I’ve spent the better part of my life trying to answer THE question. Who am I? I’ve gone through many phases in my life – I tried the Hippie thing, the goth thing, the punk thing…. Flitting from group to group, trying on the costumes, rehearsing my lines – and never really fit 100 percent in any of those guises. Luckily I married a man who allowed me to be myself and in doing so helped me to find myself. I am me. I don’t have a label. I’m not required to furnish my wardrobe from any one store in particular. I don’t have any bumper stickers on my car that show how cool I am or am not because of a band that I do or do not listen to….. I read Twilight and by God I like it and I don’t care who knows it! So now that I have answered that question and am comfortable with the results, I find myself right back in that same place where I feel like I am searching. Searching for a word or a name that will describe me. This new question is “What kind of Mom am I?” Because as many of you know, the mom crowd has cliques. If you squint and look at the pool of “Mom” from just the right angle, it eerily resembles high school….
In high school – any high school – there were some “typical” groups of people. Jocks, cheerleaders, preppies, stoners, punks, etc. Well, in Mom world we also find groups that tend to stick close together, subscribe to the same rhetoric and belief-systems and have a nasty habit of looking down upon all the other groups of mom, because clearly, they are not doing it right… The main groups I have stumbled across on my journey into Motherhood are as follows:
New List – Species of “Mom” and a brief description of their habits/whereabouts…..
1.The Green Mom – aka “Cloth Diaper Divas”
Commonly seen in Natural Foods stores, Starbucks and local Parks/Playgrounds. Don’t bother looking for them at any Wal Marts or McDonalds……
Frequently heard phrases: “Is there MSG in this?” “Oh no thank you, I think that’s made with BPA.” “Honey, put that down! It was made in China!”
This group of mom prides themselves on their ability to make homemade Organic baby food, use cloth diapers thus reducing their and their baby’s carbon footprint, and their collection of wooden toys made in America and containing zero lead paint or man-made chemicals/materials. Their children watch little to no TV, have never heard the words
“Juice Box” and can define the word “Vegan” before they even know how to spell it.
2. The Working Mom – aka “The Babysitter’s replacement”
Commonly seen in an office/workplace or a McDonald’s drivethru.
Frequently heard phrases: “Well I work and I still have time to…….(insert activity)”. “Oh you’re a stay-at-home mom? So you DON’T work….” “I work…I work…I work….”
This group of mom likes to look down upon moms who choose to stay home with their children, often claiming them to be doing so out of laziness. They are rarely available to help with school functions but are known to whip up a mean store-bought brownie….. They have difficulty remembering their kids’ names but make up for it monetarily with over-blown Christmases and horse riding lessons for the kiddies.
3. The Smarty-Pants Mom – aka “McSnooty Know-it-all”
Commonly seen at Barnes and Noble, College Campus (though they are usually 10 years older than the other students) and any and all play groups/mom groups/club activities, etc.
Frequently heard phrases: “Hmmm… your doctor told you it was pink eye? Well I would get a second opinion because that looks like cancer to me……” “Oh how cute! Your kid knows his ABC’s! Well my son is already doing long division….” “Oh what am I doing? Just filling out these college applications for my daughter. I know she’s only two but you can never start too early!”
This group of mom is notorious for over-extending their children’s mental capacities. They often have their children in preschool before they are walking and learning a foreign language before they have even mastered their native language. They have their children’s activities planned for months in advance and have a scheduled activity for the child every day of the week. While the child is doing said activity, the mother can often be found mingling with the other mothers and telling them all the things they are doing wrong and the things that their children are behind in doing….
4. The Thrifty Mom – aka “Professional Garage-Salers”
Commonly seen at Garage Sales, thrift stores and wal mart, many times carrying large coupon binders. Rarely, but sometimes can be caught stealing coupon inserts from neighbors’ newspapers or haggling checkout clerks for a lower price on a dented can of green beans.
Frequently heard phrases: “How much did you pay for that? Well I got it for….(insert insanely low price). “Did I hear you needed a new blender? Well I have a coupon for that and Kroger will double it and the final sale price ends up being…” “Check this out! Looks real doesn’t it!”
This group of mom is the ultimate penny pincher. They spend hours each week clipping coupons, price hunting, meal planning, garage sale-ing. Anything to save a buck. If you find yourself in one of their homes, be prepared to be paraded around all of their belonging and told detailed stories of how much they paid for it and how they were able to get that price.
5. The Small Town Mom – aka “A Normal Mom”
Commonly seen at Barbecues, high school football games, wal mart.
