Parenthood
15 different types of moms that exist in the world and their characteristics
Which one are you?
Kristin Danley-Greiner
06.17.21

Motherhood. It’s an amazing journey and job title full of joy, hugs and kisses, along with heartache and pain. Once you see that plus sign on the pregnancy test stick, you’re instantly part of a club of women who can swap birth stories, pregnancy tales, and share advice for every stage of a child’s growth.

But women quickly find out that entering the pregnancy stage of the club comes with its ups and downs. Some women experience terrible morning sickness so much so that they require medication and even hospitalization.

Flickr/freeestocks.org
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Flickr/freeestocks.org

They compare stretch marks and get into the sometimes heated conversation of bottle versus breast. Don’t even get some started on voluntary C-sections versus natural labor.

Once the beautiful baby is born, it can become a competition between some moms as far as when their baby says its first word, starts crawling, takes its first steps. It’s crazy how intense some moms become as they dive headfirst into parenting.

Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski
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Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski

According to Baby Gaga, there are 15 types of moms in the world. So which type are you? Do you have stories about some of the moms you know that fall into any of these categories?

1. The Helicopter Mom

You may have seen this type of mom in action, hence the name helicopter mom. She hovers. She follows her kiddo everywhere at the playground, interjects in defense of her child during a pint-sized argument in the sandbox, and would wrap her kid in bubble wrap if she could. She hesitates to allow her child to engage in anything risky, such as skateboarding, playing football, or even riding in another parent’s vehicle.
Flickr/Ludovic Bertron
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Flickr/Ludovic Bertron
Helicopter moms also tend to look down on other moms who don’t “micromanage” their children, too. If they see a child running around and playing without exceptionally close supervision, then that child’s parent must be terrible. They consider themselves to be better parents because of their perceived caring nature, but the research doesn’t match up.

“In fact, children who have never been able to make a decision on their own or who have been raised by parents who parent out of fear tend to be less secure and suffer from depression more often.”

2. Crunchy Granola Mom

These well-meaning moms believe breast is best, but are still nursing their preschooler. They tend to their own gardens and whip up batches of organic vegan stew and prohibit their kids from consuming anything with sugar or food coloring. While these beliefs have become more accepting than before, some view the dedicated crunchy granola mom as sort of an enigma.

“She may pop her placenta pills at a playdate and her story of homebirths with all six of her kids is sure to make most moms feel either inferior or grateful for epidurals. Her children have never slept in their own beds and everyone is cool with that.”

Flickr/Thomas Pompernigg
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Flickr/Thomas Pompernigg

Typically, the crunchy granola mom prefers to educate others on the detriment of their children’s diet, but only silently judges you for the processed Goldfish crackers your child is snacking on. Or she may offer your kiddo an all natural homemade granola bar made with homemade dried fruit and agave nectar while shunning your treat.

3. Competitive Mom

Remember the song “Anything you can do, I can better” from Annie Get Your Gun? Well that’s this mom. If your child crawled at 6 months, hers crawled at 5 months. If your kiddo earned all As, hers earned A+s. It won’t take long before your relationship with this mom doesn’t feel very friendly. In fact, it could become toxic quite quickly. Think of the Dance Moms reality TV show and that’s what it could seem like.

Flickr/ruby.w.
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Flickr/ruby.w.

In all honesty, it’s hard to be close friends with this type of a mom. Their constant comparisons could stem from deeply seeded insecurities they possess or the exact opposite. They harbor way too much confidence in themselves and their parenting.

4. Exhausted Mom

All moms are tired. Sleep is elusive with a newborn and it only magnifies as the child ages. Just when you think you’ll finally get a good night’s sleep, the kids suddenly are driving and have curfews, and now you have to stay up to make sure they make it home safely. These moms stumble through their day like a zombie. She’s actually kind of down, a bit glum, and hard to be positive around.

Flickr/Melissa Andrews
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Flickr/Melissa Andrews

It’s not her fault she’s this tired. In fact, she could have post-partum blues or has developed a thyroid problem. You could be a good friend and ask her how you could help, especially if she’s feeling overwhelmed.

This mom is the life of the playdate and loves a good glass of wine. All the time. With her cereal at breakfast. During lunch. Even during playdates. Drinking during playdates may be something you’re comfortable with, but this mom pushes the limits and enjoys drinking any time of day and when alone and responsible for the care of children.

Flickr/dennis crowley
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Flickr/dennis crowley

One upside of knowing wine mom is that she’ll know what wine to pair with your entree when you do go out to eat.

6. Hot Mess Mom

One look in the mirror and you may feel like the hot mess mom, but she’s a special creature. She’s usually late and roars into the school parking at the last minute. She may have mismatched shoes and her shirt is inside out or has baby spit-up on it. She finds parenting to be overwhelming and it shows, bless her heart.

Flickr/irina slusky
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Flickr/irina slusky

One upside to knowing a hot mess mom is that she’s real. She’s honest. She’s down to earth. She’s lovably endearing. But she also isn’t terribly reliable, so don’t count on her to whip up a dozen cookies for the PTA bake sale, even if she swears she can. And always bring a backup snack if she’s responsible for one day at playgroup.

