Thursday, October 6, 2011

A certain type of mother

It seems like mothers are quick to typecast one another. Not that I’m even sure of what all these different Mom stereotypes are officially called and how many groupings exist (Tiger Moms? Soccer Moms? Type A Moms? I don’t know.) But this baby isn’t even out of the womb yet and I feel like it’s already happened to me.

My husband was buying our weekly stash of local, grass fed, antibiotic-free meat from the farmer’s market one Saturday morning and mentioned to the vendor that we’d love to come visit their store in McKinney someday soon. Maybe one day when we’re out visiting a cloth diapering supply shop we love in Allen, he said. This of course led to small talk about our impending family addition.

“So what birthing center is your wife delivering at?” she asked.

Birthing center? He explained that I work for a health system and will be delivering at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth (with drugs, please and thank you).

My husband and I had a good laugh about this, but it bothered me just a little. I could be reading too much into it but I have to wonder if this mom drew a conclusion about me based on the mention of cloth diapering -- or the fact that we make a point to seek out a certain type of meat, or the times she’s spotted me there after a run in my odd granola-ish barefoot running shoes – and decided I fit in with a certain type of mom who would prefer to deliver at a birthing center rather than a hospital. I’m sure if she also knew we planned on using a Montessori-esque floor bed instead of a crib and that I plan on breastfeeding and baby-wearing, she would only have more evidence to back up her assumption that I’m a…Granola Mom? (Is that a thing?)

I can’t blame her. We all stereotype, even without meaning to sometimes. But it bothered me because it made me picture mothers drawing imaginary lines: you’re either this type of mom or that type of mom, you either breastfeed or you don’t, you’re either environmentally conscious or you’re not, as if there aren’t any areas of gray. Can’t you eat your granola and have your epidural, too?

I don’t know what type of mom I am. But based on this experience I’ll strive to be the type that keeps an open mind and takes into account that a person’s choices and beliefs don’t all necessarily fit into nice and neat boxes, when it comes to mothering or anything else.

What about you? Have you ever been stereotyped as a certain type of mother, or have you caught yourself stereotyping other moms?

Megan Brooks is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources and Stepmom who is 34 weeks pregnant.

No comments:

Post a Comment