Frequently heard phrases: “He ate a bug? Oh well, extra fiber.” “Why are these jeans in the wash? You’ve only worn them twice.” “Why are we having corn dogs and ice pops for dinner? Because I’m cleaning out the freezer….”
These moms are the heart of the family. They can cook but are not too proud to slap a pizza down on the table for dinner. Some of them work, some are stay at home moms but they all love their kids to the moon and back and aren’t afraid to exercise a little discipline. They let their kids run around bare foot and play with worms. Their kids first sip of beer is usually from their own can of Bud Light; their first driving lesson on a dirt back road in the family pickup truck. Don’t mess with her kids or you’ll get the Grizzly Bear….
6. The Clean Mom – aka “Sani-Sally”
Commonly seen at the Pharmacy and the doctor’s office waiting room. You’ll never find them in a public restroom, a place where more than one or two children congregate at any given time, and they seldom leave their homes during cold/flu season.
Frequently heard phrases: “Did you wash your hands??” “ Here, have some hand sanitizer!” “Oh my god, run to the next aisle, that woman just sneezed!”
These moms have single handedly kept Purell in business. Their homes are sparkling clean and smell oddly like a hospital room. They don’t own pets because animals are filthy creatures. Their children bathe twice a day and are doused in rubbing alcohol every time they encounter another child. Yet oddly enough, their children tend to be sick more often than non-bleach-soaked children…
And here I find myself, looking at these groups of mothers and wondering where I fit in. I have at times been all of them but can’t seem to subscribe to any of them. My most recent encounter with the “Green” moms ended in Shea outing me as the fraud that I am and being shunned by the Green mom community. I had taken Shea to his weekly gymnastics class (or as we like to call it, Toddler Fight Club). I sat in the viewing room with the other moms and listened intently to their conversation. One mom was telling another mom how her parents send her children unsavory Christmas presents that are laden with carcinogenic materials and autism causing particles so they let their children open them, take a picture with them holding it and then throw them out. I listened in shock – for awhile there I was almost feeling a part of the group, talking about the importance of proper nutrition and the benefits of organic foods. Yeah, yeah – totally. Oragnic rocks! Then the conversation turned to MSGs found in foods and how it’s so important to keep these away from your children. I sat there wide-eyed and nodding – Yes! Yes! That is SO important. Then Shea runs up to me and says, “Can we go get a Happy Meal now?” The other mothers turned and looked at me in horror. Here it was – my moment to sink or swim. Would I pretend not to know what a Happy Meal was and join this group of eco-do-gooders? Or would I show my true Big Mac loving colors, take my kid by the hand and flip these ladies the bird for looking at me like I had just spit in the Green Works? “Come on Shea-Bug, let’s go get your Happy Meal….”
I am a stay-at-home mom so I automatically am shunned by the working mom crowd…. Next!
The Smarty Pants moms…. I am SO this kind of mom. I really try not to be, I know how annoying I must sound when I try to point out other moms’ mis-steps, but I can’t help it!!! Wouldn’t they rather know that they are doing it wrong?? Ok, I refuse to believe that I am THAT bad and I honestly am working on this, so I will discount myself from this group in hopes that I can turn myself around and not be THAT person….
The thrifty moms… I DO use coupons but I just cannot bring myself to go to a garage sale or walk through the doors of a dollar store. Call me a snob, but I just can’t do it. My heart’s not in it….
The Small Town moms – this is one that I am proud to say I strive to be. This is the kind of mom that MY mom was and her mom before her… and so on. I have yet to master the art of not caring that my kids are running around with no shoes on and playing with bugs… I’ll work on that one. And I don’t like beer and I’ll be damned if I’m going to be the first one to hop in a car with Shea behind the wheel…hmmm…maybe I don’t fit in this group…..
The Sani-moms…. I HAVE been guilty of this. I carry a bottle of sanitizer in my purse and one in my car… and one behind the kitchen sink…..and a refill bottle under the sink…. CRAP! Am I THIS mom??? I don’t want to be this mom….this mom is annoying! Is it wrong to have a house that is clean and smells like Lysol? Oh wait! I have a dog so I don’t fit into this group either…whew! That was a close one….
So you see my dilemma? I don’t really have any one group that I fit into. I’m a little bit of all of these. I like to think that I’m a cool mom… I have tattoos, I play the guitar, my son and I rock out to Lady GaGa while we fold laundry. But “Cool” mom isn’t really a genre… I guess I’ll just continue to do what I’m doing and maybe I’ll find my title along the way. Feel free to leave suggestions of what category you believe me to be, I’ll get a kick out of reading them!