There is a new book out about a Chinese Tiger Mom. I haven't read it, but I've read reviews. And interviews. And an open letter to the author in the Wall Street Journal. I get the gist of what it's about and I'm withholding my opinion about the mother because I didn't read it.
Everyone has their own parenting style and it's so polarizing. I believe I'm a good mom, but I have my shortcomings, as much as the next. I have my own ideas about what I want to instill in my children and the limits of what I'll let them do and what I'll do, as well.
The most important thing to me as a mom is to accept them for who they are. Both of my children are so different and wonderful in their own ways and I try very hard to treat them as individuals, even though I threatened to treat them as twins if they didn't watch it - for what offense I have no recollection. I'm certain if I actually had twins, I would see them individually, as well. (And yes, I think I can be a good mom and threaten them occasionally.)
As much as I think I'm doing a good job in the Big Picture of parenting, I have my faults and flaws in the Little Picture. Today I made my youngest daughter cry and for that I'm truly sorry. She got a new outfit yesterday and was wearing it today. It was a pair of jeans (old) and a new blouse with blue baby roses. She had on her new shoes and pulled her hair back into a pony-tail. I told her she looked beautiful. Then I told her she would look even more beautiful if she didn't have a blue mustache. That hurt her feelings. I'm not even sure why, but it made me think of the book. I don't criticize my children very much in that way. Sure, if they haven't brushed their hair in a week and it starts to look like a rat's nest, I'll tell them and force the brush or threaten a haircut, but I never tell them they look like Pepto-vomit when they mix seven different colors of pink. I simply appreciate the effort they put into their choices and admire their personality.
I feel so badly about the mustache remark. But I think I made up for it with chocolate milk. I don't really know why I thought of that book, except that I'm sympathetic to parenting criticisms. This is a hard-damn job. The hardest I've ever had.