One of my favorite social critics, Kay Hymowitz, has noticed that the New York Times and other major metropolitan dailies are reporting on an urban baby boomlet. Hymowitz dissects the new Mama Chic in today’s Opinion Journal:

“Judging from Urbanbaby and other urban lifestyle outlets, Creative Moms actually have two aesthetics: uptown and downtown. The uptown Creative is a Carrie Bradshaw type, now married, moneyed–and lactating. She loves high-end fashion, and while she adores her baby, she also loves any excuse to shop. She has quickly discovered that when it comes to fashion, children are the next best thing to an American Express gold card. She purchased $150 Seven maternity jeans during her pregnancy, dresses her newborn in $75 Burberry booties and bundles him in Petunia Petunia baby blankets, which she has heard are the wrap of choice for the celebrity offspring of Jennifer Garner and Gwyneth Paltrow. She uses a Bugaboo, the Mercedes of strollers, which did a cameo appearance on “Sex and the City” and is also said to be excellent for maneuvering in and out of taxis. And instead of the quilted diaper bag with Beatrix Potter illustrations, she carries a $300 black Italian leather satchel with polished hardware.

“Typically, the downtown Creative Class Mother is less flush with disposable income. But what she lacks in imported leather, she makes up in edginess. For the downtown Creative Mother, the less family-friendly the neighborhood, the stronger its appeal. In New York that means she lives in Tribeca or Williamsburg, Brooklyn–which were only yesterday industrial wastelands. The downtown mama spends a lot of time in small, locally owned cafés–she’d rather find herself in New Jersey than Starbucks–offering whole-grain biscotti to her teething 14-month-old. A Chicago-based Web site called, founded by two “basically cool chicks who just happened to have a kid,” nicely captures the downtown style. Among the site’s products are booties with a skull-and-crossbones design and a picture book called ‘Urban Babies Wear Black.’ The site announces: ‘We celebrate individuality rather than conformity, creativity rather than convention.'”

Unfortunately both styles of motherhood may be producing that most odious of creatures-the obnoxious child:

“With that mantra in mind, both up- and downtown Creative Mothers tend to encourage their offspring toward self-expression. But the truth is that neither psychobabies nor Burberry babies make appealing company for anyone other than blood relatives. The proprietor of a popular Chicago café, tired of kids throwing tantrums on the floor or in the middle of the take-out line, recently posted a sign asking that little ones use their ‘indoor voices’ at his establishment–much to the dismay of local mothers.”

Worst of all, these rude children and their chic mummies may be coming soon to a suburb near you:

“To be fair, we yuppies also favored what we called ‘verbal’ children, which is one of the reasons, besides decent schools, that many of my peers eventually moved to places with bigger ‘indoors.’ It will hardly be a surprise when the Creative Class Mamas follow suit.”