I’m A Mom With Tattoos – Charlene From Pretty Please Charlie


Welcome back to another installment in our new series – I’m A Mom With Tattoos.  In case you have missed the last couple, don’t forget to check them out here.

YAY!  After a short break (again) we have new Moms with tattoos to interview.  (It turns out they are harder to find than I thought.)

PicMonkey Collage

Connecting with amazing people online is one of the reasons that I come back to this space everyday.  It makes the World smaller and for the most part I’m grateful for it, especially when you get to meet someone like Charlene.  I doubt that you could find anyone more down to Earth and fun to be around.  So let’s get down to business!

Your name and blog deets: Charlene van der Westhuizen from Pretty Please Charlie 

Your age: 36

Your Occupation: I do boring officy stuff.

A Mom’s favourite thing to do is talk about their children – tell us about your family:  Family is everything. Danie and I have been married for 5½ years and Cara will be 4 in January. She is absolute perfection and we thank God for her everyday.  She has the face of an angel, the heart of a fighter, the soul of a dreamer and the spirit of a rebel. And she always has this naughty glint in her eye… no idea where she got that from!

If you work, tell us a bit more about your working environment – are you regularly in contact with new “clients/public”.   The environment is quite relaxed and I mostly only see the people that work with me.

Tell us a bit about your tattoos, what they are, why you have them, where they are located:

Tattoos

The first one I got was the Chinese symbol on the back of my shoulder… don’t laugh! It was cool back then. My friend and I got them together and it supposedly means ‘to believe in truth’. Well the ‘artist’ wasn’t very truthful as we stupidly believed her that it was semi-permanent and would completely fade in 5 years. I think she actually did permanent make-up. Ja, ja, lekker dof! It definitely isn’t my favourite tattoo, but I won’t say that I regret it. It’s a part of me and symbolises a friendship and a specific time in my life. I had it redone a couple of years ago and I’m thinking of maybe designing something that incorporates it… I won’t have it covered though.

It took me many years to get the next one. The flower design on my lower back was my first ‘real’ tattoo.  I had it done when I was teaching belly dance and performing professionally. It is a very special tattoo as I dreamt of becoming a dance teacher when I was a little girl and that dream became a reality, even if it was just for a couple of years.

The lotus flower on the back of my neck symbolises our marriage… a thing of beauty growing from a murky pond. We’ve gone through hardships, but our marriage has survived and is stronger because of it.

The flowers on my foot is a reminder of people that are very dear to my heart… they are my Dutch ‘family’.

My most recent one is Cara’s name on my wrist. I love it.

How old were you when you got your first tattoo:  I think I was 20 when I got it, so it’s at least 15 years old. Phew. See, I can be forgiven for the Chinese symbol 😉

Which tattoo is your favourite and why?  Cara’s name. No explanation needed I think.

Do you plan on getting more?  Hell yeah!

How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)?  Most like my tattoos. My husband and I bicker about who’s getting the next one. His are much bigger, but I have more… who wins? My mom and dad kind of gave me the silent treatment for a bit after each, but they quickly don’t even notice them anymore. And my dad can’t really say anything as we gave him his tattoo as a birthday present a couple of years ago.

What is the general reaction that “the Public” have towards your tattoos?  Have you run into any negativity or adversity because of them?  My tattoos aren’t really ‘in your face’ so I don’t think strangers notice them immediately. And if there is a negative reaction, I just ignore it. Not sure why so many people have such strong views about them? It’s not on your body. I don’t get it.

Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed?  Just know that it will be there forever. I know I’m stating the obvious, but it needs to be said again and again. If you choose a design that’s not necessarily ‘timeless’, you have to make sure that you will love it till the day you die. You don’t want to sit with something you hate. Please, PLEASE don’t go cheap just for the sake of saving a couple of bucks. And do your research. Make sure the artist knows what they’re doing. I have seen way to many badly done and ugly tattoos. You don’t want that!

Also, if you are a Mom with tattoos and would like to get in on the action here and share your story, mail/tweet (cindyalfino@gmail.com or @cindyalfino on Twitter and Instagram) me and I’ll send you everything.

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