Body decoration, and tattoos in particular, is a wonderful way to share your history, triumphs, and feelings in a public way.
Tattoos can be fun and flirty. They can be meaningful and deep. They can be small or large. They can be subtle or bold. They can be anything you want them to be. And tattoos that mothers get can be all of the above, just like any other tattoo. But sometimes moms want tattoos, and they want them to somehow signify the most important part of their lives.
Meaningful Tattoo Ideas for Mothers
- Initials and Names
- Meaningful Images
- Photos and Footprints
- Matching Tattoos
- Family Jewels
- Foreign Languages
- Angels and Wings
1. Initials and Names
While I’m not personally a fan of getting the names of significant others tattooed on, children are a totally different matter. Your child will always be your child, and having their name as a permanent part of you is a beautiful idea. You can choose to put it somewhere that is highly visible, such as your wrist, or you can put it somewhere hidden yet still meaningful, such as over your heart.
2. Meaningful Images
Go with what the child is named after: cartoon characters, flowers, etc. In my case, I got a tattoo of Dr. Seuss books. It held double meaning for me: The books represent my love of Theodore Geisel, the man I wrote a Master’s thesis about, and the color of the books represent the four colors most commonly used for puzzle pieces to represent the autism spectrum.
The books were for me and my son, and while other people might not automatically understand the point of the tattoo, for me and my family, it’s very meaningful.
3. Photos and Footprints
When they’re done well, they can be brilliant. Admittedly, you have to be very careful with the tattoo artist that you pick when doing anything that is this detailed. Make sure to look through the tattoo artist’s book of work before you pick who you want to do the tattoo.
When it comes to photos, simple is often best, so you may want to talk to an artist (or a tattoo artist who does custom work) before you get it done. Make sure that it is going to always make you happy and proud when you look at it.
Getting a tattoo of the birth date is a shortcut to always remember that important moment. You can choose to have the time and the date, the year, or, one of my personal favorites, go for the birth year in Roman numerals.
A lot of moms also choose to include the date along with another element. Perhaps a pair of footprints with a birth date? And the best part of choosing to include a birth date is that you never have to worry about forgetting your child’s birthday!
5. Matching Tattoos
Did you put off inking up until your child was over age 18? Why not getting a matching tattoo? Find something that’s meaningful to both of you, and then share the experience. You’ll get more than a simple tattoo—you’ll also get a memory.
6. Family Jewels
Yes, I went for the cheap laugh. But it’s a serious idea. If you really like jewelry, why not get some tattooed on? Look at all the beautiful family jewelry that incorporates different birthstones, and find a pattern that you’d like forever.
You can choose to turn a necklace into a simple pattern and place it anywhere on your body, or if you’re brave enough, you can create a ring on your finger, showcasing all the colors that represent your family. Be warned, though, that colors can fade, so you might be redoing it every five to ten years to keep it vibrant.
7. Foreign Languages
For people who don’t speak English as their first language, or who simply have a different “home” language, why not get a tattoo that honors both your language and ethnicity and your child? Get a tattoo in a foreign dialect, like Japanese, Spanish, or German. You can choose words like "son" or "daughter" and even incorporate dates into it.
8. Angels and Wings
It’s sad to think about it, but sometimes angels and wings are also appropriate. While some children may not be long in this world, their memories can be. Including any of the other ideas, such as a child’s name, initial, or date of birth, encasing them in a pair of wings or perhaps having an angel holding them shows both the joy and the sorrow that you experienced in their brief lives.
For those who have had a rainbow baby, including the rainbow along with the child’s name or date of birth may be a great way to memorialize the previous pregnancy as well as celebrate your child’s birth. It’s up to you if you want to get a tattoo for a sad memory, but it’s also a happy one, so decide how you’re going to look at it before you get it for the rest of your life.
. . . And More!
Those are only some ideas for tattoos for mothers. What kind of tattoos have you seen? What do you want to get to commemorate your motherhood?
melissassmith on May 26, 2017:
Nice Tattoo Ideas.