1. Christina says:

    I am the step mom of an 18 year old beautiful young girl who now has 3 tattoos. I don’t like them but it’s obvious that my opinion does not guide her decisions. She moved out a few months ago and is living with some roommates in a town about 100 miles from home, and by all outward appearances is doing fine (she has 2 jobs, a dog, pays her own bills on time, and seems to feed herself). I was raised by parents whose idea of Christianity was a set of rules rather than a relationship with the Living God through Jesus. If I had gotten a tattoo I would have been scolded and cold-shouldered. But I rebelled in my own way – I did things I regret and that would shock and embarrass my parents, and which left permanent ‘marks’. I wonder what my step daughter’s children will do that will shock and embarrass her when they reach adulthood. Maybe by then walking around with no pants on will be the up and coming thing. I also wonder how she would react if I began wearing ridiculous outfits, driving the Oscar Mayer wiener-mobile, or got a tattoo myself … would she be embarrassed? Or would she say things like ‘I respect her and she can do whatever she wants, she is an adult’. I guess it’s all perspective, and it can always be worse.

  2. Mary Macias Cox says:

    I am grateful to have found this site to read. My mom just found out about my daughters tattoos. I feel like I am back to my childhood days of being in trouble. Reading this blog is giving me the strength I need right now.

  3. I knew my daughter had several small tattoos, but tonight in a facebook photo I saw she has one draped over her shoulder. I think my problem with it is I worked so hard her whole life to do the best job raising her I could and like someone said her perfect skin now has this junk all over it. I worry she will regret it. I worry what MY parents will say and that she will continue to tattoo herself. I wonder why I am paying her car payment, insurance and phone when she apparently has money for this. Please keep writing. I am processing this all too.

  4. The daughter with tattoos. says:

    I just got a tattoo, I am 23. I have a small tattoo on my wrist that my mother was fine with. I recently got another larger tattoo. I am very close with my mom, but I failed to tell her about this tattoo in the way I should have. She is devastated, she hates the tattoo and placement. I am heartbroken that i have disapointed her. I am overwhelmed with hurt and guilt and shame, even though I love my tattoo. I want my mother to see me as beautiful, but now I find myself trying to cover my tattoo whenever I am around her. I want her to accept me, but I know how hurt she is and that it is all my fault.
    The tattoo is a reference to a bible verse and concept that was always taught to me and lived out by my parents, in my mind it was a reflection of my faith and the faith they instilled in me- but to them it is a betrayal. I have yet to talk to my mother deeply about this, I feel we are both too hurt.I dont fault my mother at all for her reactions, I am just so disappointed in myself for so poorly judging the situation and the meaning it had to me versus what it would mean to them.
    Just a thought from the other side of the discussion.

    1. I just read your post and I definitely feel that you should tell your Mom exactly what you have written here. My 38 year old daughter recently got two tattoos and did not tell me ahead of time to prepare me. When I first saw them I was very dismayed, but I said absolutely nothing about them and still haven’t and I never will unless she brings the subject up. She does not take criticism well and I know she cares very much what I think and yet she knows, without me saying a word, what I will or won’t approve of. She and I have always been very close but once she got into her teen years, things changed as she opened her mind to ideas that I really couldn’t, at least in my heart. She is college educated, married, has 3 kids, a loving husband, and a good job and I am very proud of her. She has always been a free thinker. She is a truly good and passionate person. She is far more liberal thinking than I believe I can ever be. I am not proud to be saying that, but having been raised in a conservative Christian home, I struggle with accepting some societal changes that younger people have no problem with. All moms who truly love their daughters will always love them, no matter what comes, but differences between the generations are inevitable. Nothing ever stays the same and as I get older I have a harder time with change.
      I think, like you, my daughter really wants me to approve of her tattoos and other aspects of her way of life. Once, many years ago, she told me that my opinion was very important to her. Even then, I bit my tongue and said nothing, but would have liked to point out to her that my opinion was only important to her when it was the same as hers. It’s as if I am expected to be accepting of her ideas but I don’t get the same consideration. So we just don’t talk about controversial subjects. I wish SHE would be more open minded about MY beliefs and that we could talk openly, but we never do and so there is this boundary that we never cross which makes me sad.
      Anyway, I think it is obvious that you really do love your Mom and genuinely care that you have hurt and disappointed her. The more important thing though, is what is in your heart and your reasons for the second tattoo and you should tell her all of that. I’m sure, in time she will get over being upset and I also think it is a true expression of how much you care for her feelings that you can say you feel shame and guilt over how you have made her feel. But your shame and guilt are the result of her frame of mind about tattoos and she probably feels somewhat betrayed because you did it without telling her. I know if my daughter had talked to me about it before she got hers, I surely would have tried to change her mind but I know it would have been a wasted effort. But at least I would have felt that she was thoughtful enough to prepare me. We would have been able to have had conversation about it and she could have explained her views to me, whereas now I’m sure she is too embarrassed to talk about it because she knows that it was hurtful to me to just spring it on me. It made me feel like she didn’t have faith in my love for her. That hurts way more than any disappointment over a tattoo!
      I’m not sure how old your post is. Perhaps by now all has been smoothed over. Good luck!

