20 Types of Moms You Definitely Know (and Probably Avoid in the School Pickup Line)

They’re heeeere…and blowing up your group chat

types-of-moms: A photograph of Amy Poehler as Regina George's mom in the original Mean Girls. She has her arms out to embrace the person behind the camera and wears a pink track suit. Her hair is blond and blown out.

Being a mom is hard, ladies, and we could never reduce the experience to pat generalizations and archetypes. Or…could we? Presenting 20 types of moms—from the Cool Mom to the Wine Mom to the let-me-tell-you-about-my-MLM Mom. All of them true and honest and oh-so-annoying in their own special way. Whether it’s the helicopter mom mad-dashing across the playground or the PTA mom hounding you (again) to work the bake sale table, we bet there’s somebody on this list you’ve talked to (or pointed ignored!) in the past week. You know ‘em. You love ‘em. Maybe you are ‘em.

With a Healthy Attitude Towards Marriage, Self Care and Child-Rearing, Chilli from 'Bluey' Is the Ultimate Mom Icon

types of moms Helicopter Mom
Ed Miller/Amazon Studios

1. Helicopter Mom

She hovers, she circles and she swoops in to prevent any perceived danger for her child.

  • Spotted in the wild: Underneath the monkey bars with a crash mat screaming “Be careful, Phoenix!”

2. Craft Mom

Wait, you buy your own dishwasher pods? Craft Mom makes them and turns it into a fun (!) art project with the kiddos (and stores them on the counter in a jar she wove from bamboo grown in her yard).

  • Spotted in the wild: Judging your child’s store-bought Minions Halloween costume
types of moms: Cool Mom mean girls
Paramount Pictures/Mean Girls

3. Cool Mom

She will NOT fall into the frizzy-haired, dancing to Encanto trappings of motherhood! Nope, she’s still rocking a leather jacket and meeting her child-free friends to see punk rock shows in somebody’s basement.

  • Spotted in the wild: Anywhere with exposed brick, after 10 p.m.

4. Crunchy Mom

It’s not that Crunchy Mom doesn’t trust her pediatrician, it’s just that she read about this really powerful Himalayan ginger tea that she’d like to try for her kid’s ear infection first.

  • Spotted in the wild: Leading a forest school, in Tevas.

5. Gentle Parent Mom

She talks slowly, deliberately and with compassion, getting down on one knee and looking her child in the eye. “Oh, you were angry at your brother and so you hit him with the toaster oven? I understand. Sometimes moms get angry too!”

  • Spotted in the wild: At a Dr. Becky Masterclass.

6. Free-Range Mom

The opposite of the Helicopter Mom, Free-Range Mom believes kids should have independence and room to make mistakes, even if that means giving her 3-year-old a watermelon and a chef’s knife and letting him go to town.

  • Spotted in the wild: At the E.R., after giving her 3-year-old a watermelon and a chef’s knife and letting him go to town.
types of mom: Maggie Gyllenhaal breastfeeding two children at the office in movie, Away We Go. Free-Range Mom
IMDB/Away We Go

7. Attachment Mom

She breastfed until her kids were old enough to read the label on her bra and has never spent more than 16 hours away from any of them. She’s absolutely intending to move Charlie to his own room by the time he turns 9.

  • Spotted in the wild: In the family bed, singing Sarah McLachlan.

8. Lululemon Mom

She hasn’t worn a button or zipper since 2015, and usually travels in groups of three, Hydroflask in hand and with some seriously hot gos about the new assistant principal.

  • Spotted in the wild: Paying $70/kid for a birthday party at SkyZone.

9. Snowplow Mom

A close relative of the Helicopter, the Snowplow doesn’t just hover and fret, she literally clears obstacles for her children—be those dangerous bookshelves (that aren’t secured to the wall!) or homework assignments Sophie couldn’t possibly finish on time. (Mom’ll just email the teacher and ask for an extension.)

