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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Battle Of The Beasts

The Tiger Mom vs. The Red Herring Mom. What kind of parent are we to be or not to be? We start as Mama Bear, evolve into Sheep shepherding our Little Lambs and end up as Empty Nesters. But as we throw around all of these nature inspired monikers we forget that we are distinctively human and have one thing that our animal counterparts are missing - Options!

A snake will always act as a snake, some just shedding more colorful skins or striking with less poison than others. A gerbil will always appear cute and harmless, but may just eat her young when space gets cramped. A Giant Panda try as it might, is no match for looming species extinction. We however, as human parents, have the power to change. To evolve and take risks, or to tighten the reins based on subtle experiences or our dramatic family history. I'm sure some would continue the analogies by saying our kids can be prey to predators in the urban jungle. Or, that living below the poverty line, is parallel to supporting a pack off of scraps during a famine. But realistically we have more control over our circumstances, and ultimately the destiny of our offspring, than any other creatures on the planet. People have the power to make our families what we want. Our decisions to make changes, or set boundaries that improve our brood's chances for success (whatever that means to you) are part of the complex human experience. We are unique in that our adaptability and environment is not fixed - it is unlimited. It is more likely a case of the wont's, not the cant's that holds us back. We can learn through trial and error and make choices, take actions as mothers and fathers based on the personal characteristics of our families. That's why we have Stage Moms, Football Dads and Helicopter Parents all arguing that their way is the best.

Everyone, wants a blueprint - a "how to" guide. There's no single correct or incorrect way to parent. You must appreciate the unique constellation of your family, the interests & challenges of your kids. AND, not only focus on shaping their lives, but continue to improve yourself. If they don't find your behavior worth modeling, they'll find someone else to be their greatest influence. If your "way of being" helps you reach your personal and family goals they are likely to aspire to be just like you. If not, you'll be a lioness who begets a goat.


Dana said...

I'm particularly intrigued by the Tiger Mom concept, and recently ordered the book. Some aspects of the philosophy struck me as downright cruel, but the author definitely made me reflect on different aspects of my own upbringing and those around me. As "Westerners" we can definitely learn a few things, and as black people I think we should pay even closer attention. I am overwhelmed and excited by the array of options for parenting methods, and praying that I get it right!

Can't wait to hear more from the Mommy Morphosis camp!

P.S. Would love to hear some fashion suggestions for the aspiring Haute Mama. The high-heeled boots didn't make it past 10:30 not really.

Haute Mommy said...

Dana! Thanks for your comment. We'll be sure to get some fashion on here soon. In the meantime might I suggest a new maternity boutique Belle Up in Mount Greenwood.
3440 W. 111th St
(between Trumbull Ave & St Louis Ave)
Chicago, IL 60655
(773) 233-2442

Pea In The Pod is also fab, but be careful not to overspend on items that you can get from more affordable maternity stores like The Gap or Motherhood.

Marvel said...

All of these blogging daughters, oh My!

I loved your blog, Deanna! Keep writing!

skip.davis said...

Hi Sweet *D*
Great perspective and insight.
Thank You for another portal for education and edification. May GOD continue to guide you and your family.
Love Always & Forever - Dad

Robyn said...

Deanna this is a great article and definitely encourages you to not be afraid when it comes to raising your child. I can't wait to put some of this to use!

and piggy backing off Dana, yes! you know I must know where to get some "haute mama" shoes to keep my shoe game tight during those looong 40 weeks!
great job D!

mganthony said...

Hey Deanna,

I must say I am so proud of you. What a great blogging site. You're a great writer. I look forward to checking in from time to time.

I know your due date is quickly approaching. May God bless you and yours!

-Expecting as well,
Your cousin Monica