  5. Linda Natali says:

    My daughter decided to show me her octopus tattoo on Mother’s Day. In addition, she informed me that she didn’t believe in religion and will never have children, because she can’t stand them. I said, “okay.” What else can I do? She’s a grown adult. I do feel sad that the perfect flesh that God gave her has been embellished with a black octopus tattoo. My daughter is gorgeous, and now she has a tattoo. I respect her independence to make choices, so I don’t say anything. When I asked her why an octopus, she wasn’t sure….thought it was beautiful and sad at the same time. I guess I just have to appreciate that I have her and leave it at that.

    1. I love your post and most especially the last sentence. My daughter stated the same thing when I asked why she got the tattoo she choose, she didn’t really know.

  6. I have scapegoated weight to stress. My lack of setting boundaries in my parenting were justified by the fact that I felt guilt about everything I cant give her. I am sure there is a lot more if I reflect, thankyou for your vulnerable authentic posts!

  7. At the time, I thought that Thanksgiving vacation 2012 was a bad time for our family. My younger son started out the vacation with ACL surgery. Not to be outdone, my older son arrived home with a broken wrist. Needless to say, all previously planned activities were cancelled. My parents extended their stay until the boys returned to school, and my dad spent virtually every minute hanging out with the boys who were hunkered down in the family room. Due to the injuries, we spent LOTS of time together in one room. News of Jon during the Christmas holidays hit our family pretty hard. Eleven days after Jon died, my father passed away. Thanksgiving vacation was the last time we saw my dad. My younger son made the observation that what seemed like the vacation from hell, was, in fact, a true gift. Neither of my boys was able to go anywhere. Instead, they spent every waking minute talking and laughing with their grandpa! I have tried to take a couple of lessons to heart from this experience. First, I try to remind myself that no matter how bad a situation may seem, it is possible that there is a blessing yet to be revealed. Second, whenever someone does or says something that really upsets me, I try to remember to ask myself “If I were to receive a phone call tomorrow with news that they had died, would it matter anymore?” If the answer is “NO”, then I need to find a way to let it go!

  8. For many years, I “scapegoated” my (now ex) husband’s ex-wife. I blamed her for just about everything- his mental/emotional problems, relationship issues, financial woes, poor parenting of their children, and so on. It didn’t help at all that he “explained” to me how all of these things were all “her fault”, how she’d been abusive to him, how she kept trying to interfere in our marriage, how she was “taking every dime he made”, how she was turning his children against him.. nor did it help that I was very young and very naive.
    I finally realized that the very things he was doing in our relationship was the exact same things that he had done in theirs. I also realized that he refused to take any responsibility for his actions or the effect they had on either of those marriages.
    At some point, I began to understand that he was as responsible (if not more so) for the dissolution of his first marriage, and that he was as equally responsible as I was for the problems in our own relationship. I also was able to see that quite a lot of the things that he had told me about, things he said SHE did to HIM, were in fact the opposite- they were things he’d done to her. I knew this, because they were things he did to me (definitely an eye-opener!).
    Throughout that relationship, I often wished that I had listened to her when she tried to tell me what he was like, rather than opting to believe his constant reiteration of “she’s crazy” and “you can’t believe anything she says”. I finally did the only thing I could do- I got the heck out of that mess and counted it as a lesson learned.

  9. Thanks for sharing this! It’s amazing how having too many crisis at once can change our response to things and make us feel crazy! It’s all part of being human and I am reminded how important it is to be gracious with others AND with myself when life gets crazy. Mostly to remember that God loves me in my weakness. That in that weakness, He can be made strong. He understands that we are dust and He loves and cares for us in the middle of the messiness.

  10. Pingback: What I Blamed on My Daughter’s Tattoos | Simple Nourishing Home
  11. Oh boy-I have scapegoated many things, except the one with the real responsiblity (me) for my weight gain. The scapegoats have been: pregnancy, age, being a single mom. working two jobs, and genetics. Pregnancy? My daughter is 19. Age? There are people older and thinner than I. Single Mom? Well, without a husband to care for I really do have the time to exercise. Working two jobs? One of my jobs helps me burn a lot of calories. Genetics? Maybe a little, but many people in my family are not overweight. Excuses, excuses…I’ve simply decided to embrace the truth and move forward toward a healthier lifestyle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *