I’m Not A Regular Mom, I’m A Cool Mom!


My two-year-old son has an Instagram account. This account exists for the purpose of showing the world how cool his parents still are. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t say that out loud. But no shame in my game! I will proudly admit that I want to be a cool mom… that is until my son is however old they are when they start talking back and breaking rules; then I’m okay being a regular mom because I won’t put up with that.

My husband and I met in college at a house party on Saturday night playing a popular drinking game that involves cups and flipping them. We thought we were pretty cool 19-year-old college kids. We were married a few years after graduating at age 25 and decided to wait to have kids until we were stable in our careers and finances. Plus we were having too much fun still being cool and doing whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted (outside of working and paying bills and other pesky adult things.) We started not NOT trying for a baby when we were 30. Around 32, we thought we should take it more seriously since it hadn’t happened yet, and actually try to get pregnant. At age 34, we knew there was a real problem, and meds and shots and blood draws became our life. And then our beautiful little petri dish baby, Dexter, was born thanks to the incredible science of IVF.

You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Everything

We spent over ten years just doing our thing and frankly being totally selfish and enjoying nights out with friends, Buckeyes games, and lots and lots of travel. By the time we were pregnant with our son, we were 100% ready to sacrifice every one of those things to focus on our family and the baby that we’d prayed so hard for. If we had to, we’d stay home every single day and night doting on and protecting our precious miracle baby. But I quickly came to realize that you actually don’t have to sacrifice everything.

And in our experience, it turns out that toting your kiddo everywhere from birth may actually contribute to their development (note: I am not a doctor, and I have no research to link here although I bet some exists; this is just my own experience! And of course, there were a few weeks in the beginning when we holed up at home and went nowhere for the sake of protecting our little guy’s yet to be developed immune system, plus c-section recoveries are no joke.) Of course, things change, and our social life isn’t quite what it used to be, but I like to think that if you look hard enough, you can catch a glimpse of our pre-baby coolness.

Cool Mom Outings

Dexter’s Instagram covers a wide spectrum of family-friendly places, but one of the things I love to do is highlight places where you may not think to take your kids, or where you may not immediately think “family-friendly”. Not that I’m encouraging anyone to take their children to the most upscale restaurant in town and disrupt a sweet old couple’s anniversary dinner with screaming and throwing salt shakers, but you may be surprised how many places are actually super accommodating to families! In his two and a half years of life, Dex has visited more restaurants, breweries, college campuses, sporting events, and parts of town than I ever know existed before I hit 18 years old. And he has become such an explorer and social butterfly, always wanting to say hi to everyone we pass and know their names and jobs, and asking so many questions about where we’re going, how we’ll get there, and what we’ll do when we get there.

Staying True to YourselfNow don’t get me wrong; some people are homebodies and don’t particularly love being out and about all the time. I get that. I AM that sometimes. And that’s also totally cool. But before my son, I had this idea in my head that babies and family equals the end of enjoying most of the things you loved before kids. But it really doesn’t have to be that way! Okay, maybe you’re not taking your kid to the nightclub with you (but let’s be real, we’ve been feeling too old to be there for the past ten years anyway), but there are SO many places around the city that are enjoyable for kids are parents alike. This, by the way, does not mean you get a pass on things like seeing PJ Masks Live and watching your kid go down the same slide 1,500 times in a row … I mean we are parents after all.

I hope you’ll give Dex a follow at @thecbuskid on Insta where I share all of my coolness*.

*For the record, I am actually not very cool at all. I was in the marching band. I’m the clumsiest person you’ll ever meet. I literally trip over air multiple times a week. I am really dorky. But I really like hanging out at cool places! What kind of mom are you? 

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Stephanie Dougherty
Stephanie is a Columbus native, having grown up in Dublin. She attended Ohio University where she met her husband over a friendly game of flip cup. She has been working for the same talent acquisition outsourcing and consulting company since graduating college, going on 14 years and is currently the Director of Implementation. After a three-year stint in Tampa, she and her husband decided to settle back in Ohio in 2008, and Stephanie won the Columbus vs. Cleveland debate (her husband says she's not tough enough for Cleveland anyway.) After almost eight years of marriage and three years of fertility struggles, they had their son, Dexter, in April 2017 thanks to IVF. They currently live in Grandview Heights after living in the Short North for almost 10 years. They love exploring the city as a family and are frequent COTA bus riders. Stephanie is determined to stay hip to all the new restaurants and places around town even after becoming a mom. Their family goes out to eat way too much, but she still loves cooking, especially recipes that use cauliflower as a substitute (is there anything it can't become!?) She is obsessed with bargain hunting but still manages to spend way too much money. You can follow along on their family's adventures on Instagram at @thecbuskid. Stephanie also has a dog, Athena, but she doesn't have her own Instagram because all she does is sleep and steal food right out of their hands.