Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mother's Day Week: My Journey as a Mother

My town has a local magazine that I read quite often called Simply Family. Its kinda like Parents magazine, but with more Montanan type stuff. I love it! Here is their online website, check it out, even if you don't reside in Montana!

That's one of my former dance students!

This month's magazine is mostly themed around Motherhood and Mother's Day. Although many of the articles featured this month inspired me, my favorite article is called "What Kind of Mother Are You?" by Brenda Maas. The article highlights all the different types of moms and then asks the reader to reflect on what types of mothers they experience. Each mom type has a whimsical explanation of what they are about. It was quite funny. But it also really got me reflecting on not only what type of mother I am now, but my journey and growth as a mother.

Here are the mom categories and my brief explanations of them:
(Remember, these are Brenda Maas' ideas, I am only sharing them with you)

TrainWreck Mom
Your average disheveled mom... Think dirty clothes, messy hair, always late and with screaming kiddos? Yeah, that mom.

Helicopter Mom
Well what does a helicopter do? This mom hovers over her children, swooping in to save them from any stressful situations. As a daycare teacher, I have issues with these moms lol.

Enabler Mom
This mom is similar to the Helicopter Mom, but she will give her children everything they want or need. She is also their main problem solver and will often take the blame for her kids.

Granola Mom
Pretty self explanatory. This mom is all about organic and natural.

Sing-Songy Mom
This mom will only talk to her children in baby talk. Most of the time this stage ends as the child grows up, but sometimes it will stay lol. I have heard moms baby talk to ten year olds before.

Drill Sergeant Mom
This one is also pretty self explanatory. Not only does this mom act like a drill sergeant, but she often barks at her children like one too.

Over-the-Top Mom
Brenda Maas explained this one perfectly. She said, "Enter the age of Princesses and Tiaras." Enough said? I think so lol. :)

One-Upper Mom
We all have dealt with one-uppers in life right? Well this is the mom version.

Greener Grass Mom
Think SAHMs who want to work, or vice versa. That's this type of mom.

Competitor Mom
This mom is different from the One-Upper Mom, instead of one upping everything, she is obsessed with her child winning. EVERYTHING.

Volunteer Vacuum Mom
Also known as the PTA Mom.

Absentee Mom
Remember Train Wreck Mom? This is the opposite of her. This mom is pampered and in designer clothes, which makes you wonder, how does she look like that and still have children?

Whatever, Go with the Flow Mom
Another pretty self explanatory one. This mom is laid back and somewhat disorganized. She doesn't care though! :)

Tiger Mom
This one is based on Amy Chua's memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom. They are like the Drill Sergeant Mom but way tougher.

When I was pregnant with Alan, I was obsessed with giving him every chance possible for positive development and success. You could say I was a combination of the Granola Mom and the Over-the-Top Mom. I wanted everything to be perfect for him. I wanted him in the right diapers in the right baby carrier with the right bottles and supplemental formula and the right pacifier. He needed to take be all natural and organic, like he was in utero. I researched non-stop and asked so many questions I thought other mothers might shoot me lol. But nothing was too good for my son.

However, I learned pretty quickly that I was not the one in control and that Alan was lol. This was first presented to me when I labored for 48 hours straight and my birth plan went out the window. I was frustrated at first, but mostly just grateful that he was here and he was healthy. Those next six weeks were a blur for me though. I was a SAHM so my schedule and whole life was changing diapers, learning how to breastfeed Alan, and packing him everywhere with me. He like never wanted to be put down lol. At that point, I definitely think I was a TrainWreck Mom but I also had some Helicopter Mom tendencies. I noticed quickly that it was not Alan who never wanted to be put down, but it was ME that was too nervous to ever leave his side. He even came in the bathroom with me and sat in his bouncy seat when I showered. I never could leave him alone. I was always worrying about his health and well being. It was somewhat exhausting, to be completely honest.

After realizing this (and receiving my PPA diagnosis), I chilled out some as a mother. I was comfortable with leaving Alan with my parent's or Lon's and started taking night time cooking classes. But that only really ever gave me a glimpse of the social life I was really lacking. Suddenly I became the Greener Grass Mom and whined at all my friends who had children and jobs. They didn't necessarily understand and instead took offense to it, so that didn't help lol. I also was a Sing-Songy Mom as the only company I had most days was my son, so I talked his ear off in baby talk most days lol. Thankfully around Alan's first birthday, I got a job at the YMCA and finally had received my social life. I was no longer the Greener Grass Mom. And the baby talk faded as Alan learned to talk himself. We didn't want to hinder his speech development.

I feel like since Alan's first birthday and since I started working again, I have become the Whatever, Go with the Flow Mom. I have mellowed out a lot with the help of finishing my therapy, daily meditation and yoga practices. If Alan hurts himself, I don't freak out and worry about his health like I used to. I understand now how beneficial it is to his development to let him have independence, so I can let him play by himself and I even can leave him at daycare. I am very disorganized but I believe that going with the flow of nature is the best for my family and I. I hope that this continues when Anna is born. We will just have to see, huh? :)

What kind of mom are you? What kind of moms do you experience in your daily life? Do you have any more mom types you'd like to add? 

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