“I’m not like a regular mom, I’m a cool mom!” I can’t tell you how many times I have said that to my friends and laughed. Amy Poehler does such a great job delivering that line in Mean Girls. But now, in this moment, I’m like shit, I have to stop saying that. Let me tell you what happened.
I had an early morning snuggle with my girl on the couch and it was so nice because it doesn’t happen too often any more. She just entered into the double digits and is starting to flex her independence muscles. I can see Brooke going back and forth trying to act like a teen and then falling back into the comfort of being my baby. So, we are sitting there and she brings up back to school shopping, one of her favorite subjects. She is my little fashionista, which when she was 4, and picking out a bunch of clothes at target, was adorable, and now that she is 10 and insists on Nordstrom and Macy’s for everything, not as cute. But like all things, I feel torn between pride in her complete sense of self style and knows exactly what she wants, and frustration that she is only 10 and acts like we are a Rockefeller that can drop money on clothes all the time without batting an eye.
I think she starts picking up on my frustration with her talk about the different clothes and places she wants to go on our shopping spree, so she says, “Let’s get you some clothes too Mommy.” Immediately I’m warm inside. Of course I am paying for the clothes my 10 year old is giving me permission to buy, but she is thinking of me and wanting me to do something for myself. Just as I was about to give her an extra squeeze and say sure! She continues on, “We need to get you some lululemon leggings and tops. Oh, you need a Kate Spade backpack. That is what all the cool moms have, and I want you to be a cool mom.” Immediately (in my mind) I think, “McScuse me bitch?” then I go to feeling incredibly hurt. Am I that unfortunate looking when I go out that I am in need of a fashion makeover from my 10 year old. Finally calm falls over me, and I realize, No! I need to not let my little emotional terrorist make me feel bad about myself and I really need to teach this little mean girl in the making a lesson.
We are in an age of facebook and youtube. All she sees is everyone with their best foot forward, perfect makeup and hair. Even the funny moms whose whole message is about being a mess and making funny videos from their car or their pantry have faces that are perfectly done, and hair that looks professionally blown out. And listen, I get it! Most of those videos that are popping up are women that are actually making money doing it, and all you hot mess moms doing the damn thing on facebook or youtube, get it girls! I’m not mad at you for it. I do want to make sure I am telling my daughter that it isn’t real. I need her, really need her to understand this is make believe. The cute sisters on youtube with their super glamorous bedroom and unveiling all the cool Justice clothes is not normal life, it’s their job as child actors. This is like a giant accessible real world tv show. I need her to know there is nothing real about reality television, and now in her world youtube or facebook.
My mom wouldn’t let me play with Barbie, I could only have Skipper or little sister Kelly dolls. She said Barbie would give me an unhealthy view on a woman’s body. She drilled that into my head from a young age in hopes of helping my young view of myself and my self esteem. She didn’t want me to think having make up permanently on my face, huge boobs, tiny waist, and high heels to go with every outfit (even the sporty ones) was the norm or “cool.” So I guess I am taking a page from her book, and want Brooke to understand that too.
So, Brooke, you do not have a perfectly put together mom. You don’t have a mom that puts makeup on every morning and has perfectly coordinated accessories. You do not have a mom that spends a fortune on the trendiest clothes for herself. You have a mom that shops clearance target racks, and well pretty much clearance racks anywhere I am which is usually at some sort of grocery store which is weird that my new clothes are also next the gallon of milk in my cart. I really don’t care what the label or where I get it from, as long as I like it and I can get it for a discount, I’m gonna get it. In the morning I’m going to wash my face, brush my teeth, and throw my hair in a ponytail, and walk out the door. I may not be the “cool” mom you think I should be, but I will be the mom that shows you it’s pretty badass just being your own damn self and not what you think others want you to be.
But, I may end up getting the Kate Spade backpack. I actually think that is kinda cool, and I think it will really take my Walmart dress and Target shoes up a notch. Don’t judge!