As the mom of 7 and 11-year-old boys, I am far from perfect. The thing is, no mom is! I don't have all the answers, but I do have eleven years of observations to draw on, and I like to think I can read people pretty well. Everywhere I go, other moms seem to be buzzing about the same kinds of moms they love to watch/envy and sometimes even hate.
Reading Sasha Brown-Warsham's "8 Meanest Things Moms Say to Each Other" blog post on The Stir made me nod my head in agreement and got me thinking. A lot of times, some of this meanness comes from seeing five kinds of moms. None are perfect and not every mom falls into one of these types, but they do pop up a lot. (Note the absence of "Helicopter Mom." We've heard enough!)
The Crafty Mom
She always knows what's on sale this week at the local craft store and you can always count on her to have a great selection of fabric markers in a pinch. She is not only crafty, but creative and patient as well -- how could her creations be so perfect if she wasn't? -- and she actually inspires someone like me to try to be more artsy. If only I had time. I work full-time outside the home. Maybe If I could be home all day, I'd be crafty, too. In any event, her kids have cool things on their backpacks, customized license plates on their bikes and school art projects with at least a dozen recycled materials.
The Worrywart Mom
She isn't sure things are safe. She dreads the class field trip, the outdoor birthday party, the school lunches, the local sports league. She not only hovers, she hints at potential disasters. She backs up her fears with the latest statistics and scenarios about when so-and-so's son or daughter got hurt. She scares me. Yes, it's a scary world out there, but so is our kids' world at home, too -- on the Internet, with parents fighting, siblings rough housing and microwave mishaps...
The Stylish Mom
She looks like she's stepped out of Glamour magazine and into real life, appearing ten years younger and way better rested than the rest of us. From her hair to her running clothes, she looks fit, fashionable and even happy. How does she find time to shop for such unique things, and why does she look so good grabbing the broccoli, waiting in line at Starbucks and listening intently at the PTA meeting?
The Under-the-Gun Mom
Run into this mom anywhere and within one minute she will seem like she's busier and under more pressure than anyone else. Whether she works inside or outside the home, has a nanny or not, she is always running late, running around or running in circles, and she wants everyone to know about it. Hello! Many of us have more than one kid with endless activities and carpool commitments. We all have to get to the grocery and figure out what to make for dinner. Much of it is not convenient. But we don't complain about it every day to people we don't know well (just most days, and even then, to our moms, significant others or best friends).
The Laid-Back Mom
She's never investigated the parental control features on the computer or DVR and doesn't worry about the lyrics in the latest songs her kids put on their iPods. Her motto is live and let live -- and she's fun. She is never anxious or agitated and she's happy to have her kids' friends come around anytime. Breakfast dishes in the sink at dinner time simply don't get her down. Schedules are for suckers. Bedtime is flexible. Life is easier.
Do you recognize someone you know in these descriptions? Do you recognize yourself? You have to laugh. We're all in this parenthood thing together.
Disclaimer: The characters in this piece are composites and not based on any one individual. Any resemblance to real people may be strictly part of your imagination -- or your reality.