(this post is in response to a challenge issued over here).
People always joke that when they become parents, they become their parents. They find themselves parroting out the things that mom and dad said, that they swore they'd never say themselves.
I don't think I'll have that problem. There are a wealth of things my mom used to say that I can promise I will never utter:
"You're the devil's child"
"I could have been rich if I hadn't had you kids"
"Daddy and I are getting a divorce, and I need to know, right now, who you want to live with"
"I spoke to [insert important adult here], and she said you're [a brat] [spoiled] [a liar] [making me sick]."
"there must have been mental problems in your family, because you are sick"
"I wish I'd never married your father"
"your [father] [grandmother] [other important adult] didn't really want you, you know."
"when your dad and I get a divorce, you're going to have to drop your after school activities and get a job, because we'll be poor."
"you're a huge disappointment"
"you are shit"
The good thing about growing up with my mom is that it hardly takes any effort at all to be a better mother than she was (and, sadly, still is). Plus, I've come equipped with an illustrated guide on how not to raise children. When faced with a parenting decision, all I need to do is decide what my mom would have done, and go ahead and do the opposite.
The bad thing is that my mom is always with me. I feel like she's lurking in the corners of my soul, waiting, always waiting, to come out and show her face. It terrifies me when I get angry with M, because that's when I feel my mom there, itching to reach out and slap my little girl across the face or scream ugly things. I pray that I never let myself lose control like she so often did, but I fear that someday I will. For me, that's the hardest part of being a parent.