The book 'The Outliers', by Malcolm Gladwell, talks about how better opportunities lead to more successful lives. When one reads books like that of like Amy Chua's 'Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother', one gets inspired to be pushy. But what defines the fine line between pushing and being pushy? Between nudging your child, and burning him or her out? What's the difference between attracting the limelight for your child, or stealing it for yourself? Try and spot what sort of mum you are from the list below:
The Tiger Mum:
The tiger mum believes that her child can do it all and that she has the secret powers (or tools) to ensure that he or she does do it all. She will show other mums that she's casual in her approach, but will be the one screaming besides the swimming pool or shoving mouthfuls of banana's into the child's mouth in between classes;all this believing that he or she has the potential to be the best. Although the child may be happy with second best. But she is not. This mum sizes up the competition everywhere she goes and may even use tactics to eliminate it.
The Look-but-don't-touch Mum:
She looks perfect all the time. Literally all the time. Her hair is always blow-dried and pinned up, her nails always manicured and her make-up always done. While she wants her children to progress in life, she is quite sure they will manage with her husband's wealthy background and not need to depend on an education. Her children know better than to get sticky fingers on her DVF dresses, or even on their own clothes. The children of these mums usually match them. And I don't mean that figuratively. It's cute when a mum and child match once, or even twice, but if it happens on every occasion...well, then it's borderline neurotic.
The Boardroom Mum:
This is the working mum who is usually just angry at the world. She is happy to be working but annoyed that others don't. She cannot tolerate mums who claim to be 'stay-at-home' especially as they probably spend more time in the gym and salon than she does in the office. This mum wants the best for her children but has no time to bother. She cannot stand those mums who discuss recipes, sit in at classes or volunteer with the PTA. She is always on the phone, always in formal wear and usually in heels. She believes she has done her bit by producing kids, now others can look after them.
The PTA Mum:
She probably gave up her career to raise her children, then realised she has too much time on her hands and instead of lunching and working out, she will contribute her hours to school. All great thoughts, until she turns the school into the corporate world and starts competing on every level. This mum uses her BlackBerry and iPad to make spread sheets and allocate tasks. She yells out orders and seeks accolades. She realises that she can play pretend 'business' here and does just that. She makes enemies with her children's friends all with the hope to get ahead (read: another pat on the back from the teachers). She confuses the real world for this, and gets lost in a world of mums and art and craft and bake sale competitions along the way!
You may recognise yourself, or you may not, but mums are a breed of their own these days! Remember, you were made a mum because of that child you are now steering – stop for a moment and appreciate him or her for who they are!