Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter

I was given the opportunity to review this book quite a while ago and I apologize for taking so long to read and review it. 

As a big fan of Little House on the Prairie, I was excited to have the opportunity to read and review this book.

This book is about a mother who is extremely competitive and pushes her daughters to be the same.  The mother takes pleasure in intimidating other people and teaches her daughters to do that as well.  When there is even a slight infraction on her daughters' part, they are punished rather severely.  It's really an age-old tale about what it takes to be very successful.  Parents riding kids, no time for relaxation and fun, always being "on".  I think if an adult makes these choices, that is one thing, but when a parent thrusts this kind of life on a child, it is quite different.

This book made me think a lot about how I was raising my own girls and my own beliefs.  I have always believed in everything in moderation.  I don't want to work so hard that I can't enjoy my life and need to obsess about work every second.  I need downtime to read books and rest and do yoga.  At the same time, I don't want to loaf around and waste time, either.  I try to teach my girls to work hard, but to also find time to enjoy their lives.

I think sometimes there is this idea in our society that in order to be successful you need to step on and hurt other people.  I decided a long time ago that if that was what it took, I didn't want any part of it. I want to be able to live with myself and I would not be happy with myself if I hurt or lied to or intimidated others on purpose.  I've met people who are highly competitive and who do try to intimidate others and take advantage of others and I find it very stressful and unhealthy to be around them.  Melissa Francis mother is the kind of person with whom I would be unable to be friends.

This book takes you through the journey of a young girl who really does not know any better, her mother is manipulative and takes advantage of people, she's highly competitive and not very nice and her kids know no other way of life.  As Melissa and her sister get older and encounter more people, they sometimes become uncomfortable with the way their mother treats people, but she is still their mother and she has designed a life for them where they get to enjoy many things that most people only dream about.  As Melissa grows up and meets more people and has the opportunity to distance herself from her mother and make choices for herself, she heals from the wounds that her mother inflicted on her.