I’m a Mom to Girls But Not a #girlmom

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toddler girl playing with baby doll. GirlMom. Des Moines MomWe live in a world of #hashtags that infiltrate every aspect of our lives, including parenting. And while I think most are fun and harmless, there are a few I just can’t get behind.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I am not of a fan of the #boymom, #girlmom, or #girldad movement. Please don’t get defensive if this is something you do identify with, good for you! I am completely anti-mom-judgment.

Beyond Stereotypes

Let me start by saying our family isn’t gender-neutral. My daughter prefers dresses to pants (especially if they involve a tutu) and we don’t insist on neutral toys although you will find a solid mix of tractors with the baby dolls but I think that’s just my husband reliving his childhood. Anyway, let me explain my thoughts about the #boymom #girldad culture, it may not be what you think.

When you become a mom, you get into this super cool mom club. Some may call it a tribe. Either way, it is a priceless community of people who are there to support you and cheer you on. It’s great.

Sometimes it can feel like the world and society are against you as a mom, the choices you make or don’t. But when you have a mom tribe to back you up it makes motherhood so much more enjoyable. I feel like the #girlmom culture creates division in our mom world and we just don’t need that.

Yes, it’s true there may be certain aspects of parenting that are gender-specific, potty training maybe? But mostly raising decent tiny humans is pretty gender-neutral. There are other aspects of mothering that seem to occasionally divide people, breastfeeding versus formula, Montessori versus conventional childcare. I don’t think the gender of our children should divide us.

Another reason these #hastags aren’t my thing: I feel like it creates some kind of expectation based on or in opposition of gender norms. I think we can all agree that the world already promotes enough unachievable expectations especially for parents. I don’t need it anymore.

And lastly, you may have guessed this one; I don’t want to promote the idea that there are certain activities or behaviors that are gender-specific. Right now my daughter loves to dance and sing but maybe one day she will want to try something else. I don’t want her to feel limited by stereotypes.

Just a mom

I love my girls because they are mine. I love being a mom because I’m their mom. My love for them is solely based on their existence and my identity as their mom has absolutely nothing to do with their gender.

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Casey is an Iowa captive by way of Alabama. She lives in Urbandale with her first responder husband Derek, black lab Dakota, and human daughters Avery (2018) and Nellie (2021). She loves being a mom and is navigating her journey with her own version of what motherhood looks like including shamelessly singing “Baby Shark” on command and eating Oreos during nap time so she doesn’t have to share. Casey works part time in the non-profit field supporting families that are grieving the loss of a child. In her “free time” Casey enjoys baking, specializing in boxed brownies and pre-made cookie dough. She also enjoys reading historical fiction books and watching Netflix. Her preferred forms of communication include sarcasm, emojis and gifs.

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