Odd parent out: how it feels when your kid isn't anything like you at all #Being Parents#Identity#big kids#lil kids March 26 | Guest post by Michele Yulo Photo by morgwnmakespeace. Isn't it interesting how we struggle with our own identities through our children? We want them to be like us. By that, I mean, our vision of who we are — you know, all the good stuff. I know that as my own daughter has grown and developed her unique sense of self, her individuality, her very strong-willed personality, I have always looked for those moments of me in her. Maybe this is partially due to the fact that she is practically my husband's born-again twin (my husband is already a twin, by the way). She looks so much like him it's eerie sometimes. Once in a very blue moon, others will say, "Oh! I see you in her now!" She'll turn a certain way, or give a little look — sometimes I see it in pictures. She has some olive green in her eyes — they are not completely brown like my husband's and I think, "There I am." I even went to the baby pictures to find one of me that seemed to resemble her as if to say, "See…we are alike!" When she was three and began emulating everything my husband (who is a carpenter) did, wore, ate, said, it practically broke my heart. Each day, I hoped she would want to be more like me and less like him. And each day I made that wish, I would ask myself, "Why?" Wasn't I being completely selfish? Or was this simply a mom issue? It was not an issue for my husband who LOVED that she wanted to be like him. She was his "little buddy" running around with a tool belt on and climbing up and down ladders, hammering a nail with her work boots on. And I could only sit back and watch. My husband and I discussed this one day. I asked him, "What if we'd had a little boy who wanted to be just like me? Would that bother you?" This gave him pause. He wasn't sure about that, he had said. So… maybe it's not just a mom thing. But I'm not going to lie. My daughter's seeming rejection of me hurt like hell. Regardless, I knew I had to get over myself. I knew that my daughter would be better off if I simply let her be her true self and not force her in any one direction. So that's what I did, and in the process I realized something: I actually don't want her to be exactly like me. Of course, I believe I have many, many positive things to offer her in terms of being a role model; but, truth be told, I hope she goes in a completely different direction than I did. She has the world stretched out in front of her with opportunities that I never had. She is already an accomplished musician (for six years old), a straight-A student, a lover of tools and building. She may be an engineer, a scientist, president! But I'm starting to believe that being the odd parent out can be enlightening and liberating because it provides an opportunity for personal growth on many levels. There is no doubt that I think very differently now because of her. And even though I know that as she continues to learn and grow there is a good chance she will be more like me, I also know that it's not about me — and that's a good thing. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Michele Yulo Michele Yulo is the founder of Princess Free Zone, Inc., a brand and blog that offers an alternative to all things princess for little girls by addressing issues of gender and gender stereotyping. She has a master’s degree in English from Georgia State University and enjoys writing and enlightened discourse. http://princessfreezone.squarespace.com PREVIOUS Hot Mama Ink introduces "Mama Wants" — an online wish list and registry in one NEXT My 7 rules for being a responsible stoner parent Toggle comments [ 41 ] Comment navigation ← Older Comments Both my kids are loads like me, but very different from one another – I see so many of my many and varied traits in them, which is just as well as they are sperm donor assisted so have no dad as such. 0 agree I struggle with this with my boy sometimes. (He is 11) He is so confident and unafraid whereas I was incredibly shy and anxious as a child (I really had no reason to be, it was just part of my personality, I am glad he didn't inherit it) He is a mathlete and he just won the spelling bee in our town! (I am TERRIBLE at math, and I've never won anything in my life, never mind a spelling bee!) He seems to be popular and well liked where I was virtually ignored because I was so cripplingly afraid to interact with people. I am glad he didn't get my insecurities, but sometimes I loo at him and think "Where did I get this kid!?" 0 agree I know this is more about personality, but one of my biggest fears is that my kids won't look anything like me. And I know it's stupid, because no matter what I will love them and they will be my children. I mean, if we have to adopt I will still love them as much! But there's this little irrational voice in me who looks at my half mexican boyfriend, with dark hair, dark skin, hazel eyes and knows that his genes are all dominant, while my red hair, pale skin and blue eyes are all recessive. And while I always said I didn't want to pass my red hair on to ANY of my kids, I really just want my kids to look like me. I just want people to be able to see their mom in them. When I was a kid, that was the biggest compliment to me, since I thought my mom was the prettiest woman in the world (still do!) and I look just like my dad. The personalities, well if they turn out like my boyfriend, then I'd be thrilled. He's a great man, and we have enough things in common that it would be hard to say that something is from him or me! I spend more time worrying about this then I should haha. Espeically considering we're probably about 5 to 6 years away from kids. 0 agree I am the spitting image of my father, except my chin. I was also my dad's little buddy for a long time. I imagine this was tough for my mom. We're now two peas in a pod and once I reached puberty, people could not distinguish our voices and we have the same mannerisms. So, I wouldn't sweat it and see how things shake out as your child grows up. 0 agree Comment navigation ← Older Comments Comments are closed.