Even though we hate the term “hipster,” we know that’s what we were. We drank PBR, bought organic-only produce, collected — and listened to — to vinyl records. My husband had mutton chops, we owned air plants before they were on display at the Packing District, and had a pinball machine in our living room.
But that was before we had two kids and realized cloth diapers were a hassle and had to spend money paying exorbitant child care rates instead of on exorbitantly priced coffee. Now that we have a 1-year-old and a 5-year-old, we’ve mellowed out a bit. We’ve traded the VW Beetle for a mini-SUV and we’re soon trading that in for an actual minivan. For reals.
Still, we admit it; we’re aging hipsters. Which means while we’ll go to Starbucks every once in a while now, we don’t like to spend $4 on artisanal popsicles that our kids will let melt all over the floor, but we still do every now and then. We still use our growlers from the local craft brewery—just, you know, for water instead of beer. Our turntables are still on rotation, at least.
We’re basically what happens when anybody turns into a parent. However, we are squarely in denial about it. The good thing is we know we’re not the only ones of this ilk; we have met several others at various playgroups and co-op community nursery schools. Since categorization is such a fun activity, we have identified five types of hipster parents you’ll meet around Orange County.
Normie Hipster Parents:
In the 1980s, normies would’ve just been the parents who let their kids play on the street with their friends til the sun set. Today? Normie hipsters so badly want to be the cool parents, so they scour the LA Times for family-friendly places like Jessica Biel’s Au Fudge — you know, where gross chicken nugget and cheese pizza items are off the menu, and au pairs can watch your kids for $15 while you revel in the Anthropologie-designed space — and go there religiously.
Live concert experience: Taking selfies at their first Coachella this year, after leaving their kids with a sitter, buying a feather headdress and dying their hair blue.
Kid’s names: Apple, Blue, Purple
What their 25-year-old selves were doing: Working a job in HR.
Find them in: Irvine
Recovering Hipster Parents:
The recovering hipsters are the ones who partied hard in the ‘90s, who survived E-tardation and all those meth binges just to clean up with their skeletons stowed neatly in the closet, enough to blend in with all regular parents. Now that they have no vices other than coffee, they indulge in getting multiple tattoos of their kids. They’re leathery and hang their AA medallions on the Christmas tree, but they’re the strictest parents of the lot because their kids can’t get anything past them.
Live concert experience: Camping at Lightning in a Bottle
Kid’s names: Kerouac, Maryjane, Steel
What their 25-year-old selves were doing: Avoiding interventions hosted by their parents even though they were living in their basement
Find them in: Costa Mesa, Fullerton
Stoner Hipster Parents:
Also alternate as surfing hipster parents, count on these mom and dads to teach their kids how to roll their joints as a family exercise; bring kids on surf trips to Mexico; live on the beach; put their newborns on surfboards and just generally emit a super chill vibe.
Live concert experience: Family singalongs of Jack Johnson, Bob Marley and Sublime around the campfire!
Kids’ names: Ziggy, Nesta, Jah
What their 25-year-old selves were doing: Smoking weed by the beach, surfing
Find them in: Long Beach, Sunset Beach, San Clemente
Punk Rock Hipster Parents:
Dad’s the guitarist, mom sings and plays bass. Their lives don’t revolve around their kids, because they’re still actually living the dream. Except that instead of playing at the Doll Hut every weekend, they’re booking coffee house shows so they don’t need to find someone to watch their kids while mom and dad are onstage. (Bonus: They can invite their kid’s preschool classmates to make it a family activity!)
Live concert experience: X at the Observatory! With their kids, in matching shirts, natch.
Kids names: Anais, Milo, Angus, Exene
What their 25-year-old selves were doing: Trying to sell you tickets for their pay-to-play gig at the House of Blues in Anaheim
Find them in: Anaheim, Santa Ana
Crunchy Granola Hipster Parents:
They don’t shop at Sprouts, they shop at Mother’s. They’re straight edge, vegan, own an Airstream, write books of vegan recipes, always smell like patchouli, take their kids out for “adventures” because they homeschool, and don’t vaccinate their kids. Their kids eat organic celery and almond butter for snacks, practice yoga, don’t use electronics, and are perpetually dirty/naked/barefoot. Sounds like a dream, right? Except that they can do whatever they want because they’re trust fund kids, so naturally they’re libertarians who hate paying taxes and own property in Costa Rica.
Live concert experience: Wanderlust, in Hawaii
Kids’ Names: Jude, Angie, Rocky
What their 25-year-old selves were doing: snorting coke at a Trump penthouse with their sorority sisters
Find them in: Laguna Beach, Newport, Yorba Linda