I didn’t always plan on becoming a mom– I was going to be independent, travel, always be stylish with amazing clothes. I sort of accomplished that. But somewhere along the way I became open to the possibility of kids. The catch was that I would be a “cool” mom– I would still always be stylish with amazing clothes, my kids would obey me without question just because I was awesome, and we would always be getting into adventures. I would most definitely NOT be wearing “mom clothes.”
In my mind I WAS the cool mom. The kids and I liked to “jam” together to my iPod playlist. That MUST mean that I was cool. My first inkling that maybe I was a little mistaken was when a song came on the radio (I don’t remember specifically, just a current pop song) and I started singing along. Lilu was astonished: “Stacey, how do YOU know this song?” Reality hit like a ton of bricks. My 6 year old did not think I was cool. Ok, so maybe my iPod playlist is heavy on the Steve Winwood, Michael McDonald, and 80s hair metal — but those are timeless hits! Right? Right……?
Well at least I still had my incredible fashion sense to claim. I mean, the Gap has been a standby of “cool” for decades. Plus they have killer sales. AND their jeans fit like a glove during that difficult time a few months after the baby when my legs were shrinking down but my stomach was still being stubborn. You feel me? And heck, most of the time I don’t even have to dress fancy– yoga pants are totally hip for young moms on the go. That way everyone knows you are active and all about heath — popping in to Whole Foods after your workout sesh at the Pilates studio. You know, if you have a nanny to watch the kids so you can do those things. Today’s “fashion” is just too ridiculous anyways– targeted towards teenagers with crazy patterned leggings, neons, and ripped jeans. I HAVE caught myself giving disapproving looks at the mall, or whispering to my husband that our kids will “dress respectably.” I’ve seen pictures of what I wore at sixteen, and I sure as hell wouldn’t let myself wear those miniskirts and platforms if I was my mom!
Ok, so I’ll admit it– I’m not the “cool” mom. I do mom things. I wear mom clothes (sad face). I may or may not be even less cool than my own mom was. But my kids aren’t worried about it. They don’t care that I was Best Dressed Class of 2003 at St. Albans High School and they don’t care if I let that legacy slip. They just want me to spend time with them, no matter what we do or what I’m wearing. And even if my “jams” aren’t popular anymore, they are more than happy to listen with me on repeat and learn all the words– because these are OUR jams. (And hey, at least they aren’t talking about twerking, bubble butts, and menage-a-you-know-whats.)
So I gave up on being the cool mom. I think we all start off with high hopes and the best of intentions. But when your day looks like this: wake up, feed baby, put baby back to sleep, wake up big sis, feed big sis breakfast, make big sis lunch, wake up daddy to take big sis to school at exactly 7:50 so she is on time (gotta watch that tardy count!), take a quick nap, wake up with baby, feed baby again, change diaper and dress baby, play baby games, put baby down for nap, workout, wake up baby, pick up big sis from school, go to swim class, shower big sis, feed kids dinner, bathe baby, do homework, brush teeth, bedtime story, tuck in big sis, feed baby and put to sleep, wash dishes, fold laundry, sweep and mop kitchen, do my writing, watch one tv show, feed baby again, and FINALLY go to bed– you might not even have time to worry about being “cool.” And that’s ok. Your kids will love you anyways. And there is always that yearbook photo to prove that you WERE cool at one time…in case there is ever any doubt.