Midlife Metamorphosis ~ 7 Signs You’re Turning Into Your Mother

At 62, I’ve got three more years under the so-called “midlife” umbrella before I get kicked out to “senior citizen” territory. I make and live by my own labels, so I don’t care about someone else’s definition of what I am. But one label I can’t deny is “my mother,” as I’m clearly turning into her more and more every day.

Here are 7 warning signs that you, too, might be turning into your mother in midlife:

1. You keep a tissue rolled in your sleeve. Good god, when did I start doing this? Comes in handy, though, for my now constantly leaking nose and eyes. What the hell? Even worse is forgetting it’s there on laundry day.

2. You save a paper towel you just used to dry your freshly washed hands, because “it’s only clean water” that will dry and leave a perfectly good paper towel for reuse the next time a cloth towel isn’t handy.

3. You wash, smooth, dry, and save used foil for baking, roasting, or lining sheet pans. The first time I caught myself doing this I had to sit down with a glass of wine. I don’t bake, roast, or use sheet pans. I’ve since discovered used foil does make a handy air fryer liner, though.

4. You use tape and Sharpie markers to label food leftovers in the refrigerator even though the food is in clear glass containers. This is more disturbing in my case because I rarely have more than two containers in my refrigerator.

Thank goodness for tape and Sharpies.

5. You wash and save empty food wrappers and bags to use when disposing of cooking scraps and food waste. OK…I put bottle corks in mine, or use them to conceal empty lube bottles, condom wrappers, or bladder leak product packaging in the trash. Whatever.

6. You wash all your groceries before putting them in the refrigerator or freezer. Milk cartons, juice bottles, produce, meat packages…everything. I have to admit this “mom” behavior has been going on since I was in elementary school. It’s what we always did in my family. I didn’t know it wasn’t “normal” until I was 18 and at a friend’s house helping unload groceries. I’d started soaping up the milk cartons in the sink when I noticed everyone was quiet and giving me the “WTF?” look. COVID protocol had nothing on me.

Washing groceries at a young age.

7. You talk to young people you don’t know, complaining about how much everything costs. You compare the costs to when you were their age. Then you offer unsolicited suggestions/advice on how and where to save a few bucks on purchases. Even amid inflation, the “WTF?” look you will get from a young stranger is a clue you’re doing this like-your-mother thing.

My goal is to get at least some of these metamorphic behaviors under control by the time I move to Portugal. New life, new me. At least temporarily. Eu nao quero ser minha mae ainda.

Unfortunately, road trips and other travel are big triggers for my “mom” behavior. Lots of tissues, reused wrappings, and washed snacks were stuffed in jacket pockets and sweater sleeves during a recent trip to my father’s alma mater. I also schooled a lovely, young 7-Eleven clerk on the outrageous cost of tea at a campus coffee shop.
She was not smiling.

What about you? Have you started turning into your mother in midlife? What signs of metamorphosis have you noticed?

All images are my own.

The Hot Goddess

Instagram: retired_rewired_inspired

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  1. Funny post. My mother didn’t do any of those things but she had some pretty major quirks. I learned how to swear from her. I just elevated it to a a finer art. Meaning I swear better with a more extensive vocabulary. I work very hard not to be like my mother. Unfortunately I look so much like her that I see her on the mirror every morning.

    Liked by 1 person

      • You must’ve picked it up from friends. My parents didn’t curse, but they did have ugly nicknames for neighbors they didn’t like (ie. Shackjob, Grouch face, Fat Head) My dad on the other hand had no problem saying ethnic slurs (including towel head which I’m sure hurt my 1/2 Syrian Mom)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny. I’ve definitely inherited some of my mother’s “depression era” habits.

    Oh, and your father’s alma mater is just a hop and a skip from where I live (well, about forty minutes of hopping and skipping).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The first 2? Yes!!! When my mom died I went through all her clothes and anything with a pocket contained a wad of balled up tissues. Now I understand why, as I have developed what I call “old lady nose” as well. 🤣


    Liked by 1 person

  4. My Mom died too young for me to know, but I sure see some things I do that remind me of my MIL’s later years. The Kleenex in the sleeve is a constant. I remember when our boys were young they asked my husband, “Dad, why does Grandma always have a Kleenex in her sleeve?” His answer was, “I have no idea!” The answer, of course, is because there are never convenient pockets in women’s clothes and there’s always a sleeve!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. haha ..and men become their fathers…I could do similar post but I’d be too afraid to own up to how I am almost exactly like him ..nice picture 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Okay, you totally made me laugh out loud with No. 1. My mother did this all the time. I haven’t stepped into doing it myself but do keep tissues in my pockets for my watery eyes. So….I get it! Thanks for sharing – brought back some fun memories of my mom! Best Wishes! Leigh

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ha these things are kind of adorable! Number 1 is my favorite 🤣 I actually do some of these things too. And I’m not sure if it has to do with a certain generation or whether it’s about frugality. Because reusing foil makes total sense to me! I definitely do lots of things like my mom but they’re more of the beauty self-care variety. Like I comb my hair and put the extra hairs from my comb in the toilet rather than the trash. I also cook exactly like her without even realizing it. But yes I think it’s kind of cool to recognize the connections between generations, even tho it might be a sign of our age. Although I also already just think EVERYTHING is too loud and I have no idea why kids dress the way the dress today ha! Thanks u for this fun post it was a delight!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. LOL! You cracked me up. I won’t confirm or deny if I’ve noticed any of these signs on your list. 😀

    But on a serious note, I absolutely dislike labels (midlife, senior citizens, etc.) society uses to box others. Like you, I live by my own labels as well as defy whatever expectations about what I should do or not do at my (over 50) age.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I know I’m turning into my mother by simply looking into the mirror. I felt like I always looked more like my dad as a kid but now… I’m okay with it because she looks damn good at 65 so if that’s gonna be me in 30 more years I’ll take it!

    Also my sister and I joke that turning into our mom isn’t bad, it’s the turning into our father that’s the problem – usually in reference to when one of us is being a picky pain in butt or extremely impatient.

    Liked by 1 person

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