Often we are greeted with picture-perfect family portraits of smiling children, the toothless grins of a speechless infant, posts on Facebook about how great a family vacation is, news of friends’ children’s academic achievements, invitations to cupcake-filled kids birthday parties, and led to believe that being a parent is the most glorious thing on earth.
While I am truly grateful for the gift it is to be a parent, I don’t think (or perhaps I hope) I am not alone in feeling that parenting is no party. What we less commonly and openly share as parents is the less glorious side of parenting, the tantrums, the back-talk, the academic struggles, the emotional battles, sibling rivalry, and what it takes to mold your little one into what you hope will be a happy citizen and a valuable asset to humanity and society.
Today will go down in my parenting history as one of those less glorious days where every ounce of my patience was wrung and just when I thought my tolerance was all dried out, another child (of my own that is) decided that that was not enough torture and mistook the little droplet of sweat forming on mom’s forehead as one more ounce of patience left needed to be wrung some more. I wanted to waive my white flag of defeat and crawl back into bed. But alas when they say parenting is a tireless job, it does not mean you don’t get tired, but that you persevere through the fatigue.
The battle I was fighting with my older child was getting her to read and do her math before we set out for summer fun and the lesser battles with my younger ones were tearing them apart from the iPad while I tried to tutor my reluctant other. I will probably dedicate a whole other post about encouraging children to “study” and do their chores, but what I want to share today, aside from venting and perhaps confessing my guilt in hopes of some compassion, is my sense of internal tug of war between the different styles of parenting that I am torn between…Persian parenting versus Western parenting.
I find that Persian parents have a lot of what I like to call the Tiger Mom “syndrome”. It is the stricter, high-expectations style of parenting. While I find Western parenting to be more lenient, patient, encouraging, and generally agreeable, I often find myself resorting to Persian parenting. It is perhaps part of the cultural clash of growing up with one style while being exposed to another. In a perfect world, I would combine the two styles to create an ideal way of parenting, but often I find myself toggling between the two and perhaps creating an inconsistency. I would love to hear your thoughts about the differences and which style you prefer!