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When Did I Become Like My Mother?

Updated on November 9, 2013

When did I become like my mother? What a question for someone like me. Our family still tells stories of what a rebellious young girl I was and one of my most vivid memories is of being about 14 years old and thinking I knew it all. During one of our frequent arguments over my strong will, I remember looking at my mother with a dogged determination and saying - "I will never be like you." And at the time, I really meant it. So how did this happen?

It's not a bad thing actually. My mother is an amazing woman. I could wish for far worse things, than to become like her. I'm just surprised by how it sneaked up on me.

People always said I was like my Dad. And I was. I think.

Looking back, I can see things now that were more like my mother but I was too stubborn to admit it. I had declared that I would never be like her so I had to prove it. I guess I really wasn't so smart because being like my mother is something to be proud of.

My mother has a strong will and a sharp wit. She's smart and funny and frugal. No one can make a dollar go further than my mother. Her courage and strength is what I admire the most though. Over the years I've seen her go up against school systems, politicians, neighbors, and yes, even family, to defend her children or the life she wanted for her family. My mom is fearless when her children are threatened.

The Teen Years

I made my Mom's life a living hell when I was a teenager. Authority meant little to me and I proved it, many times. To try and control me was the surest way to find out that it couldn't be done. Discipline was nothing more than a temporary inconvenience; something that would pass and let me get back to the business of being a rebel. I regret those times and what I put my mother through. But I can't change them and we have put them where they belong - in the past.

Youth, Marriage, Divorce, and Maturity

As a young adult, my Mom and I became best friends. She supported me in everything I did and we shared each milestone together, in ways that only a mother and daughter can. They are precious memories now and helped to heal a lot of the wounds from those teen years. Maturity was a friend to both of us and we began to understand each other as women of different generations.

Mom still taught by example and with her leading the way, I embraced the concepts of accountability, responsibility, kindness, and justice. I learned to laugh at myself and to apologize when I was wrong. My Mom taught me to be a lady, not a prissy lady, but a lady all the same. I remember her saying - "a women needs to maintain a little mystery". She was right - again.

Mom always told us that it was the little things that mattered the most and that if you took care of those things, the rest would be okay. I still try to tackle the bigger problem first but, I'm learning.

Evolution

All the lessons my mother tried to share with me must have impaled themselves in that place called "self" in spite of me. When Mom and I had a disagreement recently, I resorted back to my childish behavior and abruptly terminated the conversation and came home. In the short time it took me to drive the four miles between her home and mine, my Mom sent an email. It was waiting for me when I arrived. It said simply - "Our problem is that we are cut from the same cloth. Love, Mom".

As you might imagine, that was not what I wanted to hear. The dust has settled now though and I have thought about those words a thousand times. I've read and re-read that email over and over and over again. It has finally sunk in - I have become like my mother. And you know, I have always been wrong. Being like my mother is an honor and I am proud to be like her. What a foolish girl I was, back then.

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  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

    How nice for you and your mom to have a loving bond. And the best thing is that she was a loving and caring mom. I find myself doing and thinking like my mother in many areas of my life, even though she has been gone for a long time. Voted UP.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Carol. Thank you for reading and voting. It's odd sometimes because I do know how blessed I was to have such a good childhood. Believe me though, I was an evil teenager and wish that I could take those years back. We almost lost my Mom 13 years ago to a stroke. It changed everything, but mostly it changed how I saw her. I'm sorry for your loss. I have both my parents still (in their 80's) so I can't say I understand. But, I bet you see things in yourself that are like your Mom. Do you?

  • rcrumple profile image

    Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

    Linda -

    What a sweet story about your awakening. I think all of us were rebels to an extent. I was no exception. I created waves my father didn't want to deal with in my ideas and actions. Perhaps, I was wrong too, He seems to have accepted me for what I am, and I he. There are vast differences between us to this day, yet, we seem to have the "agree to disagree" feeling intact, instead of battling. Great Hub!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hey rcrumple! lol I didn't say my mom and I have a perfect relationship. I just realized that she is right and the reason we play tug o' war so much is because we are so much alike. We haven't yet reached the "agree to disagree" stage so you've one-uped me. :-)

    I really was a horrible teen. I'd ask to go somewhere for an afternoon and if Mom said no, I'd sneak out anyway and come back two days later. I didn't fall into the drug culture, I never got arrested. In reality, I was a good girl who just didn't want to be told what to do. I have my Mom's courage and strength now though and I'm proud of that. I think I have her compassion and I wouldn't change that for anything. The thing that causes us the problem is our stubborness and neither of us is going to give that up. :-)

    Hey, I really appreciate your frequent visits. It's hard to keep up with all the writers we enjoy here so don't think I take your visits for granted. I am honored that you read my stuff as I learn the ropes here.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Well Linda, we were all foolish back then. :) My dad died at a time we weren't speaking to each other, and I carried that baggage around for a few years. In the end it is what it is, and it takes us all time to come around and become the people that we are.

