I always remember my mom being: FUN. As a kid, I didn’t really know what struggle was, especially for a single mother, but I always remember having so much fun with my mom as a kid. We were always at the mall, doing some arts and crafts, eating out…just her and I. I’d really like to be a fun mom one day and make my child feel the way I did when I was a kid.
I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I’m “Little Angie.” I hear it so much that I too am starting to see it. I was doing research on my family the other night, which led me to a series of photo albums and a spot on the carpet in my grandmother’s living room. She and I laughed and reminisced over how similar I am to my mom. I dress like her, and at some point in my growth, I was her identical twin. In my 20’s I find myself blasting ’70s and ’80s classic rock, mixing prints and patterns, and being risky with my hair. I find myself nagging and complaining about household things and I was even told by a guy I dated that I act just like my mother…and his. It wasn’t something shared in an endearing way, but I didn’t see the fault in it because of the type of mother that I had growing up.
I think one of the biggest fears of a woman is to hear how much we’re like our mothers, especially from the mouths of men. But the older I get, the more of my mom I realize that I’ve become in physical features, as well as mannerisms. There are some moments where I’ll stop in the middle of what I’m doing and laugh because I’ve found myself saying something that sounds just like her. To be so similar to her now is funny considering that we bumped heads so much growing up and even then I always remember her just being a fun and cool and at times embarrassing mom. She’s one of those mothers that when I was in high school, she would switch up her lingo to try and sound “hip.” It was so embarrassing, but my friends loved it and thought my mom was the coolest, but now that I’m older and work with kids often, I find myself doing it too.
I reflect on my angsty teenage years and how the thought of becoming her was a total nightmare. The nagging, the complaining, the prying, the overprotective antics, I prayed that when I got married and started my own family, I would do things a little bit differently than her. I would nag my husband less and would allow my children to do more, as long as they did the right thing. But no matter how much we try to avoid it when we stop and reflect, I think we all appreciate the lessons and the tough love and realize that we are more like our mothers than we think. Science says so.
I wondered if there was some inherited trait that women get from their mothers, like a special power that activates on the girl’s 18th birthday or something. I wondered if there were other women who eventually become their mothers. I found an interesting scientific study because leave it to nerdy Deja to Google everything. New research suggests that some traits are more readily passed down from moms to daughters than to sons. The research concludes that there is something gender-specific about the brain circuit activity of women. The experiment, which was published in the Journal of Neuroscience, consisted of 30 mothers, 29 fathers, 19 daughters, and 20 sons. The researchers also gave the parents questionnaires that asked about their kids’ behavior, including things like aggression, depression, anxiety, and social skills. The findings showed that there were similarities between mom and daughter, and father and son.
The older I get, the less of a negative connotation being like my mother has. And the more I think about it, I am her, quirky characteristics and all. I spend hours surfing the web for recipes that I never get around to trying, but they’re good to have just in case. I sit through hours of Good Times, Sanford and Son and The Golden Girls, chuckling as if I was of that era. I have started my own tea cabinet similar to hers. I sit and worry about everything even though I know worrying doesn’t help, just like her. Her influence has been stronger than I thought and even though I grew up with a bunch of cousins, she was really the first friend that I had.
I’ve become a woman who loves the company of my mother sometimes and hates it at other times. But with each laugh that we share, each disagreement we may have, and the moments we share together, I realize that we are one in the same. She is #MomGoals.