Mean Girls Grow Up: How to Remain Sane Amongst the Alfa Moms

By Ellen Feig

An Interview with Rosalind Wiseman

Types of Mothers as Defined by Rosalind Wiseman in her book, Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads

Wiseman has labeled mothers by the roles we take in our group. If we are the “Queen Bee Mom” (a label that Wiseman has defined as the entitled mother), then we are in control of everything that is placed in our path and are determined to hold on to our power. If we define ourselves by the clique we follow, then we are a “Sidekick Mom,” second in command to the Queen Bee. If we wield a power that is silent and behind the scenes, then we are the “Banker Mom,” a mother who will use gossip to gain and manipulate power. If we are in a constant state of angst over our social standing, we are the “Wannabe Mom” and if we are a pleaser, then we are the “Steamroller Mom.” If we move easily from group to group, we are a “Floater Mom.” If we are mothers who have analyzed our behavior and made improvements, we are the “Reformed Mom.” If we attend all the school functions but keep our mouths shut, we are the “Invisible Mom.” If we live in the wrong neighborhood or are a single mother, we are the “Outcast Mom.” If we can’t read social cues, we are the “Socially Challenged Mom.”

Q: Do you feel that mom cliques are negative?

RW: I think we need to make the distinction between cliques and support groups. A clique is negative in that you are unable to admit uncertainty about things, about your child or yourself. You hesitate to state if your child has a problem. It’s important to remember that support groups are positive as they are often places where mothers find friends in similar situations.

Q: Where do your “labels” come from?

RW: First of all, I knew when writing this book that I would be hugely unpopular with women and men. I didn’t want to take everything so seriously so I placed funny labels on the types of women and men I saw in my travels and work. I see hundreds of thousands of parents a year and the types came out of that experience – it’s simply a way to look at things.

Q: What advice would you give mothers?

RW: Give one another some breathing room – we are all parents. Trust your gut; if something doesn’t feel right, don’t get involved. Don’t sit around and say things about other people. Bottom line is my book is not saying anything knew – it’s simply a method of reacting to things that occur daily around the world to both mothers and fathers.

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