7. Perfect Mommy

This woman is intimidating. She’s dressed immaculately. There are no wrinkles in her clothes, no stains, her hair and makeup are impeccable. Even her children are well behaved, clean, and dressed to impress. Their manners are shocking. And she makes everyone else feel about 1 inch tall.

Flickr/Paul Boudreau
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Flickr/Paul Boudreau

She may not mean to make you feel that way. She could be a genuinely sweet person who simply rocks her A game when it comes to parenting. Life just comes so easily for her. She whips up homemade healthy snacks for the kids and serves up a home-cooked meal each night. She looks good while doing it, too. Keep in mind that perfect mommies may not actually have it all together. They could be falling apart inside and simply put on a good show for everyone else to see.

8. Frenemy Mom

Have you heard the advice to keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Those are wise words to remember when you’re around the frenemy mom. There always seems to be one in every group. The frenemy mom maybe whispered bad things about another mom behind her back or blatantly badmouthed another mom’s child in front of everyone.

Flickr/coolio-claire
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Flickr/coolio-claire

Despite your best intentions, it’s tough to be pals with the frenemy mom because she doesn’t really care about anyone but herself. Not only is it toxic but also exhausting to try and be friends with her, so just smile and watch your back.

9. Workout Mom

This mom is inspiring with her dedication to working out and staying healthy. Some days you’re lucky to leave your office chair at work or take a shower if you’re at home. You know who she is because she sports workout clothes on the daily. Her stroller has those oversized wheels for off-roading that she uses for her daily runs.
Flickr/Fit Approach
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Flickr/Fit Approach
She loves encouraging others to work out with her, to go for jobs or take a class at the gym together. She’s easy to admire and despise at the same time, but she’s so darn peppy all the time that it’s hard to be mad at her.

10. Career Mom

It’s easy to be envious of career mom since she regularly leaves the house, enjoys Starbucks in her office, and has a quiet commute. But the downside to career mom is that she’s sure to let everyone know how amazing it is to leave her kids in daycare and head off to work. Sometimes she’ll make you feel bad for wanting to stay home or only working part-time.

Flickr/Marco Verch
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Flickr/Marco Verch

This mom loves her job, which is great for her, but making others feel bad for staying home or working part-time isn’t so great. She’s a wee bit competitive and seems to enjoy making other moms feel inferior. Just don’t let her bring you down or make you feel small for your choices.

11. Breastfeeding Mom

Not all moms are able to or want to breastfeed, but don’t let on that you didn’t in front of breastfeeding mom. While she has her baby’s best interests at heart by breastfeeding for eternity, for this mom breast is best and it’s the only option. She’s quick to point out all that a mom did wrong if breastfeeding failed and has no problem grilling you over the contents of your baby’s formula.

Flickr/UNICEF Ukraine
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Flickr/UNICEF Ukraine

Many breastfeeding moms look down on those who didn’t even try to nurse their babies and went straight for the bottle instead. She’s one to be wary of, despite her good intentions.

12. Phone Mom

She loves to post on social media, so much so that you barely see her face during playdates because she’s buried herself in her phone. As soon as the kids sprint off to the playset, she pulls up Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat and starts scrolling, clicking, and liking. She lives in an imaginary world that only exists on the social media subset instead of being in the moment.

Flickr/Artem Beliaikin
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Flickr/Artem Beliaikin

While everyone spends quite a bit of time on their cells, phone mom can’t seem to part with her phone like it’s an appendage. She’s proof that even adults need to take a break from social media.

13. The Whiny Mom

We love her, but we can’t help but grow quickly annoyed with her. She’s whiny mom and everything brings her down. She’s the glass half empty, woe is me type of a woman who makes it hard to be peppy around. She may actually be even more of a whiner than your own kids and loves to complain.

Flickr/xoxopixydust14
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Flickr/xoxopixydust14

Her house is always messy. She has no me time. The kids are out of control. She loves to tell you about what’s wrong but avoids finding a solution to the problem. She’s a mood killer and maybe just needs a boost from her mom group to see that life and parenting really isn’t that bad.

14. Zen Mom

Zen mom makes you feel euphoric after being around her. She’s calm and tranquil, a peaceful person to associate with. It’s amazing how level-headed she is with her kids and reign in her emotions. It makes you wonder if she ever has a bad day.

Flickr/Elias Bizannes
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Flickr/Elias Bizannes

We’re sure she does, because who doesn’t? But zen mom rolls with the punches and takes each setback in stride, always staying positive and on an even keel. You may even feel a bit envious of zen mom, particularly if you’re more of a hot mess mom. How does she do it?

15. Free-Range Mom

This mom reminds of us the moms from the ’80s who sent their kids outside to play on their own without supervision and tells them not to return home until it’s dark out. Their kids have an unimaginable level of freedom that blows your mind and makes you maybe clutch your kids a little tighter. These moms are fairly laid back and prefer to chat with other moms during playdates instead of being a helicopter parent.

So which type of parent are you?

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By Kristin Danley-Greiner
hi@sbly.com
Kristin Danley-Greiner is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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