There’s a moment in every woman’s life where she realises that she’s turning into her mother.
Mine happened when I became a mum. I’m sure the baton was passed to me during childbirth while I was pumped up to the clouds on opiates. It may explain why I swore to the midwife when she refused me an epidural for the umpteenth time because it was “too late”.
Of course, it was bound to happen.
There were bound to be some similarities pop up, but they should be changeable if your will is strong enough.
It’s a misconception that we’re developing into our own people, making our own decisions as we grow into adults. Even getting married and having our own kids. We live our own independent lives and think that our parents influence was severed after they finished moulding us into independent people. But they haven’t.
Here’s the truth: echos from our past resonate throughout our lives, shaping our future and silently forming our values on parenting.
We can say “ooh, I won’t do that when I’m a parent” to our heart’s content, but until you’re there, you just don’t know how you’ll react. Whether you’ll instinctively fall back on the values that you grew up with, or whether you’ll set your own path.
To a certain extent you can set your own parenting path. But for generic phrases and mumisms, it can be a surprise to learn how similar you really are to your mother.
“Come on”, in a high pitched voice was one of my mums favourite mumisms. It was one of those annoying phrases that made my eyes roll to the back of my head as I went all ‘Kevin and Perry’ in my teen years. A phrase meant to jeer you along into action but never really did.
I now find myself telling my daughter to “come on” on a regular basis and I can’t seem to stop myself. I can feel my teen-self shaking her head in dismay, wondering where my life went so wrong and when I became uncool.
You can try to run as far away in the opposite direction as you like from your parents and your upbringing, but it’s always there. Those bungee cord strings are still attached to your back, giving you a false sense of security. It’s waiting to pull you right back to where it all started. Your parents.
I am my mum’s daughter.
I have perfected my mum’s dancing skills and click my fingers along to songs without realising it. I am already so embarrassing and my daughter isn’t even old enough to realise it yet.
All I need now is to perfect my mum’s shuffle in flip-flop slippers and I can call Bingo on being my mum.
The most surprising thing to find out is that the more I see those surprising echos of my mum in me, the better I feel about it. It reminds me that I am her daughter. She invested a lot of effort into raising me and seeing a bit of my crazy mum makes me smile. She’s always with me as she’ll always be part of me. So I’m embracing it.
When the time comes, I’ll gladly pass down that crazy baton to my daughter, with echos of her mum, her Nanna and her ancestors.