“You sound like mom…” and I’m damn proud of it!

My brother moved in with me while he goes to school at New England Tech for the next couple of years. He is in the works of transferring over to the BJs right down the road from my house so he can make money to pay for his food, books, gas and anything he might need outside of the basic I can provide. When I asked him if he called BJs to check in with them he told me I “sound[ed] like mom.” I usually also get that line when I bug his to do his laundry, or clean up after himself. Now, at first you would want to take this as an insult, especially with his tone, but my reply was “good, I’m glad.”

Every girl dreads the day they turn into their mother. Most kids will butt heads growing up, and claim they never want to be like that. I am not one of those girls. I took my brother’s attempt at an insult as a compliment. I am damn proud to be just like my mom. Sometimes I scare people because on some days we could be twins. We are incredibly feisty, stubborn, controlling and demanding. But we are also loving, caring, motivated and determined. If I am half the woman my mom is I will be all set in life.

Some people look at me and say wow. I have a house, a career, an amazing man, a loving puppy and I am independent to a fault at the young age of 24. I know a lot of people in their 30’s that still don’t have their act together and aren’t even remotely close to being an adult. Whatever the reason for that, that is their business, I don’t judge, but I would like to agree with the people out there that tell me I’m successful. As much as I’d like to take a bow and say it was all me, it wasn’t. I have two of the greatest parents that ever lived. Since I came to be on this Earth they have loved and supported me, always putting me (and my brother) first, but never sheltered us from the reality that is life. No kid ever likes being told what to do or nagged about things, but everything my parents made me do early on built up an incredible motivation and determination to achieve great things in life. They gave me the knowledge and wisdom of real life, never sugar-coating things that didn’t need to be. I grew up doing home improvements with my family, crafting and making things on my own, learning basic life skills like laundry so I wouldn’t panic at the sight of a washer and dryer at college and cooking so that I wouldn’t live off of microwave pizzas for the rest of my life (although some days Josh will argue that’s all I ever eat).

I knew what I wanted to be since I was in elementary school. In the 5th grade year book they asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. All of the other kids wanted to be athletes, rock stars, astronauts and ballerinas. I wanted to be a computer technician. Almost 15 years later and 2 1/2 years into my career I am an IT project manager who works very closely with an awesome team of computer techs. Pretty damn close. I set goals at 10 years old and worked my ass off to get what I wanted in life. What 10-year-old is that awesome? One’s who has awesome parents.

I do a lot of networking for my job and on multiple occasions I found myself chatting up people about random things that something someone with some life experience would relate to and they had to stop and ask how old I am. Most with an apology knowing you never ask a woman her age. When I told them 22, 23 or 24 they were shocked and said I spoke as if I was in my 30’s. They told me that the things I spoke about and related to their own adult kids couldn’t or wouldn’t even understand. I surprise a lot of people and I am very mature for my age. I was encouraged my whole life to speak like an adult, learn like an adult and take responsibility like an adult. My parents are the ones to thank for that.

Sadly, I see a lot of “kids” my age lost and spinning in the world after college. Sometimes it’s not the parents fault, but sometimes it is. Parents, handing your kids everything and not teaching them the value of what they are getting is not helping them. Please stop. I don’t care if you have the money, make them do it themselves, make them work for it. You are not doing them any favors by handing everything to them on a silver platter. I see a lot of people complain that their kids come back and live with them after college. Stop making them want to. The job market is tough right now, so sometimes it’s not an option, but letting them take their sweet time finding the “perfect job,” making them three square meals a day, doing their laundry, making their bed, waking them up in the mornings and babying them isn’t going to transition them into the reality that is life. Make them cook, do their own laundry, pay rent and make them get a job at McDonald’s until they find the right one. That’s what will help them.

Kudos to my parents for making me the thick-headed, stubborn, determined, go-getter I am today. They planted the seeds that got me to where I am and they are the ones who gave me the determination to succeed. Thanks mom and dad for all you have done and all that you continue to do. I hope that one day I am a great parent like you and raise my kids to be just as successful and appreciative, if not more. Love you!

-AB

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