When “You are your mother’s son” is scary

“You are your mother’s son.”

My husband said this affectionately to our son last night as we left the restaurant. Colt had just told him, “I didn’t do it. Mama did it.” He was referring to how I had picked him up and put him in his seat because he was dawdling too much to do it on his own…30 minutes ago. That greatly upset my very independent boy, so he sat and stewed on it for the entire meal.

Yep, he’s my son. When I got butt-hurt about something, I used to hold onto it and roll it over in my mind for ages. I used to let small misunderstandings ruin my entire day, which would frustrate my husband to no end. I didn’t like doing it, but I couldn’t help it. I was upset, you know, so it was important to chew on it because eventually he would see I was right and he was wrong, right? Right??

Luckily, I’ve since learned the value of letting go of small annoyances and working through larger problems so they don’t get blown out of proportion. But the memory of my past behaviors is there when my son shows signs of my less-than-impressive qualities. And that’s what makes the phrase, “You are your mother’s son,” slightly chilling to me.


What else is he going to inherit from me? Will he be a slave to compulsive behaviors, as I was? Will he feel anxious in social settings because he believes everyone there is better than him? Will he lie and manipulate because he can’t handle the emotions he’s feeling? Will he be an alcoholic or addict?

These fears aren’t new; I’ve had them since before I was pregnant. Of course I only want him to receive my good qualities and I want my bad qualities to be left behind in the gene pool. Truthfully, I want him to be more like my husband. I’d rather Colt had my husband’s cool, calm and collected sunny day rather than my up-and-down emotional thunderstorm. So far, it’s looking like he’s more of the thunderstorm type.

I know it’s not just nature that decides how our life goes. Nurture plays a big role as well. I’m able to calm my fears a little because of the changes I’ve made in my life. I’m no longer the slave to compulsive behaviors, the self-hating girl who lies and manipulates because she can’t handle the emotions of addiction. I can do my best to mitigate the less desirable genes I’ve given him, by nurturing him with love, encouragement, empathy and respect. I am the best person for the job of his mother.

And I’m going to do my best so that when someone tells Colt, “You are your mother’s son,” it’s something to be proud of.



10 thoughts on “When “You are your mother’s son” is scary

  1. I have these fears all the time… and I don’t even have kids! But I see the kids that I watch picking up on things that I do and it’s terrifying. That’s a lot of pressure!!!
    But I am sure you are doing an amazingly awesome job and there could be so much worse! Right?

    1. Yes, there absolutely could be so much worse! I could not be working on my issues, and then I’d just be putting him square in the danger zone. That’s what I have to remind myself when I get down – that I am working on myself and I am making a better life for him. 🙂

  2. That is my BIGGEST fear as a mother. I am finally taking some time to work on my own issues so that hopefully I don’t pass them all down to my kids. Some things just aren’t breakable cycles, but you better believe the ones that are, I will try hard to break. 🙂

  3. Who better to model a better way to cope than a mother who is wired the same way? I can be a bit intolerant or impatient every once in a while (especially when it comes to my kids’ music and TV shows!), but when I can show my girls how to deal with things, it’s a bigger lesson than I could ever try to preach to them.

    Glad I found you through Nannypology!

    – Eli

  4. I totally see some of my most annoying qualities in my son, like my inability to disengage from the computer when it’s time for dinner or bed and my inability to switch gears mid-task till I’m completely done. While I like my stick-to-it-ness for getting my own work done, it’s damn annoying when I’m trying to get my son to put down a book and come to dinner. We pass on all kinds of things to our kids.

  5. The fact that he won’t start menstruating in 6-10 years is a huge plus. Even if you still think he has your stubborn and moody side then, he will seem cool and collected when all of his childhood girlfriends get beaten down by hormones and cramps!

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