Compared to the other moms, who were (yes) ex-strippers with closets full of stilettos, or cheerful beauticians who fed the masses cupcakes for a mid-afternoon snack, or stay-at-home moms who were always available for field trips, I was an ogre. For the longest time, I made boring lunches of a sandwich, fruit, and carrot sticks, while the other kids got interesting snack cups, newfangled fruity leathers, and Lunchables. I committed the Cool Mom sin and got angry and screamed in public, sealing my fate as Uncool. Although my kids and their friends are now grown, they still hold images of me as a mean, strictly unbending, scary, and humorless warden, one with a notable lack of style.
Of course, none of this is true, and all of this is true. For all the times I appeared a tyrant, I’ve made just as many mistakes by being terribly permissive. I’ve paid crazy cash for prom dresses worn once, taken my kids to classes and camps my parents couldn’t have afforded to give me when I was I young, and been supportive of their college endeavors halfway across the country when they both could have gone to school (cheaply) in Michigan.
This Mother’s Day, what children of both Cool and Uncool Moms should realize is that for the most part, parents have only the best intentions for their children. Even the Tiger Mom deserves sympathy – she just wanted to raise good girls. Moms of all types are flawed, even the supposedly Cool Moms. We can’t help it. We’re human. Life’s a roller coaster, and we reflect the wild ride. We moms have bad habits as well as admirable traits. We’re not perfect. We might be openly disappointed and critical when you make a mistake, but when the door is closed and we’re alone second-guessing our parenting skills, we still cry our eyes out.
So kids, cut your Uncool Mom some slack. Despite her shortcomings – and yours – she loves you.