Grateful for the Tiger Parent…with Feeling.

I grew up in a home that was very normal and ordinarily Korean but pretty dang awesome. We ate most of our meals together, we went to Friday night bible studies and we dressed in our Sunday best for church every week. Mom and dad would spend the whole week working and doing Halleluyer stuff like Tuesday night bible study, Wednesday night Family bible study and Friday night choir practice. My parents still do all of the above and even though Mike jokes about it and calls them “Jesus Marathons” we know that Chris and I grew up in the kind of home we did because it was a God centered home.

My parents didn’t only have immense faith in God, they had an immense faith in their children. Chris was the golden child and I was…not. I’d bring home bad grades and instead of saying things that made me feel dumb, they would tell me that I was just as smart as Chris and that I could be anything I wanted to be. I also had some problems socially and some self-esteem issues so needless to say we were like night and day. I think the hardest thing to do is have equal balance of love, understanding and patience for two totally different children but they never once made me feel like I was anything less than just as great as Chris. Not once did I feel like they treated Chris better because he fit the Asian mold to a T and I was anything but. I am so grateful for just the simple gift of that alone.

They literally spent every penny on us sacrificing whatever needs and wants they had for themselves. They said all they needed was faith in God and for us to be happy, healthy and good people. I literally grew up in a bubble where I was naive to anything around me that resembled a broken family with issues.  That realization came later when I grew up in a sense and had to open my eyes to everything that was horrible and heartbreaking around me.

There’s nothing like having kids of your own to fully understand how hard it is to be parents, let alone awesome parents cause mine made it look so damn simple…so easy. This is the part where I tell you the obvious, that my parents are not perfect because they are so not but if grades were given to parental units, mine would be on the principals honor roll. So instead of trying to be like them and being constantly frustrated cause I can’t be as patient, kind and diligent, I need to just LET IT GO and do the best that I can without trying to reach a bar that just isn’t meant to be.

Every parenting style is different, what works for one won’t for the other and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. No person is alike and that’s why we have the kind of diversity that we do.

What I am thankful for is that I grew up with the kind of mom and dad who showed me what it’s like to be great parents and also what it takes to have a happy marriage.

Years later, when I had my first child, my mother would tell me this: “Kathy, I used to think that doing well in school and going to a great college was the most important thing. I’ve realized that I was totally wrong. Being book smart is great but you can’t survive in this world without being life smart. The smarts to make good choices that will affect every aspect of your life and how you deal with the curve balls life will throw at you without caution. So make sure Josh and Matthew breathe that and truly grasp that. There’s no text book or AP class for that so you and Mike have to teach them.  – The re-edumucation and wise words of Hong Mommy.

They set the lesson plans out for me and I will be forever grateful for that. So even if I’ll never be on the principals honor roll, I’ll just do the best that I can.

I ain’t never gonna be the pinterest mommy who does it all or the mom who will make a damn cake for every birthday…that’s what friends who bake are for, right?

I just hope to be the kind of mom the boys will want to visit with their own kids later on down the road and say to me “You weren’t perfect but you totally didn’t suck either. Now let’s have a beer!”

That’s totally cool with me. ;)

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