    Great look back; I don't know your mother, but I know you and I'm proud to be your friend.

    bill

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Bill, would you tell Bev to give you a big hug for me. You are just such a gem. You remind me once again that we are all very much alike when you get right down to it. We all have our "stuff" and if anyone says they don't, they are lying. You have lived what I have feared. The guilt of having one of those moments when it's too late to apologize or agree to disagree. I'm sorry Bill. That must have been hard. But no matter how we feel, life does indeed go on, doesn't it my friend? Thanks for being my friend. I (heart) you. :-)

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Great reflections. I have lost my mom and we only had a spat a couple of times in the years we had together and I am so glad things were so well between us when she passed on. Little things mean so much once they are gone and only about the love.

  • Cathy Fidelibus profile image

    Ms. Immortal 4 years ago from NJ

    I have been there too, I was quite the rebel. But once I moved out and was on my own my mother and I became very close. Children really humbled me and my appreciation for her grew much deeper. My mother became my role model and best friend.

    I miss her every day, but still feel her love and know she is near.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    Very touching to me, thank you. As I never knew my real my real father. I was in my 30's when that monster my mother married and left, stopped haunting my nightmares. My "mother" interesting...

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Jackie, thank you for your visit and comment. I am sorry for the loss of your mother but am touched that your memories are fond ones and that you do still feel her with you. You are blessed and I thankyou for sharing with me.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello Cathy! So we both survivied our teen rebellion. lol There were days when I wondered if I would. As I said to Jackie, I appreciate you sharing about your Mom and am sorry for your loss. I cannot say I understand, not yet, but am hopeful that I too will have the peace of feeling my mother with me when she goes. Thank you for sharing the journey with me here.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Oh Mhatter99, relationships can be so difficult. When we are young, we have no way to understand the pain and when we are old, it's too late to do much about it. From your message, I gather you might have something to say someday about your mother. Writing help, believe me. Thanks for being here with me my friend.

  • profile image

    kelleyward 4 years ago

    It's funny how this works out this way for many people. Being a mom is a qualitative change that you cannot understand until you become one. Take care, Kelley

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thanks for stopping by Kelley. It is funny, isn't it? lol

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

    Hi Linda,

    I understand exactly what you are saying, as this same thought popped into my my mind one day---when did I become just like my mother? Prior to that day, I never thought of myself being just like my mother. I am blessed to have the sweetest mother on this planet - in my mind. She will be 84 in December and has dementia now, which is difficult to watch. One day at work, I was so upset with my daughter, who is now 29, but at that time I am speaking of, she was in her teens (rebellious days), and my boss came in my office and asked me if I was okay as I had been crying, and I said something like, oh, just my daughter . . . and he replied, much to my surprise and bewilderment, "That's because you are both just alike." What? I believe it is some kind of phenomenon between a mother and daughter.

    This is a very insightful hub as to the relationship between a mother and daughter and just how very alike we really are, and being surprised at that thought. Voted Way Up God Bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

  • picklesandrufus profile image

    picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

    Loved this hub! I ended up being more like my mom than I ever would have thought, but will never be able to fill her shoes. She was an amazing woman I learned in my adult years. Everyday I miss her and wish she was here to talk to again.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Faith. I am always amazed at how many of us live parallel lives thinking we are the only ones on the planet who have been there. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I bet your daughter is "just like" you and if so, she has turned out to be an amazing woman! Thanks so much for the vote up.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    picklesand rufus (giggle, I do love your name), Thanks so much for reading and sharing. Like you, I only hope to be half the woman my mother is. I am sorry you lost her already but I know she is proud of you. Don't you wish we could turn back time?

  • The Dirt Farmer profile image

    Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

    A sweet, funny read full of charm and style. Thanks!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    The Dirt Farmer - thank you so much!

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

    I can now see much of my dear mother in me...at least I hope that others do...because it was all good. You mentioned how your mother knew how to stretch a dollar. Mine was an expert at it! She also taught how to love and share with others as well as laugh and have a good time no matter what the circumstances were at the time. My parents went through hard times due to circumstances out of their control...but taught us that determination and hard work could overcome just about all obstacles. I miss them! Cherish the time you still have with your mother!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Peggy! Thank you so much for reading my hub and leaving such a wonderful comment. This hub has brought so many precious comments and reminders of how lucky I am to still have my Mom. I am sorry for your loss. I think many of us who have visited this hub are an elite club of women who had mothers they grew to admire and appreciate. And the majority of us are proud to find that we have become like them. I wonder if the next generation will be so blessed. Thanks again for reading and sharing.

