Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Pop-Culture Parenting

Back in 2002, while I was out shopping in a boutique in the trendy and exclusive area of the metropolitan core, I realized that I needed something unique to give me an edge. All the other music industry insiders were chomping at the bit to one up their peers. We were known for promenading through the Queen West clubs to be seen. It was expected that we would air kiss our arch-rivals, toss in grand declarations of new accomplishments, while posing listlessly to show that we were utterly bored with the scene.

I arranged a party to celebrate the latest signing to our roster. While the guests sipped champagne, my boss took a moment to commend me publicly to the crowd. I nearly fainted. It was a rare occasion that I was offered praise. More often the moments of glory were never shared. I was thrilled. It was a good thing I managed to maintain my composure or my secret status would have been revealed. I smiled from the inside out because earlier that day I had discovered that I was pregnant.

I had a plan! I would become a hipster parent-memoirist. I would give my children made up names like Syra and Coane. They'd wear environment friendly designer limited edition clothing. They'd have their tiny, pinky finger on the pulse of the punk rock scene. They'd be born with the ability to shun the mainstream.

I'd exploit their brilliant child like ways with their go-go first words and humorous antidotes of suntan lotion substitutes. However I would not do this for profit. No, I'm much too alternative than that! I'd use these new accessories disguised as children so that I could become the most unique and creative individual. I would fashion the modern mother role and be worshipped by Mini-Me #1 and Mini-Me #2.

Who thinks like this? No one has this agenda. Becoming a parent is not a decision that people make lightly no matter if the situation is planned or not. The rewards of reproducing go far beyond some social equation of cool.

Our parents shared funny stories about things that we did only they did not hit the publish key on a computer. Instead they picked up the telephone and related our childhood comical behavior to their friends and neighbours. No one questioned if they were trying to maintain a level of hipness by sharing our daily adventures. No one judged our parents on whether they exposed us to Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin, The Bee Gee's or Raffi.

Parents who blog are not writing to prove to non breeders that they are still free thinking individuals. Having a child does not change that. Yes, we do have another thing that is truly important in our lives that we find fascinating.

Becoming a parent is a defining moment but it does not define me. Much the same way that getting a job is a defining moment but your career does not define you. People are made up of every experience they have encountered and the people that surround them. I wish we could move away from the need to slap a label on it so that it's not so daunting. Now I understand that hipster + parent + blog = scary. Boo!

18 Singing the blues:

Gidge said...

I used to feel miffed to be called a Mommyblogger because although I do talk about my kids.....I also talk about other stuff and I didn't START blogging so that I could fill the blogosphere with tales of poopie diapers.
I guess I'm finally over it, fine, I'm a mommyblogger. SO shoot me.

But you're right spot on, being a parent no more defines who I am than my job. It's just part of my world. Which became bigger, when I became a parent.

Wendy said...

I was a bit surprised to read this post. I happen to read the same article on cbc.ca back in January...http://www.cbc.ca/arts/media/hipster_parenting.html....and actually you and Colin came to mind for a second because of your proffession and location. I found it ironic, we share the same views.

chelle said...

It is a good thing neither my job or being a parent defines me since ... My job is to PARENT!

So often I get the stereotypes, especially with blogging. I care not what others think, I blog because I sought out a creative outlet. I did other creative things before parenting, they just take up more time! So blogging it is. And blogging has taken me to so many different avenues. Designing, community, books, music ... the list is endless.

I always wanted to raise my children in a global, yet strong community and in many ways I can achieve that blogging.

Love this post ... you hit it right on!

Pattie said...

Great post, Jana. Being a parent is just one facet of our lives. I will say that I think when I gave up my job and stayed home, I think initially it DID define me, mainly because I was trying to adjust to the role of being a parent. Very easily, one could lose themselves as I did for a while. Learning that many things define me (not just being a wife, mom, etc) was a golden moment.
Love the hip pic of your gorgeous little lady!

metro mama said...

I agree - enough with the labels!

petite gourmand said...

well said.
Love the photo too.
what a cutie.

kittenpie said...

Because in the end, we are the sum of what we do, but that sum cannot be judged until the end. We are works in progress. Growing, shifting, doing new things and meeting new people and experiences. Until the end.

mamatulip said...

I can have the coolest clothes, listen to the coolest music, get my kids to listen to the coolest music...I can get tattooed and pierced and whatever, but it doesn't change the fact that I'm a mom, that there are diapers to change, spilled milk to sop up and that I'll be exhausted by 9pm. ;)

Mrs. Chicky said...

I don't know... You hipster parents scare me. What, with your special clothes, special music, special powers. I hear you're so cool that you can walk on water. But that came from the mouth of another hipster parent. ;)

penelopeto said...

it's funny because it's so subjective, and if any of us think that we are still cool, we are kidding ourselves. just ask a 20-year old.

ewe are here said...

Nicely said.

Funnily enough, I never once thought I'd be the 'cool parent'; probably because I don't think I was ever considered 'cool'. ;-)

Her Bad Mother said...

Yeah, heh - BOO, indeed.

Sandra said...

Well written. Well said.

Boo

It was so good to see you yesterday. I've missed ya!

nomotherearth said...

Amen, sister. I'm getting a little tired of all the crap that's being thrown around. Can't we just be who we want to be, as long as we don't hurt anybody? Geez.

Tania (urbanmommy is so 2006) said...

Well said. The whole thing is just stupid.

Izzy said...

What an adorable photo! And yes...the labeling thing is so dumb. Great post :)

Dharma said...

Shoot, blogger ate my comment form a couple of days ago. Now what brilliance did I write then... It was good but now it's gone. Something about good post, interesting subject matter to me since one of my pet areas of interest/study/writing is the transition of identity in women when they become parents.

lildb said...

totally.

also, could your daughter be any more divine?

hipster-shmipster.