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Why I Am Not a Cool Mom

By Edited Jul 13, 2016 10 20

I Am Such an Uncool Mom That I am Cool

One of my favorite television sitcoms was Roseanne. She was not the typical suburban housewife living in a beautiful home with perfectly behaved children. She was a working class mother doing everything she could to parent using the tools she had.

In one episode, after making a parenting decision that did not go very well with one of her daughters, Roseanne told to her sister Jackie that she always dreamed of being a “cool mom” who gave their kids freedom to do what they wanted, but she couldn’t. She was just a mom.

Are You a Cool Mom?

For whatever reason, that stuck with me. I always wanted to be a suburban mini-van driving mom. When I taught full-time, I dreamed of being the room mom who volunteered her time with the school PTA. I wanted to be the Kool-Aid mom, where the kids wanted to play after school and eat my homemade cookies and treats.

I achieved both of those dreams.

But one that I never had was to be a cool mom. Parenting teens is a hard enough these days with the extra burdens of technology-something my parents did not have to deal with. My children do not need a buddy who dresses like them and talks like them-they need an authority figure who loves them, has their back, and will teach them right from wrong.

I know far too many women who are trying to be a friend to their children and not a parent. This is why I am not a cool mom.


Do Cool Moms Drive Mini Vans?

I am Not a Cool Mom Because I Will Not Permit Co-Ed Sleepovers

About twelve years ago, my sister-in-law told me about a co-ed sleepover her seventeen year old son was attending. To say that I was flabbergasted would be an understatement. Although I kept my opinions to myself, I do not understand why any parent would permit teenagers with raging hormones to sleep together in their home. It is just inviting trouble, if you ask me. And all of this transpired before camera phone could video tape anything and everything they shouldn’t be doing.

Many teens today “hook up’ because they do not know any better-it’s all in good fun. I have friends who permit co-ed sleepovers, and maybe their kids think they are being cool, but this mom does not. That will never happen in my home.

I am so uncool, that when my daughter was invited to spend the weekend with her boyfriend’s parents at their vacation home, I called to see where she would be sleeping to make sure that is was by herself. She was embarrassed, but I did not care.

I Am So Uncool That I am Neither Pierced or Tattooed

As a Baby Boomer, tattoos were never seen on anyone except sailors. No one I knew had one (at least one I could see). In fact, the first person I knew who had a visible tattoo was the spouse of my husband’s cousin-and I was twenty when I met him.

Tattoos are very mainstream now. I do not judge people if they want them-it’s their body to do with what they please. But there are some women I know who are middle aged and getting their first tattoos because they think it will make them look cooler and more hip to the suburban world we live in.

Um, it doesn’t. It looks like you are trying too hard to be cool.

The same goes for piercing body parts other than ears. In my day, we only saw people with different piercing in National Geographic magazine. In order to up their cool factor, I know a few forty-something women who pierced their noses. Hey, their kids were doing it, so why not join in the fun?

I even know a woman who pierced her tongue. It’s hard for me to look at her when she talks-I just don’t get it. I wonder what her teenage daughter thinks about it.

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Getting to Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens + Teens
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Hormones and the need for independence are the hallmark of the teen years. How to work through conflicts about grades and more, along with scientific research, are provided in this highly regarded book on parenting teens.

This Uncool Mom Will Not Serve Alcohol to Minors

One of the things parents of teens need to look out for is for other parents who permit alcohol to be served in their home. It is not a problem if the young adults are over the age of 21, but it is breaking the law if they are underage.

No, I am not cool enough to be that mom who lets the kids drink and sleep over my home. I know they exist, I have heard it through the grapevine. You know where my daughter is not sleeping!

Moms Are Important-Values are Not Old School

I Am Not a Cool Mom Because I Call

Oh, the utter embarrassment I caused my older daughter when she first started going to parties. Until she was older, she was not permitted to go to boy/girl parties. Before she went to the home of someone I did not know, I called the parents to make sure they were actually going to be home and if it was only all girls.

I know. Totally uncool.


Mom and Daughter

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici, / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sorry, You Cannot See Inappropriate Movies

There are reasons for the rating it received

One of the things that makes the job of any parent harder is when other parents permit their children to do things that you do not permit. For example, my children have friends who parents permit them to see PG-13 movies when they are well under that age.

Excuse me. There is a reason for the rating.

I tell my kids that they may not see these kinds of movies, period. When they are of age, fine, but until then, I will still check the movie rating website to see why a particular movie is rated PG. Every family has different values, and this one values keeping them innocent until I can no longer.

Support for Uncool Parents

Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads: Dealing with the Difficult Parents in Your Child's Life
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Some people never grow up. They still act like they did in high school, and now you have to deal with them as an adult. Because these people are a part of your children lives in various ways, via coaching, best friend's parent or fellow Room Mom, you will have to navigate relationship with people whose values conflict with yours. This book can help you cope.

Dressing My Age is Really Cool

Have you ever seen a woman who is really trying hard to look cool by the way she dresses? There is a reason why I no longer shop in the Junior department, those clothes are not meant for me.

