Ten SureFire Signs You Are Turning Into Your Mother
“Have you got any tampons at home?”
I turn my head slightly, eyes darting off the freeway. I am just in time to catch the look of death my almost-twelve year old niece is giving me, shuffling as close to the door as she can get with a seat belt on.
“Are you using them yet?”
She is mumbling something under her breath. It sounds a lot like “I. Can. Not. Believe. We. Are. Having. This. Conversation.”
“What?” I demand. “It’s just tampons. It’s not like we’re having ‘the talk’.”
Her face tells me that she is seriously considering throwing herself from the moving vehicle. A weird flash back darts through my mind and I can see my pre-teen self in the middle of Franklins, wishing the ground would swallow me up as my mother proudly declares to another shopper in aisle 5 that the over-sized pads were for my first period. Groan.
This realisation jars me back to reality and I gasp, recalling numerous other recent events in which I’ve succeeded to embarrass children – my own or someone else’s. And just like that it dawns on me. I have become my mother. It happens to us all at some point or another. Or so says my sister, who confesses that she, too, has had her “mum moments”.
So here it is in black and white: Confessions of things we’ve done or said recently that cemented our fate and proved we really all become our mothers in the end.
The ten surefire signs that you are becoming your mother (other than asking your niece for a tampon):
- You find yourself continuously shouting at the top of your lungs “Can you kids keep it down for just five minutes?!” This is almost always mid-sentence, without missing a beat of the conversation you were having previously. Each syllable goes up an octave, so that by the latter half of the sentence, you are practically shrieking and sound just a teensy bit insane. People without children find this somewhat unnerving. People with children will take over and end the sentence for you.
- You cannot make it past 10’pm without falling asleep on the couch. The book you have been attempting to read for the past three months is open face down on your lap. You are yet to make it past page 13. In fact, you can’t actually remember the last book you read from start to finish that didn’t involve a bear hunt.
- You walk into a chemist and declare loudly that you need something for a yeast infection. You don’t even bother to lower your voice or to notice that the older gentleman queuing up behind you is suddenly intrigued by boxes of hair dye on the shelf. Oh puh-lease. His wife was probably in here yesterday and if he doesn’t know what a yeast infection is at his age, it’s high time he did.
- You answer all phone calls no matter the time of day or night. If it’s a telemarketer, you find yourself listening politely. You ask him his name (it’s Jack); what he’s studying at uni; if he can afford the bus ride into work; and encourage him to never stop believing in his dreams. You recount numerous tales of kids that you knew at uni who made good and then sigh loudly, feeling warm and fuzzy that you’ve managed to boost the poor lad’s self-esteem. You notice that the telemarketing calls stop abruptly.
- You begin to take an esky with you everywhere you go. It contains snacks, like apple slices, popcorn and chilled oranges and prevents your children from demanding Mc Donalds at every outing. You tell your children to pipe down when, much to their embarrassment, you are busted trying to sneak it into Dreamworld. Mum was right – those places are highway robbery, y’all.
- You visit an old colleague in the hospital with her first baby. You decide to take something practical, instead of a huge bunch of flowers like she gave you, because even though you loved them they will only die three days later and might make the baby sneeze. You finally decide on a print out of kegel exercises you found on the internet and a gift voucher for the Urology Care Foundation. As you declare loudly that “Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum”, you notice that the hospital room is suddenly empty. Her husband is nowhere in sight. It’s so nice to visit when it’s quiet.
- You promise your nephew that you’ll chaperone his school disco on Friday night. You’re really looking forward to it and suggest that you both learn a few breakdancing moves off YouTube. You pretend not to be offended when, doubled over sides aching, he can barely pick himself up off the floor. You sneak away before he realises you were actually serious and spend the day breakdancing in the laundry. Pretending to be doing laundry. But not really, because Tim-O-Matic’s got nothing on you.
- Your favourite sayings, in no particular order, are: “Do I look like a money tree?”, “If Amanda jumped off a bridge, would you jump off a bridge?” and “I really don’t care what so and so’s mother let’s her do.” You also throw in an “ask your father” occasionally, unless he is actually home. In which case you like to make all the decisions because those kids have him wrapped around their little fingers. You and he both know there’ll be nothing left on that money tree once they’re done with him.
- Your bladder of steel that has stood by you steadfastly all these years, allowing you to sit through four hour board meetings without a comfort break, is gone. In its wake is something more closely resembling a colander. You can no longer make it through an episode of X Factor without utilising all those ad breaks you once found so annoying. Now ad breaks are a God send.
- You cry during episodes of X Factor. Religiously. Watching an eight year old belt out a Whitney Housten ballad with the emotion of a forty-something divorcee is enough to have you reaching for the Kleenex. Watching his mother waiting in the wings, however, is what keeps companies like Kleenex in business.
Yes, we all become our mothers in the end. When you least expect it, genetics sneaks up on you and takes over. Don’t fight it. Embrace it. After all, she made you, didn’t she? Can’t be all that bad. Right? No answer – it’s probably an ad break.
Natasha Wilson is a mother of two gorgeous children, an avid crafter and self-confessed hoarder. Author of the craft blog and online store, www.craftylittlegreyfox.com, Natasha features simple projects with gorgeous results – designed for little crafters and their mums to make together.