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This is the story of my friend, you can say my buddy-sister. She is a working mother, well placed in life, level headed and a very loving mom to her son.
One day when she comes home from work, she notices that her son has not prepared for the Interschool ‘Spelling Bee’ competition which is to be held on the next day. Mother-son duo had worked hard during the preliminary round exams. And now when ‘she’ can almost see that trophy, the son seems disinterested. He wants to watch the World Cup finals today!
She feels disgusted and confused. She has this constant chatter in her head, be a good mom, be gentle, be forgiving. She wants her son to have the fondest memories of his childhood. Sweet memories of his bond with his mother. So usually when the child says 'Can I do my homework quickly today mamma? My handwriting may not be my best but I really want to try assembling a new paper model that I have thought of on my way back home' she is like - 'One h/w, all right. Go where your heart is'.
But then there are times she can see that trophy, those certificates which will add aura to his educational profile. How proud and confident he will feel when he receives it. Then the tiger mom in her clouds everything else. All her previous resolutions to be gentle and easy, the buddy mom in her, fades into the background. The inner voice to be good doesn’t help and she coaxes her son to go that extra mile and win the trophy.
Is it alright to be a tiger mom? She feels very confused. Yeah, she should tread the middle path mostly but I can see that at times it gets really really difficult for her.
I have heard her tell me, more time than once 'Mandavi, I hope you see more to me than being a tiger mom'. At times she thinks, is this 'change' really needed?
The friend in subject is a mother with a good professional & educational backgrounds, she works part-time and had maintained a good work-life balance over the years. This blog has been inspired by snippets of my conversation with her over past recent years