Are you turning into your parents?
It's the moment we've all been dreading and a horrifying prospect but an inevitable and inescapable reality.
It creeps up on us all by stealth and is the one thing we always swore we’d never let happen but suddenly it hits us like a sledgehammer… we’re turning into our parents.
One of my more mature colleagues who likes to think he’s down with the kids was struck by this very realisation the other day when he berated one of his children as to their choice of music with the words: “Call this music? It’s just a load of noise.”
But then it dawned on him: “Oh no – I’m turning into my dad! That’s what he used to say to me.”
The truth is, however much we deny it, there comes a time in life when we recognise signs that we’re morphing into our mums or dads.
Sometimes, when I’m talking to my own children, I feel a strange sense of deja vu wondering why the words coming from my lips sound so familiar and then I realise my mum used to say the same things to me.
It’s even more disturbing – and rather amusing – when you hear one of your children lecturing the other and recognise the preachy tone and words as being the same ones you’ve uttered to them.
But it’s not just words where we find ourselves emulating our parents but habits, mannerisms and personality traits too.
One of the “turning into my mum” symptoms I have self diagnosed is I have turned into a feeder and am incapable of letting anyone step into my home without offering them copious amounts of food and drink.
And just like my mum, I can’t abide even the tiniest bit of food going to waste, so either end up eating more than I should or saving scraps to scoff later.
Another tell-tale sign is an obsession with carrier bags. Hubby has long pointed out I had a strange quirk when it came to carrier bags, asI always tie deft knots at the top of them – something my mum has always done.
Nowadays, my carrier bag obsession has escalated from not just knotting them but hoarding them too.Under my desk at work, there is such a huge pile of bags, my colleagues swear Lord Lucan and The Borrowers are hiding under them.
Buying in bulk is another signal of turning into my mum. A combination of not being able to resist a bargain and being terrified of running out of anything means I have enough of a stockpile to keep our whole estate going for a year.
And gone are the days when I used to go out wearing skimpy dresses with bare legs oblivious to the elements.
Instead, if I see a young woman dressed scantily, I think to myself: “Isn’t she cold dressed like that?” a real tell-tale mum trait.
My handbags also seem to have grown from being these tiny things that just had enough room for some cash, a lipstick and keys to being “mum bags” big enough to contain the kitchen sink.
A real defining moment showing you’ve crossed the line and are turning into your parents is when you watch a family film with your children and find yourself agreeing more with the parents than the youngsters.
If you aren’t spending this Mothering Sunday with your mum, console yourself with the thought that at least you’re turning into her.
Happy Mother’s Day!