I've never behaved in stereotypically ways: not for being female, or Jewish, or a New Yorker. I’ve always considered myself a lot more complex than society’s labels for me. So, when I became a mother I didn’t realize most people would want to categorize my parenting style. Would I be a strict mom? A helicopter mom? How was I supposed to know? I had never done this before. My parenting style can’t be summed up in one particular way. So “mom stereotypes” don’t make any sense to me. Consistency with kids is good, I have learned, but I am not wholly one way or another. I’m a bespoke blend of parenting altruisms and unrealistic intentions.
I don’t feel that kids need to share everything, but I staunchly believe in taking turns. I want my kids to eat healthy but they always end the meal with a small sweet. I can’t put a neat label on my parenting techniques, and yet, the longer I spent in the world of parenting — on social media, especially — the more I noticed these mom stereotypes, as if they were universal behaviors for all female-identifying parents.
Some of my behavior may seem “typical” for a mom living in these times: I have a very specific coffee order, and my go-to weekend ensemble falls squarely under “athleisure wear,” though I never work out on my days off since having kids. But those things are tiny aspects of my existence; they hardly define me. So with that in mind, here are some of those “mom stereotypes” that don’t make sense to me (and never will):