I Turned Into My Mother: 3 Parenting Lessons I Stole From Her

I Turned Into My Mother: 3 Parenting Lessons I Stole From Her

We may not be our mothers, but we sometimes act like them.


By: Roo Ciambriello

I think I went through the same stages many girls go through with their moms:

As a baby: “I never want to be away from this woman who feeds me pureed carrots.” As a kid: “My mom is the best except for when she makes me clean my room.” As a teenager: “She is the equivalent of a guard at a maximum-security prison.” As an adult: “Mom’s not bad. Especially when she drops by my apartment with home-cooked meals.” As a mom: “Mom, can you come over? Today and tomorrow? And again this weekend?”

Moms have it rough. They spend our entire childhood years taking care of us and nurturing us, just for us to ask her if she can drive us to the mall (“No, Mom. You stay in the car. Pick me up at 9p.m.”)

But now that I’m older and I have three girls of my own, I feel like I owe my mom an apology and an extra hug — especially now that I’m turning into her.

It’s unavoidable — we take on some of our parents’ traits, but these go beyond having her hair or her nose or whatever physical trait you happen to have that “belongs” to your mom.

Here are some lessons my good ol’ mom taught me:

Don’t Shun Take-Out
My mom is a career woman. She let go of any guilt about not being home every night to make a hot meal from scratch, so sometimes dinner was dished out of white paper cartons onto our plates. On those nights, she was able to relax with us at dinner instead of worrying about shopping, dinner prep, cooking and cleanup. (Don’t worry, we helped out as soon as we were old enough, but definitely still loved take-out night.)

I don’t beat myself up about not being June Cleaver seven nights a week. I have a local restaurant that cooks and delivers healthy food. On nights that things are just too crazy for me to cook, I make a phone call and grilled chicken with vegetables and a side of chopped fruit comes to my door for my kids.

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It’s Better to be Kind
It’s nice to be smart, funny, popular, good-looking, clever, athletic and talented, but it’s more important to be kind to people.

This is something I’m really trying to teach my girls, especially considering how they treat each other. Out of all of the great traits they can — and do — have, I want them to learn that it’s far more important to have a kind heart and to be nice to people, so I’m trying to follow in my mom’s footsteps and lead by example.

My mom was always helping people around her, and I think that was something that really shaped the way we kids grew up. I’m hoping to pass this one along to my girls, as well.

Leave a Little Time for Leisure
Since mom and dad worked throughout the week, chores and errands were assigned to the weekends. We’d start laundry and clean-up early Saturday mornings. At some point, though, Mom would tell me to finish up whatever chore I was working on and head over to the living room, where she had snacks and a TV show ready for us.

“Time for a break,” she’d say. “We’ll finish later.”

It may seem like a counterproductive way to tackle our to-do lists, but now that I’m older, I realize that there will always be work to be done and to-dos to check off the list. I don’t reserve leisure for when all of the work is done — I make time for it, and I think it makes me be a more balanced mom.

Whether we inherit our parenting skills from our parents or just learn from mimicry, we can’t help but thank whoever looked out for us growing up that we are where we are today.

Thanks for the lessons, Mom! Now can you come over and help me do this laundry?

Roo is a freelance writer, creator of the humor blog Nice Girl Notes and lover of DIY crafting and style. She has worked on social media campaigns for brands ranging from Lego to Disney Baby.

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sarahj

sarahj

Reported

Very nice article. and yes you can be a mom too!! Thanks :)

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