Posted in Blog, Daughter, Featured, Mother, Rebecca, Wife, Woman

A lot like my mother

Recently I was at a dinner date with a girlfriend and we were talking about where we got our parenting beliefs. Why did we choose to be the mothers we are today? What formed our view of self? When did we decide our mothering style? Why did we choose to place certain limitations on ourselves? Where did it all come from?

Something popped into my head and I started talking about my mother. The friend I was meeting with is a relatively new friend and didn’t know much background on me. I started sharing my Mom’s story from marriage & kids to divorce & depression. She was nodding her head during the whole story like she somehow not only understood but could relate in a  very personal way. And she could as she shared later how similar her Mom’s story was to mine. Amazing.

I remember a time about 10 years ago, when my parents were just starting to talk about divorce, that I swore up and down that I would NEVER be like my Mom. I would not make the same choices and I would in no way end up like her. I despised and resented not her but her choices. Every decision I made I would ask myself if it was something my Mom would choose. And I worked hard to be different. Now I was already naturally very different. We are different in personality and in so many other ways.

I struggled and struggled for years scared to death that I would become her. Now on the flip side, there are many admirable traits she has that I do want to have myself. Just wanted to say that too.

One day, a wise friend of mine took me out for coffee. She said she needed to be brutally honest with me. I said ok, I give you permission to lay it all out there. (This lady knows my Mom well too)

Then she says, “You are going to struggle forever with your identity if you don’t do this one thing.”

“What’s that?”, I ask.

To my shock she responds, “You need to recognize and acknowledge that you ARE a lot like your Mom. And you need to surrender to that. That does not mean that you will turn out just like her. It is your choices you make every day that determine the person you are and where you go with your life. You get to choose that everyday.”

I was blown away. I never thought about that. At first I was angry that she was telling me I was like my Mom. I went home and thought about our conversation. It did make sense somewhat. I did see how I was a lot like my Mom and how I was very different too. I was just SO scared to make the same mistakes that I thought I needed to make drastic and radical separation from who she was.

The problem with that was that by running from her, I was running from myself. It was a race I could and would never win.

It took me a while to sort things out. After I did, I remember the next time I saw my Mom. I couldn’t believe all the amazing things I saw in her all of a sudden. I remember feeling freedom.

Freedom. I knew I was like her. I knew I was also in control of my life and how I wanted to live it. My resentment towards her (and thus myself) left.

Now being a Mother, it’s amazing how much of her I see in myself. Daily I think of what I admire in her and how I can integrate those things into my life. I notice what’s also not working or the not-so-great qualities and I work on making those better.

I can’t worry everyday about the woman and mother I might or might not be in 30 years. What I CAN do everyday is focus on what’s here…now. Be in the moment. Make the right choices. Love as much as I can. Listen.

Then I just trust that if I live like this everyday, in 30 years, I’ll be right where I want to be!

 

 

 

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