The 10 Moms You’ll Meet At the Pool This Summer

Now that summer is finally, hopefully, for the love of all things hot and sunscreeny, here, we have been making the rounds at some popular pools in Boulder. Sometimes I find it fascinating to watch other people interact with their kids. This may mean that I don’t get out a whole lot.

Here are some variations of moms that I have seen at the pool:

1. The Regulars: The swimming pool that you are at is their swimming pool, you just haven’t realized it yet. They come in small groups and set up shop at the prime sunny/shady spot with their matching fold-out chairs and their coordinated snacks and brightly colored towels and eye you a little suspiciously if they don’t recognize you. They are together. You are clearly not in their togetherness with your raggedy bath towels and your chocolatey-faced children.

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2. The Nannies (Or “Au Pairs” if fanciness is required): They often look as weary as any mother. One told me the other day, after she rehearsed an oddly mechanical phrase to the child she was watching, that she has a set “script” that she was supposed to say to get the children to stop doing something. I could tell that her heart wasn’t really in it though, and I think the little girl could too, because she kept right on pushing those other kids off the ladder to the slide like it was The Lord of the Flies.

3. The Fun Mom: This mom makes us all look bad and I don’t like her very much. She tickles her kid going down the slide EVERY TIME and she lets the kid ride around on her back even though they are clearly choking her and she encourages games of tag where she actually tries to catch them and everything. And she brings swim noodles for chrissakes. Swim noodles. Her kids look pretty smug too, as if they know they had done something pretty great in a previous life to earn Fun Mom.

4. The Phone Moms: We all need to talk at some point, but there are some moms that literally spend the whole time on the phone at the side of the pool. It’s impressive. Their child is eating other people’s snacks, using my kid as a floaty and clogging up the slide situation by trying to go up backwards and Phone Mom is completely clueless.

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5. The Toddler plus New Infant Desperation Mom: She has a new baby snoozing at the side of the pool. She has a toddler wreaking havoc like a boss. She is lucky if her swimsuit is on in the right direction. She looks a little freaked out around the eyes. We’ve all been there. You may see her nodding off a bit as she sits down in the shallow end and then get startled awake when her toddler pokes her face with an errant swim noodle.

6. The Perfect Mom: Ugh. Almost as annoying as the Fun Mom. I look at Perfect Mom and mentally berate myself for not caring more about how I present myself to the world. I mean doing 1000 sit-ups a day to have abs like that couldn’t be that hard! And I could probably attempt to wear some sort of flowy beach cover-up and wedge sandals and bring actual beach towels. I could buy actual beach towels! Perfect Mom’s children even look like they have bathed in an actual tub in the last week. Not having to take a bath is half the reason we even come to the pool.

7. The Mom Looking For a Friend, Any Friend: I have been there, so I know how she feels. It’s almost like dating; she notices your children are about the same age with the same interest in being human water tornados with no regard for other people. She catches your eye and strikes up a conversation, always starting out with “So…how old is she? What a good little swimmer! What’s her name?” The similarities and differences between children are compared and contrasted. “Your child loves to jump off super tall things and scare the shit out of you? So does mine!” “Your child enjoys getting into the car very slowly and crying at dinner? So does mine!” You exchange phone numbers between bouts of telling your respective children that fingers don’t go in other people’s eyes and to spit out whatever that was floating in the pool.

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8. The Hippie Mom: You will recognize the Hippie Mom with her homemade raw food vegan granola snacks in cloth containers and her children with names like Bringer of Light and Namaste Jones. My kid’s middle name is Rainbow, so I probably don’t have a lot to say about this. Hippie Mom may or may not have dreadlocks (and you may or may not stare in fascination like me to find out what exactly happens to dreadlocks when they get wet), and there might be a head scarf involved. She is at peace even when her children are mauling one another, happy in the moment, living and breathing. Don’t be surprised if Light Bringer politely requests a sip of milk from her right breast as they lounge poolside.

9. The Grandma: It is often hard to tell the Grandmas from the Moms in Boulder. Partly because women tend to have their babies later here, and partly because a lot of the Grandmas are still smokin’ hot and sporting a two-piece in a way that makes me want to cover myself with a tarp. The Grandmas seem to genuinely like the children they are swimming with. There is a lot of high-fiving and pool- jump congratulations and delicious-looking cookies at snack time. Grandmas are as awesome as Fun Mom.

10. The Discipline Mom: She expects her children’s perfect behavior at all times. No pushing, no sliding out of turn, and for goodness sake don’t blow your nose in the pool like that kid (pointing at my kid). She has a lot of rules and there are a lot of time-outs on the side of the pool and she talks a lot about good and bad choices. But all I can think is, jeez, give the kid a break, they all like to splash an unsuspecting friend in the face once in awhile. It just feels good.

