The latest in oxymorons? Mommy tattoos. It used to be the only time the words “mommy” and “tattoo” ended up in a sentence together is when a rebellious teenager would tell her friends, “Mommy’s head just about exploded when she saw my new tattoo of Todd’s penis,” only to be outclassed by the follow-up comment: “I don’t know why she’s so tweaked. It’s not like everyone will see it since it’s on my inner thigh pointing to my…”
Anyway, you get the idea.
But now the new trend for cool moms is to don permanent body ink that expresses how much they love their children. And here all along I thought giving up a career, losing sleep, gaining weight, sitting through six million school band concerts, and paying for multiple college educations were indicators that I was in it for the long haul. Silly me.
THE HISTORY OF MOMMY TATTOOS
As with anything that’s weirdly fashionable, the mommy tattoo trend started in Hollywood and then crept into the mainstream like a new amphibious species evolving from a bog. Angelina Jolie kicked it off by printing the earth coordinates of her children’s birth places on her shoulder to cover up a lasered-off “Billy Bob” tat she had removed after she decided that actor Billy Bob Thornton was too bizarre even for her. Following suit Victoria Beckham, Heidi Klum, and even Julia Roberts all went under the needle to tell the world that their children will be near and dear to their hearts (or in Julia’s case, near and dear to her bum) forever.
But unlike we everyday people in the trenches, mommy tattoos aren’t as awkward on celebrities because they don’t have to explain to a three-year-old at the local cooperative preschool your child attends why you have your toddler’s apgar scores inked on your forearm next to a naked baby picture of him. (Keep in mind these kids will be classmates until they graduate from high school 15 years from now. That’s a lot of razzing for your kid to endure. Just start saving money now for his therapy later.)
That’s not to say that I’m anti-tattoo. I’m not. In fact, I think they’re kind of hot on GROWN men (at least on the guys who keep themselves in shape, anyway), depending on the message. For example, hot: Johnny Depp’s tattoo that reads Silence Exile Cunning, which is taken from the James Joyce book A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Not hot: Jackass star Steve-O’s giant tattoo of himself on his back and butt. Seriously?
And I don’t begrudge a woman getting a tattoo either, as long as it’s not on a delicate part of her body that I would never want to see anyway, yet she insists on showing it to everyone during book club. Put that thing away, honey, we’re trying to discuss Sue Grafton’s V is for Vengeance and we really don’t need to see your V.
GET ONE IF YOU WANT TO APPEAR EVEN DORKIER TO YOUR KIDS
As far as mommy tattoos go, I’m sorry, but I don’t want to have to glance at my armpit to remember what my kids looked like when they were little. Digital pictures and video are just fine, thank you very much. Besides a mommy tattoo may seem cute when your child is a baby, but guess what? Kids grow up. Trust me, beyond age 12 it just gives your offspring something else which confirms (to them) that you truly ARE wacked.
And honestly, they’re not that far off.
Think about it, would you want to see your cherub toddler face firmly planted in the valley of your mother’s cleavage FOREVER? (Please mom, I’m begging you when you meet my fiancé DO NOT wear a low-cut blouse.) Or your baby foot prints trekking across yo’ mama’s ass? (Mom: Look everyone he’s always had big feet. You know what that means. Wink, wink.) Oh, hell no! And let’s not forget how the body sags as one ages. There is nothing freakier than at age 50 looking at your child’s sonogram emblazoned across your belly…when it was tattooed on there at age 25. Eww. Now it just looks like a melting glacier.
However, I have decided that threatening to get a mommy tattoo would be an EXCELLENT way to get my teenagers to help out more around the house. Because even though I would never sport one, my boys think I’m crazy enough to do just about anything. So if you’d excuse me, I need go pick out some baby pictures that would look nice plastered across my ever-shrinking bosom. (Good thing I have two kids—one for each side.) I need all three of our bathrooms cleaned and something tells me my boys will be more than happy to help.
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Stacy Dymalski is a stand-up comic who gave up the glamorous life of coach travel, smokey comedy clubs, and heckling drunks for the glamourous life of raising kids (who happen to be bigger hecklers than the drunks). This blog is her new stage.
For more of Stacy’s comedy check out her hilarious book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom available in paperback and on Kindle on Amazon.com.