Sunday, November 15, 2009

Alpha Mom- I AM NOT!

With a little inspiration from Theta Mom, I decided to do a little research on Alpha Moms vs. Beta Moms. From my initial perspective, I feel that I am a Beta Mom with Alpha Mom tendencies. After doing a little research, I find myself extremely slightly offended. Beta Moms are referred to as Slacker Moms? EXCUSE ME! I am no slacker. I am, for lack of a better term, balls to the wall day in day out. I’m a stay at home mom who has enough going on with diaper changes, scheduling, and feeding x 2 to not make a big deal out of placing my children on waiting lists at the most prestigious pre-schools. I prefer to take what’s easy and go with it…because no matter what, it’s not easy.

With my Alpha Mom tendencies, you’ll see me checking out Kindermusik classes, but realizing how silly it really is to spend the money, especially with only one salary coming in. I’m sure they would learn with sign language and musical engagement, but Beta Mom tells me, they’ll learn it eventually anyway. As an Alpha Mom, you’ll find me cutting out and coloring letters, trying to pound the alphabet in my little one’s head. But as a Beta Mom, you’ll find me allowing her to rip it up and let her baby brother chew on it. Alpha Mom was pumped up about gymnastics starting when Lily turned two and became disappointed when she could not focus for forty-five minutes. Beta Mom realized we don’t know what the day will unfurl during the terrible twos.

During my “research,” I found several Beta Mom blogs, along with a few Alpha Mom articles. The most interesting article was from USA Today. I was reading this article on the way to my parent’s home for the weekend while the little ones were sleeping in the car. I found through the article that I believe my own personal battle between Alpha Mom and Beta Mom is that I’m a high achiever but am very anti-superficial…or should I say materialistic. I know that may sound offensive to some who are more on the trendy side… but let me clarify. I would love to be trendy and appear to be pulled together. I actually covet those characteristics, but in my core… it’s just not me. So for me, it turns into materialism and very fake. I actually have a friend that I met through online social networking. This wonderful mother-do-it-all-er is what I would seriously consider an Alpha Mom. I only know her through online connections, but she has everything perfectly put together. Her children are always perfectly coordinated according to the date and holiday. She’s on top of communication with her friends, has time for a small side business or two, and is perfectly pulled together and coordinated herself!!! Gasp! She literally only sleeps like three hours a day. (Yes, H.M., this ones for you!)

So, anyways, I’m still thinking that I’m a Beta Mom, because I’m not the most trendy, I’m not working hard to move to the top of my job, and because I allow my kids to eat chew, and poop mud. They’ve been licked in the mouth by dogs since they were newborns. And I just don’t care. So, in my mind, there is the stamp of approval… Beta Mom Approved. This article I’m speaking of explains that Beta Moms are coming up against the Alpha Moms in a movement to say, “Chill out!”

On this car ride, I’m explaining to my dear Nate, exactly what I am doing. And in all honesty, mocking the aggravation that Alpha Moms must be going through. I mean, really, “Chill out!” So, I read him the description of an Alpha Mom.

Me: “Alphas are educated, can-do types whose organization skills bring corporate mentality to their parenting and a technological agility to their problem-solving.”

He just looks at me… and then says… “You are riding down the road, tethering your laptop to your blackberry and looking at blogs about parenting?”

I’m not sure if that was a question or a statement. So, I go on.

Me (quoting the article again): “Beta Moms have it together sometimes. They may forget to send back permission slips or lose track of their turn for team snacks.”

We look at each other and laugh. I would NEVER forget a permission slip or snacks. Actually, I would have it 1. Scheduled in my blackberry with a reminder, and 2. Do the most creative snack I could think of!

How funny! The more I look, the more I realize, I’m not the cool, chilled-out Beta Mom. I’m the overbearing, stiff-necked Alpha Mom! And the more I think of it, the reason I let my kids eat, chew, and poop mud is for the sensory experience. It’s the same with the dog-licking thing. Everything I allow or don’t allow my kids to do has something to do with how they will learn or experience something from it.

The article goes on to speak about how these high achieving mothers are used to being able to control things, but run into a problem with their kids. I think they sum it up greatly when they say that we can’t control how our kids turn out by what we do, but that “parenting is about finding out who your child is and fostering their growth and development as individuals.”

So, with that said, I’m going to go google how to not be an Alpha Mom…


Tony C said...

I'm sorry, but I can't get past the whole you...snack day...most creative snack thing. The competitive part I understand because you are definitely competitive. But, the image of you in an apron, making little creative kiddy snacks...just ain't working for me.

I'm just saying...

Mrs. Wilbur said...

I LOVE your blog, what a great theme! I like to think I'm a Beta Mom too, but Alpha qualities have a sneaky way of sliding in ;)

Tracy said...

What really hit me as I read your post here was what I refer to as the whole tight rope parenting walk thing.

I've repeatedly noticed as I'm rasing my sons that I want to encourage them to enjoy excellence, yet not be performance oriented. I want them to know they are loved no matter what, that life should be appreciated and enjoyed, and that it's not about pleasing people (sounds pretty much what you describe as Beta). But I want them to find their God given gifts and go all out (might be Alpha). It's a difficult balance.

Sometimes my just-turned-17-yr-old son will say that all his friends think I must smoke dope because I'm so relaxed all the time (I told him it's just the joy of the Lord and then they all looked at me like they were certain I was smoking something). But at other times he speaks out in frustration that he's the only highly ranked varsity football player who's parent expects him to keep an above 4.0 average and that I really am demanding. I'm pretty sure his comments reflect that I haven't achieved that perfect balance yet.

Tracy DeLuca said...

Thanks for coming by my blog and following!

I am really confused by all the alpha vs beta mom stuff. I am just a mom. I have no idea what type I am! LOL My DD might say that I am Alpha but I feel Beta most days. Or maybe I am an Alpha who can't control my demon children? Ack. Too much for my mind to handle tonight!

I really love your blog so far. The idea behind it is fabulous. I think I lost a lot of myself int he midst of parenting and have been struggling to find myself again for ages now. sigh.

Tanya said...

This is Tee following from
the MBC! You can find me here: