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Have you turned into your mother?

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#1 Kylie Orr

Posted 03 May 2012 - 05:13 PM

Oscar Wilde, in The Importance of Being Earnest declares, "All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his."

I’m sure, at some moment in time, every one of us has cringed at the idea of becoming our mother. Perhaps not now we are parents, but possibly during the torment of teen years when she tried to do some kind of funky chicken dance at your debutante ball, or sung a Madonna song (badly with all the wrong words) in the car when you had friends on board.

Laugh you may, but this will be you. In fact, it is now me.

I was singing an Usher song in the car recently - quite an achievement because I find a lot of current music painful to hear and often mutter, “what’s this awful noise” mid-channel change. I actually knew the words (let’s face it, it’s not the stuff of literary genius) but for some reason several of the lyrics escaped me just as I was about to hit the chorus. I mumbled over a couple and then sung out, nice and loud. I may have been a tad premature hitting the high notes, but hey, I was giving it a red-hot go. My eight-year-old was mortified, and that was without any friends to witness my faux pas. The flamboyant dancing at the traffic lights with some steering wheel drumming and flat palm air pumping was probably the force that drove him to try and climb out of a moving vehicle when we took off again.

Newsflash: I just morphed into my mother.

Party Rock Anthem is my favourite song,” one of my children announced after recovering from the Usher debacle. “Who sings that?” I ignorantly asked. A patronising look, a glance to the other sibling and a unified scoff. Clearly a question of such uncool status was not worthy of a response.

Music taste is the first sign you’re turning into your mother. Then there’s technology.

I use computers everyday and am married to an IT geek, so I’d like to think I’m all over the latest and greatest gadgets. My children kindly advise me otherwise. They roll their eyes as I try to navigate through a new website, or attempt to set a TV recording device. After a whole 30 seconds of practised patience, the eldest usually says, “Mum, I’ll just get Dad to do it.”

As my sister commented, “They talk to you like you’re a complete idiot when you’re on the computer, as though they’ve discovered computers.”

I’m sure I did this to my own mother, through condescending demonstrations of how to put a CD in the CD player, indicating where to press play like she’d just arrived on the planet.

I could attempt to pass these examples off as signs of aging rather than turning into my mother but there are too many troubling similarities. Denial is futile.

  • I’ve been caught dozing in front of the TV at 8pm, something I used to find hilarious about my own mum. "Eight o’clock?!" I used to think. "How can you be tired at 8pm?"
  • Sending my children back to look for something they can’t find whilst accusing them of not looking properly? Guilty. But right! They usually have a half-a*sed look and then I have to storm in and find the missing link. Oh the memories!
  • Calling a child by all their sibling names until I arrive at the right one seems to be my latest turning-into-my-mother trick. How hard can it be to remember your own child’s name? (Times four?)
  • Shushing my children as I tune in to “old man” radio so I can feel engaged through talk-back. Or listening to some politician drone while I lecture my children about important current affairs as their eyes glaze over.
  • Bad fashion decisions? Outdated homework techniques? Mispronouncing celebrity names? It’s a slippery slope.

Luckily, it’s a slope I’m more than happy to slide. Irrespective of the suspect dance moves and substandard vocal ability, there were plenty of things I could say I didn’t want to become when I was growing up. My mother was not one of them. Only now I have children do I realise what a phenomenal being she is.

My mother is a woman of patience. A woman of steely resolve and inner strength. A woman of practical nature who possesses the rare commodity of common sense. Fairness and humanity were (and still are) her mantra, although she never uttered them out loud in some kind of freaky orange-jumpsuit kind of way.

Unlike Oscar Wilde, I don’t think becoming like your mother is a tragedy because I’m not aiming to become her. Rather, I aspire to be the best version of myself, which hopefully includes so many of the qualities I see in my mother. She inspires me to be a better mum. To be real and true. To vent and swear when I need to. But mostly .. To relax. To laugh. To adore. To accept. To love.

So, to you, Mum I raise my wine glass (on a school night) and say thanks and HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Have you turned into your mother? Is that a good or bad thing? What do you love about your mum?


#2 mumandboys

Posted 03 May 2012 - 05:43 PM

Kylie I'm saluting your entire post.  Especially this bit:

QUOTE (Kylie Orr @ 03/05/2012, 05:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Luckily, it’s a slope I’m more than happy to slide. Irrespective of the suspect dance moves and substandard vocal ability, there were plenty of things I could say I didn’t want to become when I was growing up. My mother was not one of them. Only now I have children do I realise what a phenomenal being she is.

As I get older, I am doing so many of the things I used to laugh at my mother for, including:

.  Falling asleep in front of the TV, but refusing to go to bed or even admit I was falling asleep
.  Watching the checkout like a hawk and loudly highlighting anything that scans at the wrong price.
.  Telling everyone who'll listen or even make eye contact about the latest bargain I found at Kmart or Woolies
.  Being an absolute sucker for "2 for..." deals at the supermarket (my sister jokes that mum and I probably both have 2 walrus cleaning kits gathering dust in the back of our cupboards).
.  Telling the same story over and over, and in far more detail than is necessary.

I'm genuinely happy to be slowly morphing into my mother - I only wish I had half her patience...

#3 geckosrule

Posted 03 May 2012 - 05:47 PM

No....I don't think the world evolves around me!!

