Why You Should Never, Ever, Ever Get A Tattoo (but Having a Baby is Fine)

I’m not super pro-tattoo or anti-tattoo.  I’ve debated getting one in the past but never that seriously.  But my mother is vehemently anti-tattoo.  Listed below are the reasons my mother has always given me for why I shouldn’t get a tattoo.

And I understand that she’s from a different generation.  And I love my mother very much.  She’s a really wonderful person and I’m not saying none of them is a legitimate reason, but I’m saying that after having a child, I find it really hard to take any of them seriously.

And so in case you were headed out to the tattoo parlor as we speak, here are:




1.  “A Tattoo is Forever”

Yes, a tattoo is forever.  Totally forever!  Except that a tattoo can, if needed, be erased with a laser.

 *Some of you read that and immediately thought, "I am so exhausted, please I need a laser that can temporarily erase a three year-old," but sorry, that is not a thing that exists.  

No comments on how there are some days when you want to temporarily erase your three-year-old with a laser.


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2. “People are going to judge you all the time.”

They absolutely will.  You’re a terrible mother!  Why are you doing whatever you’re doing?  Why AREN’T you doing this thing you’re NOT doing?  People will judge you so harshly for every child-related decision, they won’t even notice that you have the Chinese character for “Serenity” inked on your forearm.

 Also, this is totally not the chinese character for Serenity.

This is not the Chinese character for Serenity.

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3. “Having one will limit the type of jobs you can get.”

It will!  Like jobs where you need time off to take care of your kids when they get sick!  Or jobs where they’re only hiring guys because they feel like hiring women is a liability!

theuglyvolvo tattoo help wanted

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4. “A tattoo will ruin your body.”

It totally will, right?  Also what will sort of ruin it is carrying another human inside your body for the better part of a year and then pushing it out an opening ten centimeters wide and then attempting to breastfeed it.  Followed by the stress of trying to raise it to adulthood.  Let me know if doing all that ruins your body any more or less than the butterfly on the small of your back.


 Oh no, a drawing of a butterfly.  My body is RUINED.

Oh no, a drawing of a butterfly: My body is RUINED.


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5. “It’s going to be more expensive than you realize.”

It is SO expensive.  There are tons of basic costs at the beginning but I can’t even explain how much it’s going to cost to put this tattoo through college.

theuglyvolvo tattoo money
Start saving now.

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6. “You don’t know if it’s going to be clean or safe.   Also, you know it’s going to hurt, right?”

Luckily, having a kid can easily be summed up by the words “clean” and “safe.”  Also, “painless.”

theuglyvolvo tattoo pain



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7. “I know you think you want one, but you probably haven’t thought this through all the way.”

No, I hadn’t.

theuglyvolvo tattoo 4eva

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8. “You’re excited about it right now, but how are you going to feel about it in 15 years?”

You’re right, I’m totally going to want to strangle it in fifteen years.

theuglyvolvo tattoo currentdating


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9. “Is it that you really want one?  Because maybe you want one because it seems like everyone else has one.”

Judging from my Facebook newsfeed, yes, everyone does have one.  Maybe part of why I wanted one was actually wanting one, and part of why I wanted one was peer pressure.

Everyone in the world has that barbed wire tattoo, right?  Or DNA double helix?  Whichever this is.
Everyone in the world has that barbed wire tattoo, right?   Or depending on who’s around, you could pretend it’s a DNA double helix.

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10. “You think you’re going to seem so cool walking around with one, but really most of the time you’re going to look sort of ridiculous.” 

Sorry, I couldn’t hear that last one.  I was screaming the phrase, “DON’T EAT THOSE BUGS,” while pulling pieces of sweet potato and banana out of my hair and coat pockets.

 Please someone save me from my own decisions.

Please help.

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If you enjoyed this piece, follow the blog by signing up in the sidebar.  Or you can follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

If you want to read other blogs of mine, here is one I wrote on What I Do All Day When I Am Home With The Baby.  

If you’re my mom and the whole time while reading this you kept thinking, “Yes, sweetie, but it’s DIFFERENT,” don’t worry, I am aware that getting a tattoo and having a baby are different.  Also, let me know if you and dad can babysit the “tattoo” sometime soon.  Also, I love you!

If you like to buy or read books, I have an essay in this one that just came out a week or so ago.  I feel like it was a pretty good essay.  If you feel like buying it, there’s a picture of the cover right under this text that is also a link to buy the book.  Go nuts.


I Just Want to Be Alone

For anyone who’s like, “I totally want to buy this book but I don’t want to support the adorable local bookstore to which you linked.  Give me the link so I can buy it off Amazon,” here is a link so you can buy it off Amazon.

985 CommentsComment

  1. The way i see it, there are a few downsides to getting a tattoo, but none that i can think of for not getting one. Also, tattoos and babies? What an illogical and pointless comparison.

  2. Can I translate it into Chinese and repost it (mostly to send it to my mom)?

  3. hahaha… Is incredible I’m reading this right now, I’ve been thinking that I want one , half because I want to, half because I’m thirty something …. Off course we all are talking about tattoos, right?

  4. Though I don’t have a tattoo, I’m posituve my love for a body marking would never come close to the love I have for my kids. A totally false comparison in my opinion.

  5. I had 3 boys, twins and then 2.5 years later another. I got a tattoo when I was 50. So thought that was better than having an affair!!!! Lol. My dad asked me the other day, as we were sitting in his living room with me in my shorts, if I was ever sorry that I got the tattoo! Nope!!!!! Not for one second. It was much easier than having kids!!! That’s for sure. Love my boys and love my tattoo!!!! Thank you for the article. So love it!!!!

  6. i have ten kids…and I think I love you! So following. I need all the laughs I can get.

    • Avatar


      Thanks for the follow. And oh my god, good luck.

  7. Well written and extremely funny. Great job! I can’t wait to read what else is swirling around in your head…

  8. Why not just get a airbrush tattoo their very painless ,safe, doesn’t require laser removal&can be left on as much as you want,can change the designs mom can’t say no to that

  9. I am looking for reasons not to get a tattoo (to test my convictions – I really want one) and this was amazing. I also want kids! Great, clever comparison.

  10. This was so well written, and many are exact thoughts I have had too. I would like to add another to the “tattoos are forever” argument. My daughter who came first gave me a few stretch mark scars. My son was a ten pound baby and gave me stretch mark scars from my crotch to my sternum. Being prone to stretch marks during pregnancy is genetic, no amount of ointments to combat stretch marks could have stopped these things, I know because I tried. Those scars are forever, & although not pretty to look at they are the reality map of my child bearing years. After years of searching for the perfect tattoo, I have wanted one for the last twenty, I have found one. It will be forever, just like the stretch mark scars. My children are 27 & 24, we survived the 10 reasons, & you will too. BTW, my 27 year old daughter has 7 tattoos, and is no where near finished. They are each quite beautiful and have a very personal meaning to her. She says she is never having children.

    • One of the first things my husband told me when I started getting stretch marks was that I had earned my stripes. That’s how I think of them now. My tiger stripes.

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