Being a mom is the hardest and most important job of all. You're a teacher, a doctor, an accountant, and a chauffer all rolled into one. And when times get tough, you're a therapist too.

Such responsibilities -- no matter how fulfilling they are - can require placing your family's needs well ahead of your own. And while that can sometimes leave you feeling stuck in the backseat, it doesn't have to be like that.

An easy way to inject some excitement into your daily routine is by driving a hot new ride that's safe, practical and even reliable. Believe it or not, they do exist. In fact, an entire industry has emerged to provide cool moms like you with hip alternatives to the dreaded minivan.

Certainly, a new car won't narrow the breadth of your responsibilities. It can, however, make things a lot more convenient and put some fun into your routine. Check out these hot rides that are befitting the coolest of moms:

MINI Clubman

Let's be frank. If you don't run the family's errands, who will? In the frenzy of carrying out the million things you need to do to keep your household afloat, it's easy to feel underappreciated. So why not treat yourself to a ride that's sure to make normal, everyday things seem more exciting?

The MINI Clubman's quirky, stand-out style and zippy performance promise to make dropping the kids off at school and going grocery shopping a ton more fun. And though it may look small on the outside, the Clubman can accommodate you, your hubby and two to three rugrats while still boasting 9.2 cubic feet of space for groceries. Best of all, it's excellent on gas too -- netting a city/highway fuel economy upwards of 28/37 mpg, as estimated by the  EPA.

Mazda CX-7

If you're balancing mommy duties alongside a full-time job, then you know how tough it is to make things mesh. One way to keep your sanity is to drive a car that serves both purposes well. After all, you can't meet clients in a busted station wagon, can you?

A cross between a sporty midsize car and SUV, the Mazda CX-7 flaunts a bold look that exudes purpose and confidence. Perfect for everyone from realtors to engineers, the CX-7's sprightly performance and sporty handling dynamics have what it takes to get you to your next appointment on time. What's more, it's practical for home life too. The CX-7 provides room for two to three kids and 29.9 cubic feet of cargo. Its five-star crash test scores are icing on the cake.

Honda Element

SUVs have come a long way since their days as difficult-to-park gas guzzlers. In fact, some of the sleekest SUVs are now safe, economical, and kid-friendly too. Drive one and you'll show up moms off the field while you watch your kids play.

In addition to being an IIHS "Top Safety Pick," the four-passenger Honda Element boasts a unique, attractive exterior design and 74.6 cubic feet of cargo-carrying versatility. In fact, its rear seats can fold flat to the floor, up against its side walls, or be removed entirely -- making it easy to haul anything from hockey equipment to bikes. What's more, its suicide doors and spill- and stain-resistant floor make accessing the rear cabin and clean-ups quick and easy. What's more, it's a Honda, so reliability is a given.

Audi A4 Wagon

Having kids doesn't mean giving up your sporty, swanky side, and upscale automakers have done a great job of combining luxury and sports performance with everyday utility.

Blending modern luxury with sports performance, the Audi A4 Avant takes driving a station wagon to a whole new level. Featuring a purposeful, elegant exterior design and turbocharged engine, the A4 is the automotive antithesis to mom jeans.. Add to that seating for three to four big kids, 17.3 cubic feet of cargo room, and typical Audi refinement, and the A4 is practical and comfortable too. Standard Quattro all-wheel drive and excellent crash test scores are an added bonus.

Kia Soul

So you're single with kids and still looking for love? Driving a car with wood paneling on the sides isn't going to help. Hop into something new, fun and vibrant and you're bound to attract the attention of Mr. Right.

To call the Kia Soul fun would be an understatement. Engineered to appeal to the young and young-at-heart, this hatchback offers everything from a funky exterior design to glow-in-the-dark upholstery and even lights that dance to the beat of your music. Fun? Certainly. But gimmicks aside, the Soul is actually sensible. In addition to an impressive list of standard safety equipment, it also features comfortable seating for five and nets 26/31 mpg.