OMG, I’m Becoming My Mother!
Are you turning into the woman you swore you never would … or always really wanted to be?
As the saying “like mother like daughter” goes, most of us are destined to take on some of our mothers’ traits, even if we grew up swearing we wouldn’t.
We asked women how they feel about becoming their mothers, and in what ways are they showing signs of looking and acting like the woman who gave them their start in life. Some have fond thoughts, and some, not so fond.
When it comes to body image and appearance, many women, as they age, really start feeling like they begin to look like their mothers. Leslie H. remembers holding her hands next to her mother’s as a child and hoping her hands never looked like those of her mother’s.
“They’re all bony and the veins show,” she remembered thinking. She says her “batwings” are also a gift from her mother, and she is holding out hope that her neck doesn’t start looking like her mother’s neck. “The other thing that is a family ‘gift’ are my great-grandmother’s ankles: my three sisters and I and most of our female cousins inherited ankles that look like ham hocks. Makes me really glad that maxis are in this summer!”
What about getting mistaken for your mom? By your own self?! Joanne Cleaver was attending a crowded quilt show when suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, she saw her mom. “I jumped back (and into the lady behind me) then dove forward to see where my mom was … and came nose-to-mirror with myself.”
How about those ‘interesting’ habits we’ve learned from our moms? Alexxa Tavlarides says that when she gets angry and raises her voice, she stops for a second. “I pretty much freak out because I sound exactly like my mom!”
Alexxa has also been known to pluck her eyebrows while watching TV and has started obsessing over wrinkles, two habits that definitely come from her mother.
Jill Haney says she is not becoming her mother, but rather, she IS her mother. Although she loves her to death, it “can be a bit frightening,” admits Jill. “We look alike and have the same haircut. I like to think that I have a hip and relevant short hairstyle, but when my mom is in town people comment how alike we are right down to our matching haircuts!”
When it comes to quoting her mom, Jill has been known to threaten her children with, “as long as you live under my roof you’ll live by my rules!”
When Tamar Abrams was growing up, her mom used to get a smile on her face and disengage from whatever family activity everyone was participating in. “She’d sit there like the Cheshire Cat. Eventually one of us would ask, ‘What’s up?’ and she would respond, ‘I’m just so HAPPY!'” Tamar recalls. “Lately I’ve found myself doing the same thing with my own teenage daughter, Hannah. I just get this overwhelming feeling of happiness, and I watch her as though I can memorize the moment. I finally understand what my mom meant by ‘I’m just so HAPPY,'” says Tamar.
Mary Moyer’s 18-year-old daughter informed her that she was going to a festival in New Mexico. The Moyer family lives in New Jersey and her daughter planned on camping with her boyfriend of about two months. “We forbid her from driving her car out there, so they took a Greyhound bus, much to my chagrin,” says Mary. “The problem is, I went to Arizona when I was 18 on a Greyhound bus with my boyfriend of about six months! I completely understood how my mother felt and proceeded to call her and apologize for making her as crazy as I am about the situation.”
Dr. Linda Seger says that usually when there is a question of becoming one’s mother, it’s thought of in a negative way. Fortunately, Dr. Seger feels the opposite. “I had a magnificent mother, and find that her nurturing qualities are being integrated into my life – supporting others, encouraging them, telling them they can do it, guiding them – has become more a part of my personality,” she says. “It is, as if, she’s inside of me, helping me be more mindful of others and more aware of how everybody needs a helping hand.”
What would it be like if we took Dr. Seger’s approach? How much more appreciative would we be of our mothers? I think I’m going to call up my mom and just let her know how much she means to me and how thankful I am that I’ve instilled some of her habits, even the quirky, goofy ones. Because that’s a part of her, and I’m glad to have pieces of her within me.