Inking Motherhood: Telling A Story With Tattoos
I don't have anything against tattoos, per se. I just don't understand how people can commit to inking their skin in a permanent way when I can't even decide on a new duvet cover. And tattoos don't look so good when you are old and wrinkly - who wants a zodiac sign that looks like a prune on their back?
But an article on Babble made me see tattoos as a means of expression of things you love and have lost.
Women sent in photos of their ink that commemorated motherhood and loss and they are beautiful and poignant. Devan McGuinness of Accustomed Chaos compiled the photos and included her own as well.
Devan knows loss first-hand, having had 10 miscarriages; she is now the mother of three children. She is the founder of UnspokenGrief.com, a community that aims to "break the silence" of miscarriage, stillborn and neo-natal loss.
Her tattoo has many meanings:
The top can be translated into "Daughter; Sister; Mother. Each hibiscus flower represents my children. Cherry blossoms are a recurrent theme in my tattoos. I have 7 of them at the moment – each with falling petals and still need to get 2 more. Each blossom represents a miscarriage and the flourish tying them all together.
Devan knows her tattoos help her feel close to the babies that she lost. Each of the women in the post have a special story to tell and wanted a permanent, visible reminder of the hidden psychic and emotional scars that they still carry.
Even though I doubt I will ever get a tattoo, I found the stories of how these women chose to make art out of their experiences very moving.
Do you have any tattoos to do with motherhood? Do you have your kids names or birth dates inked?
Want more chaos? Last year, I wondered if there was such a thing as a good divorce.