  • Jlava73 profile image

    Jennifer Vasconcelos 4 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

    This was a beautiful expression of the Mother-Daughter bond. I have a very similar relationship my my own Mom. I always value the important lessons she taught me about life. We don't always see eye to eye but we always understand each other, in fact sometimes she is the only one who understands me. I learned, as you did, to honor our relationship for what it is.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Jlav73! I'm so glad you visited and added to the conversation. It warms my heart that so many share the feelings I have had regarding my relationship with my mother. We are so blessed.

  • barbergirl28 profile image

    Stacy Harris 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

    Very wise words. Being more like our moms isn't a bad thing. After all, they have survived this long. Like you, I always thought I was more like my dad. But now that I think about it... maybe I am like my mom.... we definately are cut from the same cloth!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi barbergirl28! It's quite a journey, isn't it? Thank you for reading my hub. I appreciate your visit.

  • Jamie Brock profile image

    Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

    OH wow... this hub brought tears to my eyes.. what an amazing tribute to your mother. She sounds like a remarkable lady :) I'm finding too that now that I'm getting older, I'm more like my mother and sometimes I even see my dad in me. Voting up this beautiful hub :)

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Oh Jamie, you are so sweet. Thank you so much. I'm sorry it made you cry though. I really appreciate your reading my hub and taking the time to comment.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, I swear you and I could be sisters! I, too was the rebel in my family. It caused quite a rift between my mom and me. Then I grew up and have acquired many of her traits. To be so strong as to put up with me and the disappoints I caused, not to mention heartache for my mom. Today we have a wonderful relationship. I am very much like her and proud to say so!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    We are the lucky ones Shauna. I'm still a rebel in many ways but my Mom just shrugs her shoulders now. lol Sisters? Different mothers? Probably. lol

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    I'm the oldest of three, Linda. At one time I was the one who brought strife to my mom's heart. Today she tells me I'm the pillar of strength in her three children. I am strong, but I don't need anyone in my life. Sometimes that makes me sad and wonder if in becoming strong, I've become cold and unable to share myself. I've been married twice and have discovered it really doesn't suit me. Both divorces were my decision. I'm not completely sure what that says about me. Either I'm very selfish, or I just make the wrong decisions in choosing a mate. However, I'm very comfortable with my life.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    lol...I could have written this exact paragraph Shauna. Two marriages, my choice to end them both and I have all the same questions. Are you surprised?

  • Rfordin profile image

    Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

    You hit the nail on the head here Linda. All of these trials and tribulations of life bring out the best in us (IE our mothers). I think the major turning point for me was when I became a mother.....then it all hit me. I am my mother. Not so bad I could be way worse. It was a pleasure reading your hub.

    ~Becky

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Rfordin! You make a good point. I think we cannot truly appreciate the character and depth of a mother's love until we are older and wiser. Thank you for reading and leaving such an insightful comment.

  • CrisSp profile image

    CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    What a very nice well written hub. Love it all through out. I remember when I gave birth to my eldest, my mother next to me, whispered: "You're paid". Still groggy from the anesthesia, I heard her but didn't really understand what she meant. Now, my eldest has reached maturity, I remember what she had told me and realized, ahh....so that's what she meant by it.

    This is a delightful read lrc. Voting up and sharing.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello CrisSp. Thanks for visiting and for the great comment. I remember in one of the arguments between Mom and me, she looked at me and said "I hope you have one just like you." I think it's why I never had children. lol

    I love your story. Thanks for sharing it and for the votes too.

  • Thelma Alberts profile image

    Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

    What a great reflection! I can see many things of my mother in me. I only recognized it when a situation came in and I reacted like her. I was a kind of papas than mamas girl. I usually had a disagreement with her when I was a teenager. Things between her and me went smooth when I got married. I love my mother and I´m proud to be like her in some ways. Thanks for reminding me of my mother who´s in heaven now for 4 years.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thelma, thank you for reading my hub and sharing the emotions with me. I was definetly a Daddy's girl too. I never expected that I would become so much like my mother but I'm glad I have. The teenage fights? Oh yes, I remember them well. lol I'm sorry for the loss of your mother but hope that the memories bring you peace and joy.

  • That Grrl profile image

    Laura Brown 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

    My Mother still makes me crazy. All the things we don't have in common really bug me when we are together for awhile. Most of the time we do okay though.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hey That Grrl! I understand. I adore my Mom and we get along okay but some days... she still knows how to get my goat. But, she also reminds me that it's because we are so much alike and I'm not ready to let her go yet either. Hang in there.

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