The Cool Mom

Monday, January 30, 2017

I've read several blog posts and articles about "How to Be the Cool Mom" and I feel like that phrase is an oxymoron. Is there really such a thing as a cool mom? Or is it our way of saying we think we're the cool mom? No kid in the history of childhood has ever uttered the phrase, "My mom's the coolest." And if they have, I want their names and phone number so I can call them directly and ask them what exactly made their mom so cool.

What did a cool mom do before social media? My mom took me to school, picked me up from school, and did day to day things that moms did while kids were at school. In the car, she listened to the last songs on the Top 40 radio station, chatted with me about how the school day was, listened for cues that could cause ill feelings, made a list of acceptable and non-acceptable kids for me to hang out with, and at times was "the meanest mom in the world." I don't think I ever uttered "coolest mom in the world." Now, with all the social media outlets, latest apps for our phones, and ways to track our kids, I'm still not thinking any kid out there is thinking their mom is the cool mom.

Social Media, in my opinion, is just another way to embarrass our kids! Let's face it, no child wants to see their mom taking selfies of themselves in front of their friends. So not cool. No kid wants their mom on Facebook and then sending Friends Requests to them and their best friends. And they certainly don't want their moms posting photos to Instagram of them together. It may be okay in the early grades of elementary school, but if they're in sixth and heading into middle school, I'm thinking these items are checked off the not so cool mom checklist! You are now just the embarrassing mom! 

So what makes a cool mom? Well, I'm currently navigating this with my five year old and I still can't figure it out! But since this is my blog, and strictly my opinion, here are my five things to try and achieve Cool Mom status:

1) You don't always have to listen to kids music in the car. Or ever! Expose your child to the classics, whatever era that might be, and don't worry about the lyrics. There is nothing more gratifying than hearing your child sing "Welcome to the Hotel California" from the backseat. Coolest feeling ever!

2) Let them make a mess and don't tell them that they're making a mess! My child loves to run his snowplow trucks and Zamboni's through flour on the counter. He is in heaven and I am freaking out on the inside. His clothes, the floor, his step stool, and toys are now covered in flour that may or may not come out! And that's okay. He's having a blast and you look like the hero when it's too cold to go outside and play in the sandbox.

3) If you're a boy mama like myself, then you know it's all boy all the time! From time to time, you miss playing dress up, dolls, and especially Barbie's. But just because you have a boy, it doesn't mean these things go out the window. We play dress up around here. McKinley has a construction worker outfit he loves to put on and pretend to be a repair man for all different appliances. He even wears it to Home Depot on Kid Workshop Saturdays. He also loves to wear his Kion costume from Halloween. He likes playing with my Barbie's, Care Bears, and Cabbage Patch Kids. He likes to have this toenails painted and it doesn't bother me or my husband. He picks his own color, sometimes red, sometimes pink, and sometimes green. If you make a big deal about it, it's going to be an even bigger deal later. And, just to ensure my cool mom status, a friend of his at school had his nails painted all different colors and was proud to show them off! 

4) I think this one applies no matter what age your child is, but don't always be their friend. They have those at school and at other extra curricular activities. There are those moments where you are best friends, but there are times when you simply have to be the parents. Step in. Take charge. And show them who's boss. Put them in time out. Send them to their room. And stay consistent with your discipline. I know how hard that is. The bottom lip quiver. The crocodile tears. The "I don't like you" response can cut through your heart. But trust me, in the end, they know you're their friend. It's cool to be their parent and friend! 

5) Lastly, embarrass the heck out of them! Have that dance party in the car while they roll their eyes in the backseat. Eventually, they start dancing as well. Take those silly SnapChat pics, but don't always post them. McKinley loves looking back over the photos and laughing at the funny faces we made. Sing out loud in the grocery store if your favorite song comes on. You may get looks from others in the store, and your child may think you're crazy, but you're letting them know that life is too short to not act silly! Sometimes you have to act like a kid too! It's cool!

So what do you think makes you a cool mom? Share your thoughts about what makes you cool. I'm sure we all have our ideas! And, if you have older kids, tell us how to maintain your cool status!


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