Prev Next

My Today Show appearance

By Isabel Kallman

So, this morning I went back to The Today Show. Here’s a link to the video if you’re interested. Last time, I was on to discuss Alpha Mom as a consumer demographic that marketers are now coveting more than ever. True, moms have always been influential, but with advances in technology their ability to spread the gospel about something they love (or hate) has grown exponentially. Communities no longer are constrained to physical locations, they are now virtual.
Anyhow, back to this morning. I always decline requests to participate in what look to be “Mommy Wars” stories. The “Mommy Wars” are in short, media-inspired fictional battles between moms: working vs. stay-at-home moms, bottle-feeding vs. breastfeeding, I could go on, but I won’t. Research shows that the vast majority of moms don’t “fight” with each other, but support each other and their parenting decisions. Stories, that tend to have the “versus” in them, make for fun TV, but that doesn’t make them true.
In this case, I knew the segment was to be called “Alpha Mom vs. Slacker Mom.” I chose to participate, because Alpha Mom is the brand name of my company. If I didn’t go on camera, they would have chosen someone else. Also, my recent experience on The Today Show was positive.
I guess the thing that I was most nervous about was that I was going to be on camera with two very well-trained TV professionals– Meredith Vieira (anchor of Today) and Rene Syler (former anchor of CBS Early Show). I’ve been on live television only twice before. It’s really tough.
Overall, I was incredibly pleased that the conversation did not degenerate to an argument about whose style of parenting is best. Rather it focused on that ultimately what is important is to do what is best for your family. I think that is really a testament to how well the segment was produced. I think credit should be given, when credit is due.
There was the implication that Alpha Moms do raise the bar too high (which I think is a huge misconception). I thought I addressed it initially in the interview, but in a follow-up question Rene Syler harped that moms (maybe implying Alpha Moms? all moms?) do this. I hope you guys heard me. This so-called “bar” is subjective and it is whatever a mom wants it to be. I trust that moms are smart enough to figure out what that supposed-bar needs to be for themselves. Moms don’t need anybody telling them to “chill.” I think in our super-charged world, everyone needs to find balance and can do it on their own terms. And, if you look through this website at the columns and videos, I am most proud that we walk our talk.
So, what is an Alpha Mom (which they never asked me, but that’s okay)? Well, I chose Alpha Mom as the name of this brand since it spoke to me as reflection of modern motherhood. Moms are forced today to juggle so much given that support systems (extended family, government, school) are just not there to support moms like they once did. Moms are finding community with other moms both through social groups and online. They’re helping each other out because they care not only about their own kids but those of their friends as well.
My day has started off well.

Isabel Kallman
About the Author

Isabel Kallman

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

icon icon
chat bubble icon


  • Belinda

    June 22, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    OK, first the superficial: WOW, you looked fantastic!
    I was rather disappointed in the way the piece was framed, and I’m staring to feel some serious frustration directed at Vieira–even though she may not have much editorial control over what stories get produced, she sure pushes the same old buttons, again and again. Also, HATED the taped piece that preceded the live interview, because it seemed it was only there to set up the stereotypes for the verbal sparring match they hoped would follow. The “alpha” moms appeared cold and career-driven, in sterile indoor settings, surrounded by technology and seeming to give their children only partial attention–while the “beta” moms were shown all earth-mothery and warm and nurturing, in outdoor, lush, green environments or cozy living areas concentrating ALL their attention on their children…all they were lacking was soft focus and cartoon bluebirds.
    “Overall, I was incredibly pleased that the conversation did not [degenerate] to an argument about whose style of parenting is best.”
    This was not from lack of trying on Meredith’s part. When you gave one particularly eloquent, and I thought definitive answer indicating that there is no “versus” in this equation, M.V. came right back, before you really even finished speaking, with, “BUT, Rene, don’t you feel that there’s a backlash against [“alpha” moms]…” Made me INSANE.
    “Rather it focused on that ultimately what is important is to do what is best for your family.”
    I would have to say that 90% of that “focus” came from YOU, and I thank you for staying on-message so articulately.
    “I think that is really a testament to how well the segment was produced. I think credit should be given, when credit is due.”
    Which is why I’m giving it to YOU, instead of the segment’s PRODUCERS, who I really, very strongly, feel were trying like all get-out to create another tempest in a teapot by pitting mothers against each other. You denied them the cheap sensationalism they craved by refusing to take the bait, and I can’t applaud you enough. Thank you.
    As to your question, by the “Today” show’s standards, I could not be further from their definition of what an “alpha” mom is. But I’m here to tell you, I identify strongly with what I find here on a regular basis, and enjoy and appreciate what you’ve created and are nurturing, and hope to be a part of the community and continue to benefit from it for as long as you’ll continue providing this springboard for thought and discussion.
    Still waiting for that hot media debate over various types of FATHERING, and “this” Dad versus “that” Dad. Got a feeling I’ll be waiting a while.
    And I just used up my commenting time quota for three days.

