You can’t sit with us.

“You can’t sit with us’. A slogan that seems to be on quite a lot of merchandise these days. A saying that is completely contradictory to the “be kind” image we are trying to portray. I wonder what the unknowing suspect would do if she flashes her shirt and I go ahead and make a point of sitting uncomfortably close to her, possibly even uttering; “Well your shirt doesn’t say I cant sit on you.”

Isn’t whole too cool for school thing is a bit, uhm uncool?

A quote referenced from a top ten favourite film,-maybe top twenty but who is counting-Mean Girls: “I’m not a regular Mom, I’m a cool Mom.”

But like most of the quotes (“Ex-boyfriends are off-limits to friends. That’s just, like, the rules of feminism.”) what do the Mean Girls mean?

Brands, as well as Public Relations companies, seem to suddenly be all over this concept of ‘cool moms’ and in the last few months, possibly years-my timeline is a bit foggy-major organisations like Bebe Confort, Huggies and Unilever are tapping into the “motherhood is cool” and asking “where do all these cool mamas come from?”

From Olivia Fox, founder of My Tiny Teepee who rocks that mom bun like no other, while still enjoying culinary delights and helping other small businesses grow their social media. Her kindness is endless and she does this while showing her 25.3K followers that adventure is the way to go when raising little cubs. To Marie-Louise Candiotes, beautifully capturing and blogging (Just a Mamma) about life with girls, marriage and living a greener life while rocking her post-baby bod in elegant attire that would make the editor of Vogue swoon.

One look at Xane Dingemans’ (momabear_baby) Instagram and you’ll be filled with an indescribable awe and admiration for all things black and white. Her style is unintentionally suave without being over the top and her pictures offer a welcome respite from all those awkward pre-rehearsed blogger poses. Capturing farm and island life with an allure that would make you want to be her best friend.

Then there’s Ciska (raising_hudson_dk) who is busy writing her dissertation while lecturing and then running her blog. Ali (compassionkidblog), who tackles motherhood head on, reminding us that there are a magnitude of ways to become a mom (filtering everyday experiences and crafts through her mirrorless camera) and rocking the vegan life. While Shannon, founder of Ubuntu Baba (simple, breathable, comfortable and stylish baby carriers) are all natural, adventure loving and such a precious soul.

Oh and the incredibly savvy Bongi from Ndibambe is either penning gorgeous reviews on babywearing or practising paediatrics. That’s not to mention photographer and blogger Angela Rea (oursunshinejourney) who is a single mom and still perfectly captures this mashed up maternal scene.

But the one thing that unites these mothers, or more specifically women, is that they’re not cool at all.

The definition of cool is as outdated as Bump 2 (when “It’s Like that” was a club anthem). It simply means:

The quality of being fashionably attractive or impressive or showing no friendliness towards a person or enthusiasm for an idea or project.

They’re brilliant, yes, intelligent, witty and trying to create a life for their families in the best way they know how.

They’re definitely the sort of people who would share a pack of Nik Naks (read gin or wine) if you were hanging; they wouldn’t be looking over your shoulder to see if there’s someone better to talk to and they’re not too cool for school – educating children is pretty cool and with that comes a school.

Motherhood isn’t divided into ‘cool kids’, ‘geeks’ and sporty ones (other than Kate Scott from Fennec&Fey– who is out of this world).  It’s an all-inclusive, everyone’s invited party. An affair that welcomes cupcake makers, disco pant wearers, potty-mouthed swearers and people with a penchant for monochrome Scandinavian goods (Zoe, can’t get enough of Scandi Home Decor).

That’s not to say there’s an absence of bitchiness; I’ve never trusted anyone who can’t say an occasional bad word – even if it is just picking low hanging fruit like Kanye West being “purely” happy in his marriage.

Another gratuitious Mean Girls quote, just because:

“Somebody wrote in that book that I’m lying about being a virgin because I use super jumbo tampons, but I can’t help it if I’ve got a heavy flow and a wide set vagina.”

But this ‘new’ band of mothers isn’t a revelation; they’ve always been there, it’s just motherhood has perhaps become cooler, allowing everyone to parent as they wish with no judgement along the saggy-boobed, sleep-deprived way. Umatie Coconut Combo? Kids eating mainly Purity? Breast feed? Bottle feed? Instagram feed?

Perhaps the one common denominator across motherhood is wine-I think most moms have nailed that arena. And sleep deprivation. We’re just a bunch of knackered boobs-like-a-spaniels-ears alcoholics trying to keep small humans alive.

So brands and media folk, there’s no cool mum, there’s no uncool mum, we’re all surviving some days, laughing together through the madness on others.

And yes, you can sit with us.

Photo: Miles Aldridge

6 thoughts on “You can’t sit with us.

  1. I’ve also noticed that slogans on t-shirts are very unkind. And like you I do think they’re affecting kids and adults alike. Nice reality-check here! (I haven’t yet watched Mean Girls)

    Liked by 1 person

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