I’m Not a Regular Mom….I’m a Cool Mom

Not a Perfect Mom“You know, you’re not hip, mom,” my nine year old recently said to me with what seemed to be a look of pity in his eyes.

“Errr, I know,” I answered defensively. “Of course I’m not hip. I never said I was hip. I never even thought such a thing.”

But I did. And I am. Aren’t I? How can he not see that? I’m funny. I’m irreverent. I’m edgy. I have highlights and wear trendy jeans. I do pilates. I even listen to new alternative on satellite radio in the car. One of his friends even told me I was in the running for funniest mom in fourth grade. I mean, how cool is that?

And yet…there we were, he and I. He, the kid who thinks his mom is definitely not cool. Me, the mom who up until this point thought she was.

I remember how unbearably uncool I thought my parents were, how I wanted to die of embarrassment when my dad pulled up to get me from the mall in his enormous 1982 pea-green Ford Grenada, smooth jazz drifting from the rolled down windows, honking and waving, clueless to his total and complete unhipness.

Could it be that despite all of my super-cool attributes, my kids see me as I saw my parents? Tragically unhip?

Even worse, I suspect they might actually be starting to be embarrassed by me.

This came to my attention when my six-year old daughter told me she’d been completely mortified a few days earlier when I’d eaten lunch with her at school. Parents had been invited to dine with their kids and in my naiveté, I’d brought along my favorite eggplant parm sub.

I was floored. I thought the lunch had been great. I thought we’d had fun together. But instead, I’d embarrassed her with my apparent gluttony. Sure, the sub is on the large side and filled with gooey, drippy tomato sauce and huge chunks of eggplant. And perhaps there’d been some sauce around my mouth and on my cheeks and a string or two of cheese had been left  hanging. And maybe I’d been devouring it with a bit too much fervor.  With burning cheeks, I thought back. Had everyone been horrified or was it just my child? How bad had it really been?

Then, a few weeks later, at a party for the entire fourth grade, my son said, “Why do you keep calling everyone sir?” He sounded disgusted.

“It’s funny,” I said. “Like, ‘can I help you with that glue SIR? Or ‘And how are you today, SIR.’ Funny!”

“No mom. It’s not.”

It wasn’t? I thought it was quirky and sarcastic and that they’d all be like, “That Daniel’s mom is really cool.” But no, I had just done it again – embarrassed my child at school.

My entire self concept was suddenly in jeopardy. Not only am I not cool as previously assumed, but I’m the worst kind of uncool – the uncool mom who thinks she’s cool.

There are lots of moms who don’t care about this. They own their uncoolness and don’t give a damn if their kid’s friends think they’re funny or if their pleated jeans aren’t skinny or if their radios are tuned to adult contemporary. They’re the adults, while I sometimes still feel like a fraudulent eighteen year old playing an adult. I guess I just need to embrace the fact that I’m just a mom, regular and embarrassing as any other mom. And it doesn’t matter to my kids that I don’t wear mommy jeans or that I have girl’s nights in trendy restaurants or that I know all the words to the new Grouplove song. Because being immature isn’t necessarily being cool.

10 Responses to I’m Not a Regular Mom….I’m a Cool Mom

  1. Hildee Isaacs December 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    All I want to know is where can I get the eggplant parm sandwich?

    • Lauren December 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      East 48th Street Deli on Jett Ferry. Yum yum.

  2. Andrea December 23, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Love this! Hopefully Jonah will think I am a cool mom, like his Aunt Lauren!

  3. Anonymous December 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Lauren–my Lauren thought George and I were the uncoolest until she turned 18. Then we got cool again. You are doing just what you are supposed to be doing! Love reading your blog! Love, Genie

  4. Jenni Greenberg December 23, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    Being cool is a state of mind. You’re the coolest !! Great blog. bTW

  5. Maureen December 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    Hysterical! You are not alone. I manage to embarrass my 15 year old daughter on a daily basis. I always thought I was cool too. One of her dance teachers told methe other day that he thought I was the funniest mom EVER! When I told her that she rolled her eyes and said he was just being nice. Ha!

  6. Lauren Taylor's December 26, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    This is still making me laugh and I read it 30 minutes ago l. Do we all think we are hip and we really aren’t? I just had an a-ha moment! Oh no! I love this!

  7. Wayne South Smith January 8, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    Great writing, Lauren! Personally, I think you’re hip, cool and funny. . .and i think I am, too. Daniel just isn’t sophisticated enough in HC&F to get us! I trust you will continue to help him grow into it!

  8. quirknjive January 13, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    Ha!!! I just turned forty and bought myself a pair of skinny faux leather leggings. I wore them to muffin day at my daughter’s preschool thinking, “yeah, I’m a Mom, but I’m still cool.” Then my little moppet pushed me away when I attempted to sit next her during circle time. Apparently my presence was embarrassing to her. So I too am immature, not cool. I’ve been schooled by my four year old!

  9. Grace Powell January 17, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

    It’s tough being an uncool parent. But if you think about it, it doesn’t really matter if you are cool or not. I think the important thing is that you are doing a great job as a parent. Kids may not realize it, but years from now they will appreciate the fact that you were their parent. Nothing can be cooler than that!

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