My parents hated my Mohawk and the subsequent variations that came afterwards.
After trying to please them while being pregnant, I grew my hair out. But in an emotional fit 4 days before giving birth to my son, I shaved it into the only hairstyle I truly felt myself with: the Mohawk.
Looking back at pictures of my son’s birth, I began to appreciate the true beauty of it. I was alone, a single mother giving birth to my awesome offbeat baby.
I first shaved my head when I was 19. Sinead O’Connor style. I was tired of being seen as just a pretty face and needed some reason to truly find who I was. I wanted to see who was under the layers of hair I had been hiding under for YEARS.
I lopped off my shoulder length hair, donated it to Locks of Love and felt liberated and free and just wonderful. I was one step closer to self discovery, as cliché as that may sound.
The first time my mother saw me she stared and then nearly cried. My father just shook his head and walked away.
I married a bartender. I married a goofy, bearded, garage band kid. In May he left for Air Force basic training.
I wore scarves, hats and hoodies whenever I went to visit my parents. It made them more comfortable and didn’t provoke any ‘has my daughter lost her mind’ conversations.
My hair eventually evolved into a Mohawk which I happily accepted as a part of who I am. Doing my hair was the easiest part of my morning routine and I loved it. I started focusing less on my looks and more on the person within.
I was artistic, I was friendly and all of a sudden, I was going to be a mother.
I tried growing my hair before Kyler’s birth to try to fit in with all the other soccer moms, but the conservative look just didn’t match the random tattoos I had lingering everywhere on my body. Robots, stars and a pineapple. That kinda ink just doesn’t go with polo shirts and a mini-van.
So days before I was due I went to get my haircut into a Mohawk. I remember waddling out of the hair salon feeling refreshed, confident and like myself. Kyler was born three days later with a full head of hair.
One day, Kyler and I were laying on the couch together and he ran his fingers through the shaved part of my hair, laughing because it was tickling his hand. I dubbed him offbeat right then and there and shaved him a Mohawk too!
We matched and it was perfect. It wasn’t the picture perfect ‘we-belong-in-a- J.Crew- magazine’ kind of matching, but it was special to us and it worked. His personality seemed so much more his own. It was the same confidence I experienced when I needed it the most.
I joke with people who comment on my hair, explaining that I have less to wash and more time to spend with Kyler. And it’s the truth.
I would be foolish to think that hair is more important than the precious time I have with my son. I know who I am as an individual, as a mother and most importantly as a role model for my son.
As Kyler grew, my family began to accept the fact that my hair had nothing to do with my mothering skills or that my tattoos didn’t negate the love I have for my child.
My mom will still comment on how pretty I am with long hair, or how I should let the shaved part grow out, but the past four years have been bare, true and heartfelt. That’s not a piece of life I am willing to let go.
My hair is a reminder of how wonderful change can be. My parents scold me for shaving Kyler’s hair into a Mohawk and I understand that when he gets older his hair will be his choice. And I have no problem with that because it’s all heart…Not hair.
Comments on Yes, I’m a mom with a mohawk
Emily… you rock. Oddly enough I get chided for my waist length hair because around here the Soccor Mom Bob is the norm!
you know, doing what makes you happy is 90% of parenting i think. babies need happy mamas…not mamas that make themselves miserable to "fit in" (with whatever image your parents or other people might think you should have)…fitting in is not what makes a good parent. when it boils down to it, babies and kids will sense that mama's not happy and it will make them unhappy too, and then everyone's miserable.
my hairstyle…people would probably consider it conservative (just your run-of-the-mill layered bob, somewhere between chin and shoulders), but the reality is that it's easy, and i can't be bothered with having to style it. i'm a wash it and go kinda gal. but you know, my family all gave me weird looks when i chopped it off and donated it a couple years back. i'd had it hip-length all my life, but it just wasn't working any more. never really worked for me to begin with.
everyone has to do what's right for them, and it sounds to me like you have that down pat! good for you.
awesome post! it's nice to relate to what isn't necessarily the norm, but should be.
society is so backwards when they judge your personality or parenting skills based on something so superficial as hair style, tattoos or piercings. when the reality of it is, styling yourself to look "normal" is more superficial than being true to yourself.
keep up the awesome mama-ing! 😉
<3 it! plus why fit in with the other soccer moms? unless they're actually fun lol
Love the Mohawk!
Great post. Thanks!
You're an awesome mom. Awesome. …and I say that not based on a story on the internet but rather from having the pleasure of watching. You go girl!
I just love your outlook on motherhood. I feel the exact same way. I can't wait to dye my hair something crazy after i give birth ( because i heard hair dye doesn't stay very well in pregnant women ). I hate looking so ordinary, especially in the uber-conservative place that i live ( Amish Country, PA). I think that matching mohawks are perfect and you look great in one!
I sat behind you in psych class last semester and always admired your mohawk!
Congrats on the post!
I had a mohawk at one time, was lots of work to keep up, wayyyy easier just to wash and dry it and let it hang loose. what a happy looking little child – kuddos to you!
I just want to say that you and your son are both beautiful. I <3 the mohawks! 🙂
Emily – your post is wonderful and I can really relate to it. My boys have had mohawks since they were 6 months old. My daughter had one until she was a year when her hair just could not support it. My hair changes colors as my moods do. My family is constantly judged by the way we look but it is all worth it. My 3 year old informed a lady, who said something about his mohawk, "You don't like me and I don't like yours." I love that my 3 year old stands up for his self at this age.
We all need to be comfortable in our own skin and that includes our hair.
I loved reading your post, and I love your mohawk! 🙂
love you emily. youd be a great mom even if you did wear the polos and skorts! but you know better! haha. <3
Love that shot of your boy with his beautiful smile – anyone who can raise a kid to smile like that is doing something right!
You are so beautiful and so is your son, you guys rock 🙂
absolutely love it. My godson just turned one and his mama has rocked a mohawk on and off for at least the last 8 years. His dad's got hair down past his shoulders. Hair really is just hair. It has no weight on their parenting abilities. 🙂
I love this post! The old don't judge a book by it's cover, funny how people tend to forget that.
god, when i remember all the awful hairstyles my mother forced on me in the 80s in order to have that nice little girl-daughter that i just wasn´t..
i´m thinking that your way is much helthier for your son. and way cooler.. ^^
Wayyyy better than j-crew. 😀
Great post, and great hair! The bottom line is that we’ve all gotta be ourselves!
Though, as I’m about to take my 3 year old son to his first soccer game tonight, I guess I’m the dreaded soccer mom… 😉
…the queer feminist housefrau soccer mom. 🙂