Do We Really Become Our Parents?

In the beginning...
In the beginning...

Reflections...

Now that I am older, and am raising a family of my own, I often pause to reflect upon the philosophies and speculations of a higher order regarding parental wisdom's, genetics, and influences surrounding my formative years.

I find myself questioning the truths passed down by my parents, to be rediscovered, or simply remembered, as I follow the path same paths with my own offspring. Never, did I once think that I would be in their shoes - guiding, comforting, and advising a fledgling, fertile mind of the dangers and pitfalls that lurk outside their young and as yet unknowing consciousnesses.

As I contemplated their sacrifices, successes and failures, I realized what I perceive now as a universal truth to some degree, is one that every grown child who embarks upon the journey of parenthood discovers at some point along the way.

I have become my mother!

I see you...
I see you...

When the hell did this happen?

In my haste to get to the bathroom mirror and see if I had indeed become my Mother, I knocked over a small, antique end table. As the resulting crash filtered through my brain's protective haze to the synapses, the words, "Those things cost money to replace you know," resonated inside my head.

Blinking my eyes in shock and disbelief, my mind screaming that it couldn't be happening, I was forced to realise that what I had just discovered was true. Even though the reflection in the mirror was my own, I knew I was looking at my mother!

Slumping dejectedly on the 'throne', head in my hands, my mind conjured images of childhood misdeeds, each one bearing with it verbal ministrations, recriminations and/or conjectures brought forth by my mother in response to my actions.

As each one surfaced and marched smartly before my eyse, my mind simultaneously produced images of myself providing similar 'guidance' to my own children, with my mother's words, first and foremost, resounding in my ears, echoed faintly by my own.

"Oh nooooooo..."
"Oh nooooooo..."
"oh nooooooo..."
"oh nooooooo..."

What if...

Thoroughly depressed and despondent, I swilled down a cup of caramel-swirled-triple-chocolate-soy-no-foam-mochaccino, with extra sugar, and assessed my situation. How could I have let this happen?

Was this something that was beyond my control? Was this a genetically triggered, life altering gene that remained suppressed until after I reached my 30's - something passed down from generation to generation as punishment for not obeying our parents?

Or was there something deeper involved here - something beyond my meager explanations - something, dare I even contemplate, more powerful than genetics? The more I delved into the unknown, searching for answers, the closer I came to enlightenment - it was there, just beyond my vision - something so profound it brought tears to my eyes and made my head spin just thinking about it.

never ending circle?
never ending circle?
or Divine intervention?
or Divine intervention?

The only logical explanation...

After realizing the shooting pains in my head were being caused by lack of blood flow to the brain, which in turn reduces the oxygen content, originating from an increasingly constricting waistband, (due in part to the caramel-swirled-triple-chocolate-soy-no-foam-mochaccino-with-extra-sugar I had consumed earlier) and not from a metaphysical breakthrough, I settled down to contemplate exactly what was happening here.

How is it possible that I, the youngest of our family - the one who witnessed the fall of my siblings before me to the depths of marriage, martyrdom, and worst of all, motherhood - how could I possibly succumb to the grip of parenthood, and not be conscious of the fact that I was no longer who I thought I was.

The phenomenon of metamorphosis is generally preceded by some manner of event, so that at least the participant (whether willing or not) of the transmutation is aware there is something important happening. In my case, there was no such warning - no preceding event to mark the passage of one to the other - just a realization one that I was no longer myself.

At some point between then and now, I went to bed as myself, and awoke as a reincarnation of my mother. Who is to say this didn't occur? My mother, bless her soul, has been with her Creator for the last twenty two years. How do I know they didn't strike a bargain of some kind? She could be exceptionally convincing, and lets face it - after twenty two years, she's gotta be wearing Him down.

It's all smiles now...wait a few years...
It's all smiles now...wait a few years...

An ulterior motive?

For all I know, this could have been His plan all along.

I can still hear her voice like it was yesterday - "Sit up straight!" "Don't talk with your mouth full!" "Hurry up, you're going to be late!" "You can't wear that!" "Close the door, you weren't born in a barn!" "Hang your clothes up and clean your room, it's a pig sty!" "Don't play with that - you'll put someones eye out!" "E-nun-ciate for goodness sake - stop mumbling!" "Chew with your mouth closed!

After years of bombardment, I was finally free - oh the glory - sweet freedom - finally, I was able to slouch over my plate, talk while chewing (with my mouth open) take all the time I wanted, with the door open, throw my clothes on the floor, run around with a sharp stick in my hand, mumble till the cows came home and low and behold, nothing horrible happened! I was in my glory! I vowed then and there, I would never be like my mother!

And now look at me - beaten, broken, and reincarnated! Spewing forth such litanies as "For God's sake - put a shirt on - you'll catch your death of cold!" "Chew with your mouth closed!" "Hurry up - you're going to be late!" "If you don't stop that your face will stay like that forever!"

