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Reblogged from AnotherMomMess.com

Confessions of a Tattooed Mom

A few months ago, I won a free half sleeve from my favorite tattoo artist Bret Johnson. Slowly but surely we’ve been completing my nerd sleeve over the last few months. It’s schedule to be finished the last week of May. I’m proud of my tattoos. They each have a significant meaning to me, they are not picked without serious thought.
Yggdrasil, which I got my final week in Tipperary Town while conducting my dissertation research. To remind me that all things are connected, past, present, and future.

Despite that, I’m still surprised to find that people don’t like the fact that I’m tattooed. Whether through back-handed comments about getting old and sagging, or straight out “women shouldn’t have tattoos,” they’re still pretty frequent. So, let me take some time to talk to you about what my tattoos have done for me.

My Peace Dove to commemorate the exact day I defended my dissertation and become a Doctor of Peace.

First, my mental health in high school was never very good. I suffered from extreme depression and cut myself as a result, frequently. Over the years, the urge has gone away but the thought is always there when things get incredibly rough. The tattoos have been a way for me to stop that because I don’t want to damage the beautiful art that has been put onto the canvas of my skin. The placement of each tattoo on my arms is strategic, to prevent me from cutting if the urge ever rises again.

A black capped chickadee to represent my grandfather (who could mimic their call perfectly,) and a dragonfly for my grandmother.

Second, I was incredibly overweight in high school as well, and still struggle with keeping weight off to this day. I would never wear tank tops and you will usually see me wearing a hoodie in even the hottest weather if I’m not feeling confident. However, having such beautiful tattoos increased my self-confidence and the love for my body, no matter it’s shape. I have these beautiful pieces of artwork that I want to show off and am incredibly proud to have as a part of myself. Without my Okoye, the tattoo to honor my grandparents and this new sleeve I’m wearing it would be easier to give into the thoughts that my body is not worth showing, covering up, even in summer with hoodies.

My friend Jamie and I at Salt Lake Fan Experience.

Tattoos are not for everyone, but please do not judge the people who have them. They may have them because they love them, or they may have them because of reason similar to mine. Tattoos are an expression of a person’s loves, passions, and hopes. They don’t make us bad people, they don’t make us ugly. In actuality, they make us whole.

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