The mum-metamorphosis. It will happen to you too.
Are you 32 years of age or over? Are you having trouble sleeping and starting to worry more? Are your grocery bills getting bigger? Do you find yourself tuning into to daytime soaps with alarming regularity? Or turning in early so you’re fresh for the morning? Are you scolding people around you for leaving socks on the floor? Do you write thank you notes?
Don’t panic. You are not losing your mind. You’re just entering the stage of life Hallmark calls “mum-metamorphosis.”
By definition: an “inescapable stage of life” starting at 32 years of age where people are most likely to start inheriting maternal mannerisms, behaviour and in many cases, repeating their mum’s most favourite spoken lines.
You know, ones like; “What did your last slave die of?” and “Eat your vegetables”. “You’ve got a lot to learn kid”, “A good night’s sleep will solve everything” “Mother knows best”, “If you’re hungry eat a piece of fruit”, “I don’t care who started it, I’m finishing it” “Stop rocking that chair”, “Don’t leave home without a jacket in this weather, you’ll catch a chill”, “This is the last time I am going to tell you ...”, “Ask your father.”
Women are overall more susceptible to this behavioural condition, but Hallmark says fifty per cent of men will use one or more of their mum’s favourite phrases “when they deem the time is right”.
And if you didn’t grow up with your mum, then you’re probably more likely to inherit the traits of the person who had the most influence on your earliest years of life.
So how does it start and will anyone notice? The female contingent of The Punch team investigates.
Post a comment or share your mum’s favourite expression below.
I’m ten weeks shy of turning 32, so my mum-transformation is not long off.
Now that’s not altogether a bad thing. My life could do with a bit of an organisational boost, not to mention some extra motivation and wisdom. Plus my mum is also a terrific cook, so I’m bound to win favour with my friends.
But what I’d really like to know is can you pick and mix? Because it’s not clear to me what happens to the um, ahem, difficult bits…
My hunch is that it’s actually more of a tag-team approach.
A “I’ll” take the bad bits and “you” keep the good bits scenario.
For example, on a recent shopping trip together it was me that waved away a shop assistant with a slightly annoyed “just browsing” movement with my hand, while my mum chatted away happily. Several years ago- in exactly the same scenario-our roles would have definitely been reversed.
Given that I’ve also started to answer the phone with a “Lucy speaking” (instead of just a hello); asking people to come to the table instead of shouting “dinner’s ready” across the house and writing thank you notes within a week of an event or recieving a gift, I guess that means my mum can really start slacking off.
Of course being a stickler for good manners, she never would. And that’s just one of the things I love most about her.
It’s frightening at first, but once you get used to it, it’s sort of OK. Depending on what your Mum’s like, of course.
I first started channelling Mum in my 20s. Just the odd twitch here or there. I started getting a little bossier, a little more impatient with fools. Much more organised.
I already had her chicken legs.
In my late 20s I was listening to local ABC radio, had developed an interest in gardening, could talk for hours about recipes, and was very much a regular red wine imbiber.
Now I’m a couple of years past the 32-year mum-transformation mark, and the metamorphosis is much more evident.
There’s this clapping habit I’ve picked up, when I want people to piss off and leave. It’s a rather abrupt way of moving them on – but it works, so I’ll probably keep it.
I interrupt a fair bit in conversation, and I caught myself doing the “conch” the other day – crossing my fingers over my head to indicate that I’m busting to give my 2 cents worth. Typical of my Mum.
Little quirks like that are funny for those that recognise them in both of us.
There are other, broader traits that I reckon I picked up, which I’m glad to have. A sense of humour (even if only Mum finds me funny). Empathy. Self motivation. A lack of sentimentality (unless there’s been a fair slug of the red).
Whoever brings you up shapes you in more ways than you would ever notice. I’m privileged and damn lucky that I had my Mum. Oh shit - did that ruin that thing I said about sentimentality?
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