Earlier this week, I was speaking with one of my friends. We were catching up on things, including how our kids were doing.
The conversation was pretty vanilla, with your typical Mom Q&A. How’d the school year finish up? What are you doing for Summer? What camps do you have him in? Sliding into pretty much the whole weekly play by play of the kids’ summer calendars.
I haven’t given much thought to my son’s camp schedule, but we’ve got him doing full weeks of a variety of things, from Martial Arts to Golf. And in addition to the eight weeks of camps, we are sneaking in a couple quick trips this summer for family events. Not a big deal, and certainly no more of a packed schedule than what we have during the school year.
But the next statement from my friend kind of stopped me in my tracks. She said “you’re quite the Tiger Mom.”
I had to stop and ask myself, What’s a tiger mom? Is that even a thing? My first thoughts were of a mother tiger with a litter of smaller striped wild cats, but that didn’t make any sense here.
I’ve heard of Cougar Mom’s before, maybe a Tiger Mom is some sort of variant of that? A hot mom who’s happily married with great kids, maybe?
Apparently, as I was trying desperately to figure out what it could mean, I started to flatter myself.
So, a soccer mom is basically someone who has a kid that plays soccer (or some other team sport, it’s basketball for us), probably drives some sort of mini-van, and who’s car is always loaded with gear, plenty of kids that aren’t your own, and bulk cartons of Gatorade for all the little ones.
At first glance, a Tiger Mom might seem similar.
From what I gather, in general, a tiger mom is someone that is driven on her kids’ success with academics, activities and everything in between. You are doing whatever it takes to send out into the real world the most well rounded and socially capable human that you can.
I think it means your kids and their activities dominate your calendar, and your bank account. This is also pretty much the reality for Soccer Moms, and for me.
Oh, and the term originated in reference to Asian parents, and I’m Asian heritage. So maybe a Tiger Mom is just the Asian version of a Soccer Mom?
In actuality, the true meaning of tiger parenting is probably much more strict and authoritative than I am. I come from a very loving family, so it’s hard for me to go to any sort of extremes with discipline or being demanding.
We provide our son a lot of support and encouragement, and keep him engaged in a variety of activities, so I can see how it might appear as tiger parenting. But what I do is probably more along the lines of just me being the typical Mom. Maybe even a Soccer Mom.
Although, for the record, I don’t do mini-vans.
And, as much as I hate saying this out loud, it’s actually not much different than how my parents were with raising me.