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February 12, 2007


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Clare's Dad

I've got 3 maybe 5 points at most. But I sure miss living in NY when I read things like your opening paragraph.

The labels and finger-pointing about who's a better parent or what's the best way to raise kids drives me nuts too. It all misses the point that there is no perfect parent or right way to do anything.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

Hmm. Even though The Goon Squad were wearing Misfit onesies in their birth announcent photo, I don't appear to be very hip.

(Don't tell the other guys at Stollerderby, okay?)


I am their mother, not a friend. I love them all the time, but I don't always like what they do. I try to steer them in the right direction, but let them do most of the driving. They are who they will be!


Amen, MetroDad. Amen! All this finger-pointing, labelmaking and criticizing is so absurd. At the end of the day, we're all just parents. And that, more than anything, should bond us as people.


I can never be a hipster parent. I can never be a hipster period.

1. I don't meet the weight requirements. My legs won't fit into those skinny jeans. I weigh over 200 lbs and played college football.

2. I don't listen to enough bands who's name consists of the word "The.." Exception being The Yeah Yeah Yeah's, but that's only because I have a bizarre crush on Karen O.

3. I have no desire to try and change a diaper during the middle of a Modest Mouse concert.

4. I have enough to deal with if and when I have a kid when she goes and sahres with eveyrone that "Daddy has painted arms and a painted back."

But, best of luck with that. My hipster parents freinds bought their kid a mini-Banksy hoodie for 200 bucks. To heck with that, 200 bucks is better served ina 529(b) account.

I will snowboard with my infant though. Is it child endangerment for me to pop a kid in one of them Scandanavian Snugli things and take on the back bowls of Vail?


Love does not discriminate. I love that line.

As usual, MD, I find myself agreeing with you. Life is too short to be worrying about how other people raise their kids or live their lives!

JJ Daddy's Baby Momma

It doesn't matter how cool I am or was. Right now I drive a minivan. And no matter how much the kids scream "turn it up" when I'm playing the Beastie Boys, to them it will be Mom's old fogey music, their equivalent of the Lawrence Welk my folks listened too. Oh. Wait. That was NEVER cool. I need a Che onesie, fast!


Reading your blog always makes me want to move to New York!

samantha Jo Campen

Rock on MD!

My friends had a baby a little less than a year ago. On the back of their car (Camry, btw) is a sign that says "Baby On Board". I commented that that was great to have and Joel said "Yeah, well I get shit for it at work, saying it's 'not cool'." WTF is that??!!?! Like you said, parenting isn't about being cool! It's not about Joel and his wife anymore. It's about their son!

Made me mad. But then again, he works at a bank so, you know. . . .


What a refreshing take on the whole issue. I am getting SO tired of people calling themselves hip...or worse, getting mad at being called hip when it's so blatantly obvious that their lives are so contrived and stylized that it's painful. It's transparent and it's not authentic. Frankly, there are so many better ways to spend one's time.

Here's to wanting to raise kids to be good people....and if they incidentally turn out to be cool then rock on.

Anne Glamore

Damn! I feel good about my parenting, but I was hoping to be hip, too. I better get some teak and start whittling.

Allie B.

This is certainly the best take I've heard on this whole nonsense debate. Good job defusing the whole made-up controversy with your usual grace and humor. People need to chill out.


Shit, I don't even have a KID and I think I am one...


Confession: I found your site via the Neal Pollack article on Slate today. When I found out that you were another "daddy blogger," I expected to completely hate your guts. I've just read some of your archives and I'm man enough to admit that I find your parenting perspective to be fairly refreshing (and pretty damn funny too.)

Consider me a convert.

metro mama

Love your take on this, MetroDad.


Very well done MD.

I am not sure of the debate. I thought that by default, being a parent immediatley makes you un-hip. And who are the hip people trying to please, their kids or their peers?

Rachel E.

