Motherhood: The Inner Circle
Maternal Genuses (Humorous Mommus)
In a rebuttal to Sigmund Freud’s statement that the driving force of mankind is our sexuality, C. S. Lewis said that “the driving force of mankind is to be part of the inner circle.” The driving force of womankind is to be a good mother. This brings women into an inner circle; the circle of motherhood. Sounds beautiful, right? It is, to a degree. But like all beautiful things, it takes blood and sweat and tears to achieve such beauty. Countless hours of labor, ravaged bikini figures, all-nighters filled with fits of colic and spit-up induct women into the Sorority of Phi Mega Momma. We like to think we women – we mothers – embrace our universal association with a designer-label panache. Regardless of creed, nationality, religion, language or location, mothers the world over have something in common. Mothers know what it costs, what it takes, what it means and what it is to have and love a child.
Exactly how mothers approach this venue is where things get crazy. Like a star quarterback on a super bowl-bound football team, women can push mothering to a competitive zenith that makes men’s sports look like patty-cakes. As a member of this ancient group of women called mothers, I have observed, from the inner circle, the machinations of these maternal warriors. I have taken the liberty of breaking them down into a scientific list of categories. They are as follows:
Genus: MEGA MOM
The culprit can be any of the following: copious amounts of caffeine-induced mochas, super vitamins, undiagnosed ADHD, or the “high-on-life” syndrome. Mega Mom not only keeps pace with her 4.3 kids ages 9 months – 13 years, she can even outpace them. These women never sleep and do more by 5AM than you will do this entire week. Not only do they attack every day’s overscheduled activities with a feverish perfection, but they anticipate future opportunities for child development and socialization the way Wall Street eagerly awaits corporate quarterly projections. Mega Mom pounces on school, classes, band, football, soccer, lacrosse, dance, horseback riding, vacation Bible school and birthday parties like a puma on a pica. Mega Mom hosts the best birthdays due to ridiculously fantastic parties, which can involve live entertainment, petting zoos, roller coasters or swimming pools. Mega Mom manipulates doctor’s appointments, arrives early to her countless destinations and has a list of pre-recorded responses for every situation (“That’s nice honey”, “We’ll see”, “Good for you”). The Lay Mother (see below) will become exhausted by simply standing next to Mega Mom, and may even suffer from a 24 hour period of confusion and mild depression.
Strengths: Mega Mom has the ability to climb any proverbial mountain, can keep kids entertained and meet deadlines with the harnessed energy of an atomic bomb.
Weaknesses: Sometimes exhibits manic personality disorder similar to a Chihuahua on crack, practices machine gun speech, and appears to own nothing other than yoga pants, a T-shirt, cross trainers, a ball cap and a stick of really good deodorant.
Genus: LAY MOTHER
The Lay Mother takes her motherhood in good stride. While the children’s needs are met (i.e. food, shelter, clothing) Lay Mother is content within her niche. These women do not go out of their way to overextend their mothering careers, but neither do they slack on love or care giving. Lay Mother unites the world of family with the world of accepting the necessary social venues, such as school and church. Lay Mother takes pride in her home, and often cleans her children’s rooms for them. Lay Mother can comfort boo-boos and read bedtime stories without ever feeling unappreciated. Lay Mother makes a good friend because she is able to enjoy a cup of coffee, have a conversation despite numerous interruptions, and tolerate other people’s children. Do not expect birthday parties with any extraordinary events. Cake and ice cream will do.
Strengths: Unflappable personality, which can be pleasant to the point of boring. Large family gatherings, excellent selection of after-school snacks and a comfortable home are included in Lay Mother’s arsenal.
Weaknesses: The Lay Mother does not seek outside adventure, does not journey far from the homestead, does not attach her children to many extracurricular activities, and usually serves decaffeinated coffee with cheap creamer.
Genus: MEDICINE MOM
Medicine Mom is the mother whose kids are always sick. In addition, Medicine Mom is a walking pharmaceutical dictionary, an editing member of WebMD, and a public servant willing to diagnose anyone at any time. Medicine Mom has zero medical training and has never worked in the medical field, yet she can spot a sniffle three blocks away. Not only does Medicine Mom actually know what Fifth’s Disease is, all three of her kids have had it. Medicine Mom can recite, verbatim, the chronological order of immunizations and their functions. Medicine Mom cannot physically enjoy a conversation without sharing her experiences with broken bones, illnesses, viral outbreaks and an account of how many trips to the ER she has notched on her belt. (The ER nurses know her by name). Medicine Mom is the individual who is most likely to argue with a pediatrician. While she does not make friends easily, she has been known to diagnose a medical condition based on the color of a child’s feces. Birthday parties will include pump-bottles of Purell and plenty of napkins.
