Yesterday I was scrubbing the kitchen sink in my bathrobe while my daughter danced around me and my son watched us both from his vantage point on the floor. Suddenly, I had a revelation: I remember this. Except in my memory, I'm the one dancing in circles and it was my mom doing the work. I still dance around pretty often (see Tip #2), but not with the same twirly vigor as that of my 4-year-old.
I had never so vividly felt like my mom before (except maybe when I went bathing suit shopping while pregnant and saw my mom's legs in the mirror). I actually thought, "I am my mother." For me, this isn't such a bad thing. My mom is a wonderful mother--the kind of person that other people's kids ask for advice and words of wisdom. In fact, I still have friends ask me to ask my mom something they're wondering about. She was also an elementary school teacher for 33 years so her understanding of kids is quite astounding.
Still, it is pretty shocking to realize that you are old enough (and grown up enough) to be playing the role of mom in your own memories. I don't feel like a grown-up most of the time. Usually, I feel like I just got to this point somehow and my poor kids--especially my oldest--get to stumble along with me.
But what if your own mom felt like she was just making it up all the time? Doesn't that make you feel better? I'll bet that your mother, however good or bad she may have been, felt that she, too, was just a couple of parenting mistakes away from raising an always-in-therapy-surrounded-by-cats-future-guest-on-Maury. So call your mom. See how it felt to be in her shoes when you were a little girl. She must have done something right--look how wonderful you are.