Thursday, August 21, 2008

Alpha Mom vs. Beta Mom

People often ask "Hey- What does that mean in your tag line 'Just another chardonnay-swiggin' beta mom'?"

And I say, "Well, I don't always swig it - only when I've had a bad day." And they say "No - I mean the "beta mom" part". And I say "Oh. I'm used to drinking questions."

It's probably easiest to explain what a beta mom isn't: an Alpha Mom.

Alpha Mom (al-fa-mom) n.

A mother of young children characterized by a Type A personality and freakishly organized tendencies. High rank in PTO. Chairs multiple charity organizations. When not in trendy pilates-wear, impeccably dressed in stylish but sensible outfits. Never leaves house without showering, makeup and jewelry. CIA-level knowledge of all school aspects, from lunchlady politics to principal's office. Volunteers for all school fundraisers and functions. Glue gun travel team. Enrolls offspring in the most competitive sports leagues, languages and music lessons. Car floors are clean. Children are on schedules. Master cook, making everything from scratch with ingredients from Wild Oats and farmer's market. Runs an occasional marathon. Drinks alcohol "on special occasions". Still has time to make her own curtains and hand-paint a mural on her kitchen wall.


Beta Mom (bay-ta-mom) n.

Yeah...not that.

74 comments:

Tenakim said...

I have many alpha tendancies apparently- but I'm completeley a mess- is there a nice combination of the two that you can come up with for me?

Kristi O said...

oh my gosh.
the "glue gun travel team"
is priceless. I am so not an alpha mom.

Swirl Girl said...

I am an "alpha-morph mom."

I can slide from the PTA , soccer mom into the lazy, slovenly, sweatpanted, wine swilling , foul mouth mom in the blink of an eye.

But I do it with class, baby!

oº˚ Anissa ˚ºo said...

I think I may a little of both! More Alpha I think!

Lipstick said...

I love the stylish yoga wear/sensible outfit part! I think I am an alph-eta mom.

Southern Fried Girl said...

I shall try to do the beta mom thing. The alpha mom sounds tiring.

Mom Taxi Julie said...

What's the half breed called ;o)

Anonymous said...

I'm with "swirl-girl"...I can "perform" both roles but am usually asking myself while in the Alpha role...."why in the hell am I doing this?" I'm a happier girl as a beta.

annie said...

I'm not anonymous! I'm Annie!

Pleasing Procrasinator said...

Too much pressure involved! hehe...I think the only thing that could qualify me for an alpha mom is the fact I worked as a lunch aid at his daughters school.
I am much more comfortable being a beta mom.

Caroline said...

You nailed it! That was the best...I am NOT a Alpha Mom (I have been blessed with the "lazy gene"). I know many wonderful Alpha Mom's, but they scare me sometimes...too organized.

Leslie said...

rofl. Count me in with the beta moms. Love the pic you have to go with it. Classic. Love it!

JenniBeanV said...

I would say I am a Beta Minus...

Feener said...

yea to beta moms !!!

Brianne said...

glue gun travel team....that is genius!

Tiffany said...

Yep I'm totally a Beta mom. Or what is lower than a beta because thats me. LOL

Blessings From Above said...

This can not be for real. Are you saying there are actually mom's that have clean car floors??? Then where do they keep their happy meal wrappers and empty beer cans?

Elle said...

I'm so far from Alpha mom that I'm moving down to Delta mom. With the 4th kid starting 1st grade, I'm all like been there, done that, not doing it again.

Insane Mama said...

I'm a beta mom for sure... I just throw out our laundry rather than doing it....

Fran said...

Hey, I have that dress! Yeah, I'm a beta mom.

kwr221 said...

I'm so far beyond beta, I think I must be zeta.

Lol at the clean car floors. I "cleaned" my car yesterday so a friend could borrow it.

By clean I mean I put all the papers, lost socks, pens,coupons, receipts, extra shoes, happy meal toys (yes, I know my kids are 10 and 13, we still get happy meal toys @@) into a BIG Rubbermaid bin and threw it all in the garage.

This morning while driving to work, wedged between the seats, I found the missing piece to my GPS that I haven't seen since February.

Yay, me!
:-)

McMommy said...

Alpha Mom= The Extreme Opposite of McMommy

Can I swig some wine with ya??

Sissy said...

I'm a beta-mom if there ever was one! and proud of it :) love your blog

Shannon said...

Oh, I am so not an alpha-mom! Proud to be a beta!

ciara said...

i'm a TOTAL beta mom...how extreme can a beta mom get? yeah, that prob would be me lol

Rochelle said...

I am alpha before 3 PM. After that I'm all beta - on the couch with the remote waiting until I can have my 5:00 glass of wine.

