Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ballad of the MAMA Curmudgeon

I recently read “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom,” by Amy Chua. It’s been reviewed in many publications, so I won’t write another review. I simply want to share the perspective of another working mother. (I’m a MAMA curmudgeon, remember?)

What impressed me the most was the amount of time Ms. Chua devoted to being a mother– the daily supervision of lengthy piano and violin practices, the hours of travel to specialized teachers. Who can do that and remain sane? My job was as demanding as Ms. Chua’s, though it must have been less flexible, because I couldn’t have left work several times a day to go transport kids to yet another music lesson.

When my children were growing up, I placed limits on them – one team at a time, one instrument at a time. If they wanted AAU, for example, they couldn’t play for their school. Somehow they thrived anyhow. They aren’t prodigies at anything, but they got into good colleges and are now independent adults making their own way in the world.

I made mistakes as a parent – indeed, some of my biggest regrets come from how I handled my kids. But I’m satisfied I did my part to raise them into productive human beings.

And I somehow kept my sanity.

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