Sorry I’m not the cool mom.

8 Feb

Please mama. Please try.

I was talking to a mommy friend recently about how jealous we are of the energy that some moms have for their children.

“We were at the park last weekend and this wonderful, energetic hippie mom showed up and was singing on the playground.  SINGING.  Like, children’s songs and stuff.  All the kids flocked to her like animals to Saint Francis of Assisi, including mine.  I had to apologize to him later for not being as cool as all that.”

This struck a chord with me.  I often find that I’m the mom at the playground who just wants to sit and watch while the other moms get on their kids’ level, make silly voices, and pretend to order waffles from their budding short-order “cook.”  Don’t get me wrong – sometimes I am that mom, but not as often as I’d like.  I spend such a good amount of time keeping everything together at home that when the chores are done (or even if they’re not) the only thing I want to do is sit down and smile from the sidelines.

Case in point:

Yesterday, Seabass and I were at our neighborhood park when a mom arrived with three young children.  Seabass had been in the middle of a serious sandbox session, but it all ended when these kids tumbled out of their car.  The mom asked what they wanted to do at the park, and they screamed, in unison, “RACE!!”  So she lined them up, stood back a few paces, and then yelled “GO!”  This set the kids off screaming and giggling and positively wearing themselves out running away from their adorable, energetic (and enviably trim!) mom.  They played like this for about 20 minutes.

Seabass couldn’t believe his eyes.  A mama who runs?!?  He was drawn to her like a moth to flame.  I followed behind him, loping along, as he joined the pack of wild kids running in all directions.

And despite my real delight that he was having so much fun, yes, the whole time, I just wanted to sit down.

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7 Responses to “Sorry I’m not the cool mom.”

  1. Kacey February 8, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Jaime, I doubt the French sing to their kids and they’re apparently doing things right.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204740904577196931457473816.html?fb_ref=wsj_share_FB_bot&fb_source=profile_oneline

  2. Nikki February 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    This post totally cracked me up because of this here fact…oh the irony. You’re going to kill me for saying this to you but, it’s just plain true (at least in my experience and the experience of my friends). Being a first time mom is exhausting. No buts about it. It’s plain tiring because everything is new and you don’t know what you’re doing. However, the more children you have, the more opportunity you get to flex your muscles on different personalities, and that flexing produces (over time) an amazing endurance you never knew you had (just like exercise does the more you do it). Suddenly the things that would’ve laid you out flat before, you bound through with ease. And surprisingly, in the long-run, having more kids gives you more energy (not including pregnancy or post-partum/baby up a lot at night…although, amazingly, it gets easier to get through that time with each one). Okay, I said it. People may not agree. But I do have four kids. And feel more rested now than I ever did in the first few years of parenthood. Just my experience. But I will say this too, most nights I do fall in bed quite tired but most of the time, it’s a good, I-accomplished-a-lot-and-worked-hard, kind of tired. Hang in there Jaime. You’re doing a great job!!

  3. Jenna February 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    I’m just now finding the energy to be that mom, now that my son is 3. And I’m about to have another… I wonder if it will take me 3 more years again to get back to where I am now? I think the child’s age and level of engagement has a bit to do with it, too. It’s so much easier to play with him now that I’m not worrying every second whether or not he’s going to swallow a rock or fall on his face or pick up dog sh*t because he wants to get a closer look. That just gets exhausting.

    Funny, I used to teach preschool long before my own kid came along, and I remember being creative, energetic, engaging, etc… I just couldn’t muster it in the same way with my own son until recently. But it’s important not to beat yourself up about it. We’re all different. And we’re all just doing the best we can.

  4. Marta February 8, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    Yeah there is no way I’m that mom. I definitely think I’m a pretty cool mom though. But I do it in things like gifts, special trips to places like the movies, zoo, ice cream etc. Its not with running around and certainly NOT singing in public. Seabass loves his super cool mom even if she doesn’t run around or sing at the park. =)

  5. Kat February 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    Seabass looks like he’s thriving! I think kids benefit greatly from alone time when they can be creative and just use their imaginations. Scar does some of the most amazing things when I’m just sitting by the sidelines and not trying to direct her play in anyway :). Haha…and I know I will NEVER be the mom who breaks out in song at the park–I’ll leave that to Mary poppins

  6. Grandma L February 9, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    Energy envy- we’re all there sometimes. Maybe that mom had been sitting at a desk all day and needed to move. You were taking care of a house AND a toddler. You are allowed to rest and let Seabass dig.

  7. Anne @ Always Half Full February 13, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    It’s OK for our kids to play on their own and learn to entertain themselves. As a teacher, we really really like it when kids come to school and don’t need an adult hovering over them every moment of the day. We like when kids can take initiative to start, complete, and create tasks.
    And I’m with you. Sometimes (most of the time) I just want to sit. Isn’t that what the park and children’s museum is all about? Isn’t the equipment there so the kid is entertained by something other than Mom?
    I’m convinced the Moms like you described are just making up for the fact that their kids are watching TV and playing with the iPhone all day. They just don’t want anyone to know what’s really going on at home. Hee hee.

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