I don't have kids yet and I'll probably be eating my words, but I can remember wanting to pull my hair out, as parents tried to explain, reason and make excuses for their kid's consistent rude behavior - while other parents would listen to the adult in the room, and then talk to their children about consequences and appropriate behavior. Magically, these kids would be a real charmers the next day while Ms. Bratty McBratterton was bratty as usual.
Please note - I know nothing about babies. Babies freak me out. A four-year-old? A four-year-old I can somewhat handle and understand, but if you don't know how to talk or velcro your own shoes, we're in trouble. I know, I know, I'll figure it with my baby. But as I think about motherhood, I alway skip to toddler/almost school-aged years because that's what I somewhat know - for now.
As I think about the kind of mother I'd like to become, I have some really harsh opinions (really, me? opinionated?), but overall when it comes to parenthood - I'd like to do my best to not to screw up this person's life, stay sane and happily married.
As for you, little nugget Atkinson, I promise to:
- Parent as a team.
- Teach you to respect adults.
- Invoke a healthy fear in you when you disrespect adults.
- Feed you real food.
- Let you be a kid.
- Give you hand-me-downs.
- Give you 100% of my attention.
- Be myself - and not morph into what I think a mom should be.
- Listen to you.
- Spend quality time with our friends and family (you get four sets of grandparents!).
- Never drive a mini-van.
- Help you understand that the world doesn't revolve around you.
- Introduce you to the joys of camping, reading, puppies and cooking.
- Teach you the value of a dollar.
- Not let TV be your primary source of entertainment.
- Listen to kid music - as you listen to real music, Mom and Dad's music.
- Teach you the value of education.
- Foster your interests and talents.
- Never, ever, own a bag with "Owen/Ingrid's Mom" embroidered on the side. My name is Lindsay.
- Give you the tools and information to form your own opinions but, if you choose to be a right-wing-Glenn-Beck-worshiping-Republican, I'll kindly explain that you're choosing wrong.
- To think I'm a cool mom, but never be "the" cool mom (you can't drink in my basement when you're 15).
- Be the best mother I can be.