Clones / Not Clones

For me it has been a real learning curve to realise that my children are, in fact, not just clones of me! I think I genuinely thought that they would be, when they were newborns. Turns out that they are in fact 2 very distinctly different people. Who knew?

I am finding this especially interesting now that they are coming to an age where they really do have opinions and their characters are defined. The term “conscious uncoupling” definitely has it’s place. They need to prove to me that they are fine, upstanding, independent citizens. And so they should.

I just went through a moment which I thought would be interesting to share. You see, we have just welcomed a German exchange student into the family for 2 weeks (typical thing to do in Europe) and I went a bit cuckoo on making sure the flat was perfect for her. Now, I am not a perfectionist and I did not quite understand why I was so hellbent on making sure the bedsheets in the girls room were coordinated and everyone had a cute bed lamp to use. (My 12 year old did not care whatsoever if she had coordinating bedsheets or not.)

Then I realised this: When I had a exchange student come and stay with me when I was 13, my mother had just passed away a few months before. Of course it was pure chaos in our house and possibly not the best place to welcome a guest. (The exchange student was not super happy about it, who can blame her?) Thinking about it, I was very likely trying to redeem myself — via my daughters exchange student — some 30 years later. The funny thing is, my daughter experienced this exchange in a very different way than I did. She was happily inviting her exchange friend into her own little world. So my bagage seriously belongs to me (“they are my onions” as we say in French) and I need to be careful not to project my experiences on her.

I think the older the kids are getting, the more we remember the situations we were in at their age. Not to project is a challenge.

What was my solution to my projection? I made sure those sheets were coordinated and the room looked cute, which made me happy. For the rest of the experience I made a conscious effort to back off and let Coco build her own memories.


Above a photo of Coco and one of me! We do look very alike (I think ;)) but we are such different personalities! 


Comments (9)

May 23, 2018

What a sweet post Emilie. You sound like a very thoughtful mother 🙂

May 23, 2018

You’re a wonderful mother.

May 23, 2018

You are gorgeous Emilie and I always enjoy your posts. Your vivaciousness and down-to-earthness shine through every time.

krissy at www.oftheeveryday.com
May 23, 2018

thank you for sharing, emilie! i always so enjoy your posts and your human wisdom. am definitely going to be using ‘my onions’ expression going forward.

May 23, 2018

Such an important topic to discuss. I have a 4 year old son, and this is the age where he’s really making friends, or trying. Every time we are at the playground and he happily runs up to a kid and starts chatting (who wants to play with me?!) I wince and cringe. I was mercilessly made fun of as a kid, and had some rough patches with child hood friendships. I try to not project that in my kid, but I sooo want to protect his little heart from being hurt. Every time a kid tells him no my heart hurts for him, even though he seems totally fine and moves on to the next. These are definitely “my onions.” Such a good way to put it.

Esther in Amsterdam
May 23, 2018

Maybe not a clone, but you are the best example a girl could wish for 😘 x

May 23, 2018

Thank you for sharing! xxx

May 23, 2018

Bless the French and their crazy expressions 😉

May 25, 2018

Thank you for your post. ‘Not to project’ is indeed a chalenge…

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