The only qualifier you ever have to worry about matching up to is that of “good Mum,” not “cool Mum,” or “stylish Mum,” or “Mum that lets us do anything.” Odds are, if you’re reading a post like this, you already are a good Mum, so that settles that.
It is important, however, to think about how the “cool Mum” qualifier came about, and why it’s so popular. Whether you meet it or not is quite subjective for instance, and depending on who you talk to, its metrics will differ.
After all, your children’s current idea of if you’re cool or not, as a gradation of your parenting, is unreliable. Giving your fifteen-year-old a bottle of wine to enjoy at their friend’s sleepover might have them think you’re a “cool Mum,” but it’s not exactly good parenting, to say the least. Sometimes, an “uncool Mum” in their eyes is actually the coolest and most nurturing parent you could be.
We believe that this title should only relate to how you feel about yourself, and encourage you to do your best in your role as a parent, while not forgetting you’re also a person at the same time. Let’s consider how that might work:
Being Unapologetic About Who You Are
There’s a difference between being arrogant and confident, but that doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to be secure in who you are, and to not apologize for that. Ultimately, we become “cool” when we don’t have to seek other’s opinions or validation for who we are. If you can do that, then it will be easier for you to pass that attitude on to your children, which can go some way in helping to build confidence.
It might be that you wish to try a new style, to have your first tattoo in your forties, to try out a new tragus piercing in the new year, or to finally try a new activity you love the idea of, like taking surfing classes thanks to your proximity to the waterfront. Being able to say “this is me, and I accept that” become cool, Mum or not, parent or not.
Standing For What You Think Is Right
As a Mum, it’s always good to be sure about following your convictions, that is not being afraid of saying the wrong thing if you really believe it. For example, some parents aren’t happy allowing their young children to go to sleepovers with their peers, not because they’re mean and overly strict, but because allowing your child to spend a night in a strange household you haven’t fully vetted, with their friend’s family members you might not be fully familiar with, doesn’t strike you as right.
This might seem a bit odd to that other family, and your child might not like the idea of it, but you’ve stood by your convictions, and had a purpose for doing so. Another Mum in the same situation might not have made the same decision, but that doesn’t mean yours was any less valid or reasoned. Allowing yourself to make that stand, even if it’s hard not to go along with everything presented to you, is a good marker of wisdom.
Having A Sense Of Humour
Allowing your sense of humour to shine is always healthy. You don’t have to be the supermum who never laughs at an off-colour joke or is always proper about how they approach a laugh.
A sense of humour such as laughing if your child trips but isn’t injured (they then learn not to take small issues like this so seriously), playing very small pranks on your partner, or being silly and embarrassing your child in the presence of their friend for fun, all of this can help you take parenting a little less super-seriously than every single magazine or manual might tell you to.
Of course, there’s a time and a place to feel jolly in this way, but of course, you have the common sense to know and practice that. It’s the little things that can take the stress of parenthood away though, especially if we sit back and learn to appreciate them with a few chuckles. You’d be amazed just how well this can work.
Asking For Help When You Need It
Parenthood is hard. Sometimes, it’s very very hard. This is why it can be healthy to ask for help when you need it. It’s never “cool” to bottle up all of your emotions and upset feelings and then explode when you can’t take any more prodding.
It’s okay to admit that you might need a bit of help. If you wish for your parents to come and potentially look after your children for a night so you can go and enjoy a restaurant meal with your partner, that’s a good way to blow steam off.
If you don’t believe your partner is holding up their end of the duties despite you both working jobs, then it’s good to express that. It might also be that there are resources you can make use of, such as local Mum groups that can help share advice through blogs or Facebook groups. Asking for help paints you as the kind of parent who isn’t afraid to admit they need a little support – and that’s pretty cool.
Never Trying To Be Perfect
You’ll never be the perfect Mum, and that’s okay. Who would want to be the perfect Mum? Can you imagine the kind of unbearable children that you’d raise if you were to be that kind of person?
Instead, allow yourself to be a good and great Mum, and not to hit every note perfectly, or to feel overly bad if you snap back at a child who is being heavily unco-operative, or collapsing on the sofa for a nap after the school run instead of cleaning or remote working straight away should you be able to set your own working hours.
In the long run, attitudes like this can help you stay who and what you are – a pretty cool Mum after all.