When Alpha Moms Aren’t The Worst

Well-educated mothers who’ve worked their way up the career ladder tend to go about parenting in that same intense style they’ve been perfecting their whole lives. So when a Type-A woman has a baby, you could very well end up with what’s known today as an “Alpha Mom.”

These mothers can be competitive, overzealous, and into everything – from baking and volunteering to fundraising and balancing their own busy schedule with all of their kid’s miniscule, seemingly pointless day-to-day activities. Woof.

Talk about obnoxious.

But guys, it doesn’t have to be like that. I know because I’m an Alpha Mom… and I’m definitely not running bake sales every week. Hell, I’m not even baking for the bake sale. I don’t have time for that. That’s what buying boxes of cupcakes is for.

The Alpha Mom isn’t always that terrible overachieving one-upper who makes you cringe when she raises her hand at parent-teacher meetings. (Okay, I have maybe been that parent once or twice, but I’m not trying to have everyone roll their eyes when I walk into my kid’s school.) Contrary to popular belief, we can raise strong, independent, talented kids without micromanaging every detail of their lives. This is how I’d prefer to define the enigma that is the Alpha Mom.

The Way I See It

Being an Alpha Mom doesn’t mean you have to do everything for your kid. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite! You’ve got to teach your kid the skills she needs to function on her own (ie, without you having to pop into her classroom every other day). You teach her risk assessment. You let her try, fail, and then try again. And for the love of g-d, you don’t hover.

But believe me, being an Alpha Mom doesn’t mean you don’t step in when it’s necessary. Hello, 30-year-old man that’s hitting on your 16-year-old daughter. You obviously you nip that in the bud immediately and with as much force as necessary. I kid… sort of.

An Alpha Mom knows it’s important to teach her child to survive independently out in the world. Otherwise she might end up living in her childhood bedroom for the rest of her life… and let’s be honest, that’s a lose-lose situation for everyone. Like, you were probably trying to travel after she left home and went to college, right?

Alpha Moms - Lindsay Glazer
Photo Credit: Flickr, Petras Gagilas, Bernardas Gagilas

The Things Alpha Moms Teach Their Kids

Why not start early with those steps toward independence? My child learned to look the waiter in the eye at restaurants and order her own meal at the age of two. Why? Because I don’t want her to grow up to be that girl whose boyfriend or husband always orders for her at restaurants. (Uh yeah, they’re the worst.)

Kids need to learn how to say “please” and “thank you” and be polite, so they’ll look like they have some class later on in life. And also because it’s just good human etiquette.

I teach my daughter to use her words. She knows not to back down when something doesn’t work for her. And well, that’s probably why my three-year-old’s teacher sent home a report saying that she has no problem saying “NO” and standing up for what she wants. I think we’re on the right track with her so far…

Alpha Moms teach their kids about respect, consent, and personal space. Because if we don’t do it, some creepy guy in their class will later on in life. And bless him, he’ll probably end up with a black eye. Hey, this kind of stuff matters if you want to raise an empowered girl with self-esteem who knows her values come from internal and not external sources of validation.

They Stop Worrying About What Everybody Else’s Kid Is Doing

We Alpha Moms are high-achievers so we know the importance of extracurricular activities. We packed our resumes with all that same crap to get into the best colleges and graduate schools and corner offices, and we get that our kids might want to do the same… eventually. But we also know the importance of free play, creative time, getting outside, and not flipping out because little Johnny down the street already knows his multiplication tables. (Chill out, Johnny, it’s first grade and we’ve barely covered addition and subtraction yet.)

We aren’t trying to keep up with the Joneses, because we might not want exactly what they want. We’re empowering our children to find their passions and figure out what drives them. Then we encourage them to seek it out for themselves rather than pushing them toward our dreams or (g-d forbid) the Joneses’ dreams.

We’re trying to give them an environment in which they can try new things and decide what they like. Even if it is some bizarre instrument or super weird yankee sport (lookin’ at you, field hockey), we’d support our kid. And hey, maybe she’ll get a college scholarship because there’s less competition, right? We don’t make our kids live out our dreams. Instead we embolden them to live out their own and stick with them.

When Alpha Moms Aren't The Worst - Lindsay Glazer
Photo Credit: Flickr, Tambako the Jaguar, Climbing on mom

Alpha Moms in the Wild

When the Alpha Mom comes to sporting events to cheer on her kid, she definitely doesn’t yell at the coach for not giving her child enough playing time. Not only because that’s totally embarrassing for everyone involved, but because she teaches her kid that being a team player is an important part of life. You wanna play more? Get better.

But oh boy, you do not want an Alpha Mom at the PTA meeting when they decide to cut funding for the arts or they reveal the mold-in-the-ceiling-tiles-scandal. You can bet at least a few of us will be in attendance to raise a little hell whether you like it or not though… because that’s pretty much our job description. We want the best for our kids, and we don’t mind speaking up to get it.

What I’m Saying Is…

Basically, being an Alpha Mom is all about teaching our kids important life skills early. And that means we don’t take any crap from our children, so that our children won’t take any crap later on in life. It might sound harsh, but it’s a great life lesson and personality trait for them to learn early on in the game. We prepare our children for obstacles and the fact that they won’t be getting everything they want all the time. We love them, but we don’t give in to their every demand. We’re not doormats, and they won’t be either.

Alpha Moms know that life is sometimes tough and unfair, so kids might need thick skin to get through it. And man, we’re definitely capable of grooming that thick skin because we’ve been shedding and regrowing ours for decades. When bad things happen, our kids might be sad for a little while. But they’ll know they’re capable of dusting themselves off, picking themselves up, starting over, and creating something great.

Alpha Moms don’t raise pushovers, quitters, or (fingers crossed) kids who throw tantrums in Nordstrom.

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