Ann said...

"Beta Mom". Sign me up!!!
(I need a nap, that beer made me tired ;-> )
Thanks for this clarification Sue. I guess I was too embarrassed to ask.

Shelley said...

Christ...my two older kids attended a charter school for K-6, and I now that I know what an Alpha Mom is, I realize that I know a LOT of them. I'm not friends with them, basically because they skeeve me out, but I know them. I am definitely a Beta mom, and perhaps even a Gamma mom. (Greek-wise, that would be one step lower than a Beta mom, wouldn't you think?)

When they ask for volunteers, you will find me inconspicuously at the very back of the crowd, examining my cuticles. Where's my wine glass?

Shelley said...

Dear Rochelle,
Just remember, it's always 5pm somewhere! :)

Threeboys1mommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jill jill bo bill said...

And all along I thought it was that we couldn't be put in the same fishbwl or we would kill each other. Man, do I feel like a doofus.

Great post again. Sigh. Do you ever have an off day?

Threeboys1mommy said...

I wake up an Alpha mom, but by noon I'm thinking 'What would Happy Hour Sue Do?' Then I shift it into cruise control until daddy get home! I'm always Alpha mom when daddy's home.

kwr221 said...

Rochelle - We're supposed to wait for 5 PM?

Brooke said...

I think the fact that I'm lucky to sqeeze in a shower at least twice a week probably puts me somewhere in the Gamma Mom range.

Of course, the fact that I tell my daughter to dig underneath her carseat for snack food when she whines in the car about being hungry probably plunges me down to the Zeta Mom level.

anti-supermom said...

Clearing throat, raising hand; 'Beta Mom all the way.' (It's really the only way to be)

Brittany said...

HOLLA BETAS!

We need like a sorority shirt!

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I bet most of the alpha moms who look like they have it all together on the outside are probably one hot mess on the inside.

I'll take Beta anyday! It's way more fun!

Keeper Of All Things said...

So ....do you think drinks only on special occasions has something to do with being Alpha?
OR
Does drinking just 'cause its Thursday have something to do with being a Beta Mom
:)

Elisa said...

Ok, I make food from scratch, shop at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods and only drink on special occasions, but the rest? Pfffft.

Just Stephanie said...

Quick fixes for the Beta Mom:

1. Say No to PTO
2. Throw the dog in the car to clean up cheerios, goldfish, and rock hard McDonald's fries.
3. Hats...cover up the bedhead
4. Sunglasses...covers up the dark circles, lack of make-up, and makes you look chic!
5. Try the yoga pants...they hide the fact that you didn't have time to shave both legs.
6. Nail glue works faster and longer than glue guns...just don't get your finger and thumb stuck together.
7. Get a Wii...it's fun and exercise for the kids and you can drink your wine and NOT have to drive them anywhere!
8. P-I-Z-Z-A...pizza really makes my day! Kids love it and they deliver.

Danielle (Life with the Hewitt Family) said...

So funny! Is it bad that I wish that I was a 100% Alpha Mom? Hmmmmm.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

Alpha Moms are rare in these parts. More common is what I witnessed last winter, a lady standing at the end of the half mile long driveway with her kids waiting for the bus (she brought them down in her pickup) with a waist length ponytail, smoking a cigarette. She and all of her kids were in matching turkey-hunting camouflage.

The Nice One said...

Yea, I'm another one of those "stuck in the middle moms". Like SwirlGirl. I do all the Alpha Mom junk with the Beta Mom attitude. How's that?

ali said...

I'm an alpha in the boardroom and a beta in the bedroom. Isn't that how that saying goes?

Gettysburg Mom said...

In my heart of hearts, I wish I was a little more Alpha. It might be nice to NOT cringe at the thought of a drop-in guest. Alas, I too am Beta. If you serve the guests enough booze, they don't notice the pile of crunchy toast and cracker crumbs under their feet! :)

Diane said...

Cheers to Beta Moms :-)

The Mom said...

I think i'm a delta mom. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

KSK said...

Oh man, I am SO beta. See those tracks up and over my face - kids' footprints. House has same look.

scarletvirago said...

That must make me the Omega Mom.

Cant Hardly Wait said...

i'm on the beta team. or maybe i'm further down the list... omega, maybe? =(

Julie said...

You beta believe that's me too.

Stumbled into your blog from another one...will be back for more!!

gingela5 said...

I am so happy that my mom wasn't an Alpha mom. I hope I'm as good with my kids as she was with us!

deconstructing jen said...

Whew, I get to join the Beta-Mom club too. Sweet.

Allikaye's Mama said...

Word to all beta moms!!

Karianna said...

Leaning toward Alpha Mom. Was intro'd to your blog yesterday and I am dying!! More BG!!

