The other night I was lying in bed when a classic being-a-mom-induced insomnia came on with the symptom of one million thoughts a minute. One thought that popped into my brain was how my kids need new toothbrushes. Should I just wait until Christmas? That thought spurred my next one: Oh my gosh. I’m turning into my mother.
I’ve always loved that meme about how moms will tell you to “ask Santa” if you need any toiletries or personal items in December. I’ve been known to tell my kids the same thing throughout the year, mostly in regard to toys or non-necessary items. I also get such a kick out of the Progressive commercials about handling situations like your parents because I can relate to a few of those funnies. But the thought of turning into my mother wasn’t necessarily a welcome one.
I recently read about a study from the UK where a doctor found that women statistically turn into their mothers at age 33. And wouldn’t you know it… I’ll be 33 next year. So maybe my chain of insomnia thoughts was inevitable. Maybe every woman turns into their mother in one way or another, with one trait or another.
But when your mother is a borderline narcissist whose actions and words irk you to your core fifty percent of the time, that thought is a hard pill to swallow.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom deeply, am so thankful to be her daughter, and would celebrate several traits she possesses should I inherit them. However, I think the beauty of reaching adulthood in this day and age is that we recognize trauma and when breaking the generational cycle is necessary. I’m no stranger to making mistakes, but as a mother, your “mission” is to be the best you can be.
I don’t want my mother’s negative habits to become my daily patterns. I’ve come to recognize instances where I begin to fall into that cycle and have become self-aware enough to know to stop and try again. Sometimes it’s something minute that no one else notices. Sometimes I have to apologize. Sometimes I have to step away and pray. Sometimes I vent to my husband about my appalling behavior or thoughts. The difference between my mom and me is that self-awareness and a desire to do better.
So as I’m on the verge of 33 and invasive thoughts of I’m turning into my mother creep in I’ll focus on the good and the bad. I can be both grateful to possess my mom’s good, Godly qualities and work to break the chains of those qualities that don’t serve my family or me. Turning into your mother can be a blessing and a curse, so we must choose wisely which path to take in motherhood. In the words of the great Albus Dumbledore, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are…”