Confessions of a Middleagedmom

surviving motherhood in the “middle ages”

My Mother’s Daughter June 16, 2009

Filed under: childhood,children,dad,family,life lessons,moms — middleagedmom @ 3:51 pm
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I am my mother’s daughter.

I remember when I was a young child my mother would always say how I was so different than she was at my age.

When my mother was a child, she was a bookworm. She loved reading and would devour books. She would tell me stories of her father calling her for dinner and getting mad because she was so caught up in her books. This trend lasted well into young adulthood. My mother would also refer to herself as more of a “tom boy” than a girlie girl. She was not really concerned with beauty products or anything fashionable.

As for me, I have always been a girlie girl. When I was a child, I never wanted to do anything remotely rough or dangerous. Why? Well, because I never wanted to get scars on my legs. (I know you’re laughing now!) I remember once when I was in elementary school. My girlfriend had a new bike and she wanted to pack me on the back of the bike. My grandparent’s home was on a slight hill so she wanted us to go down the hill together. We did. Of course we fell at the bottom of the hill. My girlfriend landed first and got a huge cut on her shin. I landed after her and partially on top of her and I was not hurt at all. I was so relieved.  It’s not that I didn’t participate in the usual childhood activities (bike riding, skateboarding, etc.) but I was always careful not to get hurt. In fact the first and only scar I have on my leg is from an accident I had at a dance club in New Zealand.

I was also into beauty and fashion at a young age. I always wanted my nails polished and long.  I always wanted fashionable clothes and shoes. When I got into 7th grade, I couldn’t wait to pluck my eyebrows and wear make-up. In those days, elementary school went up to 6th grade and that was too young to wear make-up.  To this day I still enjoy shopping for clothes, shoes, and purses. (Note: Even if I enjoy shopping, I rarely do it these days.) When I was a young adult, one of my earliest jobs was at a major department store in the cosmetic department.

Besides these obvious differences, I remember saying to myself, “I will not be like my mother.” As a teenager, you can’t stand how your parents do things. For example, my mother liked us to fold the towels a certain way and then to rotate them putting the newly washed ones under or in back of the the older ones. I used to hate to have to do that because I thought it was just so much work. The same would go for groceries. My brother and I were in charge of unloading the groceries from the car and putting them away in the pantry. I hated that job! Why? Because I had to rotate the canned goods too!

One of the most frequently heard lines from my mother was, “If you do something, do it well the first time so that you don’t have to do it again.” Ugh! When you’re a teenager/young adult, you don’t want to  hear stuff  like that. Franky, it irritates the heck out of you because you think that you know everything and you’re just a lazy person who wants to have fun.

The funny thing is that I have become my mother. All those “rules” and “expectations” have been ingrained into my wiring. I find myself doing exactly the same things that my mother expected us to do. I fold the towels the same way and rotate them. I get irritated when Mr. MaD uses the newly washed towel instead of the older on. I even expect him to do the same thing if he happens to put laundry away. I even hear myself saying the same things. Scary, huh?

It’s uncanny how much your parents influence your life. Even if you think that you will be different, you somehow find your way back to the childhood you grew up with. Don’t get me wrong. My mother taught me great lessons. I have only come to appreciate them as an older adult and a mother.

So, thanks Mom for all that you’ve taught me. Even if I didn’t appreciate it at the time, I appreciate it now.

I have to wonder how my 2 little girls will be when they get older. Remember Mr. MaD mentioned that Baby is just like me because she likes to grumble. Hee, hee, hee, is that a sign of things to come?