I Don't Want to Be Like My Mom

Mom&Me_Thumbnail.png

In my early 20s when I started soul searching, I was asked this question:

Among those closest to you,
who are you most like?


I’m very close to my family of nine. And although my six siblings and I have a very tight bond, as I thought about my answer, I didn’t feel I was most like any of them.

My dad? Nope, complete opposites.

The last person...was my mom.

During this time in my life, I think we both could agree that our relationship was rough.

I wanted to fly like a bird. She wanted me to stay in the nest.

I wanted to be my own person. She’d remind me whose daughter I was.

She disciplined me with all she knew and used every tool in her box to keep me close (like I shared in my carrots & tears story).

I didn’t like my mom.

I didn’t like how she controlled me.

I didn’t like how she would call my workplace to make sure I was there.

I didn’t like how she had a comeback every time I stood up for myself.

I didn’t like how I would crumble in front of her.

I didn’t like my mom.

“I don’t want to be like my mom,” I told myself. I desperately did not want her to be my answer. To make sure, I started listing all the qualities and values of my mom.

 Mom & me prepared for the MN State Fair.

Mom & me prepared for the MN State Fair.

She’s proactive, always looking to be prepared, productive, and efficient in any situation.

She’s a jack of all trades.

She’s kind to everyone, even when she shouldn’t be.

She gives generously, even when she has little.

She's the last one to rest after a hard day's work.

She's humble.

She’s silly when you least expect it.

She's spontaneous.

She doesn’t hold on to grudges for long.

She’s got big lips.

She’s open to others’ ideas and suggestions.

She loves to travel.

She values a clean home.

She seeks for ways to make others happy.

She loves deeply and unconditionally, even when it’s not reciprocated.

“Damn it,” I thought. “I’m most like my mom.”

Disappointed, I brushed the thought aside and ignored the answer. I chose not to revisit the question.

“I don’t want to be like my mom,” I told myself.

Fast forward nearly a decade later. Today, I can humbly say that I feel the complete opposite.

With age, I’ve come to realize what my mom means to me and how blessed I am to be her daughter. I see why my mom had to be the way she was to raise the woman I am today.

 Mom's first trip to Hawaii.

Mom's first trip to Hawaii.

I love my mom.

I love how she guides me when we talk.

I love how she knows how to reach me with trust.

I love how she comes back at me with words of support when I’ve fallen.

I love how when I crumble in front of her now, it’s because I miss her.

I love my mom.

In all its irony, I now think:

"I want to be more like my mom."

I’m in tears as I write this, because these tears represent our turbulent, yet beautiful journey together as mother and daughter.

It represents an undying love, unsummoned forgiveness, and infinite abundance.

So I hope as you read this, you’re able to reflect on your own journey with your mom. More importantly, I hope you’ll communicate your reflection to her in celebration of Mother’s Day this year.

I will be.

I just need to figure out how to say all this in Hmong now. :)

Until next time…

Dream BIG,
Pagnia