The Secret Mom Rebellions No One Talks About

Can you still be cool and be a parent? I make the case for your ink and your tracks.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Mom Rebellions Wide Crop

My mom friends have started showing up to play dates and volunteer days with spankin' new tattoos on their previously un-inked bodies. A few months ago, I held a friend's hand as the mother of three had her nose pierced for the first time. Another friend whose kids are tweens walked into a Harley dealership and drove out with a chopper. As for me, I won't give up hip hop or live rock shows. Ever.

Mom Rebellions

image courtesy of adrienne_034

Not so long ago, I thought our penchant for these acts of rebellion would disappear as the clock ticked from our twenties into our thirties and forties. But maybe the cutoff between when we were kids and when we had kids just isn't as clear as it used to be.

I'm not saying I don't love a cardigan, I just wear it with pleather leggings and Frye boots. I crank up Social Distortion on the way to Costco. There's 2Pac and Guns n' Roses on my housecleaning mix, and the kids seem to appreciate the DeadMau5 tracks blasting through the speakers from time to time. I'm not inked, but several of my friends with kids have been talking for years about their plans for new tattoos; maybe after the last baby, maybe when their child graduates high school.

Are we really still trying to be cool, and if so, does this desire to stay "cool" override our status as parents? Can't we be rebellious and youthful and make sure the kids are dressed, oatmeal'd, and sent off to school with homework tucked neatly into their backpacks? I think it's easier than ever to try to keep up with fashion and culture, but should we still want to?

Some might argue that we have more important things to do, like cleaning the bathrooms and prepping dinner, before thinking about buzzing the sides of our head. And what do our small rebellions say to our kids? Is it possible to be cool while effectively communicating to our kids that being cool really isn't everything?

I'm glad I'm a grown up. I love being a parent. I don't want to be a teenager again, that's for sure. The difference now is that instead of seeking external acceptance from others, my sense of what's cool is driven from an internal place, from how I feel about myself. My friend who got a tattoo a few months ago didn't do it to fit in, no one but her husband and a few close friends knew. If only our kids could grow up to be satisfied with that, too.

I'm not sure what will happen when our teenagers start rebelling while we're also rebelling. Maybe they'll have to turn to button-down shirts and Tommy Dorsey to snag our attention. Whatever happens, and no matter how carefully we tuck in our tanks to cover up a fresh tramp stamp, we're the moms, and this is our stereo; we're still the coolest people in this car.

Related

AFP/Toshifumi Kitamura

Talking to Kids About the Japanese Earthquake

Once you become a mom, tragedies make your heart race and ache at the same time. Immediately you think about what you would do with your own little ones if the tsunami warnings blared.

father_and_son_bonding_000044828846

The One Question Your Child Secretly Wants You To Answer

Unless you tell your children what you believe about them, you might be surprised what they think.

The 7 Types of Moms I'm Grateful For

The 7 Types of Moms I'm Grateful For

We need all kinds to make the world go round. And I need all kinds of different moms in my world to help me be better at this big crazy job of motherhood.

Martin_Luther_King_Jr

Talking to Kids about Martin Luther King Jr.

Kids are remarkably perceptive, and with your input, they can deal appropriately with the differences they see--learning to see differences as normal, not as something that determines a person's value.

merona wedges

No More Cheap Shoes

Why do we still fall for those cute, cheap shoes, even though you know they will hurt you?

Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Let's Talk About Last Nights Oscars

What was your favorite part of last night's Oscars?

blackfish movie and moms

"Stop Taking Kids to SeaWorld" Blackfish and the Rise of Moms Saying No to SeaWorld

I'm not an animal rights person, but at what point do you say that an animal shouldn't be kept in small pens and made to perform tricks for our kids? A new film, Blackfish, about the killer SeaWorld whale, has us asking the question.

Kids, Let's Talk Politics

Making sure that my three perennially uncooperative children are dressed, that their lunches and snacks are crammed into their backpacks and that they get to the school bus on time.