By Amanda Griffin Jacob
When you first become a mama, you have no inkling about the kind of mother you’ll end up being. You may have a few requisite principles, but motherhood rarely conforms to the neat narrative you have dreamt up in your head. Everything is new, singular, and unimaginable. You learn on the job. Motherhood doesn’t usually deliver on your expectations. It far exceeds them. But promises you made to yourself about the things you would do and the techniques you would employ to ensure you would bring up the best human being on the face of this planet usually disintegrate within the first few years. I’ve been a mom for almost eight years now, and it made me ponder about the kind of a mother I am. I realized I don’t fit into any particular category 100 percent. My philosophies are an amalgam of a few of the established archetypal mothers. My kind of style is only right for my particular family, as I’ve had to acclimate and fine tune it to better suit the diverse personalities of each of my children. My approach is always organically evolving and shifting depending on each new phase of childhood and my experience that grows as the years go by. I do not have it figured out by any means. In fact most days I wonder if I’m getting it right at all. Below, I explore several different kinds of moms. Do any of them match your parenting style or are you like me? A mix of a few.
The Attached Mom
I first read about Attachment Parenting while pregnant with Kieran and the core philosophies really resonated with me. At the very heart of attachment parenting is finding what works best for your baby and your family through the inherent bonds between parents and their child. It just follows the simple notion of treating our children with kindness, love, and respect. But as I have grown and matured as a parent and Kieran has gotten older I have found that I can’t solely practice attachment parenting as my technique. I’ve had to add different aspects to try to keep up with him and his needs.
The Tiger Mom
A tiger mom was originally defined as a Chinese mother whose parenting style centers around authoritarian rules, obedience, and tough love to help their children succeed in life. These days tiger moms aren’t exclusively Chinese. Although I do have to admit that I know many more tiger mamas in Hong Kong and Singapore than the Philippines, so culture certainly has a strong influence.
The Helicopter Mom
What exactly is a “helicopter parent”? Well, it is what the name implies…someone who hovers over their child, physically, mentally, and emotionally, basically shielding him from the world. This form of parenting stems from good intentions but part of the successful development of a person is the process of learning, the progression of becoming self sufficient, feeling fear, and the freedom to make mistakes and fail along the way. It is how we grow. It’s how we understand how to live in this world.
The Free Range Mom
The free range mother is exactly what the name suggests. She lets her kid learn by maintaining a hands-off methodology so that the child learns quickly how to function and be self sufficient and independent.
There is no “best” kind of mom or one size fits all. I believe, as with everything, moderation is usually a good idea as is taking the best elements of each type of parenting and fusing them all together.