What Type of Mom Are You?

What type of mom are you? Here, you can find some kinds of mothers and their characteristics. Keep reading!
What Type of Mom Are You?
Mara Amor López

Written and verified by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Without a doubt, you’ve asked yourself the question, “What type of mom am I?” It’s actually a question for your children, but they’re probably too young to answer. Some of them might not be able to speak yet, much less analyze how you’re doing. New mothers are still learning, and it’s quite difficult to self-analyze.

A mother is the first person we all have contact with, first in the womb and then in her arms. She’s the first person we love, and so she’s the main agent of our emotional development.

Being able to identify with a type of mother can help us relate to our children. Also, we can analyze whether the type of mother we are is what we really would like to be or if we need to improve.

What kind of mom are you?

Stephen Poulter, an expert psychologist in family relationships, points out in his book The Legacy of Mothers: The influence of their emotional inheritance in our lives five categories that, according to him, identify the majority of mothers.

A mom reading with her kids.

“Our mothers can be our first experience of love, but depending on their behavior, they can make us more needy, anxious, angry or depressed. These are qualities that impact our success at work and in social relationships.”

-Stephen Poulter-

The vast majority of mothers may have a combination of these five categories, but surely one will be more prominent than the rest. Being able to identify with any of these can be helpful to improve how we interact with our kids.

What type of mom do you identify with?

We’re going to take a look at each of the five categories that Stephen Poulter suggested in his book. Which one are you?

The perfectionist mother

This type of mom is in a permanent state of anxiety, trying to make her kids succeed in everything they do. These moms want to have a perfect family at all times. In addition, they’re very concerned with having a good appearance.

As a consequence of being this type of mother, we can point out that children can grow up with a fear of failure and have little tolerance for frustrationAlso, they can become infected with their mother’s anxiety about being successful. It also affects their relationships, and they might think that no one’s good enough for them.

Also, professionally, children who grow up with this type of mother tend to be very productive at work.

The best friend mother, the most common type of mom

According to Poulter, this type of mom is the most common. Unlike the previous type, these mothers don’t try to exert leadership or set limits. In fact, they even tend to party with their children and wear their clothes.

“It’s a typical attitude of modern parents to not set norms. But children need a mother, not another friend.”

-Stephen Poulter-

One of the problems of being this type of mom is that the child can feel rejected, abandoned, or even start to feel “motherless.”

The unpredictable mom

Usually, they’re fearful, anxious, and controlling. They have emotional ups and downs that can cause anxiety or depression in their children. Sometimes, they can be very demanding and critical of their kids, which can cause them to develop low self-esteem.

As a result, kids from this type of mother may have problems trusting other people, are afraid of intimacy in their relationships, and are prone to emotionally excessive reactions to small situations.

The me-first mother

This type of mom refers to those who consider their kids to be in second or third place.

“This mother wants to be the center of attention, even if it costs the well-being of her children.”

-Stephen Poulter-

A mom hugging her daughters.

Usually, they don’t give much emotional support to their children. Therefore, the kids don’t develop compassion or empathy for others. Also, they tend to grow up feeling superior to other children and are unable to accept criticismmake compromises, or solve problems. On the other hand, it could cause the opposite reaction where they need someone’s approval to do anything.

The complete mom

This type of mother is the one who manages to achieve a balance between all types. That is, there’s a balance between attention, overprotection, criticism, and emotional support. This would be the ideal mom who has it all.

“Understanding mothers know how to guide their children to do what they should do and be what they should be.”

-Stephen Poulter-

So, what type of mom are you? You’ve seen the different types there are, and hopefully, you found the one you identify with. Analyze yourself and look for the things you think you do wrong. Everything can improve and change, so if there’s something you do that you don’t like, change it.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Poulter, S., & Merino Sánchez, M. (2010). El legado de las madres. Barcelona: Uran
  • Alegre, A. (2012). ¿Hay relación entre los estilos educativos de las madres y la inteligencia emocional de los hijos?. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 10(1), 5-33. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/2931/293123551002.pdf

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.