Get Your Teen Magazine in your inbox! Sign Up
YourTeenMag Logo

Becoming My Mother: I Told Myself I Wouldn’t But I’m Just Like My Mother

It’s been happening for some time now. Years ago, it was the physical signs—my hands, the way I stood with my foot on my other thigh (“tree pose”), and frankly, I just look so much like her. So much so that when my husband I were first dating, he saw a picture of her as a young girl and asked why I was in that “get up” she was wearing, thinking it was me.

But, it’s much more than just the physical appearance —it’s the other “intangibles” that are revealing themselves as I age. Deep breath.

“I Have Become My Mother.” There, I said it. I can deny it all I want, but the evidence is clear:

1. Daily Occurrence—Up and Down the Stairs:

RACING up the stairs to retrieve an item. Upon arrival, I glance around at each bedroom, wondering what it is I am looking for. I go back downstairs, and only then do I remember what it was I needed so badly. Sigh.

2. Frequently—Going in Circles:

The “If you give a mouse a cookie” syndrome. I need to get my slippers. As I arrive upstairs, I trip over the laundry pile on my way. I grab the pile and place it on my bed. I notice one of the children’s socks in my pile, and go to said child’s room. Once I am there, I see a pile of clothes that needs to be donated. I race back down the stairs for a bag, take that upstairs, and wander from room to room filling the bag with other donated items.

Wow, this is great, so productive. It’s now an hour later, and I descend the stairs. I fall back on the couch and look down—no slippers. Oh right—that’s why I went upstairs. I can’t remember the slippers, but I can remember my mom doing this all the time (and, more notably, thinking that she had “lost it”).

3. Weekly Occurrence—Talking to Myself:

Having a thought that I know is my mother’s, knowing my mother would say it if she were standing next to me, yet unable to stop myself from saying it. The evidence: This morning I saw an item I wanted, but couldn’t justify the purchase. My mother would say, “You should treat yourself. You deserve it. If you aren’t good to yourself, who will be?” As I circled back to the hat a third time, I knew I had to have it. As the woman rang up my purchase, I said aloud to no one in particular, “Why not? If I’m not good to myself, who will be?” It took me a minute to realize that it had actually come out of my own mouth. I don’t even know what it means, but somehow it made sense.

4. The Pièce de Résistance—The Voice in My Head:

I just returned from the grocery store. Every item is generic. “Why pay twice as much for the brand name–it’s such a waste of money,” says “the voice” in my head.

How did this happen and in such a short time? I was always the daughter, now I am almost always the mother, my mother. I am becoming my mother.

As a kid I remember thinking SO clearly—oh, I’ll never do that (my kids have now adopted this as their favorite phrase).

Turns out, I am doing it—daily, blindly and yet, purposefully.

All of a sudden, the things that didn’t make sense, now make sense. She was mothering in the best way she knew how—juggling three kids, a husband, work, community obligations, family, and friends. And now, many years later, it’s crystal clear—and I turned out just fine, right?

Stephanie Silverman

Stephanie Schaeffer Silverman is publisher of Your Teen Magazine.

Related Articles
GET YTM IN YOUR INBOX!Receive our weekly newsletter with the latest articles, media, and resources.