It does not matter who you ask. Most people fear becoming like their parents, and most women fear the day when they open their mouth and Mom’s wisdom comes out. However, there will be those moments when you look in the mirror and see her expression, or you catch yourself doing one of her many quirks. You might feel like you are doomed to turn into her, but there are ways to keep you from ending up like your mother.
First, let’s look at what makes us act like Mom. Psychologically speaking, when we grow up, we are programmed to learn and make decisions based on what was previously displayed or taught to us. Parental behavior is the first role model we have, and so it gets deeply woven into our internal “hardware.”
Though these patterns get overlaid with interactions from those we meet throughout our lives, the impact our parents made continues to exist. So when you transform in your mother, it is due to the neurons along a particular pathway beginning to spark.
Genetics also play a role. Yes, blaming Mom for odd habits or disorders can actually be justified. However, genetics and biology are just one piece of the nature versus nurture conflict that dwells within us all.
So, are we doomed to become our mothers? Nope, not at all. To put it simply, you can reroute your thoughts and change habits. You can also realize the good and bad things your Mom might have taught you throughout the years and make an active choice. Here are some ways to avoid becoming your mother:
1. Forgive her
Don’t lock yourself up in the past. That time has come and gone. If there was something about your mother that troubles you, forgive her. Harboring that poison for her will only poison you.
2. You are not identical
Just because you sound like her, does not mean you are her. Although you have a part of her DNA, you are not identical. You have a life that has shaped you differently, so think about those experiences.
Also, if you have kids, look at them and realize that they are not you. Look at your siblings, and realize that they are also different from you and are not one-hundred percent your parents. When you see the traits that are not similar, it gets easier to detach yourself from the idea of “becoming Mother.”
3. Focus on your values
Think about what Mom did right and aspire to do that but better. Way better. Identify your values, not hers.
4. Be open-minded
The more you take in about the world, the more accepting and creative you become. Moreover, if you shift your perspective, you will see that some similarities between you and your mom are not all that terrible. You might even begin to understand some of her opinions from childhood.
5. Be aware of why you are afraid of turning into her
This kind of goes in line with No. 1. The past is obviously motivating you to make this decision to not become your mother, so what is it? Was it negligence? A toxic relationship? Abuse? Once you recognize what’s driving you, then you need to figure out what could cause you to exhibit the same reactions and work immediately to counteract that.
6. Change yourself
If you have a mother who you are not on friendly terms with, it is best to avoid contacting her if a fight might break out as a result of it. However, if you have a good relationship with her, try talking to her about her behaviors or her past. The more you know, the more you can change yourself.
Although literally becoming your mother is impossible, there are indeed times where you might scare yourself with the similarities. Some of this can’t be helped, but if you truly do not want to become like her, then you need to be active to creating yourself. Remember, behaviors are just habits. And habits can be broken.