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03 April 2015

Friday Question from the Book of Questions If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
Most definitely, I would wave my wand over my childhood and my mother would always, always be on time and would never forget an appointment.

Not only was my mother's chronic lateness/unreliability very hard to take emotionally, but for DECADES I found it hard to be punctual myself or understand why punctuality is important.

I just love that my husband is always on time. Or early. His timeliness is one of the really valuable lessons I have learned from him.
posted by bearwife 03 April | 10:41
My house would not have been an uncomfortable, embarrassing pigsty. Both of my parents were slobs, though I think my dad rises to the level of hoarder. It was always embarrassing to have friends over, so I rarely did. And being an only child, that meant even more alone time. I never in my life felt like that house was my home. I'm no neat freak now, but I am definitely in the normal spectrum when it comes to keeping my house clean and comfortable.
posted by amro 03 April | 11:05
Never. Send. Your. Kid. To. A. Shrink.

Maybe if my parents hadn't eventually (although apparently unintentionally) succeeded in convincing me that they were hoping to put me away for life, that might have helped. Instead of turning into horror shows just because I wouldn't cooperate.

I couldn't look them in the eyes for a decade; it was like looking at Hitler or something.
posted by serena 03 April | 13:06
I would have had my parents teach me more about money. They never spoke to me about finances when I was younger. Money was the invisible grease that kept the gears running smoothly, but it was all a bit mysterious to me. Even after I was a "grown up", I never had a bill in my name, my mother was the cosigner on every checking and savings account I ever held. It was an embarrassingly short time ago that I still had a credit card with her name on it. And now I am married, and I STILL don't have any bills in my name, I still don't pay for anything. I've never filled out a tax return or balanced my household's budget.

I have struggled to understand how to handle money as an adult. I even find it hard to constructively complain about this issue - I grew up without a financial care in the world. I have never known a day of want in my life. I feel like I sound over-privileged, and I know I have been, saying that sounds like a confession. And I struggle with it.

I've never really thought about money until recently, and it had more to do with my husband dragging me kicking and screaming into fiscal adulthood. I don't like thinking about it, and I am much less comfortable talking about it. I get embarrassed sometimes when people tell me about money woes - it almost feels like they are talking about private, intimate things that I shouldn't know anything about. It sounds very frank to me, and I am STILL uncomfortable with it! I've only written this out because it is an exercise in overcoming said discomfort even to talk about it so openly like this. Money shouldn't be this unspoken mystery. I wish my parents hadn't kept me so in the dark about what an important life lesson this has been. I know they gave me a smooth, uncomplicated childhood (at least with respect to money, I won't even get into how they fucked me up emotionally), but I've missed out on something I should have figured out decades ago. It's embarrassing.
posted by msali 03 April | 15:59
Had my biological excuse for a mother held accountable when she abused me.
posted by brujita 03 April | 16:50
First flippant response: More money!

Truthfully I can't imagine changing anything. Even the bad things helped make me who I am and I am OK with who I am.
posted by arse_hat 04 April | 02:38
Maybe be raised by my birth mother? That's a huge "what if?" for me. But, since she had me when she was in college, that might well have ended-up derailing her life even more.

So, based on the family I did grow-up with...Maybe somehow have my parents make sure I didn't grow up so damned obese? I was a blimp by the time I was in kindergarten.
posted by Thorzdad 04 April | 08:49
Different parents might have helped. Mine had zero parenting skills and were generally awful people.
posted by Senyar 04 April | 09:28
It's hard to know whether it would have made any difference, but I would have liked my father to have been part of my life.
posted by dg 04 April | 20:38
Me too, dg.
posted by gaspode 04 April | 22:54
My childhood wasn't bad. Loving, but benign neglect as I was just a girl. I'd like to have developed a sense of self worth.
posted by mightshould 05 April | 05:51
I would have liked to have my father not in my life.
posted by wens 05 April | 16:05
Ehh. I don't know. My parents made tons of mistakes but I mostly turned out well and they were good people if somewhat damaged. I might want to go back in time to change the way that my parents were raised since both of them had pretty horrid childhoods.
posted by octothorpe 06 April | 13:00
Marvelous April Fools' Prank. || In which we discover that the world is a very small place