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I am a Slacker Mom

I giggled and laughed all the way through this USA Today article—mostly because I saw myself jumping out from the page in every other word, heh.

The article highlights a mind-boggling phenomenon I’ve been sitting on the edges of for the last four years: the mommy competition wars. According to the article (and, I must admit, my own personal observations/experience), the newest debate about how children are raised best is no longer centered between stay-at-home moms and working moms, but between stay-at-home moms.

They fall into two camps: Alpha moms and Slacker Moms. So who are these people? The Alpha moms are:
. . . a marketing creation, the Super Mom of yesteryear with a few new twists. Alphas are educated, can-do types whose organizational skills bring a corporate mentality to their parenting and a technological agility to their problem-solving. These high achievers will often surf the Web and blogs for advice. They've also gotten plenty of media attention.
And the Slackers? They are much more laid back. Read on:
Those moms have it together sometimes. They may forget to send back permission slips or lose track of their turn for team snacks.
And (from the article’s sidebar):

Ren Syler, author of Good-Enough Mother, says you know the "good enough" label fits when you have:

• Bought something from the grocery store, removed the plastic wrapping and passed it off as your own at the school bake sale.

• Used a stapler to hem your daughter's pants as she's walking out the door for school.

Oh, that is so me. I’ve done all of these--except it's holiday school parties instead of bake sales (and I leave the plastic wrap on) and I used safety pins instead of staples. Heh.

The best lines in the article? Here you go:
"Our children are people — not projects," says Syler, 44, of Westchester County, N.Y. "Motherhood is not a contest."
And:
"There's an illusion that you can control who your child will become if you do all the right things, but that's a problematic illusion because parenting is about discovering who your child is and fostering their growth and development as an individual."
Funny thing is, I think these statements could be just as easily applied to how we live when we’re in the Kingdom. People aren’t projects—and working with God in bringing his Kingdom to each other (“evangelism”) isn’t a contest. We can’t control who others will become, but we can be genuinely interested in discovering who they are. We can help each other grow as we walk with each other as we walk with Jesus.

Or maybe I’m just trying to find a way to excuse my slackerly way of mothering, heh.

(Image: via Wikipedia, mother and child relief sculpture, Soldier Field, Chicago; image licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License)

Comments

Anonymous said…
Thanks for the comments on the USA article. Children are people and it’s easy to forget as we strive to keep them busy. My grandchildren are being turned into athletes. Perhaps they are getting some good modeling and coaching. I feel they are missing some good opportunities by spending every day at soccer, football, etc.
Anonymous said…
"There's an illusion that you can control who your child will become if you do all the right things, but that's a problematic illusion because parenting is about discovering who your child is and fostering their growth and development as an individual."

I loved this quote. Thanks for sharing. My husband and I have recently relocated to the South from the Northwest, and I've been paying attention to how parents interact with their children here. I have this tendency to compare my parenting skills with others and have felt less confident in my skills as a parent since being here. My 3 yr-old had a meltdown at Target and all I could think was how come no one else's child is screaming. Am I doing this wrong? Why are children in the south so obedient? Oh, the doubts that go through my head sometimes. It's not about doing it the perfect way, but about doing it the right way for the child. I also like how you compare this to evangelism.

p.s. I've read you blog for a while and really appreciate it.
Carmen Andres said…
oh, i so get that living in the South thing! i REALLY loved living in the Deep South (we are still technically living in the South, but it's a very different South), but it was there I was particularly aware of the Alpha-Beta mom thing.