The Alpha Mom

Nobody is perfect, that includes Alpha Moms....what are your thoughts on this group of mothers and mothers who go by Beta Mom or just Mom?

The term Alpha Mom has been around for a while now. It refers to those Moms who are type A personalities in their role as Mother. They can respond to an on line blog, while icing perfectly baked cupcakes from scratch, while helping their school aged child with homework, while skyping with a former colleague, while nursing a baby...in addition the last load of laundry is in the dryer which will be put away in about 15 minutes after it is folded and right before it is folded dinner will be put in the oven and the baby given a bath. Okay, you get my point.  They are the Moms who somehow appear to be able to do it all...flawlessly. 

I am not sure what culturally happened over the last 10 years that the Alpha Moms began their rise to power.  I have my belief that it is related to the fact that women are more educated than in previous generations and are thus more self sufficient, financially stable, and more successful in the business world.  This all seems to happen prior to their having children and once they become mothers they transfer this high achieving drive onto motherhood and mothering.  That is just my guess but whatever the reason, it describes a mother and mothering style that is a cultural phenomenon.  There is marketing driven towards this kind of mother and it has now spawned a new type of wife...yes you guessed it the alpha wife.  There is also the Beta Mom, a group that describes themselves, yes you guessed it as the moms who cannot do it all perfectly.

In my pratice and my personal life the term Alpha Mom has come up a lot lately whether it be the facebook post about the Alpha Mom at the kiddie pool or the client feeling inferior because she forgot to pack her child's snack and forgot the sprinkles on the cupcakes.  It made me begin to wonder, what is it about the Alpha Mom that causes such emotions in other Moms?  Whether it be the desire to want to be an Alpha Mom or feel inferior because you are a Beta Mom? 

There is one thing I know to be true and that is no one is perfect. When you are in a profession where people come to you for help, advice, guidance, to make changes, one thing you quickly learn is that things from the outside aren't always as they appear.

So this week I am asking for your thoughts on Alpha Moms, Beta Moms, Moms.  Is there a competition that exists between them?  Is there an expectation either met or unmet by the Alpha Moms, Beta, and women who just go by Mom?

I look forward to your responses.

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roberta July 19, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Moms, the Alpha Mom exists...she is a marketing phenom, she is tech savy and plugged in, educated and a type A personality. In 2007 the group was one of the top trendsetters, she is either a working outside of the home mom or a mom who has left the corporate world. This group is one of the groups that are the test groups for products designed for moms and families as they are critical and practical. I don't think the point of this article was to label and compare moms but open up a dialogue about the groups within a group that exist. I think it is great that a group of Moms have dubbed themselves the Beta Moms, and even in the article the kind Moms and the do it the best we can Moms....there is also the Tiger Moms....at the end of the day as long as you love your children and do the best you can for them and your family isn't that enough? TJ asking the question isn't offensive it gets a conversation going.
SN July 19, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Susie, I only commented after Alicia posted a link to this on a facebook and a few of my friends had commented there so I was curious. I truly do not care what others think or say about me. My "evolution" as you call it, comes from the perspective I have gained in parenting a special needs child for the past nine years. I know what matters in life. I am so thankful for that. I guess that means I could never be an "Alpha Mom"...
Kim Rich July 19, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I just do the best I can, and allow others to do the same. I have finally reached a point in my life where I can accept my imperfections and not feel the need impress or over analyze everything! There are plenty of opinions floating around, and that's OK. Everyone is entitled to their own. I will never be perfect, but I will always be fair, kind and supportive. The competition you feel generally comes from your own insecurity. I have had plenty in my day..mostly with my weight. Never skinny enough, pretty enough, or secure enough to feel my "cupcakes" were the best. Finally let all that go! Proud of just being me...Mom, wife, friend, and daughter.
Alicia R. Camlibel, Ph.D., LPC July 19, 2012 at 07:32 PM
I never heard of the Alpha or Beta Mom until the last week or two and then learned more about it as I was researching. I have found this dialogue fascinating. I do a lot of work with all kinds of Moms and one thing that Moms tend to do is forget to take care of themselves, we as women and mothers need to be kinder to ourselves and remember we can only be good for others if we are good to ourselves, if we are happy and healthy physically and psychologically. There is a lot to be learned as women and mothers and there is a lot we can do as a group to help and support each other. Whether it be the Moms Group, the Moms4Moms group on facebook, Basking Ridge Moms, PEP Club, Moms and Tots Groups, the possibilities to support each other and find support and mental stimulation for ourselves and children are endless. We are perfect versions of ourselves and that is all that matters.
TJ July 19, 2012 at 09:44 PM
well said!


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