“I’m never gonna be like you! I would never treat my kids like you treat me!” Probably something many adults recall saying to their own parents as a child. I definitely did growing up.
Now, as a mother to a nearly 3 year-old, I can’t count the number of times I’ve stopped and thought to myself, “Oh my gosh, I’ve become my mother!” And I’ve only been at this for 3 years! I think the majority of these instances have come in the last 1.5 years as my daughter develops her independence, self-confidence and verbal skills.
Usually, my initial reaction is horror. I can’t believe I’m treating my child the way my parents – and especially my mom – treated me. Fortunately, at this age, my daughter can’t yet express her anger and frustration through hateful and hurtful words. But, I imagine the day will come.
However, the more I think about it, the more I take comfort in knowing that my mom really did know what she was thinking and doing and has, in many ways, prepared me for this. In most cases, I think in hindsight she did the right thing and was not unreasonable. Without gloating, I think I turned out to be an alright individual. Furthermore, I realize I’m not exactly like my mother, and I have developed my own ever-evolving parenting style with which I’m quite satisfied.
It’s also a good way for me to remind myself that my mother deserves lots of credit for raising me and my two siblings. I’m quite certain my daughter is no where near as bad as I was. I’ve probably got it easy.
I just hope my daughter will be able to understand some day, and realize the same that I’ve taught her properly. At the very least, when the day comes and she tells me she’ll never be like me, I can amuse myself by imagining when she first finds herself in my shoes, and her grandmother’s shoes and discovers, she’s become me. Haha!