First, we had to be alpha moms, completely conversant in the latest techno-gizmos, hot vacation spots, parenting trends and nail polish colors. Alpha moms had to be connected, concerned and influencing our peers 24/7. We had to somehow put ourselves and our kids first, never settling for second (or beta) best. Type A meets Martha Stewart meets Mary Poppins. The alpha mom was the woman of the moment.
Until the Alpha Wife showed up.
Yup, according to a recent analysis of census data from the Pew Research Center, 22 percent of all wives now make more money than their husbands. A sizable chunk of wives, more than 20 percent, are more educated than their husbands too. In short, we're smarter and richer, yet somehow, we're still doing more housework than ever. That doesn't sound very alpha to me, but it has a lot of people atwitter about the rise of the power wife.
Is it possible to be both an alpha mom and an alpha wife? Frankly, that sounds exhausting, but I am sure that there are capable women who are everything alpha.
"Where could I alpha-up my profile?" I've been asking myself. Perhaps there are a few categories where I qualify:
- Alpha school volunteer: She's the one in the school-crested apron and khakis with a clipboard surgically attached to her left hand and well-worn cell phone in the right. Alpha school volunteer can lead the charge and get stuck cleaning up the mess afterward. She's at school so much, the students think she's on the payroll. But she's not! She's just there to serve the juice!
- Alpha schlepper: That's right! Nobody can schlep more groceries, more recycling or more laundry from the kids' bathroom floor than the alpha schlepper. All that weight training in the late '90s is certainly coming in handy now. Nothing like muscle memory to haul those holiday decorations out of the basement or drag gently used books to the library donations desk.
- Alpha snacker: She's the mom who's up on the latest crunchy nibble that can be sanctified as a "healthy snack." Want a whole grain pretzel with gourmet mustard dipping sauce? How about dried fruit trail mix loaded with antioxidants and dark chocolate? No outing is too inconsequential for alpha snacker not to be packing snacks. Go ahead, ask her. She got the goods in her bag(gie). Along with hand sanitizer.
Lian Dolan is a mother, wife, sister, friend, daughter, writer and talk show host. She writes and talks about her adventures in modern motherhood for her website, ChaosChronicles.com , and her weekly podcast, The Chaos Chronicles.