Finding Diana

An everyday woman's guide to figuring out what the hell happened to her life



Welcome to my world.  I am trying to figure out what became of me and I want to share this agonizing journey with the general public.

Please feel free to comment, but not to judge.  Ok, well we will all be judging, but just don't let me know about it.

Admiring and over-driven mom from afar

This edition is a reaction to the new book by Amy Chua about how she raised her two daughters.  She raised them in the Chinese tradition of being extremely focused at their outcomes - prizes, admissions to good schools, etc at the cost of their childhood fun.  I will attempt to link the article at the end of this post.  She never allowed them a playdate or sleepover and threatened to burn their stuffed animals if they didn't master tough piano pieces.

In other words, she was a mommy-tyrant.  Now before everyone goes off vilifying  her, there is an element of respect towards someone who has the drive and discipline to make their children the best they can be.  That goal is very subjective and many parents would rather have their children happy and middle class than miserable and wealthy.

Still, I admire her discipline.  Of course I read about her in an article while my kids were on the couch watching TV.  Oh, how I always crave Finnius and Ferb so I can get a moment's peace.  I can tell when the commercials are on because my kids begin to stir and start demanding things of me.  I wish I could have made my son stick with piano for more than a couple of months.  I admire her dedication to her children's success at the cost of her own downtime.

I fully admit that some of my parenting is dubious because I just need a Gd damn break from the incessant demands of four children.  I do lock the door and hide out in the bedroom sometimes.  And my husband's suspicions of why I spend so much time in the bathroom are correct - I am in fact reading a magazine and inspecting my face for new wrinkles.  Even when the kids are pounding on the door, I respond "Do you really want to come in and see this?"  that usually quiets them down.

I do not have the energy to schlep them to multiple activities and far-flung interests.  And everyone knows, the secret reason that moms and dads plan playdates is that their children will be entertained by another for a short period of time.  It's cheaper than sending them to the movies.

Even having an afternoon sitter to drive the kids around since I work full time, I still don't sign them up for more than one activity each because I can't handle the schedules, demands on the parents and the conflicts that arrise from having so many things going on.

I have often said that I feel like the metal ball in a pinball machine.  When I wake up the lever is pulled and I am propelled into a world that consists of trying to reach each bonus point before being swallowed up into the hole in the middle.  I feel like if I accomplish anything, it is a bonus round and I get extra points.  When I am exhausted at the end of the day and finally settle down, I feel the two little arms at the end of the machine propelling me back into the foray as I remember all the paperwork I forgot to do.

OK, now I know people of this generation have never seen an actual pinball machine, but for those of us who grew up on them ( at 1001 plays in Cambridge or the skeevy one in Framingham) it rings the proverbial bell.

So, while everyone else comes down on this driven mom and blames her Asian sensibilities, I applaud her effort.  I would never have the time in my schedule to schlep to Carnigie Hall, just because one of my kids was a piano prodigy.  It would probably conflict with the little league schedule anyway.

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