It is a truth universally acknowledged that, at some point in a person's life, they will say something/do something/look in a mirror and realize, in resignation and shock, that the've become their parent or parents. As someone who has always been her mother and is rapidly also turning into her father (how is this possible?!), I'm pretty convinced we all end up like our parents, but I wanted to be sure and figured I'd ask other moms and dads to reveal the traits they share with their parents. Spoiler alert: I am not alone.
I mean, let's be honest: are we all that shocked? These are, after all, the people who raised us, to say nothing of the genetic factor that is often (but not always) at play. And the eerie similarities can run more deeply than inheriting mom's frown lines or dad's compulsion to make terrible puns. In fact, in a recent survey of 1,000 parents by Care.com suggests that even our financial habits can be traced back to our parents (and that's actually pretty good news overall). Almost half of people who said their parents made poor financial decisions claim they themselves are financially responsible. In other words, it would appear they learned what to do by seeing what not to do. And, unsurprisingly, 62 percent of respondents claim that their financially savvy parents inspired them to also be fiscally responsible.
All this parents/money talk hit close to home for me, specifically the part of my childhood home where my dad would routinely give me lectures about not going into debt and keeping careful tabs on your household budget via Excel spreadsheets. And then also the part of my house now, where I'm in my 30s and realized I've done literally everything the old man ever told me to do and couldn't imagine doing it any other way. You guys, I didn't even think I was listening half the time! I thought I was just rolling my eyes and humoring him, but it turns out I am very much my father's daughter and absorbed basically all his financial lessons. And, sure, I joke about it, but you know what? It's great! Especially when we text each other grocery receipts and brag when we come under budget.
But how did other folks seem their parents in themselves? Read on for more proof that we're all doomed to end up like the people who raised us:
"I know better than my children (most of the time)."
"I am most similar to my dad, whom I never met. He passed away unexpectedly while my mom was pregnant with me. While I look like my mom's side, my personality is his. He apparently was a gregarious person who was on a first name basis with every store owner in town. At this point, my walk into drop-off is hilarious with a hundred good mornings to all the parents I know. Just like him, I am willing to give you my time and talk about anything and everything. My poor kids suffer through endless chats with other parents, store owners, and community members. And it is so strange to be similar in personality to a person you only know through others."
"I look exactly like my mom, but have a lot of my dad's personality. We are both serious Type D: dominant, decisive, and big-picture thinkers. I try to be aware of my personality when dealing with my mom, because she needs more processing time and is calmer than me."
"My mother and I both have an uncanny ability to tune out whining and complaining children. I think moms in general are better at this than dads. I literally don’t even hear them as my husband loses his ever-loving sh*t because he just heard the same question whined 50 times. And I’m like, “Huh? What?”"
"I’m like my mom when I laugh big, spew a big line of BS and make people believe me, and when I grab a microphone and assume I belong in whatever room I am in. I’m like my dad when I laugh at something I’m not supposed to, when I try to write as a way of taking control over the world, when people open up to me even though they don’t know me that well, and when I try (unsuccessfully) to do math. Both my parents, in spite of their differences, had the same interests, so two households with the same obsession with musicals, mysteries, and politics have made me who I am today."
"When I come home from work I make a Manhattan. This is something my father and grandfather both did — they didn't cook dinner while drinking it, though. That's my own modern twist, I guess. I didn't consciously set out to emulate them but at some point I developed a taste for the drink and then it became part of my evening ritual. I got us all matching shakers and cocktail glasses for Christmas a couple years ago to mark the shared tradition."
"I'm a tinkerer, like my dad. I got into bird watching and being methodical from my stepdad. I'm very snuggly with my kids like my mom."
"For years, I made fun of my mother for having a 'dishes sponge' and a 'counter sponge.' And now I also have a separate 'dishes sponge' and 'counter sponge' and don't you dare mix them up."
"I am my father's daughter. We have the exact same personality, the same approach to life, the same love of being in nature, and the same love of books and art. However, I am more like my mother as a parent. I try to find the fun in every task and go overboard on hugs and decorating for holidays, just like she was. We are always singing and dancing while we do our chores. I also have my mother's face, like we are face twins."
"My mom and I both have addictive personalities. Before I was born she struggled with drinking but has been sober as long as I've known her. But the instinct manifested in other, less destructive but not totally healthy ways. She was always very aware and open about the fact that it was a challenge for her and because of that (and also in watching her struggle and fail sometimes) I think I've been able to avoid a lot of her mistakes, but not all of them. We get each other."