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What type of mom are you?
Our society is obsessed with labels, so it really doesn’t surprise me that moms have found a way to categorize each other. And while we generally think of “labeling people” as a bad thing, I don’t think it always has to be.
Moms are always going to gravitate toward other moms they have a lot in common with. That’s perfectly normal and natural! So rather than trying to fight labels, I suggest using them to our advantage.
When I was a new mom and heard someone declare themselves “crunchy,” I went in search of the different types of moms, wondering what I was. Being a new mom was scary and lonely, and when I lost my identity, I sought out other people with similar interests. I wanted to meet moms who parented the same way I did, but I also wanted to meet different types of moms and learn from them.
I’m tired of the negativity associated with terms like “crunchy mom” or “helicopter mom.” Every type of mom is valuable and brings something unique to the table. And most moms find a piece of their style in more than one mom type!
Special thanks to my dear friend Mylee over at Little Big Dreamers (child behavior and sleep consultations) for her help in creating this list!
The 9 Types of Moms:
The Helicopter Mom
Hovering over most aspects of her kids’ lives, this mom pays close attention to grades, safety, and development. She’s hands-on and takes her role of finding solutions for her kids’ problems very seriously. Helicopter moms are all about minimizing potential risks.
The media tends to hate on helicopter moms a lot, and while I don’t personally adhere to this parenting style, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong! Kids with heavily involved parents often feel incredibly loved and supported, which can give kids confidence to succeed where others may not. These kids feel the freedom to fail and try new things because they know someone has their back.
As someone who doesn’t love being a mom, I kind of envy the connection helicopter moms have with their kids. These moms model great examples of advocating for our kids in a world filled with uncertainty.
The Crunchy/Granola Mom
The crunchy mom is all about living as naturally as possible. She is often found using essential oils and cloth diapers, babywearing, shopping for organic groceries, bed-sharing, and using alternative medicine.
I feel like I’m saying the word “crunchy” way too much. Crunchy, crunchy, crunchy…
This mom offers so much value. Even if we don’t see eye-to-eye on giving our kids Tylenol or sharing a family bed, the crunchy mom offers great ideas and resources for health and strengthening relationships. When we need a new teething remedy or healthy snack idea, the crunchy mom has our back!
The Free-Range Mom
This mom allows her kids to learn and explore independently with limited supervision, based on age and maturity levels. She steps back when problems arise, offering advice and support, but allowing her kids to experience the natural consequences of their choices. The free-range mom encourages less-structured activities over heavily supervised extracurricular activities.
Since I identify as a free-range mom, I’m a little biased in my love for this style of parenting. But free-range definitely isn’t for everyone, and I think finding a balance between this and helicopter parenting is probably ideal.
The free-range mom teaches us a lot about letting go and trusting our kids.
So often at the park, I see moms tell their kids not to do something they deem “dangerous*,” like climbing a large structure or going up the slide. The free-range mom sits back and lets her kids find out their own limits and capabilities, even when that could result in a bump on the knee or a busted lip. This creates independent kids who are problem-solvers and creative.
*I do want to note that, yes, some things definitely are dangerous. I don’t let my kid run into the street or jump off a bridge. Free-range parenting involves common sense and intuition from the mom. It’s important to ask “what’s the worst that could happen?” and decide if the benefits outweigh potential risks.
The Do-It-All Mom
This Type-A mom spends her days juggling projects, signing her kids up for new activities, and rushing from place to place for pick-ups and drop-offs. She may have it all together, or she may just strive to, but she wants to give her kids as many opportunities and experiences as possible.
She’s always on time, loves her planner, and her diaper bag is overflowing with extra snacks, clothes, and diapers. She’s probably a Pinterest mom, making cool crafts and snacks, and you can bet she always has a first-aid kit close by!
The Do-It-All mom thrives on routine and balance, so she has to be careful not to overextend herself. But when she’s at her best, this mom is fun and filled with great experiences that her kids will remember for life. This mom can probably teach us all a thing or two about time management and being prepared (two things I’ve always been bad at).
