Like many of you, Amy Chua's book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" has me reevaluating my own mothering skills. Chua reminds me of many mothers I've known over the years in my community, where Amgen is the largest employer, attracting scientists from around the world, many from China or Korea.
These people don't mess around. Our children grew up together, and while my daughter often wanted to join her friends in their Asian American homework groups after school, she never did. I could try to blame it on discrimination, but the truth is she didn't want to work that hard, and I was too tired to push it.
"Too tired" is a great way to describe my parenting style. My kids' "Chinese mother"...is their father. I've spent two decades riddled with Dr. Laura-like guilt for not giving up my career to stay at home and turn child rearing into my full-time vocation. I could argue that the money I brought in as a working mother allowed us to live in a nicer area with great schools and better opportunities. That's true. However, my family knows I would go nuts being home all the time. I love my children and would kill for them, but I would probably kill them instead if I didn't have work as an excuse to get out of the house.