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Do We Really Become Our Parents?

Updated on September 3, 2015
Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb is a Community Support Social Service Worker, published author, jewelry designer and single mother extraordinaire.

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


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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    • Enelle Lamb profile imageAUTHOR

      Enelle Lamb 

      9 years ago from Canada's 'California'

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

    • metaphysician profile image


      9 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,


    • Enelle Lamb profile imageAUTHOR

      Enelle Lamb 

      9 years ago from Canada's 'California'

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

    • Gerard Daniels profile image

      Gerard Daniels 

      9 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 imageAUTHOR

      Enelle Lamb 

      9 years ago from Canada's 'California'

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

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 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 imageAUTHOR

      Enelle Lamb 

      9 years ago from Canada's 'California'

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

    • mythbuster profile image


      9 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 imageAUTHOR

      Enelle Lamb 

      9 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      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

    • MarkHall profile image

      Mark Halliday 

      9 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. :)

    • RedElf profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

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

    • spirituality profile image


      9 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


      9 years ago from Canada

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

      Now, sit up straight, and don't

      Well done, Enelle.

    • Enelle Lamb profile imageAUTHOR

      Enelle Lamb 

      9 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      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....

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      9 years ago

      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. :)

    • Reena Daruwalla profile image

      Reena Daruwalla 

      9 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.


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