Photo courtesy of Jamie Kenney

11 Mom Moments That Made Me Realize I Sound *Just* Like My Dad & OMG Send Help

Ad failed to load

Growing up, aside from stubbornness and a clinical inability to back down, my dad and I didn't have too much in common. We've always had a great relationship. Legally speaking he's my step-father, but I never think of him that way. He's just my dad. Still, like many children and their parents, we routinely butt heads. Our very different personalities were party to blame, but it also had to do with understanding one another's priorities. But, nowadays, there are times I sound just like my dad... to the point that it's downright eerie and scary and maybe it wouldn't be the worst idea if someone sent help in the form of a very large glass of wine.

I've joked that becoming a parent turned me into my mother and buying a house turned me into my father. I don't think it's that I didn't understand where he was coming from on most issues before now, mind you. It's just that all his years of detail-oriented neuroses and peccadilloes have steadily seeped into my brain over the years. Without my realizing it, I'd been indoctrinated into his ways, from obsessively monitoring month-to-month energy usage to raving about making sure the lawn is being properly maintained. I've been Frank-ified, you guys.

The evidence is all there, especially via the following phrases and situations:

Ad failed to load

When I Asked "Why Are There So Many Damn Lights On?"


Like many households, ours was one where "turn the light off behind you" was a common refrain. Nothing unusual or unreasonable about that, even for a kid.

My dad, however, took this to a level I have not seen before or since. It wasn't enough to have lights on only in the rooms where you were in (again, reasonable). You had to have the least amount of light possible. For example, if you turned on the main light switch in the living room, he'd chide you to use the small lamp on the end table instead even if you couldn't see what you were doing by lamplight. Even if you had a room full of guests. If you had on both the lamp and the overhead light? May God have mercy on your soul. Because what was he? Made of money?

I wish I could tell you that I'm not like that and let my children be. I wish I could tell you that, but adulthood is no fairy-tale world... and damnit what do you need both living room lamps on for? One is plenty!

When I Said "This Off-Brand Version Of That Thing You Want Is Just As Good"


A quick shout-out to all my fellow "off-brand childhood" peeps, who know the knock-offs, for reasons of varying importance, are never as good. Of course now I look back on it with a kind of fondness. I mean, it hardly ruined my (very happy) childhood to have Abelbumby&Fetch jeans or Calvin Stein shirts.

So these days I assure my children, "Just because the cartoon bee isn't on the box doesn't mean these Honey Nut O's aren't just as good. They're exactly the same. I'm not paying three more dollars when you can't taste the difference anyway."

In those moments, I'm basically being possessed by my father, who is speaking through me.

When I Yelled "You're Getting Water All Around The Tub"


This was one of my dad's biggest pet peeves when I was a kid, which I absolutely didn't understand at the time. "It's just water," I'd think. "I'll just clean it up with a towel. What's the big deal?"

But now I get it. For starters, "I'll just clean it up" and "what's the big deal?" is really just kid-speak for: "I'm going to do a half-assed job and you're going to clean up after me." Plus, it's just annoying! Who wants to slosh around on a wet bathroom floor? Jeez!

Ad failed to load

When I Claimed "I Work Hard All Day Long So I'm Too Tired To Deal With This Now"


Because I really do and I seriously can't. When you whine and winge at the dinner table that you don't want the food that I took the time to prepare after a full day of work and dealing with your sh*t... I'm done. I can't even and now you're going to hear about it. I feel you, dad.

When I Mumbled "What A Miserable S.O.B."


My dad is an upbeat, well-liked, friendly guy. Nevertheless, there are some people that just irk him. Some are actually terrible humans who deserve his ire. Other times he'll hate someone in the same way that Homer Simpson hates Ned Flanders: inexplicably and unreasonably. Regardless as to why those people have made his shit list, they are invariably described as "miserable S.O.B.s." And it's not just that they're obnoxious, either. It's somehow personal (even when it's obviously not).

Over the years, maybe because I've grown surlier, or maybe because my eyes have been opened to the incompetence and thoughtlessness of some of my fellow humans, I have developed an unduly grumpy attitude to those whom I perceive to be my enemies, too.

They're idiots specifically to bother me. I know it.

When I Said "Quit Fartin' Around"


It's such a ridiculous term, which I hated as a kid, but nowadays it's a really funny way to tell kids to get a move on or stop what they're doing.

Ad failed to load

When I Said "I Know A Short-Cut"


My father's need to give directions is pathological. I feel like a lot of dads are "short-cut" experts, but it's not enough for my dad to just have this knowledge. Oh no, he has to share it. Here's an example conversation:

Person: "I'm going to be going to Niagara Falls in six months."

My Dad: "It's beautiful up there, you'll love it. Let me tell you the best way to go."

Person: "I'll just put it in my phone."

My Dad: "No, they're going to have you go [main thoroughfare]. Let me tell you a back way. It'll technically be longer but it'll save you time."

Person: "My app takes that into account..."

My Dad: "So what you're going to do is..."

Person: "This isn't for six months, so there's no way I will remember these directions between now and then."

My Dad: "Let me just tell you. It's very simple..."

He will not rest until he has shared his knowledge with you. It's sort of adorable.

I have not, admittedly, gotten quite this bad, but I am pretty obsessed with back roads and short cuts these days.

When I Asked "Do You Want To Pay All The Bills?"


Because all y'all seem to have some pretty grand ideas about how to spend all this money you're not making. Maybe you'd like everything that goes along with being a fiscally responsible adult as well. Please: be my guest, children. We just got an oil delivery yesterday and I'd be happy to hand that invoice off to you.

When I Claimed "No One Takes The Time To Make Anything Of Quality Anymore"


In recent years, the idea of craftsmanship has become very important to me. (It's why I decided I wanted to buy a well-maintained home built before the 1970s, because dads in the know have assured me for years that "that's when people really took pride in their work" and I have no reason to doubt them.) So, like my father before me, I pay attention to how objects are put together. For example, will these jeans rip the first couple times you wear them? Is that table made of actual wood or particle board? Does this cookware come with a lifetime guarantee?

In addition to putting a premium on craftsmanship, are you, my child, doing your part by taking care of these items so that they last?

It's kind of like being Ron Swanson, minus the disdain for fruits and vegetables.

Ad failed to load

When I Professed A Maniacal Love Of "Bargains"


My dad and I are both so in love with Aldi (a cheaper-than-the-regional-average grocery store), that a solid 33 percent of our text messages are about the things we've bought there. When one of us can get something on sale at the mall, we brag about it to one another for days. When it comes to discussing bargains, we are like two ancient hunters swapping stories of taking down a great mammoth.

I wasn't always like this. I mean, I've never been prodigal with money (again, my dad's influence) but the older I get, the more I get that crazed glimmer in my eye that makes me look just like my dad when I talk about finding kids' t-shirts for $3.99.

When I Make All The Dad Jokes


Most dad jokes are bad puns. My dad's jokes are just... bad. They don't even always make sense. He's not big on word play, but he is big on being loudly embarrassing.

I've come to learn that this is yet another important tradition from my old man that I have begun to carry on, in spite of myself... and I do use puns. After all: a good pun is its own re-word.

(Get it?)

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills