For some moms, stretch marks aren't the only permanent reminders of their children's births. As discussions on Circle of Moms (and Angelina Jolie's infamous upper arm) reveal, many are getting tattoos to honor their offspring.
Moms who are fans of "kid tats" describe them as "forever symbols" that proclaim their love for their children in new, creative ways. Barbara H. explains that she'd never been interested in having a tattoo until her daughter came along, but then "felt a strong urge to have a tattoo to remind me of that special day." Jeanne V., a mother of two who is eagerly anticipating an upcoming tattoo appointment, says she too wants to create lasting impressions of her kids: "I am going to get my daughter's name and birth date on the inside of my left wrist all shaded in lavender, and on the inside of my right wrist I am going to get my son's name and birth date all shaded in blue."
But other Circle of Moms members insist there are better ways to demonstrate love for your children. "I would hate to have anyone's name put on my body in permanent ink," says Amanda B. "As you age, skin texture and elasticity change and soon what was a colorful picture of a butterfly is a grayish, oddly shaped circle. I prefer to show my kids I love them by telling them every day." And Christy F., thinking of her professional image, declares that "I wouldn't, period." She believes that a tattoo of any kind is a bad idea:"If you plan on working, ever, unfortunately a tattoo on your neck is going to stick out like a sore thumb. It's great to love your kids that much, but it's all in the heart and doesn't have to be printed on your body."
Still, there's one thing moms agree on: like a tattoo, your bond with your child is forever. As Shelley A. puts it, if you're going to get a tattoo, an image that represents your offspring "is pretty much a safe bet. (LOL) I don't plan on breaking up with my son anytime soon."
If you do decide to get a kid tat, Circle of Moms members say there are a number of practical matters to consider: namely where, and what.
Location, Location, Location
"I want to get one I'm just not sure what it will look like or where I will put it" says Kimmy G. Tyrae O. advises tats in hidden places. "I will be getting a tattoo of my daughter's name soon, but it's not going to be on my neck. That is just too visible and if I ever want a job in customer service or where people will be seeing me, that would be a horrible place to get it (unless it can be covered with hair)."
A Canvas for Creativity
Initials are popular ways to etch your child onto your body, but many Circle of Moms members try to be more unique. Ashlyn W. turned to an artist to create an original sketch for her tat. She had her two-month-old son's feet scanned and printed, then sketched onto her back for the tattoo artist to use as a the tat template. Gwen L. went with a tiger to evokes her son's name (Tyger). "No initials or anything else," she says. "I know what it means and that is all that matters."
The possibilities for tats symbolizing your kids are endless says Sadie E. "My sister-in-law got her son's name on her shoulder blade with two handprints on the upper part of the shoulder blade, as if he was resting his hands there like most newborns do while burping or resting," she says. Margaret C. chose a Pisces Zodiac sign with koi fish around it to symbolize her son's February birth. Her husband got the same tattoo. "Except mine is on my foot and his is on his shoulders," she says.
For Kimberly, tattooing is a family affair: "All of my tattoos (I have large ones) are symbolic of my family and me," says Kimberly. "There is a custom star piece starting on my foot and going all the way to my knee made up of 26 stars representing me, my husband, my children, my siblings, their spouses, their children, and my parents"
And Tiffany D. has decided that the right tattoo design is worth waiting for. She wants her sons' signatures, so she'll be waiting until they're old enough to sign their names themselves. "Then I'll get their signatures [tattooed] on me."
Would you get a kid tat?
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