The Myth of the Hip Parent

liz hip scarlett

Check around the Web and what you’ll probably find is a lot of talk about “cool” parents. Today, we’re not just raising children; we’re also “cool” and “hip” people. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling like we need to dial down the cool because I’m wearing sweatpants and you’re probably covered in baby drool and there’s absolutely nothing cutting edge about it.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Myth of the Hip Parent centers around the fact that the vast majority of us think our own parents were completely and unequivocally uncool – especially in the 80s. If David Bowie and Aretha Franklin couldn’t make it through without Pink Cadillac and Let’s Dance then our parents had absolutely no chance. By the time the decade ended, my mother was openly listening to Kenny G and taking me to the salon to have a perm.

But if my mother was listening to Kenny G and letting me get a perm while using an iPad? Yep, she would be cool. Well, by today’s standard of the Hip Parent.

Probably. I don’t know. Perms, no matter the decade, are not cool.

On any given day, I’m not cool or even awesome, I’m just a parent. Some days I fly off the handle and other days I go without needing a time out. For me, not my kid. Yes, every day I wear makeup, but I gave up the expensive kind when I became a parent. Sometimes I wear a bra, but I always brush my teeth. I have no idea how to make my scarf not look like a crumpled mess and, come to think of it, I have no idea if I even own a scarf anymore.

Some days my kid overdoses on TV and on other days we do stuff. Sometimes it’s impressive and other times it’s completely boring. Tonight we went to Ikea and had Swedish meatballs. It was epic.

On our way home, she did not get a perm.

So, in the vein of keeping it real I’m here to tell you that the myth of the hip parent is exactly that: a myth. As much as I can’t stand to admit it, I am more like my mother as a parent than ever. No, I don’t listen to smooth jazz and of course I don’t chase my daughter around with a wooden spoon (now there’s an image: smooth-jazz-listening-maniac threatening torture), but I’m making sure that what my daughter loves is encouraged and that she sees the world: good, bad, beautiful, and complicated.

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The Myth of the Hip Parent

Liz Henry is the irreverent voice behind the award-winning blog The Six Year Itch. She lives with her daughter and her partner, Slasher, in Philadelphia. That's not his real name and that's not her real hair color. Her soft middle is totally real. Liz graduated summa cum lazy with a degree in English literature, which means she knows how to write properly, but rarely does. She loves Harry Potter and Luna is her favorite. ... More

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2 comments

  1. I don’t think I was all that cool before becoming pregnant. Now that I am about to be a mom, any coolness that could have been went right out the window.

  2. I played smooth jazz in the car on the way home today! It was requested because my son wanted to know what jazz sounds like and youtube gave us smooth jazz. I have no illusions about my coolness though.

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