Open Secrets are back! We’re launching our MOMS issue next week, and so we wanted to hear your thoughts about moms, mother figures and what it means to be a parent. You told us, and can keep doing so! The survey is still open here —we’ll be deleting each question as we publish the answer to it, so there’s still lots of time to respond!

We wanted to preserve your voices and the spirit of your answers, so we haven’t edited any of the responses.

We asked you to tell us about something you inherited from your mother. Here’s what you said:

  • Did not get her sweet tits, but did get her feminism, so I’ll be okay.
  • intelligence, a drive to make things with what is considered to be ugly, prominent cheekbones, a love of open landscapes, the ability to ignore rules
  • Passive aggression. I hate it, because I can see it more in her now that she’s getting older, but I totally got it from her. We also both really like to judge people’s outfits, travel by train, and we adore dogs.
  • My mom doesn’t care what people think but she cares about people. She always knows how to make a person feel valued even if she doesn’t sympathize with their point of view. I’m working on trying to inherit her special way of relating to others.
  • I inherited her grit and her value on community as well as respect for how arts and music bring dignity and beauty to even the most painful human predicament.
  • On a purely superficial level I inherited from my mother an aversion to extraneous body hair and semi obsession with shaving, plucking and waxing.
  • Many of the maternal things I inherited both from my mother and grandmother. Grandmothers are important because sometimes they nurture us in ways our mothers cannot. That was certainly my experience. From both of them I inherited the ability to find humour in the worst of circumstances. My fierce female independence, and feminist perspective. Both of them were feminists but probably wouldn’t identify as such. I have taken both of their skills in the kitchen and taken it to the next level.. I am grateful for that.I love dancing and to “PARTAAAY!!” because of these ladies. When I tell people I like to go klubbing they often say “Oh, I went through that phase” Ummm.. it’s not a phase! It’s something I enjoy and I don’t put an age limit on it. I might enjoy Goth clubs at middle age, but my grandmother did the same with polka until she couldn’t walk any longer. If it makes me happy, I intend to continue doing the same. People and their opinions be damned!  .. guess I inherited that attitude too. 🙂
  • My mom is super creative and made sure that we learned how to do things on our own. She taught us to cook, sew, and take care of the house; by the time I left home I was prepared, there was no flailing about learning how to boil water like most kids in my dorm during the first year of University.
  • Sense of humour, awkwardness and clutzy-ness – all like my mom. Also, I am opinionated like her.
  • Poor eyesight, psoriasis.lolAn ability to manage my finances and stay out of debt. My mother is debt free, owns her house and lives off a low income wage.She also lost a lot of money because of my father and has been able to rebound completely.

    I also inherited an amazing grandmother (her mother) who was an incredible human being.

  • Love for crafts
    Tough mentality
  • There are many traits I inherited from my mom that I try to suppress, some I love. One being her unyielding ability to be pragmatic in every situation, which I’ve found helpful in dealing with health problems and fights with my partner. She’s quick-witted and very funny.
    But she’s also indignant (for no reason), loves being a martyr and is very hardheaded, all of which I occasionally find myself doing and immediately suppress.
  •  We both sigh when we want to express feelings of anger, annoyance, or frustration. When we get together it’s like the competitive sighing Olympics.
  • My mother and I shared the seasonal search for the perfect pair of shoes, stylish yet made for real feet. She spent her elder years nursing hammer toes and bunions; I live in gaudy colored sneakers.
  • I find details of my life creep up and I realize I am channeling my mother-when I make pie, when I fret about food, when I stroke my children’s hair, when I use tea as a panacea for all things awful, and when I tell my daughters never to have anything to do with men who shoot birds or complain about their mothers.
  • It seems I’ve inherited my mother’s stubbornness and her hips. That’s basically where our similarities end.
  •  Her guilt and fear. But most of all her loving nature.
  • I’m forever grateful that I’ve inherited my mother’s love of arts and culture. I have come to understand that these passions were hard won and actively repressed in my mother’s own (pragmatic; joyless) upbringing, and that she made a concerted effort to raise me and my sibling in a creativity-positive environment. I have also inherited her open-mindedness when it comes to accepting others, which has been very helpful in developing a career in the arts. I’ve recently observed that such a mindset is helpful not only in my interpersonal relationships, but also in the development of my thought. I work in an interdisciplinary environment and have found that my readiness to accept and apprehend the ideas of others has enabled me to better grasp new fields in philosophy and theory, as well as within disciplines entirely divergent from my own.
  • My ability to render any home “cozy”.
  • Clumsiness, and an unrivaled skill for making a mess. Whether it’s cooking, painting, fixing  bikes, working in the garden. No matter how hard I try to be tidy, I end up with flour or dirt smeared all over my face, and things scattered everywhere. When mom and I cook together it looks like a small tornado has blown through our kitchen.
  • We both have these dark eyes that look out at the world with equal parts bemusement and mistrust.We both know that perfection is impossible, and we both try to comfort others by telling them that perfection is impossible, and yet we both try so fucking hard to be perfect, ha ha.
  • I have inherited my mother’s penchant for using sound effects while telling stories.
  • Dear GUTS
    My mom was gutsy. When my little brother got into debt with some druggies he was terrified to leave the house. She somehow learned the story so she followed him when he finally left. He was trapped in an alley with some bigger boys when she caught up. Pushing her face about 2 inches from that of the biggest boy, she  threatened him with his life if my little brother was hurt by anyone. She said that she may appear to be a lady but that she had gang connections and wouldn’t hesitate to rid the world of him. Family lore has it that he was protected after that.Unfortunately, I did not inherit her guts. But when I had children I finally understood where they came from. Her nickname was “the bear” and everyone knows that’s you don’t get between a momma bear and her cubs.

Take the survey here!


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