1. I won't try to set them up on dates with people who look exactly like my spouse and then fail to understand why that's fifty shades of creepy.
2. And they become overweight, I'll show them how to cook healthy food and go for bike rides with them, not constantly berate them for being fat and point out all the young people their age who are so much thinner.
3. And one of them is a daughter who comes home from her first school dance in tears, I'll comfort her with ice cream and stories about my own unrequited crushes. I won't tell her, "No wonder no one wanted to dance with you."
4. I will encourage them to pursue careers that they are passionate about, not pressure them to pursue the career that I want for them and then become smug when they struggle to succeed in their chosen careers.
5. I won't criticize their hair, their clothes, or the way they walk, so that they'll never feel the urge to go on Jerry Springer's show just so they can yell at me.
6. I won't insult them for being unmarried. I'll tell them about how I was single too, and how at the very least it gave me something to write about.
7. I'll welcome them home with homemade cookies and questions about the good things in their lives, not complaints about how they don't visit more often.
8. I'll encourage them to become independent, not become furious when they make decisions without consulting me first and then constantly try to make them feel guilty as a result.
9. I will protect them if my spouse berates them, not blame them for provoking my spouse or accuse them of being the ones with bad personalities.
10. I will never allow my mother or father to treat my children the way they treat me.
I've never been a mother, so I have no experience or any real idea of how difficult it is to raise children. So it's easy to say that I won't be like my parents.
If I ever do have children, I will do everything in my power to treat them better than the way I am treated. Many other people my age have traveled all over the world. I've barely gone anywhere, except for a trip to New York that I kept secret because my parents would not have approved. I have even had to take a leave of absence from my jobs and give up vacation time on more than one occasion so that I can take care of my parents' dogs while they travel.
This summer, I have to give up two weeks of my vacation so that my mother can take two separate vacations. A couple years ago I had to give up my spring break so that she could travel. Next week I have to visit my parents (which I am dreading so much that I literally broke out in hives); if I don't go, they will show up at my apartment, which would be even worse. They don't care that I want to take my own vacation or have other things to do.
One reason I'm so neurotic and obsessive is because of how I was raised. I took a personality test in high school, and my teacher said that my innate personality was actually easygoing and laid-back. But he said because of my upbringing, I grew up to become a Type A personality instead. He said this soon after he met my mother.
What about you? If you don't have children, what kind of parent would you want to be? If you do have children, did you ever make any resolutions about parenting before they were born?
Interview with… Adam Byatt - Today it’s the turn of Adam Byatt to sit down and share his writing with us. This is my 13th interview, and there are still some wonderful authors to come!...
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