  • Spotted in the wild: Spewing four-letter words at the unsuspecting chess coach.
types of moms: Traveling Sports Mom. Lauren Graham on a hockey rink in movie, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers.
IMDB?Disney+/The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers

10. Outraged by Everything Mom

Did you know the school has been cutting recess by 10 minutes? 10 minutes?! Or that cars are still speeding down Calvert Road even after they put that stop sign up? Or that the gymnastics studio raised their rates…again?! Outraged Mom does and, as per usual, she is pissed and cornering you in the middle of Costco to tell you about it.

  • Spotted in the wild: Audibly muttering at a community board meeting

11. Traveling Sports Mom

Her trunk is full of hockey sticks and shin guards and she put 10,000 miles on her RAV4 this year driving to and from soccer tournaments. Never mind that her child is 10 and still sometimes runs towards the wrong goal; she’s fairly certain he’ll soon be recruited for the Saints.

  • Spotted in the wild: At a Marriot in Tulsa, line-drying baseball socks.

12. PTA Mom

If she’s not organizing a bake sale, she’s advocating for more turtle books for the library, to go with that turtle unit she fought so hard for last year. Oh and she’d really love it if you just considered running for that open treasurer position.

  • Spotted in the wild: 14 times in your inbox, begging for Turtle Day volunteers.

13. Wine Mom

It’s not alcoholism if you’re wearing a “rosé all day” shirt, right?

  • Spotted in the wild: Asleep at the foot of the sofa, with RHONY blaring in the background.

14. Weed Mom

Kid up all night? Mother-in-law show up for an unexpected two-week visit? Not a problem, man. Weed Mom is totallllly blissed out and up for whatever (and she’d be happy to introduce you to her guy).

  • Spotted in the wild: In the park. Because aren’t leaves, like, amazing?

15. French Mom

She may or may not be of actual French descent (the accent in her name appeared some time in the early aughts), but the fact remains: Her kids eat oysters, wear Jacadi and prefer Babar to P.J. Masks

  • Spotted in the wild: Teaching little Colette the rules of pétanque.

16. Old Mom

Thanks to the miracles of science, she got a bebe in just under the wire. And now here is she is…hoofing it around a play gym in a knee-brace at age 48 and trying to ignore the fact that Braxton’s mom was born the year she started grad school.

  • Spotted in the wild: Covertly googling “How to send a TikTok?”
types of moms Im So Bad Mom
IMDB/ Photo by Michael Desmond/SHOWTIME/ Weeds

17. I’m-So-Bad Mom

Guys, did you know her kids don’t have bedtimes? And they also watch eight hours of TV a day and don’t ever change their underpants or eat anything that’s not a processed sugar! She’s sooooooo bad, and she wants you to know it!

  • Spotted in the wild: Promoting her podcast, “Fuck it, They’re Resilient.”

18. Influencer Mom

She has 25K followers, but she really thinks she can get it to 30 this month if Ashton will just learn the goddamn Shake Senora dance already.

  • Spotted in the wild: Shilling for Martin’s Potato Bread, without whom she couldn’t get through all the tough days of mommy’ing.

19. MLM Mom

“Hi friend-I-haven’t-talked-to-since-high-school! Have you tried essential oils for better sleep? They work! Here’s an invite to my LuLaRoe party!”

  • Spotted in the wild: Marching outside a Brooklyn courthouse in support of Keith Raniere.

20. Frazzled Mom

She has four Legos, one half-eaten orange, but no wallet in her purse, and her child is wearing a Spiderman costume as pants because she has to do laundry.

  • Spotted in the wild: IN THE MIRROR. (Mic drop.)

jillian quint

Editor-in-Chief, Avid Reader, Wallpaper Enthusiast

Jillian Quint is the Editor-in-Chief of PureWow, where she oversees the editorial staff and all the fabulous content you read every day. Jillian began her career as a book editor...