Being in control is a very comfortable place for me. It’s the reason why I schedule everything in my calendar, set agendas, make itineraries, and lists for work, family, home, and travel. It makes me good at a lot of things, have good intentions, but also intolerable at times. And I know my controlling tendencies makes me curate my daughters lives. They interpret it as me being a strict mom.
My oldest daughter has been fencing for the last two years. It’s important to me the girls do a sport to be active, work as a team and individual, and get the experience working with a coach. She doesn’t like to run so I started bringing her to try sports like archery and fencing. She thought fencing was fun. I liked fencing because in my research it wasn’t a popular sport for girls so not too competitive and many good colleges have fencing teams. Yes, she was 9 and I was already thinking about college. We were at a great club, had a fantastic coach, met great friends, she was on the path to being a great fencer. This summer she told me she wanted to stop fencing because she didn’t like getting hit all the time. I was upset and at first, told her she had to finish out the year. After some thought, I let her stop at the end of the summer because I had to support her feeling of not liking to be hit. This turned our lives upside down because we spent most of the time at fencing lessons, classes, competitions.
I love my daughters but I’m an Asian mom with controlling tendencies so parenting doesn’t come easy. This experience really made me think about how much of my own intention I have in my daughter’s lives. I was looking ahead 10 years and wanted them to find a sport now that would help them get into college. I am a work in progress and this was a learning experience. Now, I really just want them to find something they are passionate about. Now they are both playing tennis and horse-back riding. These sports might not help them get into college but they love doing it. They read books about horses and like to follow the professional tennis players. Even though it’s uncomfortable to have a little less control in their lives, I love to see them happy, and want them to feel like I support them even when they don’t follow the path I want for them.