Like Mother, Like Daughter?
I recently came across a newspaper article that tackled the topic of mothers and daughters and how we start becoming like our moms once we hit our 30s. For some of us, the thought of becoming our mom can be a horrifying experience. But for me, I wouldn't have it any other way.
My mom and I have always been best friends. In fact, I remember that even though she was a working mom (she went back to teaching when I was five years old) she always left a piece of herself with me when she dropped me off at school. Every day at noon when I opened my brown lunch bag (no fancy lunch box or tote for me), mom would write a special note to me to share that she was thinking about me and how much she loved me. She also addressed the letters: To my favorite daughter (I was her only daughter). Mom's notes became so popular at school that my friends were oftentimes disappointed when their own parent didn't give them a surprise note in their lunch.
Mom was also incredibly supportive as I faced bullies and mean girls head on and helped me shed nearly 20 pounds at the ripe age of 12 by encouraging my dad and I to join Weight Watchers along with her. Once we all reached our goals, shopping became one of our favorite past times. Mom and I would hit the mall every Saturday and shop for everything under the sun. From clothes, to handbags, to shoes, I always had the best time with my mom - even if we just spent time at lunch swapping stories about what was going on in our lives.
So when I read that study that daughters become just like their moms once they hit their 30's, I nodded my head in agreement and said, yes, I have become my mother and I am thrilled for it. Today, my own daughter is 12 and is facing all the things I encountered at her age (although she is in amazing shape and I only wish I had her figure when I was desperately trying to shed the baby weight!) My incredibly independent and headstrong daughter (who happens to be nothing like me at the moment), now enjoys joining me each weekend on a visit to the local mall. While we're there, we window shop, we search for great sale items (you should see the amazing Michael Kors bag I snatched up at 60% off) and we swap stories - just like I did with my own mom.
Thankfully, my mom is still here with me today to help guide me when I'm uncertain if I'm doing the right thing as a parent. My mother has always been a role model - achieving amazing things in her career while always finding the time to be there for my brother and for me. And that's exactly what I set out to do with my own kids. As mothers, we are always searching for ways to help our kids grow and succeed and oftentimes forget about ourselves in the process. My mom has proven to me throughout my life that while it's important to encourage our children to pursue their dreams, we can never give up on our own passions too.
Today, my mom is retired and spends half the year in Florida and the other half in New York. I am actually counting the days until she returns home, because I haven't seen her in months and miss spending quality time with her. Thank goodness she's only a phone call away (need to teach her how to skype) but no matter where she is, my mom has taught me to be caring, supportive, nurturing and independent. And hopefully, by the time my own daughter reaches her thirties, she'll follow in my footsteps and become just like her mom too!