Which type of working mum are you?
We generally speak of working mums, yet not all working mums are made of the same stuff. Personality, mood and attitude have a lot to do with the way different women approach work and life. We identified four working mum stereotypes and look at how they deal with work and with raising their kids. Can you recognise yourself in any of them? Which type of working mum are you?
She’s the mum with hidden super powers. Her super power is that her day seems to span thirty-six hours rather than the twenty-four most of us are allocated. This is apparent by the number of things she gets done: she raises three kids, has a career, helps her husband with his business, keeps the home clean and tidy, cooks two meals a day, does yoga, meets her girlfriends and plays with the dog. Meeting working mums like these makes you wonder how on earth it is even possible.
At work, Super Mum is cool, in control and time efficient. She is highly organised and manages her work-life balance effectively. Neither her work nor her children feel any lack from her being a working mum.
She’s the mum who is almost invisible. She believes in allowing her children to find their own way in life, through their own experiences and mistakes. She is physically present but rarely instructs or directs her kids. She may take her philosophy to an extreme, and not even guide them or explain social norms. When her misbehaved kids are driving everyone else crazy, she is calm and collected and barely seems to notice the screams. While other mums may openly criticise her nonchalance, they secretly envy her easy life.
At work, Laissez-faire mum is just as easy-going and runs on inspiration. She gets things done at her own spontaneous pace and works easily under stress because she doesn’t stress. Her job and her children both get taken care of with the minimum effort.
She is the one who appears to run to her child at the first whimper. She is overprotective and worries constantly that something bad will happen to her children, unless she keeps her eyes on them and corrects their every move. She will rarely trust anybody else to watch her kids, so that’s why George is not coming to your child’s birthday party. Smothering Mum is unknowingly overcompensating for her own lack of self-worth so, instead of rolling your eyes, give her a hug.
At work, Smothering Mum is just as over-attentive. She calls it being a perfectionist, but others see her as insecure. Every hour on the hour, she will call the nanny to get a minute by minute account (and micromanage her if necessary). As a working mum, she nonetheless does a great job at work and raising her kids to what she deems is perfect.
She is the other one to run to her child at the first whimper. There was a time when mums told their kids what to do and how to behave, sometimes strict and even a little bit hard. The advent of Attachment Parenting (AP) led to a new breed of mums who are at the beck and call of their children’s feelings and needs. Attachment Mum is caring, devoted and places her children first. When you first meet her, you may mistake her for Over-Protective Mum, but you’ll discover she runs on empathy and intuition and knows when to let go.
At work, Attachment Mum is self-motivated. As long as she believes in what she’s doing, she will devote herself entirely to her job while she’s at work. She trusts her childcare and, as long as they don’t call her, she assumes everything is fine and may check in just once a day to speak directly to her child. Both her boss and her child know they can depend on her.
Which type of working mum are you? Which other working mum psychologies can you identify? Leave your comments and share this article with other working mums.