Mom Who Was Judged for Her Tattoos Had the Most Epic Response

mom judged for tattoos
Gylisa Jayne/Facebook

In this day and age, you'd think we'd be past stereotypes about what a mother is "supposed" to be or look like, but unfortunately we're not -- as one UK mom with pink hair and tattoos recently discovered. In a powerful Facebook post, Gylisa Jayne, blogger and mother of a toddler daughter, opened up about how she felt when someone told her she didn't think she was the "type" to be a mom -- and what that really means.


In the post, Jayne, who has many (beautiful) tattoos and hair dyed a stunning shade of pink -- not to mention a gorgeous little girl -- writes about what happened when someone suggested to her that her appearance and experience were somehow atypical of motherhood:

"Someone said to me a few days ago, that she hadn't thought I was the type 'to be a Mum,'" Jayne wrote.

At first, she "shrugged it off," knowing that ignorant comments about parenting are par for the course. But as time passed, the experience continued to bother her:

"I can't have shrugged it off too well, because it's played on my mind ever since. It's one of those common phrases, we label 'Mother' and have a stereotype in our heads.

A 'Mother' has to live up to a certain standard, and it isn't just taking care of your own kid ...

Mothers are meant to sacrifice every aspect of themselves, to fulfill their role.

Mothers aren't allowed expensive bags, or shopping trips out, or to have a fresh manicure every few weeks.

Mothers aren't meant to have tattoos, or coloured hair or piercings.

Mothers aren't supposed to have histories of being reckless, feckless or just plain fun.

Mothers aren't meant to have had a colourful life of experiences before they bear children, they are expected to forget their identity to raise someone else.

But how can we raise our children effectively if we haven't experienced a bit of life beforehand?"

More from CafeMom: 16 Things Tattoos Say About the Kind of Parent You Are

So true! Jayne goes on to point out that motherhood is not an "exclusive club" in which one needs to look or act a certain way to join -- it's full of "women that all have lives and tales and colourful histories"; "women of every type, from every background and every descent." It's our experiences, she argues, that give us the stability and the knowledge to guide our children -- even if those experiences don't match up with our society's stereotypical "mother" image. 

As a mother of three with tattoos of my own (and a history that could likewise be described as "reckless," "feckless," and "colorful"), I couldn't agree with Jayne more. Like Jayne, I've also come up against other parents who think I don't fit the "mother" bill: moms on the playground who give me the side-eye when they notice the ink on my arm; old acquaintances who remember me as an unpredictable party girl who couldn't take care of a house plant, let alone three kids. The reactions "unconventional" moms like Jayne and I get reveal so much about the misconceptions we have about motherhood in this society: That mothers are supposed to give up their entire identities to raise their children. That we're supposed to somehow erase all traces of "inappropriateness" from our pasts. Mothers aren't supposed to be sexual beings. We're not supposed to have lives of our own. We're supposed to exist only for our children and their benefit.

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Not only is this way of thinking unrealistic, but it's also an insult to women (and human beings) in general. We are multidimensional, complex creatures capable of growing and evolving. Just because a mom has a nose ring doesn't mean she can't read bedtime stories and cut 100 grapes in half at snacktime and drive to pediatrician appointments. To assume otherwise is ridiculous.

In the end, as Jayne writes, what other people think about our parenting qualifications is irrelevant.

"So I might not fit someone else's expectations of how I should be, but my daughter reckons I'm doing a pretty good job," she says.

That's the only thing that matters! (I bet she likes Mommy's pink hair, too.)

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