Dressing our age does not mean that were relegated to Mom jeans and tee shirts. Au contraire! It means dressing in clothes that are stylish and actually fit you. More often than not, really short mini skirts are not attractive on middle aged women, no matter how fit you are. A slightly longer length is more flattering and show that you are comfortable with your stage of life, not that you are trying to relive the glory years of the 80’s.

By all accounts, I am not a cool mom, and I am okay with that.




Aug 13, 2013 10:11pm
I love this article mommymommymommy. It rings true for me, and I consider myself a fairly crunchy, Berkeley-based gal (tatoos-yep, and piercings, uh still the holes, so yup). But I have those traditional values, that say, kids want to know where the line is (as a teacher, they just love to show you this, um daily lol). Thanks for your strong, wise stance!
Sep 2, 2013 12:44pm
You are welcome! Traditional values are still something I VALUE!
Aug 15, 2013 7:37am
Great job on this article, the video and images. I'm guessing and certainly hoping that you don't feel alone with your perspective. Having said that, I can also understand how there are moments, like with the co-ed sleep over idea when you are 'beside yourself' and wonder what planet you're living on. Even something as silly as when I do senior-in-high-school photo sessions and discovering the teen girls have no second thought about changing their clothes out in the open. No restroom is even thought twice about. One did wait until some passers by, did pass, but I was still surprised. Yay for you for having a back bone.
Sep 2, 2013 12:45pm
Having a backbone is not easy, but it is necessary. Thanks for reading!
Sep 16, 2013 1:34am
Hey Mommy^3 - I laughed at this. I love it, especially the bit about tattoos being only for sailors. Tears in my eyes. Thanks
FWIW I think you are cool. Cool people do their own thing, not what others are doing. By showing your kids how a parent should behave you are ensuring that your grandchildren will also be we-brought up by your kids. Hurray for common sense!
Sep 16, 2013 5:24am
Thanks, Phil. I am hoping that the values I am teaching my children stick so that one day my own kids will be uncool. Glad I could make you laugh!
Sep 16, 2013 2:29am
I think you're cool MommyX3. When my eldest son was 12 he asked my if he could get a piercing. I looked him in the eyes and said "Go ask your Dad and get back to me". More than a decade has past and the subject has never come up again.
Sep 16, 2013 5:26am
That is a great story, Derby! MY 18 year old has been asking for a nose piercing for a year and I told her no. She is now 18 and can do what she wants, but I warned her about coming home from college with one. To date, no piercing.
Sep 16, 2013 8:38am
Cool mom? Maybe not, but you are indeed a RARE breed these days!! Providing discipline and direction for children is an almost-unheard-of commodity these days in parenting. Your children will be all the better for it later in life. (And I think you're pretty cool). Good piece! Thumb and a +1.
Sep 16, 2013 9:15am
Aw, thanks Vic! It is hard to stand my ground, I admit. Being compared to other parents who let their kids have anything and do anything does not make me popular in my house. My older daughter has already thanked me for being uncool (most of the time). Hopefully, my twins will feel the same in due time.
Sep 16, 2013 9:04am
Yup, you are about as uncool as my mom.

But the kids with the cool moms were the worst examples of human beings I have ever met.
Sep 16, 2013 9:16am
Glad to see I have some company, Amerowolf! My daughter has told me about the kids who had cool moms, and I can say that those kids are not doing well these days. Here's to uncool moms everywhere!
Sep 16, 2013 7:32pm
Great article Mommyx3, you have your kids' best interest at heart. What is really rough on the kids is peer pressure, so be sure you keep that backbone healthy because you will need it for a long time.
Oct 26, 2013 6:59am
Yes, peer pressure is at it;s worst in the upcoming middle school years. My husband has agreed we will do everything in our power to keep me at home so I can be here and keep them on the right path.
Sep 17, 2013 4:43am
I am not a cool dad either and I almost feel like a tyrant sometimes :-(
Sep 17, 2013 9:12am
I should get in YOUR line, adragast: my daughter probably heard the word "No" from me more often than any other!
Oct 26, 2013 7:00am
No, Vic, I am sure I am Queen Bee of the word "NO!".
Oct 26, 2013 6:59am
Being firm is not being a tyrant, it is being a good parent.
Jun 20, 2015 7:16pm
HA, I am SOOO not cool either.

I never smoked in high school and got teased for it (now, some of those people have chronic lung disease). I will never get a tattoo. Why? Because they look horrible after a few years - they turn green.

I may not be cool for thinking this, but a healthy person is the sexiest thing one can be. And yeah, I'm with you on those movie ratings, the co-ed sleepovers (are parents insane?), and booze.

We need to be parents, not enablers.

Great piece, thoroughly enjoyed it. (And I feel less alone now).
Jun 21, 2015 4:42am
Thanks, Rose! With my twins hitting the teenage years, I still have to stand firm and it is not easy. But I know in the long run the results are worth it. My older daughter sees her siblings bratty behavior and she has apologized for ever having act that way to me.
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