Beyond the Tiger Mother: Create Your Own Controversial Animal Mom Role Model!

by Lian on February 24, 2011

Yes, yes, we’re all know about Tigers Moms, thanks to Amy Chua and the Wall Street Journal. If you’re like me, you like the idea of having an Animal Mom Persona, but the Tiger Mom way is simply not your style. Maybe you couldn’t care less about your child’s string instrument mastery.  No worries, the animal kingdom is full of maternal role models that can be exploited for your own personal PR boondoggle. Choose one from the list below and start your own controversial parenting cult:

Orangutan Moms favorite phrase: Did you pick up your room? No, literally, did you pick up your room... cause we are moving.

The Orangutan Mother: In the wild, the Orangutan Mother builds a new home for her family EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! That’s right! She is nature’s homemaker extraordinaire, creating over 30,000 homes from scratch over the course of her lifetime. Does this sound like you? Do you combine DIY skills with manic cleaning energy? Then call yourself an Orangutan Mom! You’re our homemaker extraordinaire: your house is spotless; your curtains match your throw pillows; and you still have time to disinfect your children’s toys in the dishwasher every night! Your home is free of junk mail piles, old homework piles and holiday cards from years past piles. There’s no sitting on the couch after dinner for the Orangutan Mom, she’s too busy sorting the silverware drawer!

Who you calling chubby? Oh, no you di'int! Imma Polar Bear mom.

The Polar Bear Mother: Did you know that expectant Polar Bears put on 400 lbs during pregnancy? That’s right, 4-0-0! And you thought gaining 50  lbs was a little over the top.  ( I know I did, until it happened with baby #2! ) If you are still trying to lose that baby weight a decade after your last delivery, re-position yourself as a Polar Bear Mom! See, doesn’t that sound powerful and slightly threatening as opposed to powerless before M&Ms and slightly schlumpy?  Come on, Polar Bear Mom, slip on those expandable waistband pants and growl at any doc who suggests finally shedding those last ten pounds. Extra bonus: real Polar Bear Moms sleep through childbirth! If only…

You get two years of my time, kids. Then you are on your own. Got it?

The Cheetah Mother: The Cheetah Mom is the hardest working woman on the African plains. She has a lot of kids, manages to feed them all by herself thanks to hunting and killing, teaches them all those kids how to hunt for themselves, then boots them out of the house after two years and starts again with a whole new family.  Whaaaaat? Don’t mess with Cheetah Mom!  Do you have more than 4 children? Do they all know how to do their laundry and take public transportation?  Can they fend for themselves in the kitchen, thanks to the microwave and mac & cheese? Are you looking forward to the day they are all out of the house, so you can start all over again, this time on you? Then start calling yourself a Cheetah Mom, mama, because you’ve earned your spots.

That's Octopus Mom, not Octomom. And don't you forget it.

The Octopus Mom: The Octopus Mom lays 50,000 eggs then watches over then night and day for 40 days while they mature, defending her (potential) kids from the dangers of the deep. She is nature’s bodyguard with child protection as Job #1. The eight arms really help her fight off predators and snatch a snack when she can. Of course, she eats her own eggs, but we can overlook that, because frankly, she scares us. So do those Octopus Moms on the sidelines who find fault in every call a ref makes against their child.  Don’t try reasoning with Octopus Mom on the playground when her child steals your child’s bucket, because you are going down! Call yourself an Octopus Mom is you were an earlier adapter of the cellphone GPS monitoring system for your teens. Or, maybe you are  watching tapes from your Nannycam right now?  Then, you ,too, deserve the title Octopus Mom.

The Koala Mom: In the wild, the Koala Mom sleeps 22 hours a day, lives off only one food,  and feeds her joeys potentially -poisonous eucalyptus a little at a time until they build up a tolerance. In suburbia, a Koala Moms drives her children around in a mini-van 22 hours a day, lives off of Diet Coke  and feeds her babies three squares in the back seat of the car until they build up a tolerance for juice boxes. Koala Moms, so cute and cuddly, if they don’t run out of Diet Coke!

