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I Am My Mother's Child


When little girls grow up, we go through many stages. We go from wanting to do and be exactly like our Mothers, to trying to do everything the exact opposite of our Mothers. I believe that we come full circle as we become adults and realize that as hard as we've tried, we end up being, saying, and doing things EXACTLY as our Mothers have done.


Years ago, it would offend me for someone to say, "you're just like your Mother". Anyone who knows my mom knows her to pull no punches, say what she thinks, and her face has a way of revealing her thoughts. In my teenage years, I thought my mother was mean. But my mother was a single parent, raising me to be a strong black woman. The world wouldn't take pity on me for any of my shortcomings, and neither did she. I couldn't even bring home a C on my report card. In her words, "all you have to do is go to school, there is no reason for anything less than an A, but I'm allowing B's....you BETTER NOT bring home a C". So needless to say, I did all I could to remain on the honor roll, because I didn't want to feel the wrath of my mother. As I got into my teenage years and in high school, I would occasionally slip up in my grades, but I was never too old for her to get me back in line. I wasn't even allowed to date until I got 16, and I thought that was the most awful rule in the house!


As I started having children of my own, I didn't want to be the "strict parent", so I fell back in a sense and let my ex-husband be the disciplinarian. There were times where he would make a rule that I didn't agree with, so behind his back, I wouldn't really enforce it. (Looking back, I realize that I should have maintained a united front, and talked to him offline about anything I didn't agree with.) Our children knew that I was the soft parent, and this caused several arguments between us. I thought he was too strict, he thought I was too lenient. Now that I'm single, I have one child left in high school, and I have had to pull out my mother's personality when it comes to school, chores, and rules for my house. My daughter also lives with me, and she is now 20, but the rules for my house also apply to her, and it's hard for her to grasp because, after all, I was the pushover parent. The truth is, I never had to be tough, my ex was tough enough for both of us.


Since I've been single, I've been told that I was just like my mother, and I count it as a privilege to even be mentioned in the same sentence when being compared to her. She made me who I am, and the bible is so true when it tells us to 'train up a child in the way they should go, and when he is old he won't depart from it'. As I navigate through this thing called life, I find myself speaking, doing, and probably thinking just like my mother, and I embrace it. My mom is my hero!

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