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Beta Moms

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hey ladies! There's a word for us now...

It's Beta Moms.

What's a beta mom?

Beta Moms still want their kids to be successful, but they don't believe that helping their kids reach their goals necessarily involves overachievement or keeping up with what other people define as "norms." In their efforts to adjust to the myriad challenges and stressors in their lives, many moms are beginning to believe that it's more about balance than perfection.

Beta Moms’ hair may not always be perfect or their homes spotless, but they’re okay with that. For many, their lessened anxiety makes it all worthwhile. They’ve liberated themselves from feeling the pressure to do it all, and now they believe that as long as their kids are healthy and happy, they don’t need to.

Beta moms...slackers and proud of it. Are you with me?


  1. Blogger Mozi Esme | 2:07 PM |  

    "Liberated" - I think that sounds better than "slacker" - gotta change my lingo now!

  2. Blogger Unknown | 3:35 PM |  

    Totally with you.

  3. Blogger Nicole D. Johns | 5:48 PM |  

    I love the idea of Beta moms. It is timely because I'm reading a great book called A Nation of Wimps which discusses the helicopter/intrusive parenting that is becoming rampant. Being a Beta mom is actually better for your kids in the short and long term.

  4. Blogger Rachel | 8:15 PM |  

    Not sure I care if I have a label or not, but I sure fit the description!

    It's all about priorities. In my life, developing healthy feelings and habits are more important than the appearance of my house or self. Therefore I spend more time reading to my child than sweeping the floor, less brushing hair and more tending the garden.

  5. Blogger Maria | 6:46 AM |  

    Having a child actually caused me to care less about the Joneses. LOL! Oh, and I am with you!

  6. Blogger Anna | 8:07 AM |  

    Oh yeah - totally with you!

  7. Blogger JudyBright | 8:10 PM |  

    Awwwwwwwww Yeaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!

  8. Blogger Milk Donor Mama | 5:22 AM |  

    I call it "good enough". I'm a "good enough" mom. My house is messy but not condemnable, I cook but nothing Martha-ish...

  9. Anonymous Anonymous | 2:00 PM |  

    lol. Is this the "in" thing for moms to call themselves now?

  10. Blogger Unknown | 6:07 PM |  

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. Blogger Elaine | 7:14 PM |  

    I was just blogging about this recently, actually... this weird pressure among the mom set to be all alpha. I'm loving this "beta" label... now, if only I can get the other beta moms to open up and actually let me into their house without them cleaning it first. I am having the darnedest time getting the neighbor women in our new 'hood to open up, and I fear it's because they are afraid (to be judged?). One woman I know did come over, but refused to put her toddler down on my floor. I was SO embarassed. But whatever.

  12. Blogger JudyBright | 7:17 PM |  

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. Blogger Jennifer Laycock | 6:19 AM |  

    Kerri sent me an email asking that I remove her post because it came across in a completely different way than she had intended it.

    As such, I also removed Judy's post written in response to it.

  14. Anonymous Anonymous | 5:50 AM |  

    I want to be the Omega Mom. What's the def. for that?

  15. Blogger Diana | 9:19 AM |  

    There was a kid at one of our family shin-digs over the holiday weekend, a friend of one of my little cousins, who was waering a shirt that said "Beta Male". I thought it quite clever. Of course, the kid turned out to be a complete freak but... that's another issue entirely. Beta Mom, I am.

  16. Blogger pinky | 8:08 PM |  

    Good idea. Be happy.

  17. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:38 AM |  

    Any babies yet?

  18. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:06 AM |  

    I'm starting to get worried that the reason no one has posted here is because Anna had a hospital birth and is ashamed to admit it here.

  19. Blogger Jennifer Laycock | 3:05 PM |  

    Why on earth would Anna be ashamed to admit she had a hospital birth?

    She actually did end up having her twins last week in the hospital. Unfortunately, baby A continued to flip from breech to transverse, making an attempt at a home birth pretty risky.

    She went into labor just prior to 40 weeks and headed to the hospital where an ultrasound showed the babies were still breech. As such, she went ahead and had a very successful c-section.