Well, I got zeros across the board. I'm so uncool. I was much closer to being a hipster parent BEFORE I actually had kids. In other words, I had all of these ideas of how I would parent and what I would teach and expose my child to. But after I had her, I learned that some days you are just surviving. Other days are better and many of them are great. But even on the great days I haven't made her a smocked blouse sewn from the cotton I grew myself. Or taken her to the new Louvre exhibit at The High. Or taught her how to make soup for the homeless. She's just a little girl that likes pink and purple, anything that sparkles, having fun with her friends and knowing that she's loved by her parents. I have found that having children is the great equalizer. It's very humbling.


I think by definition you can't be hip and live in the suburbs.

When my oldest was born he only wore cloth diapers, natural organically grown cotton clothes, and no plastic toys or ::GASP:: television. We made him a baby swing out of twigs and rope. The grandparents saw it and ran out and replaced it with a plastic little tykes one, that we still own 12 years later.

What was my point? I have no idea but I blame my inlaws and the plastic swing.

Mrs. Davis

I've found all the discussion about the hipster parent label fascinating. It shouldn't be surprising, I guess, that today's parents are so resistant to labels like that, since that is very typical of GenX.

But I think by resisting the labels, we are missing the opportunity to more clearly distinguish our parenting style from the generation before us. We ARE doing it differently, and doing it better in many ways, IMO. (OK, some are taking it too far, and you illustrate that point hilariously.) While "hipster" doesn't define all parents of our generation, it does define what's new and different about parenting today. To me, it's kind of sad that so many people are running from it rather than embracing it.


Well, I guess I'm no where near being a hipster parents, and I'm so ok with that. I would hate for my 3.5 children to grow up reciting the latest trends or the latest "things to have".

Like you mentioned, if they grow up healthy, happy, and like who they are...then I've accomplished my goal as a parent!


I'm developing sort of a crush on DeeDee Doodle. Is that hip?


I got a negative score. How did that happen?


I'm so not sharing my score. Because, unhip as I am, I really would like to be more hip.

That being said. I realized that parenting was not about being cool when I actually had fun doing the chicken dance at a single A baseball game, all because my kid thought it was the most hilarious thing he had ever seen.


okay. so i loved you before but now.

i'm totally smitten

and totally unhip :)


Brilliant. Fucking brilliant!

chocolate makes it better

Are you sure you haven't cloned yourself?

Where do you get the time to write these posts!!!!


You nailed it, MD. It's not about being cool. It's not about being a hipster. It's not about being an urban parent. It's about raising your kids in this world as best as you possibly can without feeling judged by others. Once we realize that, I think we'll realize that all of us parents have more in common than not.

Jennifer B.

"who has time to worry about all these stupid labels when you've already got your hands full with a household of rug rats, a second job, and trying to make this month's car payment?"

I think that says it all, MD. All this finger-pointing and criticizing seems to be coming from people who don't need to worry about making this month's rent payment.

the weirdgirl

Hear hear, MD! I'm glad to hear another parent admit to being bored by these debates. I always feel bored, irritated, or occasionally left-out. I swear I miss half of these "storms taking the blogosphere". Because who has time to pay attention to all this crap? I've got a kid to raise!


I'm just announcing my new blog. I live in West Village also, and am starting the life as a stay-at-home pops.


Although I've completely ignored these parenting debates since J and I just wing it when it comes to parenting (and our kids don't appear to be in need of too much therapy), it's nice to have our down-to-earthiness confirmed by a little test. Thanks MD.


and ps. I disagree that hipster parenting is "new" -- it's just popular and we've figured out how to label it.

like anything else, it's probably been around way longer.


I'm proud to have scored zero points on this test... I rarely think about this stuff. If bloggers stopped writing about "hip" or "cool" parenting, I wouldn't even know that there's anything other than simple "good" parenting.

Personally, I have no style... I've had the same hairstyle for 30 years, and my fashion sense is limited to a pair of Levi's jeans, a half-dozen t-shirts, a couple of comfy sweatshirts, and a pair of sneakers wide enough for my pinky toe to not get scrunched.


Wow --- I'm a big, uncool mama dork! (No surprise there...)

Right on, MD! Because sometimes, ya know, being "cool" is really quite UNCOOL.

Parents need to put their energies into parenting and not into frivolous BS.


Uh oh...


