You might fear losing your cool as a parent. This L.A. mom has the answers

Illustration of Elsie Peterson in between the words “Vibe” and “Guide”
This summer, catch Elise Peterson at a pool rooftop near you.
(Illustrations by Micah Fluellen / Los Angeles Times)
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This story is part of Parents Are Cool!, the third issue of Image, which explores the myriad ways in which L.A. parents practice the craft of care. See the full package here.

Elise Peterson. She’s not like a regular mom, she’s a cool mom. So rings the intro to her podcast, “Cool Moms,” in which the visual artist, educator and storyteller interviews mothers who prioritize their passions while caring for their families.

Launched in 2018, “Cool Moms” weaves together topics such as astrology, co-parenting and self-care. For Peterson, being an artist impacts the way she parents her 3-year-old son, Sargent.

“It allows me to think more creatively,” she says, “to appreciate a simpler and less conflated perspective.” Another influence on her parenting style has been raising her son in L.A. “It makes sense for who he is,” Peterson says. “He needs to see other Black kids skateboarding and at the beach and then, you know, take capoeira over in Leimert Park.”

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fill in the blank

The mantra keeping me sane:

mantra reading "That in which i seek is seeking me."

What being a cool mom looks like for me:

Quote "being honest and true to what makes me happy/"
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I’m prioritizing myself lately by:

Quote with an illustration of woman floating in water

This person or thing making my life easier:

Illustrated quote of how a nanny is helping Elsie with parenting

Right now, joy looks like:

Quote reads "laughing with my friends" with an illustrated laughing man

The recipe that Sargent and I are making the most this summer:

Illustration of Elise Peterson's son along with a recipe for smoothies

What I’m obsessed with right now:

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Quote favoring essential oils and Doja Cat's latest album with accompanying illustrations

My playlist right now

Screenshot my mood

A selfie capturing my mood this month:

A woman with braids

“I put on this pink tube top to match my mushrooms.”

The most perfect image in my camera roll:

A young child holds up a drawing pad with a picture on it.

“Sargent and his self-portrait.”

A screenshot of the meme I can’t get out of my head:

Tweet reading "me ignoring the car next to me after almost crashing into it." With a photo of a dog wearing sunglasses
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“I got my license this year, but I swear I’m a solid driver. Just move when you see me in the streets.”