When I show up at the playground I know exactly which type of mom I am and exactly who there will be my conversation for the next few hours. Do you?
1. The Stay at Home Mom
The stay at home mom lives and dies by her schedule. She is the type to show up at the park every Monday from 9:32-10:25 before she moves on to her next activity. She isn’t there to meet up with friends but she definitely move around like she run the place. If you are new to the playground then most likely she will ask who you are and if you live there. Don’t be offended she is probably vetting you for potential friendship and proximity is the first elimination question.
For all the insider tips. Do you want to know which library has the best story time, she knows. What time should you come to the playground for it to be shady, she knows. Which kids on the playground are biters, trust me SHE KNOWS.
2. The Mom Who is There to See HER Friend
This mom is basically deaf to the world when at the playground. She and her friend have most likely gotten together so “their kids” can have a playdate. What this really means is these lucky women have found their own mommy friend and probably forced their kids to be friends. In a lot of cases the kids might not have even taken interest in each other in the beginning, but these moms liked each other and the kids quickly realized that mommy is a lot more inclined to say yes to things after SHE has had her playdate with her friend.
Don’t bother. They are there to socialize with each other, not make new friends.
3. The College Student Nanny
The college student nanny is hard to miss. Look through the sea of tired eyes and detached moms on their phone and bouncing up and down in the middle of that tired pack is the college nanny. She has the body of, well anyone before they had kids. She got ready in a quiet house alone so she had time to do her hair, her makeup, and put on trendy and somewhat revealing clothes.
If you want to live vicariously through her and get a reminder of what it’s like to be early 20’s without a care in the world.
4. The Older Foreign Nanny
The older foreign nanny is usually in her 50’s. She stays pretty close to her kids but isn’t going to be down in the sand digging with them like the college student nanny. She is there because she wants the kids she is watching to play with other kids. Not in the, I am going to sit on my phone and scroll through instagram way, but in the positive social interaction way.
If you speak her native tongue. She will chat you up the entire time if you do. Or approach her when your kids aren’t sharing or acting like angels. These nannies see no shame in scolding your child for not being nice or not sharing with their kids.
5. The Expert Mom
The expert is hard to miss. Just start talking about your kid not sleeping or having any behavioral problem and she will be on you like white on rice. You’ll exchange glances with her and start to get the sneaking suspicion that she’s ease dropping in on your conversation and then BAM, you’re going to be getting some unsolicited advice. She means well but she also might be condescending. You hate to admit it but the advice is pretty spot on.
If you are looking for a real life Google search. Why post a question in a chat room when you have custom tailored advice being offered face to face?
6. The Mom of More Than One Kid
The mom of more than one kid is like a unicorn. You look at her and she looks like she could be your new BFF. You want to talk to her. She is down to earth and someone you want to be friends. But moments after striking up a conversation, POOF she is off to attend to her younger child, then POOF she is off to break up an argument her older child is in, and then POOF back to the younger, POOF back to the older, over and over and over. The reason she is actually so friendly and approachable; she wants you to know her and the kids so that when one of the kids is running towards the street you will help save them.
If you want to have a scavenger hunt for pieces of a full conversation. Want to form a friendship with her? Watch one of her kids while they play with yours. It’s the surest way to get to talk to her and to form a friendship.
7. The Mom of the Crawler
The mom of a crawler basically lives on top of the play structure. Her kid could crawl at home but she is choosing to go to the playground because she wants to be around other people (and possibly for the swings). She’ll never be on her phone because this is her time to get out of the house. At home is when she can put her little one on a blanket with toys around and sit and scroll through Instagram to her hearts content. Because her kid is basically a baby, she is stuck on the play structure trying to keep the kids from stampeding her little one while she eyes for an opening on the baby swing.
If you want conversation or friendship of any kind. Her little one moves slow and she is probably vying for conversation with anyone after being home alone all day with a baby.
8. The Older Mom
The older mom is not going to bother with any other moms. She’s wise enough to know that the playground is not high school and motherhood is not a popularity contest. She’s got plenty of friends and in fact she is probably trying to whittle them down and shed off a few poor fitting ones. Let’s be real, she could care less about how many months apart your kids are and the fact that yours can jump while hers can only hop. Given the fact that she had her kids later in life she probably built a pretty decent career and is on her phone not because she’s scrolling through Instagram but because she’s sending emails.
For career guidance or if you are having trouble conceiving and want to know about acupuncture, IVF and everything in between.
9. The Runner Mom
How do you spot the runner mom? Just look for the Bob Stroller and the mom who isn’t just wearing activewear as a fashion statement, but actually is perspiring. She probably has a fit bit and a paleo snack. The runner mom is at the playground because it’s probably exactly 5 miles away from the house and the perfect distance to run to. She won’t be there long because the second half of her workout awaits her.
If you want to shed some pounds or eat cleaner. She will be an amazing workout wife because she wants you to love the burn as much as she does and she also secretly likes competing because she will push herself that much harder.
10. The Dad
We can’t leave out the dad. The Dad could be there for a variety of reasons; his wife has a doctor’s appointment, he has a flex Friday, or maybe his wife convinced him to take a personal day. I don’t need to tell you who he is because he’s hard to miss. Although when you talk to him he’ll be sure to mention his wife right away; just in case you didn’t already assume he was married by the kids and the wedding band. He’s probably gone to the playground because he’s run out of ideas for what to do with the kids at home. And you can bet that he will be taking the kids out to lunch right after the playground because he has no idea what to make them for lunch.
By talking about things other than kids. Did he bring a dog, he’s an expert on his dog. He is also very comfortable talking about work. He’s the same breed as your husband so standing side by side and talking rather than face-to-face is much more comfortable for him.
The Bottom Line
As much as we want to believe that we are breaking the mold on parenting, we are all a lot more alike than we think. Rather than using the generalizations to find reasons we might not get along with a different personality type, use them as tools to communicate better. You might not be best friends forever with one of these types but there is no reason you can’t have a lovely afternoon at the playground and some good conversation with them. Besides, on any given day aren’t we all a little bit of each of these mom types?
Who did I leave out? Leave your comment below!