DP assures me that I'm nothing like my mother......thank goodness!!

#4 sylvastar

Posted 03 May 2012 - 05:51 PM

Yes to everything and more and i am STOKED! My mum is the best and even though there were times i wanted to bury my head under the sand with her quips and nuances, i'm seeing  them in myself now and embracing them. My mum's awesome and if I stay on this path of morphing into her mini-me, all the better!!  biggrin.gif

#5 SisterMaryElephant

Posted 03 May 2012 - 05:52 PM

God, I hope not!  

No, in all honesty, I've turned into my late Dad.  Which is not a bad thing at all.

#6 HRH Countrymel

Posted 03 May 2012 - 05:57 PM

Gosh I hope so... my Mum was awesome.

Alas all I can ever aspire to be is a pale shadow of her - she was smarter, kinder, much harder working, more charming, a better dancer, she actually HAD a lovely singing voice, she could converse with the Queen or the man who had come to pump out the septic tank and they would both walk away feeling like they were the luckiest person on earth..... oh I could go on.
She was a one in 100 000 000 000 and we'll never see her like again.

I did however finally steel myself the other weekend and retrieved the holy grail that is Mum's recipe book and made my first attempt at her famous 'brown sauce' - the smell of it cooking was a joyous trip down an olfactory memory lane - and it has been universally agreed (by universe I mean: my partner, my sister, my BIL and most importantly my Dad) that I got it "spot on".

I felt very, very proud.

#7 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:18 PM

Nope not at all. Though reading EB, and looking at my DH I see plenty of others taking on the traits. When I hear people saying they can't stand to hear the music (my hubby is like this) I don't get it! Is it because it is really too loud, or because the music offends you? I haven't embraced getting older, and I don't think I ever will. In fact I hope I'll be still skating Roller Derby when I'm 70 and I think that'll be enough to keep me feeling young. The truth is, I really don't embrace becoming a typical mumsy 'mum'. I don't want to bake, or fall asleep at the tv at 8pm. Or cut my hair into an acceptable shortness, or wear clothes 'designed' for 30-40 year olds.

#8 Jane Jetson

Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:23 PM

Nope. I didn't completely calcify mentally at the age of 21.

Edited because that was a bit mean, really. But no, I'm not much like her.

Edited by gingermeg, 03 May 2012 - 06:41 PM.

#9 Kylie Orr

Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:14 PM

Thanks guys for your contributions.

Countrymel - your story was very touching. Go the brown sauce!

mumandboys - where do you get Walrus cleaning kits from!?? laugh.gif

Katakacpk -

I'm not trying to age before my time, I just see certain traits evolving as I slip towards 40. Some of the doof-doof music does my head in, although I went to the Salt n Pepa concert when I was at uni, and loved Lauren Hill so I'm not completely opposed to rap. I sing Usher - sometimes badly, love Pink, and now know who the hell LMFAO are!!

As for clothes - I'm not quite dressing like my grandmother but refuse to dress like I'm 20 when I'm not. There isn't much non-corporate stuff around for us 30-40 year old mums which can see us dressing more conservatively but don't fear, I haven't quite hit mum-jeans harry high pant territory (that's a whole other blog topic!). tongue.gif

Edited by Kylie Orr, 03 May 2012 - 08:15 PM.

#10 Cranky Kitten

Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:50 PM

In some ways I'm nothing like my mother (she's not really into death metal for a start) and never want to be. In others, I could do worse for a role model. She is the incredibly strong woman who packed up and left my alcoholic father the day she discovered him in a compromising position with my older brother (who was 12 at the time) and raised us alone for a number of years. She is incredibly practical and taught us the value of hard work and persistence. Like I said, I could do worse.

Though fun fact - there is 9 years between my older half brother and me, and 9 years between me and my younger half sister. I swore black and blue I would NOT be having another child the year my daughter turned 9......uh huh.

Edited by Cranky Kitten, 03 May 2012 - 08:54 PM.

#11 Goggie

Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:56 PM

No. I'm not a raving judgemental lunatic. My lovely, patient and inspirational dad...I'd be very happy to turn out like that.
Sorry Oscar, I will respectfully disagree.

#12 emilyblack06

Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:15 PM

Hi Kylie!

I strongly agree in the notion that as we become a mother, we become just like our mother.

I guess that's really what daughters would be like in the future, they become like their mothers.

Also, there's the point when you stare at your daughter and catch a sense of recognition and mutter something like "You just look like me when I was your age." I guess that's the evolution Darwin failed to tackle. Of how we evolve into someone like our parents.

I also remember back in elementary when we have our stage play. I was 10 years old that time and my mother recorded the whole play and presented it in the whole family during our family reunion. It's a quite a humiliation. Yet I also did the same to my son. Recorded his summer camp presentation and presented it during the Thanksgiving day. And it gave me the smile to realize I was just doing the same what my mother did.


pheasant hunting on public land, turkey hunting on public land, hunting, public land

#13 Kylie Orr

Posted 13 May 2012 - 05:46 PM

Just popping in to wish you all a lovely Mother's Day.

I hope you've spoiled your own mums and been spoilt by your children (or father of your children!). I've had a lovely day with my mum, sisters, children and the men who have stepped up and done a sterling job of cooking, dishes, cleaning, and entertainment!  biggrin.gif

Edited by Kylie Orr, 13 May 2012 - 05:46 PM.

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