Not A Regular Mom, A Cool Mom: Having A Baby Doesn’t Make You Irrelevant
What is cool? Is red lipstick cool? Are high-waisted jeans cool? Is Beyonce cool? Obviously Beyonce is cool. But are moms cool? If you asked most random people on the street, they would say that no, moms are not cool. But Beyonce is a mom, so … ?
“Mom” is so deeply synonymous with “uncool” that you just have to use the word as an adjective to render any noun deeply, pitifully irrelevant. “Mom hair.” “Mom coffee.” “Mom books.” “Mom car.” “Mom blog.” “Mom dog.” What’s a mom dog? I don’t know, but I already know I don’t want one.
Of course the ne plus ultra of uncool mom things is the mom jean, which is so uncool that it became ironically cool again, but only if not worn by an actual mom. If you are a childless woman in an urban center, wearing a pair of “mom jeans” and a pixie cut is about the coolest thing you can do. If you are an actual mom, though, forget it. As women with children, it is as if we convey irrelevance through mere touch and proximity. Mom cooties. And we dare not try to fight it, because over us all hangs the specter of Amy Poehler in Mean Girls,Â and the knowledge that there is nothing so desperate and comical as a mom trying to be cool.
When deciding whether or not to have a baby, I worried about “coolness” more than I would like to admit. At the time I called it “success” and “relevance,” but really I was worried about being cool. It would be great if adulthood and parenthood erased all our adolescent anxieties, but it doesn’t, andÂ I have wanted to be cool since I was in first grade and saw a fifth grader with a Caboodle and a high ponytail and heard someone say, “That girl is cool.”Â I worried that having a baby would mean giving up my lifelong quest for success, cultural relevance, and a cool haircut.