Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mothers Day -- I Hate You!

I wasn't going to write a Mothers Day post, because every day is Mothers Day at Mommy With an Attitude, after all. But then yesterday I read how the "Slacker Moms are urging the Alpha Mothers to chill." A fight! Just in time for Mothers Day!

"The original Mommy Wars focused on the ideological battle between stay-at-home mothers and mothers in the workforce. This newest skirmish is more about personal parenting styles."

On the one hand, I suppose it's a relief if we don't have to hate each other based on who has a job outside the home and who doesn't anymore. On the other hand, if like me, you're not sure whether you're more like an alpha mom or a beta mom, then how are you supposed to pick a side in this war? I mean, we all know for certain if we work for pay outside the home or not, but the alpha/slacker lines are a little more difficult to draw.

Because I'm a team player, I wanted to fess up right away and let everyone know if they're on my side or if they think I suck. So here goes:

I cook real, whole and largely organic food for my kids every day, and they only eat fast-food when my husband sneaks it to them behind my back. (And though this happens to make me look like a good mom -- the real reason I do it is just because I'm a food snob.) -- Alpha

I have already decided that even though I would never eat the crap served in a school cafeteria, my kids are going to have to eat it, because I'm too lazy to make lunches in the morning before work (breakfast is enough of a pain at that time of day). -- Beta

Every day before dinner I make the kids help me clean up every toy in the house, they eat dinner, I help them brush their teeth and I read them three books before bed. (Lights out by 7:15 pm -- how can a growing brain develop properly without a good night's sleep?) -- Alpha

Every day my kids watch as much TV as they want. -- Beta

I started teaching my first baby Spanish at 3 months old. -- Alpha

My second baby has pretty much only learned what Spanish he's picked up from the older one. -- Beta

While eating raisins or pistachios or chocolate chips, I routinely seize the opportunity to teach my kids how to add and subtract. -- Alpha

The other day I talked to the head volunteer of my son's kindergarten class. She works 4 10-hour days and then spends Fridays in both of her kids' classrooms and coordinates all of their class parties/events. I had to sheepishly admit that I didn't work at all most of the school year, and yet the couple of times she'd asked me to remember to send a box of Ritz crackers for class parties, I had found that an extreme hardship. (One of the times I even forgot.) -- Beta

So it seems I might be a teensy bit uptight about some things but rather laid back about others. And isn't everyone? Or are the alphas and the betas all going to have to hate me?!

8 comments:

Melissa said...

Well! I guess I'll have to... um... admit I also have no idea whether I'm supposed to be an alpha mom or a beta mom. (Especially since the article claims that "the so-called Alpha Mom is a marketing creation"... I've never been much good at being a marketing creation.)

Best part of that article? Calling Daphne de Marneffe "a clinical psychologist from Corte Madera, Calif." and Katie Allison Granju "an online producer for a television station." Yeah, THAT'S what they're known for. That's what gives them expertise on mothering issues! Brilliant.

The Eeyore Librarian said...

Oh my!! What happens if I aspire to be a beta mom?? But to do so I micromanage my child's tivo scheduals, carefully plan their one afterschool activity (just one at a time - if he has one), and never sweat the number of toy guns he keeps at Grandma's (well steadfastly disallowing them in my house)? I actually shudder when I listen to some of the scheduals these kids are run through - maybe I'm just lazy but I don't want to do all those activities!! Aspiring to imperfection is much less stress than maintaining the illusion of perfection!

radioactive girl said...

I think I fit both sides. Is there no middle of the road type of mom a person can be?

keema said...

I am not sure if nursing an infant and a preschooler counts as alpha or beta. Is it alpha because I am like a totally extreme nurser? Or is it beta because I am too live-and-let-live to force the preschooler to wean?

It sounds like a false dichotomy to me. It sounds like someone got bored at a magazine someplace and just made the whole thing up.

Jill said...

Exactly. I'm a hybrid too (Alpha with education and safety, Beta with food and TV). Although I have definitely met parents who fall squarely into one category or the other. Can't say I was too crazy about either extreme.

Anjali said...

I can honestly say I don't have any mom-friends who fall into only one category or the other. Boy, I really do love my friends.

jennster said...

i can't get past the title.. happy mother's day i hate you is cracking me the fuck up!

Oh, The Joys said...

7:15?! Is that the new 8:00 and no one told me?!!