Well, you get my drift.

I'm sure you have heard most of the popular, or not so popular, depending on your belief system and upbringing, theories with regards to our life purpose, fate, destiny, or life path. What if we have it all wrong? What if, there really is no choice - we just wake up one day as our parents? Oh My God! How could I not have seen this?

He who laughs last...
He who laughs last...

An impossibility? I don't think so

Now I know you are going to say that it's impossible - my mother is still here - how could I possibly be a reincarnation of her? It's all in the plan....God has insured that she has passed down the 'Mother' gene that sits dormant in your system until you pass the age of 30.

At that point, the gene becomes active, causing minute changes to your physiology, little bit by little bit, over the period of several years until you become a clone-like replica of your mother. You might at this point notice a few similarities, but you delude yourself into thinking you can overcome it - all you need to do is assert your independence a bit more and you'll be fine.

Unfortunately, once the 'Mother' gene has germinated, all hope for independence is lost, along with the expectation that everything will revert to normal, and when the inevitable finally happens, and your mother leaves this plain of existence, you will wake up one day to discover what I have - You have become the person you swore you would never be!

The 'Mother' gene and the Creator have had the final laugh. I leave you now in search of an Aspirin - I feel a headache coming on...

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Comments 16 comments

Reena Daruwalla profile image

Reena Daruwalla 7 years ago from INDIA

When I deal with my girls these days, I also wonder sometimes (in disbilief) whether I am becoming my mother. Then with some relief I realise that I am also becoming my father. I suppose it is inevitable, really.


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

LOL, I think all women become their mothers when faced with their own kids. Relax Enelle, you aren't alone. Now go indulge in another caramel-swirled-triple-chocolate-soy-no-foam-mochaccino, with extra sugar. :)


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Reena - Yes, sadly, it is inevitable - you can't outrun the 'Mother' gene

Feline Prophet - Good idea, the shock of discovery is still too much to handle alone....


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

HAHAHAHAHAHA - oh you crack me up, girl. Love this hub!!!

Now, sit up straight, and don't mumble...lol

Well done, Enelle.


spirituality profile image

spirituality 7 years ago from The Netherlands

I think conditioning can be reasonably blamed for this effect :) or should I say :( the only way to avoid being like your mother (and that's hard) as a mother, is, I think, to have developed alternative coping styles. That is: faced up to the conditioning instead of doing the opposite.

Good luck :) but really, unless you want your house to look like a pig sty, you will have to train your kids to clean up after themselves... Not that my mom was ever any good at that... and look at my brother's room now (especially my younger brother).


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

I laughed, I cried, I came back and read it again! Well written and very funny - thanks again, Enelle.


MarkHall profile image

MarkHall 7 years ago from Australia

Excellent hub - and so true for all of us I think - it works with the male gene as well. The patterns of our ancestors seem to follow us no matter how hard we try to resist. Thanks for a good read my friend. :)


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

spirituality - I thing the room cleaning thing is also genetically transmitted lol...

RedElf - thanks :D it was fun to write glad you enjoyed the results...can I offer you a tissue?:P

MarkHall - Yes, it does work for the male gene as well, I kinda figured that the men who chose to read this would figure that out lol...thank you for the compliment, and I'm glad you enjoyed it :D


mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

Great hub. I am also like my parents - but still trying to 'fix' the problematic parts of being like them. It's unnerving to have my parents' words come out of my mouth.


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I completely understand! Sometimes I turn around to see if my mother is standing behind me and throwing her voice lol


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Oh this was so funny mostly because it is so true. HAHAHAHAHA! Loved it! "Now don't cross your eyes or they'll get stuck and stay like that!"


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Peggy - looks like your mom took the same training mine did lol


Gerard Daniels profile image

Gerard Daniels 7 years ago

"Sit up straight." "mind your manners." "stop poking your sister in the back of the head." Things I've heard a thousand times and have said a hundred times myself to my children... ... just don't tell my mother please or she'll know she was right and that I actually learned something and that can't be good. Thanks for pointing out that the bliss of parenthood is and has been out of my control, 'preciate it . :| :\ :) :> now I have to phone her


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Gerard - I won't tell if you won't LOL


metaphysician profile image

metaphysician 7 years ago

What you have observed or perhaps fed on, make how you feel and act. It's all about belief system. My mum passed away more than a decade ago and when she was still alive, she often told me that she wouldn't be long because she believed that she would die young as her mother (my grandmother). That became true and I felt sad about that, not because of her pass on but the belief that might had lead her to.

God bless,

Metaphysician


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

metaphysician - thanks for stopping by :) and yes I understand exactly what you mean...where the mind goes, the body follows...

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