Go ahead. Roughhouse all you want, Kids! I'm a Seahorse Mom.

The Seahorse Mom: Under the ocean,  Seahorses are the only species in which the male can carry a pregnancy, too. On land, Seahorse Moms mother like a father. Seahorse Moms don’t care if the kids are wearing the appropriate clothes to church. They let the kids have pizza for breakfast and cereal for dinner. And they allow dangerous play at all hours of the day and night, preferably with games involving balls in the house. Kids love going to playdates at Seahorse Mom’s house. Let’s get out the sharp objects and run at each other at high speeds!

Still lookin' good, Foxy Mama. Great highlights!

Foxy Moms: This has nothing to do with parenting. You have simply kept yourself up and you are one Foxy Mama. Good for you.

Are there other Animal Moms that inspire you? Let the Chaos Crew know in the comments.

Embracing my Chaos, Lian

More Mom Quizzes! What’s you Volunteer Personality? Click here to read post.



Cyndi February 27, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Very funny post Lian! You nailed a lot of the stereotypes in a clever piece.

I met an Octopus Mom at a party recently – she is a working mom with young children so I can *kind of* see where she was coming from with her thought … she pondered the availability of a microchip to be implanted in the soles of their foot (because it was a safe distance from vital organs) to monitor her kids – I assume if they are lost or abducted. Yikes. Wasn’t sure how to respond to that one! What happens when they hit the teen years????

Debbie in Bethesda February 27, 2011 at 4:01 AM

Love your latest podcast and animal mom list! I can’t say I identify totally though with any one of them. I think if I was to characterize myself, I would find more similarity to a dog mom. Though I don’t know the official animal characteristics, my thinking is that dog mom’s are loving but strict and use positive reinforcement for their discipline technique, and want to raise independent, loving, well-rounded puppies. However, they tend to be rather indifferent to how they look — sweatpants and t shirts are the norm — with no makeup and they don’t mind getting dirty.

This is (in my mind) is the opposite of a cat mom. All my encounters with cats have been that they are disdainful of accepting love, walk away without a look back, use negative reinforcement techniques, but are pretty to look at (but not quite as big a deal as a foxy mom).

Perhaps someone knows more about dog and cat moms than I do???

patty s February 26, 2011 at 7:21 AM

I have a panda mom. She’s not my mom, but she’s fiercely loyal to me, never hibernating, always at the ready when and if I need her. She is a nurturer, slowly and carefully giving those around her exactly what they need before they even need it. She’s cute and cuddly, but if one of her own is threatened, look out. She’s definitely an endangered species–she’s one of a kind.
Yes, we call her Panda Mom. Her real name is Marion, and if my friends on FB want to see what she looks like, she’s in my mobile uploads folder wearing a tiara.

Tiger Moms Network February 25, 2011 at 12:52 PM

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Kathie February 25, 2011 at 10:06 AM

I’m giving myself the Foxy Mom!

gilles February 25, 2011 at 9:08 AM

What about dog moms? Alpha pack leader & uber boss. You get out of line, you get nipped on the muzzle.


Chris in San Diego February 25, 2011 at 5:44 AM

I guess I’m the Koala Bear Mom—minivan, Coke Zero, and meals in the car (while saying ‘we really shouldn’t be eating in the car…’). But boy, sure do love that Polar Bear Mom: 400 pound weight gain AND sleeping through the delivery? Brilliant child bearing experience, if you ask me!! ;-)

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Beckett Graham February 24, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Okay…. I think I am kind of a Seahorse mom: You guys left the playroom all messy maybe you should just shut the door. Let’s make more cookies! Lightsaber fighting! Will you show me that Kung Fu move again? (This time try not to kick off my hat.) Let’s make a volcano!

Sue in NJ February 24, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Love the animal moms post! As a zoo volunteer, I think I’ll have to work on expanding this list, if not for the Chaos Crew then for Mothers Day at the zoo!

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