For longer than I can remember, I’ve always had this sense that I was born too late. Like I somehow missed the boat on being an adult in a bygone era, back when things were simpler, when people actually talked to each other instead of communicating via smart phones, and when parenting was also a bit less … judged. But even though I like to think I have an old-fashioned vibe, somewhere along the line, I became the cool mom.
You know what I mean, right?
But I’m a legit cool mom, not the fake Mean Girls cool mom. (Duh.)
I’ve been fairly laid back since my son was little, but I’d be lying if I said getting divorced 2 years ago didn’t have something to do with taking my cool status to the next level. I wiped the slate clean. I started my life completely over on my own terms. I bought my own house. And now I’m over here adulting like a boss – and whether he knows it or not, my kid has it pretty damn good compared to a lot of other 11-year-olds. (Or at least I think so.)
For starters, I really don’t have the desire or energy to implement any sort of rigid schedule in this place. We don’t have a set dinner time, and when we do eat dinner, it’s usually in front of the TV on TV trays – not sitting at the table like a “proper” family dinner should be. (Go ahead and gasp.)
And since I’m single and am always on some sort of healthy eating kick (currently Keto obsessed,) I tend to gravitate toward the whole intuitive eating thing. Meaning some nights I make myself a pan of roasted Brussel sprouts for dinner. What kid in their right mind wants to eat roasted Brussel sprouts as a main course? Not mine. So nine times out of ten, I ask him what he wants for dinner, so I wind up making two separate meals. And you know what? I don’t mind one bit. Because as long as he’s happy, I’m happy — and is it really that hard to put a tray of bagel bites in the oven along with my Brussel sprouts? No. No, it isn’t.
And then there’s bedtime. Ok, ok, so now that the school year has started again, I’m a little less lax about it than I was this summer. Meaning most nights, I have him upstairs in his room reading by 9pm. But on nights where he has a baseball game and needs to take a shower and unwind a little when we get home? Yeah. It’s closer to 10pm. But I know how much I need chill time in the evenings before being able to fall asleep, so why should I expect my 11-year-old to be any different? I’m cool like that.
While some may judge me and insist that my cool mom status makes me kind of a bad mom, there is one part of raising my son this way that is the envy of any parent who doesn’t have it. The kid is totally open and honest with me, to the point where he’s comfortable talking to me about pretty much anything. From how he’s feeling, to what his dreams are for the future, to describing his interactions with teachers and his peers at school, to quizzing me on his favorite rock bands, to … wait for it … puberty and sex — he knows he can come to me and we can have an open discussion without any judgment or looks of disapproval. I can 100% say that this kiddo and I are as close as close can be, and it’s … way cool.
Image via maryjhawkins/Instagram
And you know what the best part of being a cool mom is? My kid will tell even tell me I’m the resident cool mom – because even his best bud has told him on several occasions, “You’re mom is so cool.”
Hey — if being the cool mom means my son sees me as a confidante and is comfortable opening up about any topic – even the birds and the bees, then I must be doing something right. We laugh. We have fun. We live our life our way. We’re a team. And it’s working for us, so what’s the point in changing things? There’s no way I’m going to get all strict on him, regardless of who thinks I’m anything but cool for being less than your typical parent.