I'm Not a "Cool" Mom...And That's OkayKateTietje
I’m, um, kind of a nerd.
That’s probably not a surprise. And no, my husband doesn’t think I am, because he is an uber-nerd (and proud of it). But see, I was never one of the “cool” kids in school. And now? Not much has changed. I’ve found out that there are still social circles and cliques and, sort of, “cool” moms now. And I’m definitely not one of them!
I’m okay with that, though. Keep reading to find out why!
I was never part of the cool kids because, if I’m honest, I didn’t have much in common with them. They may have been “cool” for whatever reason…but from what I remember, it was because they were all really outgoing and social (and I, um, wasn’t). They enjoyed being involved in projects and programs and they reached out to others a lot. (I did a science project on it in middle school…and was really surprised to learn how nice, empathetic, and, well, awesome a lot of them really were.)
The same is pretty much true now, among moms. The “cool” moms are (at least publicly) sweet, happy, and social. They can talk to kids just as well as adults — even if they don’t know them. They gravitate towards one another and form cliques of very happy, social moms. These are the moms who are usually the “room moms” at school, heading up scout troops and decorating committees, and so on. They generally are pretty mainstream (at least ones I’ve met) and don’t rock the boat. They’re very much “to each his own.”
I used to be friends with some. About a year ago, I was invited to join a playgroup with a group of what I’d consider “cool” moms. And we went for awhile, because our kids really liked to hang out (and still do; they see each other at church). I quickly realized that we didn’t really see eye-to-eye on a lot of things. And while that wasn’t a problem, per se, it didn’t exactly go…well. I felt pretty uncomfortable always being the “odd woman out” whenever various parenting topics came up. I almost always kept my mouth shut, but I just…felt weird.
We went out a few times in the evenings, without our kids. One particularly memorable night, we were sharing a bunch of stories: who we’d been in high school, how we’d met our husbands, how they’d proposed to us. I really love to hear those stories; I was actually the one who asked! But I was struck as I listened to them: “Wow, if we’d met in high school, we would not have been friends.” Not that they aren’t lovely women; we just didn’t have much in common!
I thought, then (this was maybe 8 or 10 months ago) that it was interesting that mommyhood breaks down barriers. Now, I’m not completely sure that it does.
Playgroup took a break over the holidays due to busyness and because most of the kids tend to get sick frequently in the winter. Then I found out that a couple weeks ago, they all had an Easter party, but I wasn’t invited. (Oh, the magic of Facebook.)
I completely understand. The last time we all got together, a few months back, I felt super uncomfortable. I hardly said a word. We really just don’t have that much in common! Still I was hurt by it. Ironic, right? How can I completely understand, yet still be hurt? I guess that makes me human.
So for now I’m focusing my sights back on the nerds. You know, those crazy, rude, hippie-like moms who have homebirths, practice extended breastfeeding, eat organic food, and so on. Even if we have some area(s) we disagree on, we can just ignore them, because we generally understand each other. Those are my kind of people!
If you’re one of the “cool” moms…more power to you. If you’re not…that’s okay, you’re in good company.
Social circles really aren’t made up of people who are ‘better’ or ‘worse,’ just people who seem to have more in common with each other and get along better. That’s true (whether you like it or not) in high school, and it’s true as moms, too. If we can see other moms in that light — simply different — then we don’t need to worry about whether or not we’re really part of the ‘in’ clique or not. We’ll all have our friends, and that’s all that matters.
And you know what? Even if it’s common for the “cool” moms to do something — like head up the volunteers in your child’s preschool — but you’d like to do it too, just do it! You’ll find that, even if they’re not exactly your best friends, that they’re very nice moms too.
What do you think? Do you worry about social circles or “cool” moms?
Which one are you? 11 Mom Stereotypes, from Tiger to Too Cool!