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I have fit very snugly into all of these Mom categories at one time or another, depending on the day, or the amount of sleep that has been bequeathed to me by the children in my home. Well, except for Perfect Mom. But we all know that girl has something crazy locked up somewhere.

Related post: The Six Mothers Every Mother Hates

About the writer


Joelle Wisler is a writer and mom living in the mountains who loves quiet Saturday mornings and other mythical things like personal space and time to think. She named her blog Running From Mountain Lions so that if she ever meets up with a big cat, at least she can go down in a blaze of irony. Her writing has been flung haphazardly about the internet, but she writes regularly for Scary Mommy and The Huffington Post. She made The Today Show's List of Funniest Parents on Facebook and contributed to the anthology Scary Mommy's Guide To Surviving The Holidays. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

From Around the Web


Rebecca 5 months ago

I’m definitely the fun mum and proud of it! :-)

Adrienne 5 months ago

I just want someone to put sunscreen on my back, watch my purse when I go in to cool off and agree with me when I say ” golly that music is giving me a headache.”

Mindi 5 months ago

Or the mom that has to quickly rat out your kid to the lifeguard before you have a chance to for mildy throwing up in the pool cause she inhaled some pool water making me look bad…

sueann 5 months ago

I don’t mind any of the mom types-a little annoyed by the phone mom ignoring her kid’s antics , but I’m so glad you identified #1. They stare. They whisper. Almost want to flash them a tit so they’ll really have something to talk about. I thought we were all grown ups.

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Melissa 1 year ago

I’ve been the “looking for a friend mom” but now I’m “the mom that doesn’t give a shit if you talk to me or not”. People in my community are snobs. I’m also the only single mom (that I’ve noticed) and I think it freaks them out. Trust me, their husbands are not attractive and I have a hot boyfriend. So there.

emily 1 year ago

Absolutely hilarious and so very true! I loved it. Thanks!

Eve I Ate Your Damn Apple 1 year ago

I get to be the “absent mom” who is never actually the one taking the kids to the pool because she has to go to a stupid job while her husband takes care of the kids. I always feel like I’m being judged just by not being there lol.

BarbaraJean 1 year ago

Hysterical! A little of each, but more than anything I’m watching and on top of the boys so they don’t become floaters. The youngest doesn’t get that “no” word

I’m not a rule.Nazi, he just can’t swim yet. He’s 3 and a handful!

Vince Bingham 1 year ago

My mom was the Alcoholic Mom. Bringing the entire box of Franzia wine to the pool and drinking it in a solo cup. Classy!

Michelle Rivera 1 year ago

I am the hippy fun mom!!!! <3 Gonna continue to annoy other moms and chase my rad kid around in her amber necklace :)

Michelle 1 year ago

I would say I try to be the fun mom but then I need a break and become the phone or I need a friend mom. I need to buy some nice bath towels but one of those things I am so cheep with.

Sherri 1 year ago

What about the “stay at home; this is my only social activity mom”? They saves seats hopeful a Facebook post yields other moms to join and never actually swim or play with their kids.

Melissa 1 year ago

You forgot two…

The entirely way too tattooed and not wearing enough clothing mom. You know, the one with purple hair, tattoos everywhere and peeking out from a bikini that is clearly made for sun bathing in your own backyard. The mom that frequently stands up and adjusts her bikini so that all the dads and some boys in the pool will look at her. Ugh at that mom! Sorry if you are her, but you bug me sometimes.

And the I came to the pool dressed and I am not getting in the water at all mom. She’s not even wearing a suit under her clothes, so if her kid starts to drown, will someone else please jump in and save him. Her hair is done and makeup applied every time! And don’t dare splash near her!

Thankfully, I’m neither of those moms. I’m probably a combo of a bunch listed above though.

    Love 1 year ago

    The first one would be me on a weekend, minus the itty-bitty-teeny-tiny-why-did-you-even-bother bikini. Because, um, no. But otherwise, neon hair-check. An abundance of body ink-check. Stands up frequently–check. (to relieve the pins and needles because the crappy lattice upholstery on the lounge chair is digging ridges into my ass.)

    The second one would be me on a weekday afternoon, because I came straight from work after picking my kids up from daycare, who have been screeching nonstop to go to the pool, and if we swing by the house first, it’ll be closed by the time we get back. I assure you, I am more uncomfortable to be at the pool looking like this than you are to be staring and wondering LMAO but my time is limited and the kids shouldn’t have to suffer for it.

    You totally nailed the hell out of both of those! Do you live near here? LOL


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