Ramblin' Red said...

I think I'm like the Playtex Half-Cup size bras in regard to my mothering style. I'm a Nearly A[lpha] Mom, lol.

Phyllis said...

Beta all the way! I'm new here and I was going to admit that I just fell in love with you, but that sounds too stalker-ish, so I'll say I love your blog instead.

Raging Dad said...

Very funny. I am clearly a beta (if not sigma) dad!

Aubrey said...

HAHA!!!
This is the best read all day! Thanks for another great one!

I am Boymom said...

So, I'm like Zeta mom I guess. I would like to be more Alpha-like, but being the chronic underachiever that I am, it just feels like too much work. So...maybe I'll just be content with stopping for gas every day or 2 so my kids have a ride to school. That seems like enough to deal with this week.

georgie said...

I guess I am not Alpha Beta Gamma Delta orrrr Epsilon geesh

I just love your blog!

Linney Shvede said...

Beta and damn proud of it!

Deb said...

I think Beta moms rock. We should all have a coming out party. I'll bring the Chardonnay.

Mommie Mayhem said...

I'm a beta mom all the way !!

JuneBug said...

ah. i interpreted "beta mom" to mean you're the mother of two. as in... beta testing... 2nd round of testing... yeah, i'm kind of a geek.

Ann said...

Hey Sue,
I just ordered my mug!
(I wonder what I should put in it?)

FlowerGirl said...

I am the ANTI-ALPHA mom... They scare me... And, I like to scare them with messy hippie clothes and crazy hair...

And, I know you're out there; and may read this, and you're probably really nice. However, your organization and matching outfits confuse me and make me want to walk in circles.

Lisa-licious said...

OK...I must admit to owning 3 glue guns in varying sizes (some use small sticks, and some use big...ooh, that didn't come out right), and I tend to be the first to volunteer for anything, but only because I get to meet lots of really cool moms...alpha, beta, whatever, and we all end up LOVING YOUR BLOG!!! I have told so many of my "girlies" about your amazing site, and they call me cackling with laughter! You ROCK, Sue! As my photo attests, I am an obvious "Beta". By the way, you can eat off the floors of my SUV...literally...there are Goldfish (the crackers, usually), dead bagel chunks, petrified gummy bears, and other unidentified items that belong in a penecillin lab. Funny, funny post. :)

Terri said...

ummm....yeah. Doing all that nonsense interrupts my martini time. And if I were gonna do anything, I'd vacuum and dust. Kids can never be too young to learn to fend for themselves.

Dr. Phil did show on those Alpha moms. it was called Mom's on Drugs. meth, ADD meds stolen from their kids, and Lexapro.

I'll stick to martinis.

Cheryl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheryl said...

Let me try this again....first of all I love your blog! Glad I found it! Your latest blog about words that should exist is perfect.
Now, as far as the Alpha Beta thing. I recently took a job as the Web Manager at Alphawomen.com. I worked my fingers to the bone helping to promote and editing bad content...well, shitty writing! It was coming along. Alpha. Alpha. Alpha. It was cult-like. Was I an Alpha? I'm not sure. But yesterday I was given the boot for "financial reasons" but I think it's my outspoken nature (I wasn't to have opinions on a site that touts freedom of speech?) and my forward thinking that got me the axe.
It wasn't the axe that hurt...it was the backhanded way it was done and how my writing was now put under the founder's name. Ugly stuff that's not worth yapping about.

So I walk away wondering AM I AN ALPHA, BETA, GAMMA or just a MOM?? I'm so confused. haha. All I know is I am outspoken, a tad sarcastic (who me??) and most days I laugh so hard that it hurts. I'm strong (raising 5 children on my own...two are already grown and successful), I'm savvy (is that multi-tasking) and yes, I have a glue gun. But it's mostly to hold my eyelids up because I am always trying to make the day a bit longer.

Your blog is so great. You've inspired me to figure out who the hell I am...alphabetagamma chick?

Starcasm said...

alpha moms =Bree Van de Kamp Hodge nee Mason

and look what happened to her!

TV is always true, as is http://starcasm.net

she did eventually turn to alcohol, being an alpha mom can do that to you

3 Peanuts said...

Okay, I think I started out a alpha Mom in 1997 with kid#1 but b the third I slid into a ceta (below beta).

Kim

Angela ~ New York said...

Those alpha moms are so full of it they have no clue. I knew a alpha mom on a forum I used to chat on, from the outside her life looked perfect .. 4 kids she was 28, thin, beautiful, handsome husband, great big house and she came on the forum and went batshit one day talking about how her whole life is trying to appear like the perfect family and how she really is a wreck ... all alpha moms are the same and have HUGE insecurity complexes.