An Ode to Tiger Mom

It’s my Tiger Mom’s birthday this week! So in lieu of part two of Parental Relationship Management 101 (which I’m sure my avid readers are eagerly awaiting), I am writing about Tiger Mom. If you’ve been following this blog, I’m sure you’ve surmised that I have a pretty complex relationship with my Tiger Mom. Having said that, she is the strongest, most bad-ass woman I know.

lighted happy birthday candles
Photo by on

My Tiger Mom immigrated in the late ’80s with a bunch of debt, the promise of a better future and one humongous suitcase (you know the ones I’m talking about – they look like someone squeezed an entire house into the suitcase). As was often the case, her credentials were not recognized by employers here. She also didn’t speak English fluently, so her employment options were limited.

Tiger Mom saved every penny she could to repay the loan that allowed her to immigrate. Some of these measures were pretty extreme. By Tiger Mom’s own account, once, while out on the job hunt, she got really thirsty. Purchasing a drink was not an option.

So Tiger Mom snuck across a stranger’s lawn and drank from the garden hose/tap.

Ok, so some minor trespassing, but it was an isolated incident, right? Alas …

Eventually Tiger Mom got a job, but it was located far from where she lived. She had the early shift (at the crack of dawn) and no public transportation could easily take her to her work. So Tiger Mom bought a car and learnt to drive.

As you know, when you first start learning to drive, you must indicate that you’re a learner driver and you must have a fully-licensed driver sitting in the front passenger seat. Yeah … tell that to my Tiger Mom.

Tiger Mom took a couple of lessons from a friend and from then on drove to work daily … without any supervision.

God, I hope the statute of limitations has expired …

I have a bunch more stories like these about Tiger Mom, but should probably stop here lest I incriminate her further. Anyway, all this being said, my Tiger Mom went through a lot to provide for her family and I would not be where I am today without her. I am deeply grateful for her sacrifices. This is part of why I am working so hard at a better relationship with her – after all, I owe it to her.

Next week, we go back to critiquing Tiger Moms and how they have psychologically damaged Tiger Cubs for life, but for this week …

A very happy birthday to you, Tiger Mommy.





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