adoption, parenting

Tiger mother or kitty mom?

I have not read the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.  I have read many articles about the book, which is not as good as reading the book itself.  I’m not sure I want to read the book.  But that’s not what this post is about.  As you can imagine, over the last 5 years of our adoption journey, and even for years before we started the adoption process, I’ve been more than a casual observer of parents and parenting styles.  Much like the betrothed girl makes mental notes at her friends’ weddings, I’ve been creating a file of parenting dos and don’ts in my head.  CSP & I have discussed at length the different parenting styles we’ve experienced and observed and our feelings on both.  We’ve attended seminars and webinars.  We’ve read books and articles and blogs galore.  We’ve watched films.  We completed the foster parenting classes.  We have a good idea of the types of parents we want to be.  We also know that all our ideas and dreams might be turned on their heads when our kidlet arrives.  We’re smart enough to know that we have to be flexible and that each child is different.

Back to the Tiger Mother.  Amy Chua has sparked quite an uproar on mommy blogs and among parents of all types.  I’ve not seen much, any really, talk about this book amongst my mom friends.  I’m very curious to hear what y’all think about Ms. Chua’s parenting style.  Now, I’m sure that we are all in agreement that it’s not good to call your children “gargbage” and I’m not interested in debating the differences between Western and Chinese parenting styles.  Some critics are saying that Ms. Chua’s book is misrepresenting Chinese parents anyway.  If you boil it all down though, I think the debate can be summed up with strict vs. indulgent parenting.

CSP & I have been witness to both.  And we’ve noticed that many of our friends are more strict as parents than recent generations.  It feels almost as if we’re getting back to a similar parenting style that we grew up with.  We like that.  No means no,  there are consequences for your actions,  we leave if you act out, etc.  I don’t think this is anywhere close to being a “Tiger Mother” but it’s a far cry from the indulgent or absentee parenting that some may say is responsible for kids disrespecting their parents, poor work ethics, the recent rash of bullying and teenage pregnancies, etc.

We want to be firm, fair, and consistent parents.  We want to be loving and promote good self esteem while also instilling drive, determination, and a good work ethic.  We want to prepare our kids for the harsh realities of the world while they enjoy the fun of a magical childhood.  Maybe we’ve got stars in our eyes.  Maybe we’re naive.  But we think (hope) we can strike a good balance between harsh Tiger Mother and pushover Kitty Mom.  And if we do then maybe our kids will turn out pretty great.

adoption, parenting

The Verdict

Thank you for all your input regarding blogging with kids.  I talked everything over with CSP & we’ve come to an agreement.  I had to compromise, but it’s a good thing.  Being married to CSP keeps me balanced.

  • Since we’re fostering to adopt I won’t blog about the children until the adoptions are final.  That is going to be so hard!
  • Once the adoption is final I’ll blog about the kidlets, but won’t use their real first names.  They’ll get nicknames.  I won’t blog any identifying details about our location, etc.  I mean, y’all know we live in Charlotte, and that’s as detailed as I’ll be getting.
  • After the adoption I’ll only post pictures of their faces on flickr under the privacy option of “viewable to friends and family only” as well as on Facebook.  This way CSP knows who will be able to see pics of the kids.
  • On my blog I’ll still be able to post pics, just no faces.

SO, if you want to see our little ones, you  need to be a friend or family.  Now, I do consider my bloggy friends real friends.  Some of you, like Lisanne, Jenny, etc. even though we’ve never met in real life I feel like I know you.  We’ve exchanged emails and regular mail and read each other’s blogs for years and years. I trust y’all plenty and feel very comfortable sharing our child’s pictures with you.  So if you’re a bloggy friend, but we’re not Facebook friends and you want to see my kids, then send me a friend request.  If I know you and feel comfortable then I’ll approve it.  Once our child comes home, which may be months and months before the adoption is final, I’ll be removing the Facebook link from my blog page.

These aren’t hard and fast rules.  CSP & I have never been parents.  I’ve never been a mommy blogger.  Things may change, but if anything, our children’s privacy will become even more protected.  I know I can password protect this blog, individual posts, but I know that passwords get passed around.  I won’t become some crazed, obsessive mom with spreadsheets trying to control who can and cannot read my blog.  Facebook & flickr offer an easier way to deal with the photo issue.  From there I have to trust my peeps.

adoption, parenting

Help Me Mamas

Ladies, I need your help.  This whole impending motherhood thing is new to me.  Add that to the interwebs and it can get a little complicated.  So, tell me….

