We all know we shouldn’t compare ourselves to other moms. It’s not right to judge or stereotype. Yeah, yeah… yeah. We also know we all do it and it can sometimes even serve a useful purpose. Who among us hasn’t wanted to be a little more like that mom and a little less like that mom?
Here are five of the most common mom types I’ve encountered:
1. The By-the-Book Mom. This is generally but not always a first-time mom. She knows the recommended amount of sleep, food, dirty diapers and infant Tylenol a baby should have according to his age and weight. She knows exactly when the first teeth should appear and in what order. She can recognize cradle cap, RSV and Fifth Disease on sight. This mom is a font of useful knowledge, but should never be a substitute for your pediatrician. Also, she tends towards anxiety. Wonder why?
2. The Go-With-the-Flow Mom. This mom is the polar opposite of the By-the-Book Mom. She is very attuned to her baby’s needs, usually calm and unfazed by a little rash or unexplained crying fit. If the baby has a diaper blowout or spews spit-up all over her, oh well. That’s what babies do! This mom is good to have around as a reminder not to freak out over every little thing, but sometimes she’s a little TOO laid back. I mean, letting your baby eat sand and get licked on the mouth by a strange dog? Ew.
3. The Martyr Mom. This type of mom is very common. In fact, I’d say there’s a little Martyr Mom in all of us. She always puts herself last, whether it’s eating, sleeping, or even basic personal hygiene. Her baby is always adorably dressed and clean, whereas she is usually rumpled, rushed, and guzzling a lukewarm latte because she didn’t have time to eat. She will give you her last wipe or Goldfish cracker and insist that YOU pick the park for your weekly playdate. She is never available for mom’s night out, though, because she doesn’t feel right asking anyone else to watch the baby.
4. The Guilt-Free Mom. In sharp contrast to the Martyr Mom is this rare breed. I know a couple of them, or else I’d think she was an urban legend. Guilt-Free Mom may travel for work, go on weekend getaways with friends and to the gym regularly, and may even have time for HOBBIES! She doesn’t feel the least bit guilty because her very capable husband carries at least half of the child-raising and household load. She loves her kids, but doesn’t slavishly serve to their every waking need. When you ask how she does it, she laughs and shrugs. “I just do!” You would hate this mom if she wasn’t so nice.
5. The Perfect Mom. The one who always does everything right and always looks good doing it. She never complains, always smiles, dresses herself and her children stylishly but not obnoxiously so, has a clean house, well-behaved kids and an involved spouse. She had an easy birth and no problems breastfeeding. She even still looks good in a bikini. Surprise! This one’s a trick –- she DOESN’T EXIST. If you think you know a Perfect Mom, you just don’t know her well enough. Believe me.
Besides, most of us are combinations of these mom types, aren’t we? Of course, I’d like a little more Guilt-Free Mom in the mix. I’m working on it.
What type of mom are you?