As I got into my car to pick my kids up from preschool, I dialed my phone and put it on speaker, as was my habit. My mom picked up after her two rings, as was her habit. Over the years I’ve found different places to work calling mom into my routine — between classes, after work, during my kids’ nap time. We never discuss the near daily phone call as “a daily phone call” because there’s never a sense of urgency or obligation (the closest we’ll get is to say “I’m sure I’ll talk to you soon” toward the end of the call), but that’s exactly what it is.
Her: It’s my baby!
Me: Hey mommy! I’m working on an article.
Me: It’s about realizing you’re your mother.
Her: I’m not my mother!
Me: Duh. No, but I’m you.
Her: Oh. Haha! Yeah. You are.
Me: Obviously. Anyway, here’s where I’m having trouble…
Me: How did we come to realize we were basically the same person? Like… when?
Her: Ummm… Hmmm…
Me: Right?! It’s hard!
Her: Yeah. It wasn’t really a series of realizations. It’s just… always been that way.
Indeed it has. Now my mom and I are not exactly the same. There are, in fact, distinct and radical differences between us. For example, if I could dress entirely in Alexander McQueen gowns (which I cannot because I’m sort of poor, at least compared to the people who could own a massive closet full of couture gowns) and impractical shoes all day, I would. My mom considers fabric that touches her skin to be “uncomfortable and too tight.” My mom’s house looks like the Weasley’s house from Harry Potter: very cozy with random whimsical stuff covering every wall and hanging from the rafters (and yes, there are rafters, because she lives in a log cabin, because of course she does). If I could burn every tchochke I own, I would be excited because #miminalism. I like being the center of attention; my mom often winds up the center of attention (she has a personality that naturally just attracts people to her), but she doesn’t seek it out. But, on the whole, our differences are largely cosmetic — at our core, we are the same.
A lot of people I know who admit to being their mother feel this only happened once they themselves became moms, which I think is a bit of a different phenomenon. Realizing you’ve become your mother is more common to the point that I think it’s probably uncommon to not feel it a bit once you’re a parent. But me? I’ve always been my mom’s mini-me, though our similarities have become even more pronounced since I’ve had my kids. Here are some ways to tell you might be your mom’s clone, too...
You Get Along With Your Mom Really Well
Because it’s sort of like hanging out with yourself, but older, and with more access to money when you don’t have any, and also who is a better cook. This has been my experience, anyway. You like a lot of the same things, and a lot of your opinions are in sync. And when there is something you disagree on you can have a lively, friendly, and entertaining back and forth about it.
Your Partner And Friends All Get Along With Your Mom Really Well
I feel like every group of friends always designates someone’s mom to be The Mom. My mom got that distinction. She was always respectful of my space and independence, so she never tried to go full on Regina George mom where she tried to live vicariously through me and my high school/college friends, but if we were sitting around the kitchen table, my mom would join our conversation from time to time. During particularly spirited discussions, we probably could have swapped out without anyone noticing.
People Can’t Tell The Difference Between The Two Of You On The Phone
Ever. (Though, to be fair, before my brother’s voice changed, the three of us were all mistaken for one another.) In fact, one time my boyfriend accidentally called my home phone instead of my cell phone at 2 a.m. and spoke sweetly to my groggy mother for about a minute and a half before they both figured out what was going on. Unluckily for my boyfriend, he wound up becoming my husband and we remind him of his error from time to time and laugh. The other good thing to come out of his embarrassment is that he is now one of two people who can tell the difference between the two of us on the phone. (The other is not my father, by the way—he always gets it wrong.)
You Find Yourself Dropping The Same Lines On Your Kids That She Dropped On You
This makes sense, of course, because being raised by your own mother is what taught you how to be a mom. But still, when you bust out your child’s full name and tell them that they’d better get over here by the time you count to three, it is further confirmation that you just might be the same person.
You Wind Up Working In A Similar Profession (Or At Least Conduct Yourself Professionally In Similar Ways)
A lot of the women I know who “are” their mothers wind up going in the same or similar careers. I know a bunch of mom/daughter lawyers, social workers, healthcare workers, and teachers. In the case of me and my mother, it’s writing, which is great because we get that aspect of one another and can discuss it. (Even though she’s a novelist and I do not have the fortitude to write books.) We’re like Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley! (Only I want to be Wollstonecraft and she’d probably want to be Shelley, so we’ll switch it for the purposes of this metaphor.) Having similar personalities and strengths, this sort of thing makes sense, and if you think about the people you know you’ll probably realize it happens more than you’d think.
People Say You Look Alike (Even When You Don’t)
So maybe a lot of people who are just like their mothers look alike, but when it comes to me and my mom, we just don’t see it (we agree I look more like my dad). We have discussed why people think we’re basically twins and we’ve come to the conclusion that despite the fact that we don’t physically look alike, we have the exact same speech patterns and mannerisms, which throws people into thinking we do. This hypothesis is strengthened by the fact that no one has ever said we look alike without seeing us talk side-by-side first. (Unlike, say, my husband and son, who are basically twins. Teachers have met my husband for the first time and said “Oh, you must be William’s father.”) So we don’t have the same nose, eyes, or hair, but we enthusiastically talk with our hands (#italianwomen) and everyone thinks we’re identical.
You Draw Constant 'Gilmore Girls' Comparisons
Which I actually hate, but I’ve come to accept. It was worse back when it was still on the air, though I suspect it will get bad again now that it’s coming back. DAMN YOU, NETFLIX!
Images: WB; Giphy(8)