This morning I was invited to attend a very special Anderson Live show with Anderson Cooper about “parenting styles.” Nothing like getting up at six am to hear Lenore Skenazy defend her $350 “free range nothing” class. There was the very predictable re-harpooning of the free range advocate’s decision to let her 9-year-old son ride the NYC subway alone, complete with the predictable mommy shaming audience. Show me a woman making a less than stellar choice for her child and I’ll show you the masses ready to string her up as the sacrificial lamb. But following the disapproving comments in the audience, the only proper bookend to “free range” surfaced in the discussion: helicopter parenting.
A fellow “mommy blogger” to my side told Anderson Cooper and the audience that she favored a “middle ground” with children’s safety and independence, a concept that doesn’t seem to appeal much to the mainstream media narrative of parenting. That’s when my marketing brain started churning.
If you flipped on the TV these days, you’d assume all mothers were being sorted out via house much like that Harry Potter Sorting Hat. Can’t you just see lines of naive little preggers lining a majestic wooden table as they’re dispensed into “hipster mom,” “tiger mom,” “helicopter mom”?
Well, I say we add a new house to the lot and start the trend of ultra-chic, super swanky, Labeless Parenting! Ladies, we could really go places here!
Can’t you just see morning TODAY show hosts gathered around a freshly make-up shellacked group of “Labeless Moms”? They can espouse the credo of “fluid” and “free” interpretations of parenting, unbound by “the confines” of conventional parenting labels. These mothers (and of course there are no daddies in this club!) are shockingly both strict about homework but occasionally order out dinner! They both have a nanny and still love their kids! They like to have a drink sometimes but aren’t about to get black out drunk. Shocking and new, I know!
Let’s talk book deals, ladies. I’m thinking of going Lenore Skenazy with this one and putting together Labeless Parent: What The Rest Of Us Are Doing. Any mother out there who cares about your kid’s grades, but isn’t about to wade through two-year waiting lists of private schools, can pen the forward. We’ll be on talk shows from here to Los Angeles and through out the parenting blogosphere, we’ll be snagging headlines with “Labeless Parenting.”