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?!


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?!!