll fade (had a horrific nightmare about it last night that the whole thing faded to white). I accidentally scratched it on the table this morning, so crossing my fingers that it won't mess it up when it heals. I don't think it will, but you never know.

02-10-2008, 08:10 AM
beautiful tattoo, love the colours! I'm glad you went through with it!!

My mother hates mine but never says anything. I just get the rolled eyes whenever she sees me with another tattoo or piercing. I got a lot of work done this summer and she hasn't seen it yet (I don't live anywhere near her), but I'm pretty sure she's going to crap when she sees it :lol:

02-11-2008, 12:31 AM
Very nice! I don't think I've ever seen such bright blues before, I really like the way they look.


02-11-2008, 07:53 AM
hahaha... am i the only one here whose mother LIKES my tattoos and piercings? :)

I do think that is fabulous color work by the way!

i am looking to get a cherry blossom tree up the back of my right arm with the branches extending to the front of my arm in memory of my nephew who passed away from SIDS last year. I just wish i had the $$$ For it right now!

02-11-2008, 10:45 AM
Gaia, Oooh, pretty:) I like the powder blue. Funny dream though; don't freak out, it won't fade. I always put a little antibiotic ointment on my tats when they start to scab. If your tat is a little warm, this will bing the temp down as well. I do this for a couple of days then go back to lotion. I think my next tat is the Jain symbol for non-violence. Oh btw, they're addicting in case you haven't been told:)

I have 6 tats and a nose ring, but a mom who has never really cared one way or the other. My grandmother freaks out on me, I know how it is. She tells me that my body is God's temple and I am destroying it. I just nod my head and smile. You just have to start living for you. Cool, that you did and went ahead and got what you wanted to get despite what your mom or anyone else thought. Your body, your choice. It's beautiful.

02-11-2008, 02:20 PM
Thanks to everyone! All the scabbing came off today, and underneath its just as beautiful and vibrant as the first day I got it (albeit, a lot less bloody and swollen). Its still a little sore, but doing excellent. Might actually wear a bathing suit this year WITHOUT shorts! Scary!

Zen Pharmacy
02-11-2008, 06:55 PM
Oh you're lucky, my ink is always scabby and gross for minimum of 3 weeks.

02-14-2008, 12:03 PM

I laughed out loud at your coworkers comment-about tattoos being more painful than childbirth. I am guessing that she didn't have 9+ and 10+ pounds kids like I did. :lol:

I have 4 tattoos...and they were nothing compared to the pain of birth!

02-14-2008, 12:23 PM
Congrats! It is beautiful!!!

As for your mom, she'll get used to it. Both my brother and I have many and our mom is pretty de-sensitized to them by now.

02-20-2008, 05:57 PM
[QUOTE=DaisyNicole;2048325]hahaha... am i the only one here whose mother LIKES my tattoos and piercings? :)



My mom loves my tats too!...she has to because she was a wild child back in the early 60's and has a little butterfly on her lower back on one side so you could see if when she wore her hip huggers!! LOL...and bless her heart the thing was so old that all the color was gone..we finally convinced her to get it touched up a few years ago ..and she said " now I remember why I only have one" her!!:D

I cant wait to add another to my collection...its going to be my 1/2 to goal reward it think!

02-20-2008, 05:59 PM
...oh but forgot to mention my dad ....mmmm.....not so much.
We have a "don't ask/don't tell" policy and it keeps everyone happy

Zen Pharmacy
02-20-2008, 08:58 PM
My mom called me last night. She goes, "So what's this I hear about Colleen (my sister) getting a tattoo over spring break?"

(As an aside, my mom lives in a remote village in the Alaskan Bush and my sister lives with my aunt to finish "normal" high school about an hour away from me)

So I'm like, "Well, I'd rather her come with me to guys I know and trust than go to some skeezy dirty place with Mary" (my very trashy cousin who also lives with my aunt).

My mom just kind of sat quietly for a minute and says "Remember that it's going to look scabby and gross under her beauty review dress".

I'm just like, "Mom, I'll won't let her get her face tattooed or anything."

It was funny. She doesn't overtly disapprove but just quietly says "oh".

Determined in Texas
02-20-2008, 09:34 PM
Eventually she will open up to talk about it. Then she will realize its becuase you love and cherish her as your mother.