I'm never going to be the cool mom

Aug 3, 2008 at 10:24 p.m. ET

At some point in the last couple of years, I realized I was never going to be the cool mom I always thought I would be. I was not going to be the mom the kids' friends call by first name or the one who they allowed to rock out to their music with them or whatever. At some point in the last couple of years, I also made peace with this realization.

When I was a teenager, I knew a couple of those cool moms, but they were few and far between. Still, I wanted to be one; I was sure I would be. In those day dreams about the ease of parenthood, I'd have the hippest clothes and be lax with rules and nothing would phase me. Heck, in these daydreams, I was also perfectly proportioned and alarmingly attractive. There's a reason they are called dreams.

Reality trumps fantasy

But then a funny thing happened. I actually had children and became a parent, and the process of parenting these complicated kids in an increasingly complicated world butted into the idyllic daydream. The nerve!

Honestly, I don't have the energy it takes to be "cool" while trying to do right by my kids. Just being a parent is hard enough - the big issues and the nuances and everything in between. My kids know (most of the time) that I love even if my dance moves and jeans style are way, way out of date. I'm much too busy being a parent to worry about that trivial stuff!

Trying my best, cool or not

My willingness to accept my uncool status doesn't mean I'm not going to continue to try to understand and interact with my kids, however. Quite the opposite really. It means I am going to parent from the foundation idea that I am, in fact, a parent, not another kid. It's my job to teach them and lead them, not just hang out with them.

There are some of those cool moms around, and a part of me still envies the ease with which they appear to navigate their kids' worlds. Funny thing is, most of the kids of these cool moms don't see them as such. When it's your own mom it's entirely different that when it's someone else's mom.

Maybe one day my kids will realize I am not so bad, not so uncool as they think. But still, I'll never be the cool mom, and that's fine by me.

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