Growing up, there were times when we would think, “When I’m a mom, I won’t do that,” because of course at 7, then 13, then 17, we both always knew best. Boy, were we WRONG, and honestly, both couldn’t be more proud to be wrong! Robin and Katie have both fondly realized that they are their mothers after all. Here is how they know…
Katie: Four children in my mid 30’s, and it hits me, “When did I become my mother?” I always loved my mother (of course) and had a great relationship all my life (except for a few of those “I know everything” years). It never crossed my mind before it already happened that I would become so much like her. I have become like her as a mother, and also a person. My mother owned a Jazzercise studio for the majority of her 30s. And, yes, I was 2nd string in “Junior” Jazzercise. Now, here I am attending Hip-Hop class regularly. Who would have known that Junior Jazzercise and all those late nights watching my mom learn a new routine would lead to my love for fun aerobic exercise in my 30s? Luckily, the thong leotards are out of style for now. My husband is also former military just like my father. We have a backyard that is too big to manage with a baseball cage, volleyball net, basketball goal, and a garden. All of which we had in my backyard growing up. Basically, a make-shift carnival. I succinctly remember my mother’s love for fresh tomatoes, something I only now understand. Yep – could I really be her? Then, I say it, “If you are not going to do it right, then don’t do it at all.” This was an anthem in our household growing up, often accompanied by many eyes rolling. Gosh, then I catch myself singing (hand motions and all):
“Skidamarink a dink a dink,
Skidamarink a doo, I love you…”
Countless times did my mother sing this to my siblings and me. It became part of who we were as a family, and now it has become a part of my family. I even cook the same meals as she did for us. Chicken Parmigiana and Meatloaf are the same (well, not really. She was a fantastic cook). I think back on the times I watched her cook, the times I help her cook, and the times I did nothing but eat what was cooked. My mother is now gone, and I am inexplicably grateful I got to learn and enjoy her food. Cooking what she cooks, keeps her memory alive for me.
Robin: I’ve been trying to figure this motherhood thing out for almost 26 months. I have two sweet girls (2 years and 6 months). They are pretty much perfect in my eyes. I absolutely love being their mom. I also love that I’ve officially turned into my mother after all.
Now I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here. My mom and I had our fair share of disagreements growing up because I’m always right (to this day, it’s still true). She endured a lot of sass, which I’ll pay for, but even so, she always knew how to (and still does) kindly coach me to a better approach.
In many ways, I’ve tried to be more like my mom. God is her cornerstone. She is a good wife before being a good mom. She loves fiercely and always has a plan. Dinner is always ready and never from a package or frozen. She shows up to everything. Honestly, in all my years of playing sports, I don’t think my mom missed anything I did. These are the ways in which I strive to be more like my mom but typically fall short. However, I have found many reasons that I’m becoming much like her. My mom shared with me a deep love for traditions, sugar cookies, and overthinking everything. For these reasons, I am my mother.
I overanalyze everything; I’ve worried about my husband and my girls for crazy, crazy reasons. I’ve thought someone was upset with me for nothing, and I’ve fretted over what I did for no reason. For this, I am my mom.
I’ve relentlessly prayed for my husband and my girls. I cherish them more than most things in this life. I try to daily shower them with love and encouragement. For this, I am my mother.
I’ve worked tirelessly to create traditions my family will continue forever. Christmas is becoming a big deal in our home! Too many sugar cookies are a necessity for all holiday gatherings and I’ll tell everyone I enjoy making them even though the reality is I only enjoy eating them. I do them because it makes everyone else happy. For this, I am my mother.
In the last 26 months, I am becoming more who I want to be and yet who I never thought I’d be. I am so glad that people often tell me they see my mom in me and I can only hope to do it with as much grace, kindness, and love as her.
When I grow up, I want to be my mom so what a blessing to know in so many ways, I’ve already become so much like her.
Both our experiences, while different, show the role a mother plays is powerful, so powerful that you’ll probably mirror it later in life. We are a product of our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and so on; this is how we live on in others, through generations. What a beautiful reality!