Becoming a mom is a wonderful thing. But with motherhood comes new pressures, habits, and stress. How those stressors are managed can often define who someone is, both internally and to those around you. Many mothers end up in one way or another embodying one of the many mom stereotypes we all know. Some are more positive, and some are quite a bit negative.
Depending on where you fall, you may not enjoy the label. You may not see yourself that way and may be offended. But it’s not the end of the world. Below is more insight into the most common mom stereotypes out there. So figure out which one you may be, and how to avoid becoming one if you’re not quite happy with being one of the common mom stereotypes.
So What Are “Mom Stereotypes”?
Before kids, we have all said “I’ll never do X!” or “I can’t believe Suzy does Y”. But most of the time, by bringing kids into this world, we DO change. It’s inevitable that we, along with our spouse, will change our mindset on many things after children. And along the way, we’ll make changes to our actions and words too. We’ll start to fall into categories – or typical mom stereotypes – based on these changes.
From the yoga-loving, green smoothie-sipping earth mama to the perpetually late, coffee-addicted hot mess mom, there seems to be no shortage of stereotypes when it comes to moms. But let’s face it, these caricatures are often more comical than accurate. Mom stereotypes are ideas or images often used to describe mothers in a certain way. It can range from being a “helicopter parent” to being a Type-A or controlling mother, to having the look of the “basic white mom starter pack”. It can also include the idea of a “perfect mother stereotype” – one who has it all together. There are mom stereotypes of working moms, and yes there are even father stereotypes, (though arguably not as noticeable).
There’s a big chance we’ve all met and/or know someone who has become one of these mom stereotypes. Maybe it’s Stephanie in the carpool line who is very strict, or your neighbor Kelly who only gives her kids raw, organic foods. We’ve all seen mother stereotypes in movies too. Remember the quote from the movie Mean Girls? “I’m not a regular mom. I’m a cool mom.“
The Common Mom Stereotypes
Sure, some moms may be living their best life as the Queen Bee of Pinterest, crafting intricate decorations for every school event. And then there are those moms who have embraced their inner Martha Stewart with homemade organic baby food that could rival any gourmet restaurant. But let’s face it, most of us are just trying to survive on caffeine and dry shampoo while our kids run around like tiny tornadoes.
Just because your parenting style fits closely into one of these categories does not define who you are as a mother or how your child is raised. However, for reference, the most common mom stereotypes we see are:
- Helicopter Mom – This mom hovers over her child’s every move, ready to swoop in and fix any problem that comes their way. She provides constant supervision and micromanaging, from schoolwork to social interactions and extracurriculars.
- Crunchy Mom – This happy-hippy mama takes an attachment-parenting approach to child-raising, creating organic, free-range baby food, and all about normalizing breastfeeding.
- Nonstop Mom – Is she a superhero who can juggle work, kids, and household chores with ease? Or is she just a caffeine-addicted zombie who hasn’t slept in years? Regardless, she does it all without breaking a sweat.
- Hot Mess Mom (Type B Parent) – Let’s be real here – who hasn’t felt like a hot mess at some point in their parenting journey? We’ve all been there: running late to school drop-off, forgetting important dates, and constantly losing our cool over the tiniest things. But unlike most, this mom is often portrayed as disorganized, forgetful, and chaotic most of the time.
- Hip Mom – This mom has not let having a child change her life completely. She is always on the go, with the child in tow. She’s also always up-to-date on the latest trends, for both the kids and for her.
- Fitness Mom – This mom is up at 5 am every day to crush a CrossFit workout before heading home to pack lunches and shuffle the kids off to school.
- High and Mighty Mom – This mom always has her hair perfectly styled, wears designer clothing, and carries a fancy coffee cup while pushing her equally well-groomed children in their trendy stroller. She may or may not look down on others who dare to wear yoga pants to drop off.
- Sports Mom – This “rah-rah” mom is at every sports game, or school event, and is always armed with a camera to document the moments. She’ll cheer for her kid and yours, and will always have an extra camp chair and snacks in her trunk.
