By now most of us have heard of the “basic bitch.” If you are like me you had to hear about it from your husband’s gay co-worker because you are elbow-deep in diapers and Bubble Guppies and making sure your daughter’s red folder is in her backpack so she doesn’t have a meltdown at school tomorrow, which means you are out of the loop. So out of the loop that you asked your childless friends on a rare night out what “turn down for what” means (like three months after it even mattered). But, I digress. Back to the basic bitch. I know I am supposed to run from the label, but honestly, I wish I were hip enough to be a basic bitch. I wish I had the time and the money to invest in myself and in “basic” material things. Instead, I spend most of my time and money on the little human beings I am raising. But I hate being left out of a cultural phenomenon – since becoming a mom, I’m always feeling left out. So, I guess, maybe I’m a . . . basic mom?
What makes basic moms different from basic bitches? Well, first and foremost (because they are always first and foremost), children. The main difference between basic moms and basic bitches is that basic moms spend the majority of their time, money, and brainpower trying to keep helpless little people alive, whereas basic bitches can dedicate that time to keeping up with trends, immersing themselves in pop culture, and sipping seasonal beverages.
Here are 16 signs you might be a basic mom:
Not having the time or money for pumpkin spice lattes, your coffee splurge is adding an extra dash of flavored creamer (whichever brand was on sale) to your morning cup of home-brewed coffee before rushing to the bus stop.
You can’t remember the last time you posted something on facebook that wasn’t related to one of your children (except that picture from your last date night with a caption about having a night away from the kids).
You would love to have a Sex and the City marathon with your girlfriends and then sit around comparing your lives to your favorite characters, but Yo Gabba Gabba has melted your brain so much that you can’t remember if you are a Charlotte or a Samantha or a Foofa. (Side note: when I googled “Foofa” to verify the spelling, I stumbled across the urban dictionary definition, of which, as a basic mom, I was obviously unaware. To be clear, I am referring to the pink puffy character on Yo Gabba Gabba, not the pink puffy area that I try to tuck into my leggings.)
Speaking of leggings, you swore you would never wear them (certainly never as pants) . . . that is, until you tried on a pair while you were pregnant and realized that leggings are the greatest things ever (and, I mean, they are practically pants).
You are excited when afternoon nap time is pushed late, and thus coincides with Ellen (time to grab a cup of Greek yogurt and park on the couch – you deserve it!).
You have no idea when you last had a manicure and you aren’t really sure what a gel manicure even is, but you do know exactly how much milk is in the fridge and approximately how long it will last (same goes for toilet paper, diapers, and disinfecting wipes).
You have a closet full of heels that you stare at longingly every once in a while, but you know you will always opt for the sensible flats (unless your spouse lets you go out with your girlfriends – in that case, you will be wearing 6-inch heels to Applebee’s).
You love Target – but not in the same way you used to love Target. You long for the days when you could wander for hours touching every piece of clothing in the women’s section, debating which shade of lip gloss to buy, trying on all the sunglasses, and picking out new bed linens. Instead, you spend most of your Target-time before you even walk through the automatic doors. You research and compare sales and scientifically add deals to your Cartwheel. Then you make a plan of action so you can get in and out with the best deal on Up & Up paper towel and Oil of Olay moisturizer before nap time (unless you somehow get to go to Target on your own, and then it’s game on).
In the summer, your uniform is a t-shirt (probably from Target) and jeans (or, if you happened to shave your legs, the stretch-waist maternity shorts you kept on hand after the last baby).
In the winter, your uniform is the same t-shirt and jeans plus a cardigan (also from Target . . . or maybe Old Navy). You have learned that layers are necessary because you are going to get sweaty carrying around and/or running after your demon, ahem . . . child.
You have thousands of photos stored in your iPhone, but haven’t printed any in years (except that time your daughter needed a current picture for a school project and you had to spend hours figuring out how to get it from your phone to the photo printer at CVS).
Speaking of photos, all of your selfies include at least one of your children.
You outwardly laugh and nod when you hear other moms talking about how they never have a minute to themselves in the bathroom, but inwardly you are wondering if they ever just close the door and play on their phones while ignoring the tiny knocking fists like you do.
You promised yourself that you wouldn’t send your kid to school with boring, typical lunches, and you actually did an okay job for the first couple weeks of school, but now, she gets sandwiches and grape tomatoes pretty much every day (and you don’t even attempt to cut them into animal shapes – I mean, really, you just gave up).
You think your kid is the coolest kid ever (nothing basic about her – she didn’t even want to be Elsa for Halloween).
And as for Taylor Swift, of course you love Taylor Swift. You’re not a monster.
Or maybe these are all just things that apply to me, and I want to be relevant enough to fit into a snarky cultural label. So I made this list in hopes that there are other basic moms out there who don’t mind being too busy picking up crayons to keep up with the Kardashians and too budget-strapped to get Chipotle with a Starbucks chaser for lunch and too tired from . . . well, everything to even think about jumping on the Scandal bandwagon . . . as long as it means we get to spend our time, money, and energy on our kids. After all, they are the coolest kids in the history of the universe.