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5 Moms You Meet in Every Playgroup

Photograph by Twenty20

Playgroup was such a big part of my life with babies and toddlers—because adult conversation, right? But after a while I started to notice a pattern. Certain personas emerge when you throw 12 random moms together with nothing more in common than the fact that they gave birth in the same month. Even moms who aren't part of an organized playgroup know there are certain types of moms in every social setting that centers around your kids. Have you met a few of these moms?

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1. Whole Foods Mom

Sure, she seems nice when you first meet her during your weekly playgroup gathering at the park. But once the snacks start to emerge from the depths of your diaper bag, she shows her true colors. "Goldfish crackers?" she gasps. "We only let Pegasus and her brother snack on organic seaweed snacks from the waters surrounding the Galapagos Islands," she shares, loudly enough for all to hear. She tosses around words like quinoa, kale, fair-trade and organic as easily as you would coffee, gummy bears and Dr Pepper. And while your food preferences and obsessions don't always sync up, she does have a pretty kick-ass recipe for hummus.

2. Laid-back Mom

You might initially be appalled at her apparent lack of concern for all things mom, but she is on to something.

This mom seems to have it all together with her laid-back approach to parenting and life in general. Naps? Her kid takes them when the mood hits, not on a schedule. She doesn't prepare a mini-meal for her toddler when heading out to the park for the afternoon, she just offers him a bit of whatever she's having. Developmental milestones aren't even on her radar, and she's just waiting for her kid to "decide" when it's time to use the potty. You might initially be appalled at her apparent lack of concern for all things mom, but she is on to something. Nobody wants to be cutting pieces of cheese and making little teddy bears out of ham and grapes for their kid's lunch for the next five years. Nobody.

3. TMI Mom

This mom is one of the hardest for me to deal with—even now. At first glance she seems friendly and normal. But when the conversation turns to stories about birth, conception, postpartum healing, breastfeeding, baby poop, sex after baby or any other potentially nasty or embarrassing subject, you'll see her clearly. And believe me, you can't un-see most of her stories. Wait until you meet her husband at the holiday mixer. Pretty hard to look him in the eye after the stories she's shared.

4. Germ-a-phobe Mom

Let's be clear about something: There are some scary germs out there, moms. And I don't think you can even compare the germs of our childhood to the germs of today. Having said that, there is also a certain amount of living we all need to do without the constant fear of germs. Germ-a-phobe Mom goes way beyond a squirt of hand-sanitizer before snacks. She's the one who arrives at the park first to wipe down the slide and handrails with a Clorox wipe. If you so much as sneeze, cough or snort in her general direction she quizzes you on how you feel, if you are feverish and whether you've recently been to a foreign country. She knows all the latest bugs and the symptoms they cause. Do you pick up your kid's pacifier from the floor, give it a courtesy lick and hand it back to your kid? Then this mom won't be your BFF. Ever.

5. Know-it-all Mom

This mom doesn't exist exclusively in the infant and toddler crowd—she will follow you all the way to high school. Not only is she the expert on the latest immunization info and well-check stats, but she can also tell you each and every developmental milestone your child should reach and when—which is so very helpful when your child is missing the mark in either direction. Brace yourself, because this mom will also be the authority on reading comprehension, math skills, puberty and college applications. Because obviously.

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We've all met these moms—maybe even been one of them. Whether you click with TMI Mom or find common ground with Whole Foods Mom, there's one thing we all gain from this diversity: The realization that we get to make our own choices. And that's pretty cool.

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