Deciding To Get A Tattoo - I FINALLY DID IT

by frugalrvers

I finally decided to get a tattoo, so today my daughter and I went and each got tattoos together. Here is my story on how to make it a pleasant experience, plus some tips!

My almost 19 year old daughter has been nagging me for years to get a tattoo. I'm almost 45 years old and the thought of causing intentional pain to myself at this point in my life was not of any interest. After some thought (and more pressure from my child) I started recognizing that I could make it truly meaningful. In the end, this mother-daughter tattoo duo chose an awesome design and had a wonderful time.

Our Reasons For Getting Tattoos - Our Mother/Daughter Story

If I did everything my almost 19 year old requested, I would have body piercings, tattoos and probably some hipper clothing attire...but no, I don't dance to my teenager's requests. That said, she has "dared" me for years to go get a tattoo with her - and I would say "maybe someday" each time the topic came up.

For me, it was just an unnecessary "thing" and I was certain I would find some dumb design that wasn't me. Every time I thought about maybe doing it, I would think "what would I get?" and then convince myself it was a foolish notion.

But then I took a step back and thought the experience would be meaningful...a mother and daughter duo being close enough in their relationship to do something wild and crazy together. After losing my mom suddenly in 2012 I started to recognize these are the moments that are remembered a lifetime...

Truth be told, that was really my only reason for deciding to pursue tattoos, I'm well past the age of doing it to be "cool" and I've said no to my daughter on countless things before...I didn't have to do it. It truly was for the awesome memory she and I would share forever. But it would have to be really, really special and unique.

Then the idea hit me...................................

My Ankle BEFORE Pics - Wasn't Sure Which Side

Left Side?
Left Side?
Right Side?
Right Side?

Do You Have Tattoos?

Tattoos To Get For Your Mom? Why Not Have MATCHING, Symbolic Ones?

The idea came to me of how this could be something really meaningful in many ways to my daughter and me. Instead of just getting tattoos, we would get matching ones that signified something special in our relationship.

For us, the choice was simple...bear paws. Not only is everyone in my family aware that the brown bear is my totem, my daughter calls me Mama Bear and I call her Baby Bear not only due to the significance of Ursa Major in my life...but because, though I tend to be a pretty open minded, silly mom, there is nothing I wouldn't do to protect my "cub." At these times, I am especially referred to as Mama Bear (we refer to each other as MB and BB for short, by the way).

So that was it! We would each have one large bear paw for MB and a smaller one for BB - matching sets of paws! It was I just had to convince myself to do it.

Preparing To Get A Tattoo - My Tips And Experiences

When preparing to get a tattoo, here is my list of tips. Most teenagers would find these corny and unnecessary, but if you're like me and a little older, I hope you find them useful:

  1. Once again, take your time until you have a design in mind that is meaningful. Once I knew what I wanted, my excitement overrode my fears.
  2. Decide in advance how big you want the design to be and where on your body. Do a little research, because some areas of the body are a bit more painful than others. Don't start choosing a tattoo parlor until you are certain what you want to some degree.
  3. Shop around and do NOT give some of the cocky young creeps out there your business unless they have a smile and some personality. We started shopping around and the first two places we went to I felt sick. The disrespectful, angry, attitude-soaked punks who cannot even smile when you ask questions and try to communicate. No way would I let their issues ruin this experience. It is not mandatory that you must be a complete jerk to give tattoos.
  4. Once you find the right tattoo artist (we did and this young guy was the most awesome "dude"). He made me laugh, put me at ease and thought what my daughter and I were doing was amazing. This experience would have been terrible without the right artist.
  5. My daughter had her paws on the rib cage and in a larger was quite painful (one of the worst areas to do it). Mine was on my ankle and honestly it was no big deal at all. Yes it hurt a bit, but there are a few seconds break between each stroke and that kept the ouch at bay. Six hours later and I feel like I have a mild case of razor burn - barely noticeable at all.
  6. Final instructions are you keep the bandage on overnight, then keep the area clean. It will supposedly itch a bit but should look normal within a few weeks...and I was amazed how "normal" it looked already.

The Finished Tattoos...Now Just Need To Heal

Outside Of My Ankle
Outside Of My Ankle
My Daughter's Rib Cage...Ouch!
My Daughter's Rib Cage...Ouch!

Look At What Artist Cheyenne Randall Does With Iconic Figures!!

