I'm A Mother Who Just Doesn't Get Mom Culture

by Paige Wolf
Originally Published: 
mom culture
urbancow / iStock

I am a big fan of parenting websites (like this one) and follow them on all my social media for interesting perspectives, funny anecdotes, and the occasional clever meme. But as I scroll through the multitude of posts about love affairs with Target, odes to minivans, and hidden glasses of chardonnay, I’m beginning to realize I simply don’t fit into a certain “modern mom culture.”

Undoubtedly being a devout city dweller plays a large part in my not getting some of the suburban lifestyle attributes. We rarely drive, and I haven’t entered a big box superstore in at least a decade. I haven’t been to a mall since college — do they even still have malls? If it wasn’t for online shopping, I would never be able to handle my daily working mother tasks while maintaining some semblance of sanity.

I rely on hand-me-downs and swaps for the vast majority of my kids’ clothes and couldn’t tell you what the racks at Gap Kids look like. I couldn’t even tell you where a Gap Kids is.

And while I totally appreciate alcohol as a way to relax and unwind — and consumed enough in my 20s to intoxicate a small country — I have stopped drinking almost entirely because I realized it makes me tired. So with all the “Mommy Juice” GIFs and “Don’t worry — Billy’s 1st birthday will have plenty of wine!” I’m just starting to feel a bit awkward. If I don’t want a glass of wine at 10 a.m., everyone thinks I’m pregnant.

In fact, I just Googled “wine mom culture” and there was a full article on Business Insider and an actual definition on Urban Dictionary complete with sample quotes:

“Hey ladies, I brought the white Zinfandel to the play date!”

“Tina it’s only 11 o’clock! This is too funny, we are so bad. Go wine moms, amirite”

I’m just not there. I don’t understand the whole, “OMG I spent three hours at Target and bought $300 worth of throw pillows! My husband is going to kill me.” I can’t wrap my head around, “We had to go to six different stores just to get all these school supplies.” I gathered scattered pencils and Ziploc bags from around my house and bought the rest at CVS in seven minutes.

I’m not knocking other parents’ lifestyles — I just wonder if I am the only one who doesn’t relate to any of this. I don’t want to post on Facebook for “Love Your Spouse Month” or “share if you love your daughter.” I speed-scroll past memes that say things like, “I can’t adult until I’ve had my coffee!” My children have never seen the inside of a Toys “R” Us.

I guess I’m a different kind of modern parent. It doesn’t mean I can’t be friends with the moms who post Minion memes, but I’m happy to have found a few who don’t look down at my belly when I refuse a glass of merlot.

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