Five ways I’m becoming more like my mom
There seems to be a stigma in our culture about women becoming like their mothers. I’m not sure how this started; maybe it just goes along with the fear of getting older. But I have to say, I can only hope to be the kind of woman my mother is. I remember girls in high school talking about how their parents were so embarrassing, or how their moms were just out of touch with their lives. I never went through that stage. I’ve always admired my mom, and I don’t think it’s because I was a particularly mature teen; I think it’s just because my mom is awesome.
So, as I consider the ways I am becoming like my mother, I find myself doing a little wishful thinking…hoping that my kids will remember me in the way that I remember my own mom: loving, intelligent, devoted, reasonable, and downright fun.
I’m not sure I’ve mastered those things yet, but here are five ways—-some good, some just quirky—-that I see myself turning into my mom:
- I ALWAYS need to be busy. My husband says that he sometimes feels lazy around me because my version of “relaxing” is writing in my journal, sewing a quilt, learning more about Photoshop, writing, or any number of other projects. His version of relaxing is to take a nap or watch basketball. He said he used to feel a little bad about wanting to really take it easy because I rarely did, but he said he felt better after going to my parents’ house and seeing how my dad would take a nap every day, or sit and read a book, while my mom buzzed about working on this or that. Apparently, I get my busy bug from my mom, and it’s a good thing we both have husbands that remind us occasionally to slow down.
- Clutter drives me nuts. I remember as a kid that my mom always wanted the house clean before we went on vacation. She hated coming home to a dirty, cluttery mess. It just made her cranky. She also taught us all at a young age how to rinse our dishes and put them in the dishwasher. Leaving stuff out on the counter was just not acceptable. Now that I have my own home, I totally understand why she did that. Being at home all day, it drives me crazy to have stuff sitting out everywhere. I still have clutter in my life, but as much as possible, I try to put away things as I use them because the piles everywhere make me stressed. A clean space allows me to relax more…just like my mom.
- I have a gypsy heart. My mom always says she has a gypsy heart…she loves to travel and gets antsy if she stays home for too long. There were a lot of years when all of us kids were little that big trips just weren’t possible for her, but she always made it a point to get out and do things. Whether it was going up to the mountains to camp, taking a trip to see family, or even just going out on a walk, Mom was always on the move. I’m the same way. I love seeing new places and experiencing different cultures, even within the United States. There is something amazing about getting outside your own little bubble and learning about other people and widening your view of the world.
- I’m a little obsessed with baskets. For years, the tops of my mom’s kitchen cabinets were lined with baskets…all shapes, sizes, and colors. I have no idea where they all came from. She has since simplified, but she still loves a good basket. When I bought my first house with my husband, my mom came to visit and we brainstormed decorating ideas for the house. Somehow, in every room, we came up with a need for baskets. My husband finally laughed out loud at us, and pointed out that our default decoration for any space was to just add a basket (they are quite practical, after all). Apparently, all those years of seeing them on top of the cupboards in the kitchen rubbed off on me.
- I read to my boys every day. Some of my fondest memories of my mom are of her reading to me at bedtime. She introduced me to the land of Narnia and fostered my love of reading in a way that I can never repay. I am so excited to become like her in this way now that I have kids of my own. My boys know that the surest way to get me to stop doing whatever other productive thing I may be doing is to ask me to read them a story. I just can’t resist. I’d read to them all day long if they’d let me. Books are magical. My mom taught me that, and I’m happy to be passing on that love of books to my own kids.
The older I get, the more I appreciate my mom. I’ve always loved and admired her, but now that I’m a mom with kids of my own, I value her ideas even more and we’ve become really good friends. She’s not perfect, but she’s pretty amazing, and I hope to continue to become more and more like her as the years go on.