12 Inspiring Tips On How To Be A Hip Mama

slide1Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
This February, founding editor Ariel Gore relaunches her alt parenting zine, Hip Mama. Ariel had her first child as a single teen mom in the '90s, and her second as a donor-inseminated queer mom in '07. In this sneak peak at the new Hip Mama, Ariel talks to 12 moms and asks for their tips on how to be a hip mama.

1. Confront stereotypes
"Whenever you're with your kid and you see something that is sexist say it aloud and explain why it's sexist. Now when I do this, my twelve-year-old son says, "Yeah, I thought that too.""
— Michelle Cruz Gonzales, Spitboy drummer and community college English instructor. ("Yeah, they let Mexicans teach English now," says Michelle.)


2. Embrace the smudge
"A hip mama makes unshowered rumpled-ness look edgy and effortless — yesterday's eyeliner becomes today's smoldering, come-hither-to-the-freight-train look."
— Amanda Englund, placenta encapsulation specialist

3. Don’t believe the hype
"There isn’t a book on the planet that will tell you exactly what you need to know. You’ll cry and you’ll fumble. And you’ll pick the baby right back up and try again."
— Noemi Martinez, South Texas single mom, zine maker, and cookie baker

slide2Illustrated by Sydney Hass.

4. Be absolutely yourself
"Your views, ideas, opinions, and choices are valid and need not be rationalized to anyone. To thine own mama-self be true."
— Justina Petrichor, Hip Mama Carolina correspondent

5. Befriend the nannies
"The paid help on the playground is nearly always more laid back than the new moms, so they won't be throwing judgment, and they certainly have sexier gossip to share on the park bench."
— Rhea St. Julien, San Francisco writer-mom

6. Save your splurges for education and travel
"Nine times out of ten, the cheap solution works just fine. You don’t need a $500 stroller or a high-tech baby monitor. If you can’t hear the baby, it might just be that your house is too big. Save your splurges for experiences you’ll remember."
— Ariel Gore, Hip Mama founding editor

slide3Illustrated by Sydney Hass.

7. Teach Punk History
"Ban the mainstream cartoon and feed the kids a steady diet of glam rock/punk rock instead. Honestly, they need to know who the Clash were. They need to know who David Bowie is — Punk and glam rock are going to be far more helpful in their futures."

— Margaret Garcia, urban mother in mountain exile


8. Apply Kentucky windage
"Activist Nehanda Abiodun schooled me on the idea of “Kentucky Windage” when I interviewed her for Hip Mama. It means adjusting your shot for the winds. It means doing what you can creatively with the means you have in the moment."
— Sarah Maria Medina, Mexico City poet

9. Talk with your kid about race
"Do it early and often! Too many times, parents wait until the kid is "old enough" to talk about race. By then, they've already been inundated with media (mis)representations about race."
— Victoria Law, Hip Mama political editor

slide4Illustrated by Sydney Hass.

10. Take your children to demonstrations with you
"The oppression caused by the system effects your children just as much as you. Teach your children young to stand up for themselves."

— Gloria Malone, TeenMomNyc.com founder

11. Write a poem about it
"June Jordan wrote that poems are housework. It’s okay if the house is a mess. If the dishes are dirty, if the beds are undone, and the shelves are dusty. Chaos is beautiful, too. Write a poem about it."
— Mai’a Williams, Berlin poet

12. Don't be afraid of failure
"Failing is frowned upon in the modern world. But, hip mamas know that failing is sometimes the best way to learn. It’s how our children learn. It’s how parents learn. Make mistakes! And laugh as you clean up the mess."
— Rhea Wolf, Hip Mama astrology columnist


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