Mama Must-Reads: Tiger Moms and Regrets of a SAHM January 11 2011

So I've said before I haven't been too good about reading parenting books, but that's because I oversaturate my brain with what I read online. And here are two articles I've read this week that are food for thought for any mother:

*** Regrets of a Stay-at-Home Mom is an essay in Salon by a once-journalist who up and quit her job to raise her boys. She now has boys on the verge of college, an ex-husband and is "financially screwed." An honest take, and good read for anyone considering this, especially in this economy. A reality check: "Research shows that mothers earn 4 to 15 percent less than non-mothers with comparable jobs and qualifications, that as job candidates, mothers are perceived as less competent and committed than non-mothers (fathers, in contrast, rate higher than men without kids)."

*** So you can forget about No More Wire Hangers(!!!!) because there's a new whip-cracking, extreme (some might call dictator) parent with a book out -- and she's a Chinese mama. NOTE: THIS IS THE CHINESE PLAYBOOK TO RAISE SUCCESSFUL KIDS. Along that route, though, there will be no playdates, no sleepovers, nothing below an A, and oh yeah, NO WHINING! And your child must learn to play the piano and/or violin WELL!

Wet your palate by reading Amy Chua's essay in the Wall Street Journal called "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior." Then read the reviews about her just-out book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." Haven't read the book yet so I want to try to reserve my judgment. It's true, I really dislike the idea of playdates, and I want my toddler to eventually take up the piano, but I don't think I have it in me let my ambitions for my child trump my emotions.

And so this leads me to a Barbara Walter-ish question: If Chinese mothers are Tiger Mothers, what are Latina mothers? I don't know that there's a consistent cultural thread that runs through parenting style, so that's a tough one.