Two extremes: tiger mother versus giving up mother hood altogether. I’ll admit, I have not read this tiger mother book, but I think I’ve heard enough to decide it’s not my thing. However, there were a couple of things I noticed in the interview with Rahna Reiko Rizzuto. First, she “had this idea that motherhood was this really all-encompassing thing,” and she “was afraid of being swallowed up by that.” Yes, mothering, parenting, is a 24/7 job; but I don’t see any reason why one has to lose their identity in it. You have to change and adapt your expectations of parenthood and yourself when kids enter the picture, but there’s no reason why you can’t have a life to some extent.
Next, she said, “In my part-time motherhood, I get concentrated blocks of time when I can be that 1950s mother we idealize who was waiting in an apron with fresh cookies when we got off the school bus and wasn’t too busy for anything we needed until we went to bed.” If I recall, June Cleaver was a fictional character of a TV show illustrating a time period when the men worked and their wives were expected to keep house. Some women and mothers still think that June Cleaver is the ideal we need to live up to. Uh, excuse me? This is not the 1950s, it’s 2011 people.
Talyaa Liera was also interviewed, but it almost sounded like she felt she helped her children by moving 3000 miles away. She said, “that by being so nurturing, I was in some ways keeping my children from growing to their potential.” You couldn’t make some adjustments and teach your children to be more independent?
My first reaction to these moms is that they are being selfish, but I understand their wanting to be something more than “just a mom.” I don’t think a mother has to go to the extreme of leaving her family to accomplish that. Then I see these women as trying to live up to a certain standard—their idea of perfection that is in their head. No two people are exactly alike. No two mothers are exactly alike. We all have strengths and weaknesses, as do our husbands and kids. We need to work together (within the family) to figure out what motherhood, parenthood, and individualism looks like for each of us and realize that what works for me probably doesn’t look the same for you or her. We all need to stop striving for perfection and just find the truth.