Despite years of personal development, she still turned into her mother

By Amy Thoma

magnetMy mom has a magnet on her fridge that says, “Despite years of personal development, she still turned into her mother.”

I always thought it was cute but swore it would never happen to me. I mean, I have brown hair, she’s blond. She’s really outgoing and loud; I’m a little bit on the quiet side (initially…).  She likes to blow her excess income on flowers and soil; I’m a JCrew Card Gold Member. You get the idea.

And then, I bought a house.  And not just any house.  Without realizing it, I bought the same era, basic floor plan and architecture of my childhood home.

And do you know what happened? I turned into my mom.  For years I’ve mocked her for gardening in her nice pajamas, buying seasonal tablecloths, feeding the neighborhood stray cat, having impossible cleanliness standards, going over the top while entertaining and reading Better Homes and Gardens.  Although I’ve been a home owner for a scant 8 months I have found myself doing all of those things.

At first I freaked out.  And then I realized that everyone in the world adores

The author and her mom
The author and her mom

my mom, wishes they could be related to her and wants to live in her house.  So instead of fighting it, I’m embracing becoming the 27-year-old version of my mom (with darker hair, better baking skills and 5 fewer pets).

And the woman has some valuable lessons for the single girl owning her first, old house.  So here are some valuable lessons:

  • Do it yourself, but don’t be stupid.  If you could wreck something, hire an expert. It’s cheaper than a trip to the ER and you won’t burn down your house.
  • Fresh flowers really do make the house look beautiful.  And it’s a lot cheaper and more rewarding to grow your own.
  • Fertilizer works wonders in your garden.  Fertilize your beds and flowers a few times a year and you’ll be amazed.
  • When you’re decorating, group things in odd numbers and avoid symmetry.
  • Small details matter when you’re entertaining—cut up a lemon or cucumber for the water pitcher, pour the wine in a carafe and arrange your appetizers nicely.  It makes a difference.
  • Don’t freak out if you can’t make everything from scratch.  Buying hummus from Taylor’s or a cake from Freeport Bakery doesn’t make you a bad person.
  • Make your bed every day.  Enough said there.

So instead of fighting the fact that I’m turning into my mom, I’m embracing it.  If you see me trimming my roses in my pajamas or feeding the stray calico that won’t get out of my yard just know… some day it will happen to you, too.

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  1. Jacqueline says

    my husband chided me recently, as we surveyed the progress we’ve made on renovating our fixer house, saying that I was slowly turning our house into my parents’ house. My reaction: I am NOT!! I…oh…I see your point. For the record, my parents have a beautiful home, so any similarities must simply be the product of hereditary good taste!

  2. bigsmartypants says

    Great story. My mother passed away 10 years ago this April. She also told me to make my bed every day and it’s the ONE thing I still seem to be able to control in life.

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