    One baby was in the 7 pound range, one in the 5 pound range. Let's give her a week or two to recover and then hopefully she'll get a birth story up.

    As for me? I'm working on the site that will be replacing this one. More on that to come soon. ;)

  20. Anonymous Anonymous | 6:48 AM |  

    Because when you have a hospital birth, a lot of people tend to tell you that you somehow failed and didn't "trust your body" enough.

  21. Blogger Jennifer Laycock | 10:24 AM |  


    Oh. Well, I always viewed that as the criticizer's issue and not the mom's issue.

    Anna's first three children were all born in the hospital. Her twins were the first time she tried for a home birth.

    I had my first in the hospital and my second at home.

    I'm here advocating for moms to have access to the knowledge to make a decision on where the best place for THEM to birth their babies are. Anyone coming in to this site and putting down a mom for her decision (to either birth at home or the hospital) is likely to get an earful from me. ;)

  22. Blogger Anna | 12:23 PM |  

    Absolutely. "Beta" is healthier for everyone involved--Mom & child/ren.

  23. Anonymous Anonymous | 4:54 AM |  

    Hmmm... Is Anna ever going to post here again?
    I know *you* don't claim to judge women for having hospital births, but there are a lot of women who post here. Are you*sure* she's not ashamed of her birth story? Women who are natural childbirth advocates can really be emotionally abusive to new moms if they birthed in a hospital, especially a C-section. I really hope Anna is ok.

  24. Blogger Jennifer Laycock | 5:31 AM |  


    Anna has three children PLUS her two month old twins, who as I hear it, nurse around the clock nearly nonstop.

    She also has a full time job.

    I'd say it's far more likely those are the reasons she hasn't posted. Believe me, I've known Anna for awhile now, fear of judgment from other women has never been very high on her list when it comes to reasons for not doing things. ;)

  25. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:17 AM |  

    Wow, so she is nursing? I thought having medical intervention harmed the nursing relationship. Hmmmmm.

  26. Blogger Jennifer Laycock | 7:49 AM |  


    I want to think the best of you here, but honestly, your posts come off as if you are the one just itching to give her grief.

    Millions of moms have hospitals births and nurse just fine each year. Home birthers and natural birthers are a small portion of the breastfeeding community by the very nature that both are uncommon.

    They do not have a lock on breastfeeding in terms of ability, determination or longevity. I'd really suggest you read some more sites and posts and expand your horizons in that regard.

  27. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:56 AM |  

    I am actually reading a lot of sites. Since my daughter was born, I have met many women who had hospital births and nursed without any problems whatsoever. I actually wish that hospital births were presented as more of an acceptable option to women wishing to breastfeed.

  28. Blogger Nicole Feliciano | 11:26 AM |  

    Yep, I qualify. As one Beta mom to another, I'm looking for help.
    1.) I am writing a piece on favorite items for the breast feeding mom, what are your must-haves?
    2.) Would you consider doing a guest-blog on my blog momtrends? February is Expecting Moms month and I'd love to share your wealth of knowledge with my readers.


  29. Blogger Gena Kirby | 9:49 AM |  

    I am definitely a Beta Mom. It ties in with how my husband and I have found our family naturally progressing. We are considering unschooling have started growing our own fruits and vegetables and have started riding our bikes more and ditching the car. We have found that suddenly we don't care about buying the newest anything. We went from buying brand name clothes for our kids, now, I have no problems with used clothing, for them and us. Life is soooo much sweeter now, because we are focused on what's important.
    P.S. I'm a Doula and Childbirth Educator, I am a strong advocate for normal birth, but above ALL, I feel strongly that mothers should support other mothers, regardless of how they choose or end up having their babies. We must be united and mature in our treatment of each other. Being a parent is hard enough without judgment from people who are doing what we're doing. Besides, as a Beta mom, do you really want to take the time it takes to judge? Just a thought.

  30. Anonymous Frank | 7:16 AM |  

    I wanna be a Beta Dad!


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