It’s official…I’m turning into my mother.
(This will be a good indicator if she actually reads my posts)
I don’t know why it sounds like such a “bad” thing to turn into your parent.
It’s possible I just feel so much guilt for breaking so many promises to myself. So many times when I’ve either thought, said out loud, or even shouted, “I will NEVER!” Just whispers in the wind.
I was never going to tell my kids that they would go hungry if they didn’t eat the meal I prepared for them.
But then I got so fed up with making the same three poorly balanced meals that I determined it’s time we learn to like other foods and my time will only be spent making one meal and not three individual meals. (I still cannot eat pork chops without a whole jar of applesauce on top, so no- my kids won’t be learning to eat that meal).
I was never going to hire someone to help clean the house (I REALLY despised having to pick up my room twice a month and wake up in the summer to let them in).
But then I was the one who had to do all of the picking up and cleaning and organizing on top of working a full time job and parenting two children. Every two weeks I smile and think, “That was money well spent” when I get home later than anticipated and walk into a freshly cleaned house. (I still dislike the picking up before hand part).
I was never going to give myself such a tight budget that I couldn’t go out and get milk when we needed it. Little envelopes with cash carefully earmarked for each week of groceries or school clothes or birthday gifts.
But then my kids just ask and ask and say, “Just use the card!” when I tell them we cannot get something. Clearly we need to learn the value of a dollar. (But I’ll always budget for milk, cereal with water just isn’t the same and I know, I still remember that week we ran out and had to wait).
There are more “I will NEVER!” And there will continue to be as I realize that parenting is hard work and kids don’t have all of the answers they think they do in the moment.
Thanks, mom. I can appreciate it all now.
But I still will let my kids have a sleepover. That one I haven’t given up on yet!
There’s a wittiness to your writing where you go from the “I never” with your childhood point of view to your new found perspective (which inevitably was your mother’s way of life). It’s full circle and a wonderful tribute to her (I hope she see’s this too)!
I too often wonder why people say they will never be like their parents. We may as well embrace the inevitable!
This post is music to a mother’s ears. Keep up the good work. You are a great mother!
Ah, isn’t that the truth? We all find our way back. I see my mom physically in my sister and me, and I hear her and know her priorities. She’s no longer here, so the memories are poignant. I like that you are so intentional about the things that you won’t repeat, and even those things that are inevitable, you are aware.
I like the way you present your childhood irritation through your “I was never” statements, then follow it up with the different perspective you have gained as an adult. As you make clear, a lot of things our parents did start making a lot of sense once we have kids of our own.
I really love how you’ve turned that phrase of “turning into my mother” into a positive. It was so fun to read about things that you hated as a child that now you see the value of, and fun to read the thinking that has gone into each shift. I especially love these lines: “There are more “I will NEVER!” And there will continue to be as I realize that parenting is hard work and kids don’t have all of the answers they think they do in the moment. ” It’s so true. I love the grace you’re giving yourself to shift your original ideas of parenthood.
Sometimes you choose to do the opposite of how your parent did things and sometimes you do it the same as your how parent did it. That’s what makes you, you.