Strengths: Medicine Mom has a first aid kit the size of an outpatient waiting room, has an extended knowledge of childhood illnesses and seeks professional help every time her child sneezes.
Weaknesses: Medicine Mom cannot converse on a normal level, has a cell phone directory filled with the numbers of specialists as opposed to the numbers of friends, and she seeks professional help every time her poor child sneezes.
Genus: OVERPROTECTIVE MOM
Just like the description states, Overprotective Mom is the woman who suffers a nervous breakdown whenever she witnesses her child playing anything other than Monopoly. Overprotective Mom tries her best to extinguish interests in sports and recreational activities which may involve physical injuries of any sort. These women are adamant adversaries for worst case scenarios, and often take a kind of morbid glee in accidents, believing said accidents prove their maniacal point. Overprotective Mom goes to extreme lengths to prevent their child from becoming injured, including the use of padding, helmets, bubble wrap, extra layers of clothing and a list of play areas with flat surfaces. Overprotective Mom faints at the sight of the neighbor’s go cart. Sometimes a hybrid version of Overprotective Mom is meshed with Medicine Mom, in which case the personality takes on a bizarre balance. Otherwise, these two genuses can maintain a conversation from which most others maternal figures would flee. Despite her best intentions, Overprotective Mom watches helplessly as her children grow up to skydive, bungee jump and hitchhike.
Strengths: Overprotective Mom keeps her child safe by whatever means are necessary and available. Overprotective Mom also has a first aid kit the size of the hospital cargo bay.
Weaknesses: Overprotective Mom pretends her children are not miserable, which is simple denial on her part. Birthday parties are sparse affairs without any sharp objects or party favors which could become a choking hazard.
Genus: PROUD MOM
Proud Mom has many facets, the least of which are evident in her title. Proud Mom drives an SUV smothered in bumper stickers touting phrases such as “Genius On Board”, “My Child Is An Honor Roll Student”, “Brittany is my Ballerina!”, “Proud Mother of An All-Star Player” and many, many more. Proud Mom also has a back windshield covered in window decal stick-family portraits, complete with names and the family pets. Proud Mom owns several monogrammed shirts, bags, purses and ball caps. Proud Mom cheers loudest, hugs tightest, and harbors the enthusiasm of a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader at the Super Bowl. Proud Mom sees nothing less than perfection when she views her precious child through her tear-laden lashes. Proud Mom brags to anyone who will listen that her child/children are beyond measure and certainly the best. Proud Mom demands that you agree. Proud Mom does not offer up criticisms, but instead showers the young offspring with verbal accolades worthy of royalty. Mega Mom and Proud Mom have been known to clash, primarily in a competitive sporting arena. Birthday parties include banners celebrating child’s name, napkins and plates monogrammed with child’s initials, and tabletops covered with framed photos of their child from age 0-present.
Strengths: Proud Mom’s child has an overconfidence which will propel him/her far into their adult lives. Proud Moms produce proud leaders.
Weaknesses: Proud Mom’s are often victims of “Bubble Syndrome”; they believe their child lives in a bubble of perfection, which cannot be popped. Anyone finding themselves in a position to correct or discipline Proud Mom’s child will pay the price. Proud Mom’s child can do no wrong!
Genus: DRAMA MAMA
Drama Mama is fairly self-explanatory. Drama Mama has multiple children, which all came from multiple baby-daddies. Drama Mama comes in two flavors: VAIN and PLAIN. VAIN Drama Mama’s have their nails lacquered to perfection at least once a week. Despite the dwindling grocery budget, Drama Mama also has her hair cut, dyed and frosted every 3-5 weeks. VAIN Drama Mama sincerely believes she is dressed to the nines, which is purely subjective. In contrast, PLAIN Drama Mama owns 3 pairs of the same black stretch pants, coupling them with a variety of oversized T-shirts. Said T-shirts can display favorite cartoon characters, snarky sarcastic remarks, or both. Whether VAIN or PLAIN, the Drama Mama uses her time to talk on her cell phone, shop for bling, spank screaming offspring in public, and demand discounts at the local dollar store. Much energy is spent seeking out a future baby daddy, with which she can either A) glean extra income or B) procure another infant. Drama Mama makes friends easily, as she is always looking for a good time. Drama Mama does not keep friends long, due to her competitive jealous nature in the man department, as well as her intolerance for women who are smarter or better looking than she. Birthday party? Yeah, for her maybe! And bring strippers…
Strengths: Drama Mama always has a boyfriend and has a knack for finding babysitters, despite their lack of credentials. Uses classic Mom lines such as “Because I said so!,” “Look at me when I’m talking to you,” and “Want in one hand…”
Weaknesses: Drama Mama is self-centered and yells at her beloved children on a routine basis. She also lives in perpetual chaos, an environment in which Drama Mama thrives like mold in a locker room.