- Pinterest Mom – This mom will handmake 22 Valentines for both her kids’ classes, decorate the house in a complete theme for her daughter’s birthday party, and make cute Mother’s Day gifts for all her friends. She’s crafty, a DIYer, and loves doing it.
- Tiger Mom – Know a mom who is strict and demanding? Also overbearing, pushy, and expects nothing less than perfection? Yep, that’s a Tiger Mom.
- Chatty Kathy Mom – Want to know the latest gossip? Oh, she’s got it and she’s ready to dish it out. Her conversations are often one-sided as she dominates them with stories about her kids or unsolicited advice for other moms.
READ MORE: Why Moms Need Friends
Ways to Avoid Becoming One of These Mom Stereotypes
One of the best ways to avoid becoming one of these mom stereotypes is to be conscious of your own unique parenting style. Everyone has their own methods to raise their children and it’s important to remember that what works for some may not work for all. Being a mom is all about finding what works for you. If it happens to be closely related to one of these mom stereotypes, so be it.
Try to be open to different parenting styles and don’t feel ashamed if one of the stereotypes resembles your own. Acknowledge when you may need to adjust your parenting style for the better and strive to maintain a balance between traditional and modern parenting techniques. Follow our quick tips below to avoid becoming one of these mom stereotypes that your pre-kids self would have made fun of.
Find your Mom Tribe
Whether you connect online with ladies across the country or offline at the playground, having a community of support can help you stay well-rounded and provide additional perspectives that can keep you balanced. If your tribe just happens to be an entire crew of mom stereotypes, like Sports Moms, so be it. Embrace it, and connect on it. You’ll be able to share the role of loudest screams from the bleachers and hopefully power in numbers will keep the umpire from kicking you out of the stands.
You don’t have to be a yoga-loving kale enthusiast or a Pinterest-perfect craft extraordinaire to fit in. Embrace your quirks and remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to motherhood. Maybe the best tribe is finding a group where each mom is her own stereotype. As long as there’s respect and understanding everyone can get along and help each other.
Rely on your Support Group
Outside of your tribe of moms, you need people who can help you at a moment’s notice. Too busy at work to make homemade cupcakes for the class party? Call your spouse/a friend/grandma/the nice barista/etc. who’s willing to run by the grocery store and pick up a set already made? No one will tell Pinterest Mom if you don’t. While it’s important to have a mom tribe, it’s just as important to have others to help and give support.
Strive for Being Well-Rounded
Having a calendar of various commitments can help prevent pulling you in one direction or another. It’s easy to become focused on one aspect of life and allow that to spiral into an identity. If you feel like the only activity you have outside of carpool is spin class, sign up for a photography class at the rec center and make a note to get a manicure. Staying organized can help you remain well-rounded! By embracing different perspectives and approaches, you can create a balanced approach that suits both you and your child.
READ MORE: 5 Organizational Tips All Moms Should Know
Connect as a Family
Parenting is a complex, ever-evolving journey that requires constant adaptation and growth. In today’s fast-paced world, it can be challenging to strike the right balance between being an effective parent and fostering strong family connections. One crucial aspect of achieving this delicate harmony lies in understanding different parenting styles. By exploring and adopting various approaches, parents can create a nurturing environment that promotes healthy communication, trust, and mutual respect within the family.
Pay attention to your children, partner, and those around you. Everyone wants their children to get straight A’s, but knowing when to put the Tiger Mom hat down will help boost their confidence in the long run. Try out new activities and find things that you can enjoy together! Board games and trips to the zoo or museum are fun ways to connect and spend time away from the things that might make you feel overwhelmed or stereotypical. The ultimate key lies in finding a style that aligns with your, your spouse’s, and your family’s values while taking into account your child’s unique needs and personality.
Being a mom is no easy task, but it doesn’t mean we have to conform to stereotypical expectations. We can embrace our individuality and avoid falling into these 11 mom stereotypes. Whether you’re a Pinterest-perfect mom or a hot mess mom, remember that there is no right way to be a mom. Let’s support and uplift each other instead of judging and labeling. So go ahead, break free from these stereotypes, and be the unique, badass mom that you are!
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