I’m really excited to announce this new column here on the blog. Remember last week when I talked about delegating? Well, this new column is, in part, a reaction to that. I thought it would be cool to ask the smartest woman I know to share a bit of wisdom with us regularly on the blog–tackling common issues and philosophical questions that riddle our everyday. There is no one better to answer these types of questions than my mama, Ronnie (or Bubbie as my daughter calls her), who is not only a mother of three, grandmother to five and just a really wise woman, but she is also a Harvard-trained psychologist who has helped literally hundreds of women get their sh*t together. So in this column we hope to get the conversation going about issues that we face every day as women and mothers, as wives and daughters, sisters and friends. Our hope is that the topics of this column will soon be dictated by YOU. If you have questions for Dr. Bubbie, please feel free to leave them in the comments below (if you want to be anonymous that’s totally cool) and each time a new Dear Dr. Bubbie feature is posted, it will be in response to reader questions.
Today’s topic that Dr. Bubbie chose to write about is in reaction to yesterday’s blog post...Take it away Bubbie:
Am I turning into my mother?
When Justina wrote about the mother daughter duo at Mila Amor, it made me wonder about the old idea that certain character traits, like certain genes, skip a generation. Maybe your mother is outgoing, judgmental and opinionated and you tend to enjoy quiet times, and just let life flow? Maybe your mom is a couch potato and you’re athletic, or vice versa. Maybe she’s an artist, scientist, or mathematician, and you are, well, none of the above. Maybe she never bothered cooking from scratch, and you get great pleasure from planning and prepping beautiful, healthy meals?
My own mother’s home is super organized. She can find a nail file, a highlighter or a bottle opener in its proper place with her eyes closed. In my house you might find any of those items in the same “junk drawer” or in one of several other junk drawers around my home. When my mother came to visit us in different cities or even in distant countries, she always managed to find at least one cupboard or closet in our home to organize. I in turn, have a 2-year-old granddaughter who organized the pile of shoes in the front hall first by size, then by color. Did the organizing gene skip my generation? Or maybe I rebelled against “everything in its place”? Did I feel inadequate to live up to my mothers standards and therefore gave up trying and went for the creative, messy, lived-in feel?
At different times in our lives we have a greater need to focus on the ways we are like our mothers, and other times, to focus on the ways we are different. As little girls we often want to be like our mothers, we dress up in high heeled shoes and beads. As teenagers, our goal was to become our own selves, and even to take pride in the ways we were different from our mothers. As adults we realize that we can pick and choose the ways we are like our mothers and the ways we are different.
As I grow older I realize that I can live with my disorganized messes for just so long, and then I have to dig in and get organized. It feels so good to do it that I have to wonder: Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all?
How are you like your mother, and how are you different? What skipped a generation in your family? What did you rebel against? What did you gravitate towards?
Dr. Bubbie, Ida and Grandma Bette pictured above.