This post: Your Kids Don’t Need You to Be Cool, They Just Need You to Be There
When my kids were young, I always thought I’d be one of the “cool moms” when they became teenagers.
Not necessarily the kind of cool mom whose goal in life was to be her kid’s pal or let them get away with murder so they’d like her. But rather, the type of cool mom who had the inside track on what teens these days are doing, what they like and who could hold conversations with her kids (and their friends) because she was totally “tuned in.”
You know, the kind of mom who was totally up to date on all the latest fashion trends, in the know on all the latest slang and had a handle on all the coolest video games, apps and tech advancements.
And, for the most part, I hung in there for quite a few years. I still, at least try, to dress hip. (Put it this way, you’ll never catch me in “mom jeans.”) I do my best to stay tuned into teen slang and techy stuff. And, I’m no dummy when it comes to dangerous trends teens are into.
But the older my kids get and the older I get, the more I feel out of touch. Things are moving way too fast and I just can’t keep up.
Every week a new app is emerging on the scene or a new slang word is being created or there’s a cool new TikTok trend everyone’s talking about. Instead of me clueing my kids into the newest stuff on the scene, my kids are now clueing me in and frankly, it’s making me feel a bit old and far less cool in my kids’ eyes.
Until recently, that is…
My daughter and I were out shopping for clothes and, doing what I’ve always done, I started offering suggestions.
“How ’bout this top… it’s pretty cute, don’t you think?”
“Oh, I like this one. And, you look great in this color.”
“Check out these jeans – you’d look great in these!”
Nearly every suggestion I made was met with a “Nah… I don’t like that” or “Ewww… that’s really ugly, mom” or “No offense, mom, but yuck!”
Feeling pretty defeated and irritated with myself that clearly, I was losing touch with my daughter’s taste in clothes, I walked away (with a bit of an attitude, I might add) and said, “Okay, fine. I’ll stop making suggestions. You can shop by yourself. I guess I don’t know what’s cool anymore...”
Seeing my frustration and knowing how much I’ve always loved shopping with her, my daughter looked at me and said, “Mom, don’t worry. I don’t need you to be cool, I just need you to be here.”
Wow… my girl was so right.
As much as I’d love to be the coolest mom on the block (because seriously, I know lots of cool moms who are great moms), but being “cool” isn’t what my kids need from me.
I may not be up on all the latest and greatest teen fashion trends.
I don’t know all the hippest new songs.
And, I’m definitely behind the eight-ball when it comes to the newest apps or even the latest Netflix series.
Oh, I try… I really do. But life is moving too fast and my kids’ tastes and interests are moving even faster.
Shopping with my daughter that day made me realize something so important…
If I had a choice between being a “cool mom” and being an “always there,” mom, I’d choose being a “there” mom every day.
I want to be the mom my kids can count on.
The mom who drops everything when they come to me late at night to vent, share the drama of their day or offer a glimpse of what’s in their heart.
The mom who says, “Sure, I’ll drive you and your friends to the mall.”
The mom who makes their favorite breakfast, snack or dinner because I know they’ll love it and I want to put a smile on their face.
The mom who runs a few errands for them to take the pressure off when life is hard.
The mom who teaches them valuable life lessons, speaks from the heart and guides them – even when they fight me – because I’m in this for the long haul and I’m not willing to cave in because it would make things easier.
The mom who sees the best in my kids, knows their strengths and worth, and strives tirelessly to make sure they see the same in themselves.
The mom who has their very best interest at heart, including their physical, mental and emotional well-being.
The mom who will never leave their side, who’s always on the sidelines cheering them on in sports, on their good days, bad days, and every day in between.
The mom who wants the absolute best for her kids and who teaches them the importance of being unapologetically themselves and who accepts and loves them exactly as they are.
The mom whose presence is constant, steady, unrelenting and predictable.
The mom who loves her kids so hard that they never question it, they just rest in it, and never feel alone on their journey to adulthood.
The mom who’s always there…
So, sure, I may not be the coolest mom on the block, but I’m so much more. Frankly, I’ll always keep trying to be somewhat cool in my kids’ eyes, but I know in my heart they don’t need me to be cool.
They just need me…
Always there, always beside them, always guiding them, always constant, always loving them… today, tomorrow and forever.