The Fun Mom
This mom is enjoying life! The fun mom doesn’t take anything too seriously, and she’s always got the best stories and jokes. She’s always up for wine (even at 10 am playgroups), socializing, and hitting up Target.
The fun mom doesn’t adhere to strict schedules or rules, embracing spontaneity and surprises. She lives one day at a time and tries to pack each day with smiles, laughs, and memories.
We need more of these moms! Sure, sometimes we need to be serious and set rules, but learning to find joy in every day is a great skill. The fun mom is happy, and she loves to share that happiness with her friends. Everyone needs a fun mom to let loose with sometimes.
The Laid-Back Mom
Similar to the fun mom, this mom takes each day as it comes, and isn’t aiming for perfection. The laid-back mom doesn’t get worked up about the little things. She picks her battles and goes with the flow. She’s the mom that picks her kid’s pacifier off the ground and pops in back in her kid’s mouth, no cleaning needed. She doesn’t believe in mom-guilt.
When I told my therapist that I felt like a lazy mom, and she responded that I was “laid-back, not lazy.”
I clung to that much-needed validation, and now I always aim to be as chill as possible. In a world of stress and anxiety, we all need moms who don’t care when we haven’t showered, our home is a mess, and our kid just licked his shoe.
The Hot-Mess Mom
The hot-mess mom is just what she sounds like. Usually running late and looking disheveled, she’s in survival mode and just trying to get to nap time. She’s not great with time management, and she runs on reheated coffee and dry shampoo.
The key to being a hot-mess mom is to embrace it, accepting the chaos and rolling with the punches. As long as our kids feel loved, we don’t have to have the rest figured out. The hot-mess mom might be a bit of a disaster, but her heart (and priorities) are in the right place.
The First-Time Mom
The first-time mom is determined to be a perfect parent by reading all of the best baby books. She’s taking notes and doing research, always adhering to all recommendations and safety tips. She is often heard saying,” My pediatrician says…”, or “that’s not how the book said to do it.” She’s charting everything her baby does, inspecting all new toys for lead, and asking everyone to use hand sanitizer before touching her kid.
We’ve all been a first-time mom at some point, and it’s easy to forget how scary it really is to bring home a newborn. The first-time mom is an important reminder of how much love and support moms need.
If you know a new mom, be sure to help her out once in a while. And maybe ask her what parenting books she’s been reading – it never hurts to find out what’s changed since you had a newborn!
The Old-School Mom
Leaning on a more traditional style of parenting, this mom has high expectations for respect, responsibility, manners, and good grades. Her kids sit politely at the restaurant as they wait for dinner, and they know they can’t play after school until all of their homework is done. The old-school mom has clear rules and expectations, and her kids know how to behave to avoid time-outs, spankings, or getting grounded.
This mom looks to family members and more seasoned moms for advice. She’s not interested in modern parenting because she turned out fine, and she knows her kids will, too.
There’s definitely something to be said for this parenting style, and it can yield great results. The old-school mom expects a lot from her kids, and her ability to solidify herself as her kid’s parent, not friend, is worth observing. Dealing with a toddler throwing tantrums in public, or a power struggle with your teen over curfew? This mom knows what it takes to get control of the situation.
Maybe you’re all or none of these.
Maybe you read this list and immediately knew which one was you, or maybe you felt like you were a combo of all 9 types. Obviously, this list is in no way scientific.
Don’t let a list like this hold you back or put you in a box. If it doesn’t help you, that’s okay!
But this list is for the mom who doesn’t know who she is yet. This is for the mom who thinks she’s crunchy but doesn’t have the confidence to admit it because she’s nervous about being judged. This is for the mom who hears her friend is a helicopter mom and wants to find out the positive aspects of that parenting style.
Mama, embrace your labels if you want to. Helicopter, free-range, laid-back, or old-school, every mom is awesome in her own way.
Tell me in the comments which type of mom you are, and please click the image below to share it on Pinterest!
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