– By Amanda Mushro of Questionable Choices in Parenting. <<< That’s her blog. Go check it out when you’re done reading! 


Confession time: I LOVE celebrity gossip magazines and websites. It’s a dirty habit that I’ve come by honestly from my childhood by snuggling on the couch with my grandmother and reading Star Magazine cover to cover. Some grandmothers bake cookies and knit, my awesome Gram made sure I was in touch with all the celeb happenings.

One of my favorite parts of a good gossip magazine is the “Stars are Just Like Us” section because I really do feel better about myself seeing Reese Witherspoon carry her own groceries or Bradley Copper pump his own gas. So imagine my excitement when I realized that Nicole Richie and I are more alike than I could ever imagine. All from this little tweet:

Now it’s time for a much more humiliating confession: I am the shameful owner of tramp stamp. What seemed edgy, cool, and “deep” when I was 19, now just seems misguided, uninspired, and lame at 34.


Tattoos can be really beautiful and an outlet for self-expression and identity; however, my lame-o tattoo is neither of those things. Everyone else had one in college and I wanted one too. Oh, I thought it was so “deep” and meaningful, but years later, I would give anything to have the space above my coin slot not covered in ink.

What is this uninspired ink you may ask? Sit down for this one, friends, the philosophical meaning behind my tattoo will blow your mind.

What happens when your birthday falls on the cusps of two astrology signs? One of two things: You can read both horoscopes for the day and pick the better of the two, or you can permanently mar your skin with a mixture of an Aquarius and a Pieces sign.

I went for option two. So deep…

After getting this tattoo at the wise age of 19, I hid my new ink from my parents for months. But when bathing suit season came along, there was no hiding my new artwork. If looks could kill, I would have been dead from my Dad’s death stare. *shudders*

It only worsened when he and I were watching Wedding Crashers and Vince Vaughn totally threw me under the bus with this line:

“Tattoo on the lower back… might as well be a bullseye.”

Awesome. Just what every dad wants to hear.

My mom took the news of my ink mutilation even worse. She was horrified and screamed “Someday you will have kids and they will want a tattoo. And what are you going to say? Huh? You won’t be able to say anything because you have a trashy tattoo.”

Trashy tattoo–Dam her! She was right.

Now as a mother of two, the idea of my babies permanently marking their perfect skin with anything makes me die a little inside. I made those kids and their skin. Surely there should be a law that you need your mother’s permission before you are allowed to ruin the skin she crafted, no matter how old you are! I can only hope there is something less permanent in the future that kids think is cool like a sticker or non-permanent hair dye. Wishful thinking, I know.

Our home is across the street from the neighborhood pool and since my kids are part fish, we are splashing around in that pool all summer and will be for many summers to come. My mom approved tankini covers my tramp stamp, but some of us aren’t so lucky. Sometimes I get a small glimmer of redemption when I see a few other moms and dads at the pool that carry shameful tats too.  A few tribal bands, an ancient Chinese symbol for patience that really means fried rice, or even a few Greek letters from their glory days.

We can nod our heads in solidarity of our bad choices. We were wild and crazy once and we have the ink to prove it! Now we are dragging our kids kicking and screaming to the kiddie pool during adult swim.

— — — — —


amanda mushroAmanda Mushro is the writer behind the hilarious mommy blog Questionable Choices in Parenting. Sometimes she thinks she is doing a great job as a mom, but then she does something that makes her question her own parenting abilities.  Find her on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest


  1. oh. My . God. I swear I was reading my own tramp stamp story. Except I was 21. I’m right on the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces, hid it from my parents, wish I hadn’t done it. lol. Great post!

  2. My husband *wants* me to get a tramp stamp. I already have three tattoos and I’m comfortable with their locations. No tramp stamp for me! I’m forty years old, husband. Not a 19 year old girl!

  3. I have a super ugly tramp stamp too..tribal. gross. Faded. I hate the actual markimgs even though there is emotional significance to why I got the ink. I don’t regret it. Maybe someday I’ll make it prettier though. As for my daughters I will just tell them the truth- I thought I needed to do it to prove something to myself even though looking back I didn’t really need the ink to do that. And then I will silently wish and hope they learn from my scenario and not need to go through it on their own. Hah

  4. Mande Sumner

    Hmmmm. I love my tattoos. I don’t have a “tramp stamp” but I have two tattoos and have two more planned for this and next year. I’m not at all ashamed of mine as the two I have hold very personal meaning and the two I have planned do as well. Oh, and I’m 40 by the way and I didn’t get my first one until I was 26.

  5. Nodding my head laughing and sighing throughout. I don’t have a tramp stamp but I do have a tat I totally regret. It’s on my back so I tend to forget about it most of the time. Then I’ll catch a glimpse and it’s like “ugh. Oh, that.”

    I also had to smile because my mom is a big rag mag fan and I was born on a cusp.

  6. I am going to be one of the few people who can say I don’t have a tramp stamp! I’ve never wanted a tattoo and I swear I’m the only one on the planet. My husband and I laugh that when we go to the beach we are the only two who aren’t inked.

    I did, however, laugh when I imagined all of you tattooed parents at the pool nodding in solidarity at the decisions you made. Hilarious!!!

    • Lisa – me too! I have NIGHTMARES about tattoo regret! I just know I would tire of whatever I chose after about 15 minutes.

  7. Find something meaningful and get it covered. Thats what I did with my 18 yr old mistake. It wasnt a tramp stamp, just an ugly yellow rose that was horribly done for $20. Its gorgeous now and an awesome tribute to my aunt who passed.

  8. I don’t feel so bad about mine now. I have a Gemini sign. An oh-so-awesome tattoo. It is basically just an Roman numeral 2. On more than one occasion I was asked, ” Why do you have a 2 on your back?” Because I am a dufus, thats why!