Posted by: Fern | January 13, 2008

The Illustrated Mum

For the last year or so I’ve been tossing around the idea of getting a tattoo, for a long time before I talked about getting a fern leaf somewhere, but always worried about looking like a die hard All Blacks supporter, so it was more of a fleeting thought. In the last few months of being pregnant and even more so since giving birth I’ve wanted something to symbolise the change in my life and to mark Declan’s arrival.

Right now my “wants” go something like this

  • Discrete, I’m not looking for a full sleeve or anything here! Ideally I would like it on the back of my neck, because it’s fairly hidden and I can chose to either show it off or keep it covered if I choose to (ie. job interviews, visits to my MIL 😉 )
  • Not personalised, that’s probably worded wrongly, but what I mean is that I don’t want a great big blaring “Declan” written across my body, mainly because you get a tattoo for one child then you have to get one for the following, what if I end up with a dozen children and no spare skin? I want something that represents motherhood and the change in my life, not my individual children.
  • I don’t want the meaning to be glaringly obvious, so no hearts with a “Mum” banner. I like having something that means something to me, but not necessarily everyone else.
  • I don’t want any colour 🙂

At the moment I really like the idea of the Celtic Triple Spiral with the three spirals representing the three stages of woman, the damsel, the mother and the old crone, which is similar in symbolism to Klimt’s Three Ages Of Woman, a detail of which I have hanging in our bedroom, so I love the thought and meaning behind the spirals, but I’m not yet 100%, I have looked and looked and so far nothing is jumping out at me.  If you have any thoughts of ideas I would love to hear them.

I may be jumping way ahead of myself here, I still need to save up the spare money to get it done, and then the biggest challenge of all is going to be getting Dan’s approval, I certainly don’t need his permission, but I wouldn’t do something like this without him being okay, and at the moment he is very not okay with it. I want to find something that he’s going to like as much as I do, and that’s proving to be a real battle, mainly because the whole it being a tattoo is the part he’s objecting to.



  1. I got one about 4 yrs (when i was 24. I feel so old thinking of my cousin as a grown women with a child) I had it done on my lower back, It’s all black very tribal looking with Bens (my oldest hes now 8) name in the center of it but I learned a very important lesson with mine. I had Bens name in what I thought was chinese and it turns out to be classroom in chinese lol. I still tell people its Bens name, unless you can read chinese you’d never know. So my advice to you is no words in a language you dont know.

  2. what about something like this ?
    for each child, you add a dot.
    a woman came into the shop i go to, to get one done, when i was starting my arm, and ever since then i have been fascinated by it.

  3. I hope you find something that will help him change his mind because I think it sounds like a great idea!

    This is de_la_mer from LJ, by the way.

  4. how about your boobie pin symbol or the aus flag and uk flag crossed

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