thoughts on becoming a karate mom

Before I was a parent, I knew nothing… but I thought that I knew everything. Then January 16, 2007 happened. Pretty much everything I thought I knew or planned to do went out the window when tLG was born. Becoming a mother is akin to eating one gigantic slice of Humble Pie. You do things that you never thought you would do and learn to live in peace with things that you refused to tolerate pre-baby.

That being said, I still hold on to a few ideas that I’m pretty firm about. 1) I will not drive a mini van. 2) I will not be a soccer mom.

Are they silly? YES, of course they are! And one day I may very well be eating a slice of mini-van flavored pie. This past fall, I came within a few signup forms of becoming a soccer mom but managed to talk her into Hip Hop instead. We have a family “rule” that you can choose one activity per school year and once you start a sport, you must finish the season because “Bishops never quit.”

A few months ago, tLG became obsessed smitten with the actress, Olivia Holt, after watching her Disney movie Girl vs. Monster. Turns out Ms. Holt is also a regular on the show Kickin’ It, which is about the teen lives of some dojo students. So then the karate obsession interest began. She watched episodes of Kickin’ It over and over again. She went to Build-A-Bear and made a furry karate friend. She went so far as to ask Santa Clause for a Gi (karate uniform) as her only request. When said Gi arrived, she wore it for two days straight and, to her delight, there just happened to be a Karate Kid marathon on TV. For her birthday, she requested a karate cake. Like I said, obsessed fascinated.

When K-Diddy and MiMi gifted her with a generous donation toward karate lessons I did some inquiring and found a highly-recommended Tae Kwon Do gym just 10 minutes from home. tLG went for a quick trial class with the owner and then back again for a full class with other students. At the end of both she wanted to sign up immediately. I consented. Actually, I registered her and my hubby and they are going to train together.

Remember that “rule” about extra-curricular activities? Yeah, I broke it. At this point, I’ve lost track of of the amount of broken rules and humble pies in my short stint of parenthood. There are too many to count. In hindsight, I was never a fan of driving 30 minutes one way for a 30-minute dance class that usually starts 5 minutes late and we just couldn’t swing the cost for both so I’m pulling her out of Hip Hop. On the flip side, I just signed a 12-month commitment for Tae Kwon Do so the “rule” is back in effect. For real this time.

While I was adamant about not becoming a soccer mom, I never even considered that I might one day be a karate mom, and wife for that matter. To be honest, I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. I’m not even sure I fully agree with the institute and principles of karate and I really have no idea what we are getting into. Naturally, just like soccer, I’m coming to the situation with pre-conceived ideas about the sport. While I know that TKD is supposed to be for self-defense only, I’m not sure that I want my kid knowing she has the ability and knowledge to physically hurt someone. I also know that the sport teaches quite a bit of discipline but I have concerns that it is too strict. Because I come from a yoga background where you listen to your own body I have worries that the instructors will push too hard and we could potentially have an injury. Then there is the hubby factor. He comes from a military background and I fear that him training with her will create a more intense experience. In my mind, intense = hard core = unpleasant.

Let me just say this. My apprehension has nothing to do with the actual gym or the staff. They have been super friendly and the owner is a top-notch guy, open and honest, who offers a great rate for the amount of classes you receive. In fact, I kinda feel like they sense my apprehension and are trying to put me at ease.

Obviously, I still have a lot to learn but I just don’t have a good feeling about it. At all. However, there have been many things that I have done for the benefit of my child even though it may be uncomfortable and/or inconvenient for me. This is yet another one of those times. I’m not doing it for me. I’m doing it because it’s important to her and, over the years, I have learned the utmost respect for her determination. Her willpower rivals mine any day of the week and Mike says I’m the most hard-headed strong-willed person he knows. Our willpower is not a force to be reckoned with but to be heard, appropriately channeled, and supported.

I will never forget that moment so long ago when I finally gave myself permission to parent outside of the box. Our quality of life improved greatly.

Hi, my name is Staci Bishop and I’m a proud karate mom. And wife. 🙂

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