I used to have no trouble being the hip mom. I thought my younger stepmom status gave me cool points automatically. I dressed trendy, I listened to Top 40 music, I knew who the Kardashians were, and I could hold my own with social media things.
But now that I have two teenagers AND a one year old, I am constantly experiencing old lady moments. I can hear myself saying things my mom used to say to me, and remembering how she just didn’t get it.
Confession: I don’t get it.
Kids these days, am I right? With their loud music and their chat snapping and The Facebook and their leggings as pants?!
I have had several moments of realizing I’m just not with it anymore, and I’m becoming a complete fuddy duddy. Here are a just a few trends and things that I just can’t even.
1. Emojies and Text Abbreviations
Thx. Lysm. Tbh. I’m over here, like WTH? I hate the abbreviations, and I hate them even more when I have to Google what they mean. I’m all about an emoji, but apparently I’m using them incorrectly 85% of the time.
2. The Fashion
I kind of thought I would never outgrow stores like American Eagle and Forever 21 (although the 21 should have clued me in). I was so wrong. I just can’t get on board with teen fashion trends right now.
Why are the shirts so short, but incredibly wide? Can someone explain why the jeans have rips all the way up to the hip bone? And where can one find a pair of shorts that doesn’t have the pockets hanging out of the bottom?
The clothes are either too tight and revealing, or they are flowy and shapeless. I miss the days when my girls wanted the neckline of their shirts to be up to their collarbone. These clothes are not for me, the 30-something who is trying to find things that flatter my figure instead of jeggings that accentuate the muffin top or huge tops that make me look like I’m still pregnant. I’ll take my mom jeans, thank you very much.
I just can’t. The buck stops at Instagram with me. I don’t think anyone needs to see 20 selfies from me a day, nor does anyone care what I’m doing all day long. Because, that’s right, I’m working and have no time to snap a picture. Meanwhile, everyone else is using those floral crown and beauty filters, and I’m laughing at my face looking smushed. Is this why it’s popular? Is it the filters? Is it the constant contact? Is it the fact that it’s a quick flash? Idk.
4. The Music
I was in the car with the girls for 30 minutes, and I knew a total of one song. I remember listening to music my mother hated when I was in high school, and I totally get it now. It’s no fun to be the only one in the car who doesn’t know the lyrics.
Can I please just play some 90s music? Or Top 40 that was popular 5 years ago? I would be all over that.
Meanwhile, my husband thought the rapper responsible for the hit “Trap Queen” was named “Flippy Flop” instead of “Fetty Wap,” so at least I have a leg up on him for knowing who Fetty Wap is. Or just knowing that he’s a rapper and not a shoe you wear to the beach.
5. The Dance Moves
I stopped understanding which dance moves were popular after the Wobble. I can’t Wobble, and I have never whipped or Nae Naed. What does it mean to “dab on ’em?” Is that a dance or just the thing with the arms that Cam Newton does? I’m so confused. But you know what, I still do a mean running man. I will just stick to that.
I always said that when I became a mother, I would never be that mom who was out of touch. Now I call my mom at least once a week just to apologize for my behavior as a mean-ager and to ask how she dealt with three daughters going through all that at the same time.
No matter how hard we try, there are always generational differences, but there are certain teen experiences that are timeless — weird physical and emotional changes, challenging situations, dealing with peer pressure, and trying to figure it all out in that strange transition from childhood into almost adulthood.
It is hard for me to put myself in their shoes (gladiator sandals are just too impractical for all day footwear), but I’m trying to remember what it was like to be a teenager while remaining as supportive and caring and connected as I can.
So here’s to the “uncool” mamas and daddies of teenagers. Turn on some Bon Jovi and raise the roof to staying as cool as long as we did. We’re all just living on a prayer!