If you’re a mom, unless you are a total asshole, then you’ve probably logged your share of hours at the nearest neighborhood playscape chasing kids around while your shoes fill with wood chips. Being at the park is a great place to bond with your children and then feel good about yourself for being a hands-on, awesome parent who deserves Bailey’s in their coffee right after lunch. You didn’t just turn on Nick Jr. and Facebook stalk your old prom date all morning. You went out there and killed it like the boss you are!
While you were out there you probably also had a little time to look around and observe the other moms in their most au naturale momming habitat. Here is a general breakdown of some of the most classic players in every park’s cast of characters.
She is wearing booty shorts and fluorescent knee socks and you try really hard not to piss her off because you are a little scared of her. Her kid is doing pull ups on the monkey bars while she nods her encouragement, and eats a handful of almonds, three unsweetened coconut flakes, and hydrates it up with a protein packed green smoothie. When she is finished with her snack, she jumps up there herself and does 674 one-handed pull-ups while her kid takes a video of it with her iPhone.
Phone Mom has not looked at her kids in 57 minutes and appears to have forgotten she even has any. Hers are the ones that are always acting like complete and total assholes. Eight other Moms at the park have stopped Phone Mom’s kids from hitting, kicking or pushing their fellow patrons, and reminded them to please not yell “buttlicker” every 17 seconds. All of the other Moms want to punch Phone Mom in the face and throw her phone into the nearest duck pond. Probably her kids too.
This mom rolls up to the park in her Range Rover and steps out looking like she just emerged from the glossy pages of Mom Vogue. She looks like she just had a blow-out and a professional stylist clearly picked out her perfect park ensemble. She is the Angelina of the playground. Her mini Pax and Shiloh stand alongside of her looking equal parts angsty and intimidating despite the fact that they are only 3 feet tall. You suddenly notice that your kid is eating wet Cheerios off the sidewalk. Cool Mom is holding a latte and wearing huge, expensive sunglasses, casually laughing with her posse of devoted followers. Seriously, she has an entourage. You are suddenly more aware of the fact that you have mustard on your shirt and didn’t shower that day. Or the day before. And your sunglasses are bent Ray-Ban rip-offs from the gas station.
Pinterest Mom’s kids are lined up at a picnic table eating turkey wraps that somehow look just like origami swans. They are eating out of bento boxes and their carrots are fashioned into “cupcakes” adorned with hummus icing and they each have a cherry tomato “candy” on top. She pulls out a plastic tote labeled “park,” and gives them each a personalized shoe box with activities catered to their individual interests. They blow home-made bubbles and begin their scavenger hunt while she starts assembling the prize box they will win when they get to the end. You hang your head in shame and look back at your kid who is still eating the wet Cheerios.
The Needs Mom-Friends Mom
This Mom probably has one kid that is barely old enough to walk. She brought him to the park as friend bait and offers generous and hearty laughs at everything your kids says and do. She cleverly positions herself within 5-10 feet of you at all times. When you make (unavoidable) eye contact she gives you a hopeful little smile and compliments your kid that is eating the wet Cheerios. “Oh wow! My little Henry won’t eat a thing! That’s so nice that she isn’t picky!” She looks at Cool Mom with wide-eyed admiration and awe over your shoulder.
I look at these moms in action and imagine who their kids will grow up to be. Will Crossfit Mom’s kid rebel and live on a diet that consists of pop-tarts and Mountain Dew which he consumes while watching repeats of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives someday? Or will he follow in her footsteps and be pushing monster trucks across a sandy desert on ESPN by the time he is 14? Will Pinterest Mom’s kids live in a DIY tiny house that they made out of tin foil and railroad ties while Cool Mom’s kids sun themselves on a yacht in St Tropez? By then Needs-Friends-Mom will have made her way into that circle so maybe she’ll get to tag along. Time will tell I suppose, but either way, none of us are perfect. Even Pinterest Mom. You know she’s going to lose her shit if one of those cherry tomatoes falls off.
Blair Armstrong finds stories in her everyday, ordinary life and likes to over-think them to death so that they no longer seem everyday and ordinary. She is a mom, teacher, friend, wife, writer, daughter, and sister. She shares it all because she think it’s good to be imperfect. It’s human. By sharing the missteps, the screw ups, and the eventual insights, she thinks she can make another imperfect somebody out there appreciate their own story a little more. You can find her imperfect stories about her imperfect life at By Blair Armstrong, Facebook & Twitter.