When did I turn into my mother?
Have you ever seen that greetings card that has the message on it ‘Sometimes I talk and my mother comes out,’ every time I think about that card I chuckle to myself. This is totally true for me, I do talk and my mothers voice comes out, but the thing is its getting worse! It’s no longer just in the things I say it’s also in the things I do too!
For years as a teacher I’ve heard my mothers voice come out my mouth when I’m speaking to the children
‘Go on, outside. A bit of fresh air will do you good’
‘Stop scuffing your shoes across the floor’
‘Pick that lip up’
The older I get the worse it gets. I mean sometimes I even find myself turning into my grandparents…
‘Tuck your t'shirt in or else you’ll get a chill down your back’
‘Don’t break the French stick'
(No that is a lie! I’ve never said that but it was my Nan's favourite phrase when we went shopping with her on a Saturday and we were going through the checkout!)
I mean, there’s this constant stream of phrases that comes out my mouth that I repeatedly had to listen to when I was a child. My Coffee Beans haven’t yet learnt to roll their eyes like I used to when I heard them, but it’s only a matter of time.
Worse than the phrases though, I now find myself becoming my mother in my actions and not just words. I’m not sure how or when it happened but throughout my 30’s there seems to have been this gradual change. Its been so slow and steady that I’ve not even realised it's happening and its not just me either.
I was talking to a couple of friends over the weekend on a video chat. I’ve known them since my teenage years and as we sat and gushed over what we were growing in our vegetable patches in the garden or about how fabulous someones pantry is and how jealous we all are of it I couldn't help thinking when did this happen? When did we become our mothers? When did our thoughts, our actions and our conversation take a turn into this stage of life?
Back in the day we’d have been talking about relationships, handbags and shoes. Now the conversation has changed to 'Where did you get that Paddington bear jelly mold from?' and whether we prefer our bath towels soft or slightly on the rough side!! I mean it was a proper rock and roll Saturday night conversation this!
The morning after I was reminded more how much I’ve turned into my mother when I got in the shower. I looked down and thought, perhaps it really is time I shaved my legs. Hahaha! Oh gosh I’m going to be in trouble if my Mum reads this, I’ve made it sound like she doesn’t shave her legs! Please be assured she does and she has very good personal hygiene and maintenance routine...sorry Mum!!
I only reference this (in the terms of turning into my mum) by the fact that as teenage girls we would be very critical of anything that we didn’t think quite met out stupidly high standards…as all teenagers are! Any time you had your legs out on show you would obviously shave them, every day if necessary! But when you’re a mum…well…it's just not that high on your agenda. You look at them and think they can go a day or two being a bit prickly, they’ll be fine! I on the other hand had taken ‘prickly’ to excess, I mean I was at risk of being able to properly style mine! I’d like to say it's because we’re on lockdown but if I’m honest it's because I was too tired, couldn’t be bothered and they’re under a pair of jeans anyway!
It's not just the leg shaving either, there’s other things that I do now which tells me I’ve turned into my mother. Let me share a selection with you!
Washing up has actually become my relaxation time more than a chore…it's where I get to be with my own thoughts on a daily basis!
I am happy to leave the house in a less than perfect state and my makeup routine consists of moisturiser and, well just moisturiser! As if I have time for, or am willing to do, anything else!
I can’t stop baking, but only because it’s a time I get to be in the kitchen on my own with some peace and quiet!
I’ve started using the words ‘soon,’ ‘later,’ or ‘in a minute’ much more frequently, even though I hated these answers when I was a child. 6 year old Coffee Bean called me out on this the other day when I said 'In a minute.' He actually asked ‘Is that like in an actual minute or more like 13 minutes?’ Hysterical I know, he’s still not got a grip on time, it took me everything not to reply ‘No it's more like 30 minutes’!!
These are just a few examples the list could go on and on and I know that there are more changes to come. One day I’ll realise that I’ve become accustomed to always carrying a packet of Polo’s or Extra Strong mints in my handbag and I’ll start using a proper cotton handkerchief instead tissues. But on the other hand it's not all bad either, maybe in the future I might also be able to produce a full roast dinner without any stress. My mother can produce a roast dinner with the same ease that most of us would find trying to cook a pack of super noodles, when it comes to Sunday lunch she is a legend!
So all in all I’m not that disappointed to be turning into my mother, I’m just a bit shocked that it happened without me noticing it!