Let the Mommy Wars Begin! (A Post In Honor of Mother’s Day)

Many of you may have read the article about Tiger Moms recently.  It went viral through Facebook and was the story of a Chinese-American mom (you can read it here).  Basically, the mom talks about how Chinese child-rearing techniques are superior.  Personally, I find many of the techniques quite questionable.  Having had many Asian-American friends growing up, I found their parents overly oppressive.  I also saw that rather than actual rebellion, the majority snuck around, pretended obedience, then went off and moved as far away from home as possible ;).  That’s neither here nor there.

The articles I found today give a variety of different perspectives.  The first I read is an almost diametrically opposed approach tot he Tiger Mom.  Written by a woman who decides not to be her sons’ custodial parent, it is an interesting tale (you can find it here).  She leaves her husband and kids to do a fellowship in Japan.  During the stay, she realized she isn’t meant to be a full-time mom.  Her story had overtones of wanting her cake and eating it too.  She gets to be a mom when she feels like it doing the fun stuff and leaving the hard work of parenting to someone else.

The parade of articles continued. Maybe I had too much time on my hands…  Next I explored the article about why people don’t like the kids of working moms (found here).  It turns out that this is based on a study of people’s perceptions.  It’s an interesting look at what people think about working mom sand their relationships with kids.  The comments are actually as interesting as the article.  Having been raised by a working mom (single moms kind of have to be, no?), I can’t really sympathize with the feelings of the people.

Then, I came across the almost response regarding the fact that staying at home is a career choice as well.  The premise is that if all moms are “working moms” then staying at home is a type of career choice.  Interesting perspective, this one (read it here).  I find myself sympathetic to much of what she says.  This isn’t surprising given that I’ve been a working mom since the beginning.  I have periods of part-time and periods of full-time employment (I went back to my full-time job 4 weeks after the twins were born).  I’m actually a better mom when I’m working than when I’m not.

Then I found an article about parents hating parenting.  It gives statistics and information on depression and such (read it here).  Somehow it takes the foundation premise as one that people have children to make themselves happy.  I would suggest that this premise is flawed.  But that’s just me.  I don’t know anyone who decided to have kids so that they would be happy.  Fulfilled? Maybe.  But, happy, not so much.

The last article I’ll share is one that talks about what to do when you like one of your kids better (see it here).  Imagine the horror!  Someone likes one of their children better!  You know what? Show me someone who vows that they don’t like one of their kids better and I’ll show you a liar ;).  Seriously, though, I think all of us have a favorite.  My favorite is surprising to me (and others, I suspect).  Having said that, I love them all equally, just not the same way.  And I find one easier and more special to be with.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  I’m certain of it.

But the most interesting thing about my reading-fest this afternoon was this… it made me accept that I am just as guilty of judging other moms as anyone else.  I may be less vocal.  I may even be less focused on it, but I make value-judgments all the time.  I think the Chinese mom is doing real damage to her kids.  I think the “part-time” mom is setting her kids up to feel abandoned.  And yet, when I think through their choices, there are things to recommend each.  The Chinese mom drives her kids to do better.  The part-time mom gives her kids the best of herself each time she sees them (that would be nice).  And, each of them is the best mom they know how to be.  So, rather than judging them (or anyone else), me, I’m going to start thinking more about how I can better and less about how others can…  After all, judging others comes from our own insecurity.  So, let’s understand that we are the best we can be and stop beating up ourselves AND others, hunh?

Happy Mother’s Day!

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2 thoughts on “Let the Mommy Wars Begin! (A Post In Honor of Mother’s Day)

  1. Hi,
    While kids are usually a liability in terms of the cost of raising them “$ 200.000.00. From birth to 18” according to the artice, they could be an asset as well. For instance you can use them for your annual tax deductions and for your child care expenses deductions, and other exepmtion such as $ 1000.00 per child per year. In addition, god forbid if you go totally broke the chance of getting government public for the needy assistance can become greater when you have children than when you don’t. Finally, with health insurance cost is so high per family coverage nowadays, you can get free health care under your children’s kids care insurance coverage program.In Jordan some people use their kids to beg for money this is not some thing that I condone I’m just trying to show how kids can be asset to their parents in addition to being a libility. Some kids end up making their impeverished parents live a lavish life ( Michel Jackson is an example), other kids may make their parents be proud of them and be proud of themselves for having them.Though I’m not sure that parenting is directly responsible for how the kids end up being successful or failures although in some rare instances it does especially amongst the families that raise their children on fearing God and the joy of after life and so on and so forth. Nevertheless, I think that once the child reaches his/her teen age years they begin drafting their own road map without giving too much consideration for their parents tutelage.I know that your post is about parenting and not about children persay and I seem to have drifted away from the main theme but to me it is all mutually execlusive. Parenting like everything else has its ups and downs, we have our own flaws just like our children, we can not claim that we know best and they must follow or fully adhere to our demands, kids have their own way of thinking and seeing things. I’m talking here about kids age- 1-15. There are a lot of things out there that will prejudice their thinking and their behavior in addition to their parent (school, peers, social interactions, media, and technology) all have their own influnce on our kids.I say that my parenting style consists of saying do as i do and not do as I say because doing is sort of like a computer application once you put it into practice it becomes sort of like a habit that you will repeat over and over again.Parenting is not for every one I think that one should think very hard before becoming a parent, it is not fun, it is not a vacation, it is very hard work.My simple formula for parenting is : Do the best you can and leave the rest for the higher power to take care of it, that is all

    • Max, welcome and thanks for your comment. I can see your point (and it’s not completely off-topic). Kids can be an asset, particularly in later life… After all, I hope mine will take me in, should I need it ;). One of the things that we do as parents is help provide our kids with a filter through which to view the outside influences. We may be more successful or less successful, but it’s one of our roles. For me, I try to live the idea Do as I say, which had better be what I do… Again, welcome.

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