It's funny how when we are children, we think our parents just don't understand us. Our levels of understanding and comprehending really become challenged when we enter our teenage years. We're in love, we hate school, and our parents are RUINING our lives! Or at least that's what we think during that awkward stage in life. I know I can't speak for everyone, but when I was younger, I felt that my mother couldn't possibly relate to anything I was going through. And because I was so selfish (rightfully so because I didn't know better at the time), I never thought about the fact that once upon a time she was a teen like me. My mama already knew the game.
Now that I'm an adult, I see where mama was coming from. As an adult, wife, and parent, I can finally relate to the successes and struggles I only saw then from the outside looking in. Not only do I now understand what it means to put the needs of other people before yourself, but I also "get" those awkward situations in which we were both learning about parenthood from each other. So today, I would like to share with you guys five ways I feel as though I can not only relate to my mom, but ways in which I have completely become her all over again.
1. "Because I said so" has become a part of my vocabulary. This is not something I'm proud of. Notice that you've never seen me mention that I'm Mother of the Year up here, so I feel at ease mentioning these things to you all. Though I've said I hate that phrase, because I feel it doesn't justify an action, I say "because I said so" all the time. I let my children know I'm the BOSS around these parts. And I do it so instinctively by saying it. I don't know if I repeat it so often because I'm trying to prove to my children (and myself) that I'm the mama AKA THE BOSS, or that I've heard it so much growing up that I repeat it without much thought. It's no wonder my daughter "huffs and puffs" all the way to her room when I say it, just like I used to when my mom said it. I guess it's just in us.
2. I can multi-task like no other. I remember staring in awe at my mother as she washed dishes, prepared dinner, assisted with homework, and entertained family + friends simultaneously. And she completed each of these tasks so seamlessly, without much regard or reward. I had no idea how she did it, or how taxing it could possibly be until I became a mother myself. Though I don't move around the home with as much finesse as my mom, I am definitely getting there. It has been proven that I can nurse, watch tv, plan out a month's worth of meals, work out the family budget, and blog all at the same time. I'm something like a superwoman, now!
3. I have successfully learned how to tune out just about anything. I recall times when my youngest siblings were at each other's throats and I would have my radio blasting, off to my own devices. Through all of the arguments, the calamity, and the never-ending noise our friends kept (because we ALWAYS kept a full house of friends and cousins), my mother remained unbothered. Can you imagine four of your children + their little homies running around tearing your house down? Yeah, me neither. Most of the time, mama didn't mind. She'd even let our friends stay over for dinner and made everyone feel at home. I, on the other hand, have effectively learned how to tune out my kids only. They're in the living room giving their karaoke machine a run for it's money and I'm all happy that I get to blog in peace. See how that works?
4. I can't remember any of my children's names or dates of birth. Seriously. I used to cringe when I was a teen and my mother called me my sister's name. I can't remember how many times I've sulked, whispering under my breath, "my name is not Brittany!" Now that I have a daughter of my very own, guess what I call her? I say, Brittany have you done your homework? Brittany have you cleaned your room? And Brittany, didn't I tell you to turn that music down? All the while, my daughter Gabs is looking at me as if I have two heads. I don't know why I call her my sister's name but I do. And for some reason, my brain processes my sons' names interchangeably. I call one the other's name constantly. Now when we are in the comfort of our own home, I'm not so embarrassed about my mommy brain. Out in public, especially during doctor's visits and school visits, it gets worse. I'm filling out papers and having to ask my husband when each of my children were born. I'm counting back years in my head out loud and mixing children up, all the while folks are staring at me sideways. Now I understand how my mom could get so mixed up with the particulars, especially with my siblings and I being so close in age. I bet she laughs at me now, though.
5. No matter what, I put my children first. Unfortunately, I am not as graceful with exclaiming this sentiment as my mom. Every now and again she would have to kindly sit down with us and share with us about how much she and my dad have to sacrifice to keep things running smoothly around the house. We didn't always get everything we wanted, but they made sure we had everything we needed. And of course, mama went that extra mile to make sure we participated in many of the activities we wanted to pursue. Me, on the other hand, I'm that barking kinda mama. If my kids act up or start sounding ungrateful, I'm on it with the quickness. I'll tell them about how much we have to sacrifice to get things done around here. Because hey, sometimes kids forget and you have to remind them. And if that isn't enough, I'll even get at them about how I used to be a beautiful hourglass figure before I had them--yes I had to sacrifice that hourglass. That's how much I love them. But reallly, my daughter is 10. I can't really hold her accountable for that anymore. I guess I'll bark at the baby and blame it all on him. Ha!
How many of you mamas feel like this?
How are your parenting styles similar to your parents?
In what ways are they different?