How to be a Cool Mom, Urban Family Portraits
We all want to be good moms.
We want to find that balance between firm and fun, where our kids respect us and aren’t embarrassed to be seen in public with us.
Some days I think I’m doing ok… and others not so much.
This mom in particular is one of my heroes.
Why? Because not only is she beautiful and strong and kind and generous and talented (it's a long list), but her kids adore her to bits. They admire her, love her, and actually seem to appreciate how awesome she really is.
How to be a cool mom
So how can YOU be a cool mom? Well, I may not have all the answers – not even close – but I do have a few years of experience under my belt now and I have learned a thing or two along my adventures in motherhood.
1. Encourage play dates and host them occasionally.
Friends outrank family, hands down. To boost your ranking, use them to your advantage. If he asks, let your son go over to Timmy’s to hang out, or better yet, invite Timmy over to play at your house. This is a great opportunity to prove to the friend that you’re a fun mom, and by getting his approval, you’ll successfully earn the cool mom status from your child.
2. Never run of quality groceries.
Maybe it’s different at your house, but food is life at mine. The evil glares and full on meltdowns I’ve witnessed because we were out of yogurt have taught me to keep my fridge and my pantry stocked. My kids are much happier and I’m a much cooler mom when we have quality grub on hand. This also help you earn extra points with friends (refer back to #1).
3. Give your child a choice.
You are the parent, you are the authority, so you should call the shots, right? Ultimately, yes, but giving your child a choice, even if it’s chicken fingers or liver, will be much better received than “because I said so”. You’ll earn a spot in their good books for at least 20 minutes.
Note: I’m assuming most would pass on the liver but you never know!
4. Be interested.
If you’re anything like me, you fall into snooze mode when your child starts going on about the latest video game, but listen anyway. Be interested in what they are interested in. You don’t have to like it or understand it, but they love talking about it and you love them – and they’ll love you for listening. Oh, the sacrifices we make as parents!
5. Keep some distance.
I know that it’s so tempting to buy bubble wrap jumpsuits for your children, but in my experience, allowing them to experience life without holding my hand, is much more beneficial for everyone. Sure, they will get hurt; sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally. And yes, it’s painful to watch. BUT, allowing them to learn and grow on their own terms makes you a pretty kick @ss mom.
6. Fake it til’ you make it.
Probably THE most valuable tip of all. As I said before, there are days when I feel like “I got this” and I see the positive effects I’m having on my children. Unfortunately there are other days when I want to hide in my closet and only exit once they are all gone to college. Even those days, the ones where I feel like I am completely failing, I don’t give up. I put on my big girl panties and keep at it because they need me to be strong and to provide stability and support in their lives. I have learned that no matter how hard it gets, I’ll survive, they’ll survive, and we will all live happily ever after (or until tomorrow's challenge).
7. Cool moms book fun family portrait sessions.
Ya, I know, shameless plug. I know that kids, especially those hitting those tween years or older, aren’t thrilled about family portraits, but I think that’s because they think they need to wear collared shirts and fake smile for an hour. I can guarantee you that is NOT the look I go for. I work with my clients to design a custom portrait session, from unique locations to fun fits for the whole family, so that everyone is comfortable and genuinely happy.