  • Isabel Kallman

    June 23, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Thanks for this Belinda. Please continue to comment as often as you would like. I love it!
    Also, this proves that I shouldn’t blog without sleep or without an editor. Nor should I use big words!

  • Angel

    June 23, 2007 at 3:16 am

    I have to say, I was initially turned off of the “Alpha Mom” name until I found out some of my favorite bloggers (Dooce, Melissa) were here 🙂
    Yes, I’m a Slacker Mom LOL
    I have to say though, the mommy wars are real, it just depends on where you look. AOL, FULL of the mommy wars (and I have been on both sides and then ran. like. heck.) You find some at LLL, and in other places like playgroups.
    I guess age/experience has taught me to be more accepting of “the other side”. It’s much easier for me to be a SAHM when I have support from all types of moms!
    Congrats on your TV appearance!

  • Annie

    June 23, 2007 at 11:10 am

    I saw this piece on yesterday’s Today Show and have to say that I groaned inwardly that this was yet another angle on the whole ‘Mommy Wars’ thing, another reason for women to be competitive, or judgmental. I liked how you didn’t allow this piece to degenerate into a slanging match as so many Today Show segments of this type have done before. The Linda Hirschmans and Leslie Bennetts of this world could learn a lot from you!
    I wrote about the Today Show segment at my own blog if you’re interested in checking it out. I think a lot of mothers are sick of the labels, and agree with you, that we all need to find that balance in life that works for our individual families.
    I’m off to check out more of this site.

  • Belinda

    June 23, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    I knew perzackly what you meant. 😉

  • Beth B.

    June 24, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    I am so happy to see that you have a blog along with Alpha Mom TV. Isabel – I think you should always appear on these show because you are the voice of reason. I really like when you said “there are more similarities then differences”. So true. I consider myself BOTH a alpha mom and slacker mom.

  • mod*mom

    June 25, 2007 at 2:58 am

    wow! how fun! i wish i’d seen your segment!

  • Belinda

    June 26, 2007 at 12:18 am

    mom*mom – You still can! It’s linked to right up at the top of this post! From the word “video” in the second line. Go–watch! Then come back and groan with us! 😉

  • Whitney from TSW

    June 30, 2007 at 1:55 am

    It’s amazing to see the Mommy Wars develop between friends and neighbors even…I consider myself a highly functioning slacker mom…I don’t sweat the small stuff, choose my battles, run my own online children’s boutique, bathe the kids daily but only wash their hair every other day…etc. etc. I have learned just to blaze my own trail as a mother and hopefully keep and make a few friends I can respect and relate to along the way. I say screw the labels, unless my label is “Hot Babe Who Happens To Have Kids”

  • mothergoosemouse

    June 30, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    “everyone needs to find balance and can do it on their own terms”
    I love that statement. I want every mother out there to read and internalize that statement.
    Not only are the “Mommy Wars” media-inspired, but they feed on (and perpetuate) the media-inspired insecurities of mothers. Judgment of our choices is inevitable; what we need is enough confidence in ourselves to look past what the media (or other mothers) might say.