Being a cool mum: Seven things I’m doing to prepare for ‘cool’ motherhood

I have GOT to be besties with my children! I’m thinking the boys will be closer to their father but we’ll still be close. My daughter(s) on the other hand, ‘tebampona!’ which simply means that battle was lost before it was even started. 

The truth is I don’t want to be a cool mum just for the sake of it. I want my children to trust me, to trust that I will always have their best interests at heart, and to value my opinion from a young age. I won’t know everything, but experience will have taught me enough to guide them through life as they grow into independent wholesome adults. The world as it is right now scares me. The number of trends and changing belief systems make me wonder what our children will have to face. Every single thing that makes me who I am has been turned into another battle ground for human rights. 

The number of influences and pressures pushing and pulling on each individual are enough to make you want to go into hiding. Just imagine your daughter or son running to some other strange person with goodness knows what values, for advice on all things concerning life. In order for them to know they can always come to me, and for them to actually come to me, there should be an already existing relationship filled with respect, trust and admiration.  They have to be ‘cool’ with you.

Anyway, without getting too deep into the day-after-day activism that is our world right now, here are seven things I am working on that I believe will help me come off as believably cool when my children reach that defining age. I know that it’s never the same in practice as it sounds in theory, but you never know.

1. Making money 
Do I even need to explain this!? Apart from the fact that having money means you are able to pay to do all these cool things with your children, it also means you are the boss. Enough said. 

2. Knowing cool music 
This is a bit hard given my spiritual values but I’m sure there’s a way. You must know how to pull a few moves as well.

Imagine this being your two year old, and you don't even know what Versace on the floor is! Smh. 

3. Learning how to 'be cool'
i.e. keep calm. If you’re an African, you know that being a parent = unequaled ability to exaggerate and blow things out of proportion. You need to stay cool. If you call for a clan meeting when your daughter buys lipstick or blow a fuse when she doesn’t pick your calls, you’re creating a gap. Show your emotions in moderation; don’t be stoic but don’t be over the top either.  Learn to voice your feelings. When your children make a mistake, do not dismiss it. They need to know that there are consequences for every action. Do not capitalize on it either or they will grow into adults afraid of trying because they are afraid of failing. They will start to hide things from you because your reactions always hurt.
Example of ideal reaction to a bad situation: “I’m disappointed that you would go beyond your agreed curfew and there is a price to pay for that. But I’m glad you’re home safe.”

4. Practicing the art of giving space 
This is especially true for the teenage/ young adult years. I will want to know how the day was, was school OK? Is someone bullying you? Do you need some career guidance? Fashion advice? Are we doing OK as parents? The list is endless. However, if I don’t give my children some space, I will suffocate them. Not everything has to be addressed immediately. Notice and respect the subtle cues when it’s not an ideal time. Allow them to come to you once in a while.

5. Being OK with showing weakness
The hardest thing for parents, or even human beings, is to admit they have weaknesses, which is strange because we all do. I will never pretend to be perfect. I won’t make it look like things came easy to me because we’ve all had to go through some things to get where we are. It’s OK to have a bad day. It’s OK to be passed over for promotions. Everything that happens could be a lesson for your children and whether they show it or not, they are watching.

6. Making bomb connections 
I don’t mean the CEO’s or Managers (which of course you must have). I intend to have VIP access to all the happening events for children, to know the new cool activities going on, the new hangout that everyone at school is talking about…you get the gist.

7. Keeping up with the lingo 
It won’t be easy but…I gots to have mad street cred for sho, you dig?

Wish me luck!


  1. I shall be watching to see whether this is achieved lol...but a very nobel goal Kullein!

  2. Hahahaha challenge accepted Maria!!!


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