You are brilliant. I'd happily share a booth at Blue Ribbon with you and catch a Gondry flick anytime.

I mean Fellini.


Of course you're a hipster parent. :) I hope to be one someday, provided I have a child to impress with said hipness. Here's hoping by then they have Linkin Park for Babies.


I just got a ZERO. Seriously.

Will you still play with me...?


6. Dammit. Babble's gonna fire me, I know it.


no self-respecting hipster would ever MAKE their kid's clothes. buy them for $30 per t-shirt, SAY you found it digging through some thrift store bargain bin.

my kid says "huzzah!" when she's excited. how many points do i get?


I am so NOT hipster. But I do use cloth diapers - wash them myself, even. Who needs a diaper service?? :)


Oh Shit. I'm just trying to keep from killing my kids. I have my nose slightly above water right now so "hip" isn't a big consideration for me.

Besides, singing songs and dancing in the street with your kids (even if it is the Wiggles) beats being hip anyday.


I'm so unhip I didn't even bother to take the test. I know what I am. Like popeye says "I yam what I yam" and I'm happy as a clam with it!

But, and this probably isn't gonna be popular, the reason the hipster parents are taking such a huge amount of (and I think well deserved) shit is that they have posted anywhere they can about how uber cool they are, and how they blow money like it's water on ubercool crap so they look even cooler and their kids are the coolest, hippest, most rad kids in the whole playground. It's like the blogosphere got a thorough soaking with the whole "I'm WAY cooler than you are" phenom, and it was nasty. It IS nasty. Which is the reason Babble not only didn't fly, but is crawling along with it's writers flogging the site continually on their personal blogs. It makes the whole cool factor look ultra desperate.

What I like about YOU, as opposed to many of the other UberHipStahs is that you're pretty much down to earth and, despite where you live and all, you're decidedly normal. (Sorry). What I don't like about the UberHipStahs is that they shove their Uberness in your face, but they're the biggest conformists out there. There is NOTHING radical about being a SAHM living off your husband's tech salary, shopping half your day away on trendy shoes, trendy purses, trendy clothing, trendy baby crap, trendy doo-dads, and being wicked trendy when you go out to eat with your other trendy friends in a trendy restaurant with trendy menus. It's BORING and it's been done to death. The whole vision of UberHipStahs is so not radical, so not outside the box that it's indeed long since jumped the shark. And yet we just keep getting the snark because it's been determined by some UberHipStah god somewhere that snark means trendy/cool. Snark means...well, mean. And it's been done to death.

People that are so desperate to be identified as UberHipStahs are kinda sad. Why can't they just be parents? Why do they have to make sure everything they do, everywhere they go, every decision they make needs to be considered hip? Can't they just be themselves and not have to spend so much time telling the world how cool they are?


Funny that you should bring this up today, MD! Fast-forward about 15 years and you'll be where we are today: "The only two rules we have for our teens..." (See today's blog entry...)!



That is hilarious! The funniest survey yet. I loved it.

Denver Dad

"Like most parents, I'm just trying to raise my daughter to be a smart, polite, sensitive, caring, spiritual person with her own identity."

I don't think there could be a better list of hopes and dreams for your child. Well put, MD.


You redefine "cool", MD. What a great post.


"Love does not discriminate." Lost in all this seems to be the notion that even if one is a "hipster parent," it doesn't mean that they're not a good parent. Don't we all love our kid equally?

Great post, MD. I love reading your perspective on all this nonsense.


I detest labels. I detest this whole stupid 'debate'. But I wholeheartedly agree with you MD--and great quiz! I am so definitely NOT a hipster :).

Mr. Big Dubya

I am far...FAR...from being a hipster parent - in half your questions I didn't even recognize any of the names in the answers (ahhhh, blissful ignorance). Anyway - doesn't anyone even remember that this generation has already been labeled?

Brian Johnson: Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you're crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us... In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain...
Andrew Clark: ...and an athlete...
Allison Reynolds: ...and a basket case...
Claire Standish: ...a princess...
John Bender: ...and a criminal...
Brian Johnson: Does that answer your question?... Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.

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