Digital Tattoos Placed On Famous Pictures
JuneElvis Jail Haus

Disadvantages Of Getting A Tattoo

The disadvantages of getting a tattoo are quite obvious, so it is truly up to the individual to decide based on his/her needs and preferences. Here they are, in a nutshell:

Price: Our combined total was $120 (average $60/piece) which everyone in town quoted as well. Plus be courteous and tip the tattoo artist when you are done!

Low Pain Tolerance?: Again, mine barely hurt and the size was small enough where it was over in 15 minutes anyway. But if you insist on having a large tattoo on a sensitive area, it is going to hurt. You can't just get up and run out the door once it begins, so prepare yourself. Maybe do a tiny one as a test run before jumping into something big?

It's Permanent: The pressure is on - this is with you for life, so take your time and choose something meaningful in a place you won't regret. Take....your....time!!!!!

Restrictions In The Workplace: This isn't a concern to me anymore, but some work environments don't allow tattoos in plain sight. Not saying I agree with that or would work in such a place, but there are many businesses who will not allow it. Keep it in mind!


In closing, to know a tattoo is right for you, there should be no disadvantages! You should do it for the right reasons and know what you want. It should be exciting and meaningful to truly enjoy the experience, even with a little pain involved. I'm so excited my daughter and I shared this amazing experience together and that we've done something unique and special to bond us even tighter as Mama Bear and Baby Bear.


Is Getting A Tattoo A Good Idea?

WordChazer on 05/11/2013

It can be if it's meaningful to you. But many UK workplaces are pretty strict on visible ink, so it's not a decision to be taken lightly in this country.

frugalrvers on 05/10/2013

If it is something you truly want to do - something meaningful, then absolutely!

Tattoo Design Ideas And Books

Tattoo Johnny: 3,000 Tattoo Designs

These days, it seems like everybody—male, female, young, and old—wants a tattoo. But choosing the right design isn’t always easy. Tattoo Johnny to the rescue! Culled from the wo...


The book contains 250 tattoo designs, the best of O’Connell's 3 sets of tattoo flash titled Stewed, Screwed and Tattooed (2001), Done While Drunk (2002), and From the Bottom of ...

The Mammoth Book of Tattoos

This collection covers all styles of tattoos from bold tribal pieces, Chines characters, and hieroglyphs to delicate air-brushed designs. Included are striking images of tattoos...

Vintage Tattoos: The Book of Old-School Skin Art

Tattoos have gone from badges of rebellion to fashion statements fully absorbed into mainstream culture. They are enjoying a renaissance, with graphic designers and artists crea...

Updated: 04/02/2016, frugalrvers
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Getting A Tattoo Comments

frugalrvers on 05/11/2013

Thanks for your comments, Wordchazer! I, too, used to show my individuality back in college days with more "punk" look - bleached, short white hair, funky clothes, etc. Today I'm still a little funkier in the clothing department than most my age, but I've toned it down :). A tattoo for me was more a symbolic action/meaningful experience with my daughter than for expression...which is why I was so drawn to doing it with her. But absolutely, where employment is a concern (or at least keeping your employment!) it wouldn't be wise at this point in time. Thanks again!

WordChazer on 05/11/2013

I tend to draw attention to my individuality with bright nail polish, spiky hair, or long earrings rather than risking a tattoo. As Mira says, many businesses are anti-tattoos. Certainly many customer-facing jobs do not permit ink, such as retail work and hotel reception duties. I'm rather fond of my job at the moment so there's no way I'd risk it for a tattoo at this stage. It would be one of those 'mad purple hat lady' things I would do when I don't have to worry about that any more.

frugalrvers on 05/10/2013

That's a great point, Mira...........Ah if only one day people pay more attention to what is on the inside of a person instead of the outside. Some of the most selfish, self centered people I've met had no tattoos, nice clothes and jewelry, luxury cars and hint of an alternative lifestyle. Watch the news and see the "appropriately dressed" people going to jail for greed and stealing from others. A piece of fruit can be appealing and shiny on the outside, but rotten on the inside. It's important to see the whole picture, but don't see that change coming anytime soon in our society.

Mira on 05/10/2013

Unfortunately some businesses don't allow tattooes anywhere, not just in plain sight. So because of that tattooes have come to be even more strongly associated with an alternative lifestyle. I'm not a tattoo person myself but I would love to henna my hands Indian-style now and then if I had someone to do it for me.

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