It came to me while I was doing laundry. I dumped in the detergent, loaded the barrel with my husband’s work clothes, and turned the dial to permanent press. In the ten years that I’ve lived outside of my parent’s home, I don’t think I’ve ever turned the dial to permanent press. And yet, I did it again after the clothes were washed, and it was time to move things to the dryer. Permanent press. I played with my children until the dryer beeped, and then ran to pull things out before any wrinkles could set in. As I was hanging things up, it came to me.
I am becoming my mother.
For 18 years, I watched my mother go through the same routine with my dad’s laundry. If she was busy teaching piano lessons or making dinner when the dryer finished, I was called on to pull things out before any wrinkles set in and required ironing. That is just how laundry should be done.
I’ve thought a lot about my little tendencies, habits, and mannerisms since that epiphany, and can see how many of the things I do as a wife and mother are things I’ve picked up by watching my mother. From the way I clean a toilet to the way I sing with my children at the piano, I am becoming her.
And while I am slowly morphing into my mother, I can’t help but feel so blessed. She never raised me to be her. She raised me to be me. I am becoming my mother because there is no other woman in the world I would rather be like than her.
Do you find yourself doing things that remind you of your mother?
In what ways do you feel her influence in your own mothering?
* I know not everyone has this kind of mother - some of you may be making a mindful effort to do things differently than your mother - trying to create new patterns, looking for better ways. We want to speak to that reality, too. Tomorrow's post will address the issue of putting off an unsavory legacy and creating a better one to hand down to your children.