You’re Not Your Kid’s Friend

Capri-Sun Juice

Capri-Sun JuiceRecently, I saw a commercial for Capri Sun juices where two moms are on a bus full of kids debating who the cooler mom is. (See commercial here). They each point out the various things that make the other a cool mom, and of course, one outshines the other with each accomplishment.I don’t think I was ever a cool mom. First, as an older parent, I lost whatever ‘coolness’ I had a long time ago. Plus, if you ask my kids, they’d call me the un-coolest, meanest mom ever on most days (especially when I say “no” to something they want to do).

I did not become a parent because I wanted more friends. I did not become a parent to prove to the world my worth as a person. And I certainly did not become a parent so my kids would think I was cool.

I became a parent because I wanted the opportunity to guide and teach another human being to be all they could be. I wanted the chance to make a difference in someone’s life. And yes, I wanted to be able to love another human being more than life itself.

Taking on these responsibilities has been more work than I ever thought. Sleepless nights in those first years, homework and school obligations in the middle years, and now…more sleepless nights as my children are teenagers!  While the years have been stressful at times, (ok, a lot of the time!), I wouldn’t trade them for all the money in the world.

I won’t lie though. There are moments when I am envious of my friends whose children have gone off to college or started their adult lives and I’m still in full-on parenting mode. It’s tough to hear that they are packing up for a spontaneous weekend away while I’m chauffeuring my kids to parties, sports events, and sleepovers.

Being a parent in 2014 is no easy task even for a cool mom. Demands on kids are becoming greater, whether it’s socially, technologically, or even, academically. Kids are stressed. If you’re a working parent trying to balance your work responsibilities with your parenting responsibilities, you’re likely stressed too. On top of all that, every day we hear of some horrific tragedy in the world that makes you wonder if there will ever be a moment to just breathe.

But then, you experience something that makes it all worthwhile…something that  makes you stop and realize that being a parent is the best job EVER! For me, it was the birthday cards I recently received from my kids:

…”you are my hero, my role model and my inspiration to be successful in life….…”Happy birthday to the best and most deserving mommy ever…”

Yeah…that’s pretty cool, huh?

Jen’s Gem: Being a good parent doesn’t always mean you are the cool parent.

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