Just Like Mommy

My six-year-old is shaping up to be an exact replica of her mommy. A little Mini Me. Not only does she look like me, but she seems to have inherited every single one of my personality quirks, interests, skills, and glaring inadequacies.

Just Like Mommy

It has been interesting, to say the least. Some of these similarities are perfectly delightful, for instance, she loves to sing, just like me, and her favorite hobbies are reading and writing. I feel so proud! In fact, her first grade teacher told us that Izzy was the first student in her class to develop a true voice when writing. She said she could pick my daughter’s stories out of the group just by reading a few paragraphs. I love the idea of Izzy following in my footsteps as an avid reader, writer, and singer.

The flip side is less delightful to witness. I would classify myself as a graceless disaster, and my daughter has unfortunately not transcended these genes. She is one of the clumsiest people I have ever met. Every single day she trips, falls, or runs into things multiple times, and the result is always the same: hysteria and tears. She has unfortunately inherited her mother’s tendency towards, ahem, hypochondria.

I am constantly trying to make up my mind if our similarities make it easier or more challenging to parent her. On the one hand, I find I am often more able to empathize with her because I understand her emotional processes so well. We are both extremely sensitive, and when Izzy is scared, anxious, or overstimulated, I find it very easy to advocate for her and make adaptations to make her more comfortable. Ditto that for when her feelings are hurt; as someone who is highly susceptible to hurt feelings, I am usually extremely nurturing when my daughter needs some affection and encouragement.

But it is the qualities that I least appreciate in myself that make me squirm when they manifest in my daughter. The clumsiness, for example. I become so exasperated watching her flail, drop things, and lie sprawling on the ground in tears, and it is likely because I possess the same frustrating trait.

Another one that really triggers me is my emotional daughter’s inclination towards overreacting. It is not unusual to hear a conversation between us that involves her yelling and crying, followed by me hollering, “Stop freaking out! Why can’t you just calm down?” Pot, meet kettle. Yikes. The two of us can spiral each other into an emotional frenzy, and I truly dread the arguments we will likely have during her teenage years.

I guess it is always a mixed bag: it has been so rewarding to witness the traits I am most proud of in myself blossoming in my daughter. And with that gratification comes the dismay of observing the quirks that I wish I could somehow banish. But that is not part of parenthood, and every day I remind myself to dig a little deeper to find some patience and empathy for my little carbon copy.

And who knows? Perhaps her little sister will be just like Daddy.

Stephanie Sprenger is the mother of two young daughters, and lives in Colorado. As a board certified music therapist, she works part time teaching early childhood music classes. She is also a freelance writer and blogs at Mommy, for Real.

  • Very nice post stephanie… I have seen this in many child-parent duo.. The biggest example being my hubby nd mil… Its positive in d sense that they think d same nd their views match quite often… But turmoil happens when both are in argument over a certain issue.. neither of the one wl calm down as both of the same quality/ characteristics of not giving up, no matter what.. 🙂

    • Thank you! I often wonder if the dynamic you mentioned with your husband and MIL will happen for me and my daughter when she is older. I think you can definitely trigger each other when you are so similar.

      • haha.. i dare not trigger any of them steph.. u know.. coz i ll be the odd one out then.. as both argue at the same wavelength, they are better left alone!!… coz it wont take time for them to patch up and come back together… 🙂 i act just as an audience at these times..

  • I have mixed feelings after reading this. My 2 year old, not just looks exactly like me, but she behaves like me and her likes dislikes (whatever we know of) are pretty similar. It is pretty weird seeing a mini me roaming after you all day long 😀

    • I know how you feel! Sometimes it is very disconcerting watching her act *just* like me!

  • Thanks for sharing your experience Stephanie. My husband and my kid look and think alike. My husband understand’s what is going on in her mind without being told. Where as I will have to make an extra effort to understand and realize what she is going through. Please do NOT feel guilt about your daughter inheriting your genes that you are NOT happy about. It is more important for a mother know what the kid is going through and that concerns me. You should be happy that you know exactly what she is going through without being told. One of the best ways I try to handle these habits is explain my daughter what I (dad) did when I was her age ( a similar thing) and that was not correct and probably she can do better than I (dad) do.

  • Roshni

    I know how you feel about the exasperation! I often feeling like shouting at my son, telling him to stop the negativity already, because I know what a loss of time and opportunities it was for me!