Why I Don’t Want My Daughter to Be Like Me


I’m a good person.

Deep down, I know that.

And yet, most days of the week, it doesn’t feel like that. Instead, on many a given (pregnant) morning, I feel more like an unbalanced harpy with a penchant for achievement, overwork, and bizarre, introverted behavioral tendencies who reads far too much.

(A not-so-nice harpy, I might add. In case that wasn’t implied.)

My husband, in contrast, is calm, cool, and collected. He is the epitome of nice. Most all of the time. People always talk about how laid-back he is. Nothing fazes him, they say. He’s always in a good mood. He is helpful to a fault. He encourages everyone. He listens.

To anyone. For hours.

He is, at times, a saint of sorts. And I’m not the only one who notices it.

I mean, sure, he has his faults. He walks and talks in his sleep. He can’t find his keys or phone to save his life. He keeps an obnoxiously clean house. When he falls asleep in bed, he drops his iPad on the floor. Every night. Those kind of things. But in the grand scheme of things, most everyone can agree that these are small faults, and that they don’t hold a candle to an obsessive compulsive harpy who has problems disconnecting from work and on most days of the week errs on the side of entirely too introverted.

Given all this, I recently mentioned to him the idea that I’d like our soon-to-be-born wee one to have his personality and character traits, not mine.

His response shocked me. Shocked me in that way that things sometimes do when they completely bowl you over, and you feel mildly out of breath.

Why wouldn’t you want her to have your personality?!?” He said. (Bless his heart.)

And here I thought it was obvious.

I spent a few good long minutes explaining my deficiencies. Clarifying why-oh-why I wanted our dear daughter to be like him — not me.

And, because he’s too nice, he reiterated all these nice things about me that he did hope our daughter was able to embody. And I thanked him for this. And then I reiterated my points.

“It’s not bad to want her to be like you,” I explained. “I like who I am,” I continued, “I’m just not sure I want to wish that on someone else. Or rather, I’m sure I don’t.”

And, like the good-sweet-kind-nice man he is, he wouldn’t buy it.

“I want her to be just like you,” he said.

And I don’t think he had his fingers crossed behind his back.


Photo credit: thinkstock/ mbot

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