  • Do you blog about your kids?
  • Do you use their real names?
  • Do you show their pictures?
  • Do you use your real name?

See, I feel that people are generally good.  That the people that read my blog are doing it for various reasons, but one of them is probably not to gather info for their detailed murderous plans.  If internet stalkers were using my blog to kill me and my family, then they could have done it already.

But then there’s the privacy issue.  I don’t want to cross the line when it comes to my kids.  But where do you draw the line? Part of me feels like blogging with their real first names & pictures isn’t going to be harmful.  But the budding Mama Bear part of me is a little worried.  I suppose that’s CSP’s influence.

Thanks for your help!

events, family, food, kids, parenting, phoblodays

Mishmash, a plethora, a bevy if you will, of slightly related items

This morning Joey and I went out to breakfast. Joey at the Meet & Greet at IHOP We met up with a bunch of moms from my mom’s group at IHOP. It was fun to see everyone and meet a couple of new people. I tell ya though, I am going to have to buy stock in Purell or something. We went potty twice at IHOP and both times he touched more germy surfaces then you could shake a stick at. Lifting the seat, flushing the toilet with his hand, holding on to the rim. Ewww. I got him all scrubbed up afterwards and purelled the bejeeebus out of his little hands when we got back in the truck. He was so cute the whole time. “I like pancakes Shanny.”Aunt Shanny & Joey out for the day!

We went by Target before I took him back home. A Chik Fil A was having their grand opening next to the Target and I slowed down so he could wave to the cow. Of course when I dropped him off and we told Sara about our morning she pointed out that I have tinted windows in the back seat. So all the people on the street saw was a crazy woman honking and waving at a cow. Doh!

Speaking of my mom’s group, one of our members, Christina, just started her own blog. Go check her out and say hi!

When I got home today I noticed I had lost an earring somewhere along the way. Who knows how long I was rocking the 80’s one earring look?!?

Oh hey, mark your calendars! The Spring Edition of Photo Bloggy Days will be Friday and Saturday April 18 & 19! Join our PhoBloDays flickr group if you’d like. I’ll be posting reminders and rules later on.

Also speaking of my mom’s group, I’m really excited because I’m starting some new things over there and people are really responding well. By new I mean I lovingly “borrowed” some ideas from other groups I know about and am using them there. I started a monthly Sit & Knit where we’re going to meet up in a coffee shop and knit & chat. Also a monthly Shoot Out where we’ll meet at a park or some other lovely place and take pictures & swap tips & tricks. In relation to the shoot outs I started a twice monthly theme based photo challenge. Our first theme is Spring and while I do enjoy a nice, cool, overcast day I would like a little sunshine so I can take my challenge picture!

adoption, parenting

One of these things is not like the other

When CSP & I decided to adopt I started talking about it on my blog and that drew some new readers from the adoption world. BYH started to appear on blogrolls across Blogistan under “China Adoption” or “Paperchasing” etc. Then we slowed down a bit to figure out the finance end of things a little better. Meanwhile bloggy friends I’d met in the same China adoption boat had sailed on and gotten referrals and children or become LID. Then China booted us out. Then we chose country #2. And now that’s up in the air. And I’ve noticed that BYH doesn’t fit in anymore. On some blogrolls now BYH shows up as “other reads” or something along those lines. And that’s perfectly fine. Hey, it’s an honor to be nominated. But in some ways I feel like we over here at Casa de Heart have been left behind. It’s like everyone else had this great plan and everything went along the way it should except for us. Because as per usual I jumped right in before all the details were ironed out. Funny, I’ve never much cared about keeping up with the Joneses or being labeled. That is, until my label was infertile and non-mom. I know this may seem silly, but I just want BYH and us to end up under the “Parents” category soon.


Why we may need to have some talks about our parenting styles

I was eating my cereal while checking my email this morning. The pugs were begging to lick my empty bowl (even though I still had a ways to go). I told them “Girls, it doesn’t help you get my bowl faster when you scratch up Mommy’s legs.”
Then Jon yells from the family room “Shred her!

J: It will be nice to have a kid around here. I can tell her to go do stuff.
S: Well yeah, Marc’s got Jake trained to go get him beers!
J: Oh, it’s going to go WAY beyond that.