I worry that I have some similar characteristics to my awful mother.
It’s a feeling that has increasingly grown now that I have been away from home and can view my childhood more objectively.
I can be impatient, see the negative in both situations and people, have a sharp tongue and even, and I am ashamed to say, often feel resentful and inclined to take it out on people who are close to me and sometimes even my lovely husband. I also worry I could behave badly with my two young children, although I haven't yet. I can also be impulsive and if a friend says something rather tactless or lets me down I want to drop them and end the friendship immediately.
The good side is that I am trying to work on it. When I feel I am about to lose my temper I force myself to count to at least 25 and usually my rage diminishes a little. I can't yet stop myself from noticing people’s faults, but I now try to think through their good points too and tell myself no one is perfect. I’ve also chosen a lifestyle that suits me and makes me feel content. I have a good balance between work and being a mother, which cuts back on any instinctive grievance.
But it really bothers me that I have these characteristics at all, because I didn’t like my mother, do my best not to be like her and so want my children to grow up loving me.
We can’t help the characteristics we are born with and as you say no one is perfect. It is what you do with the aspects of yourself you don’t particularly like that counts. Try thinking of them as muscles and if you don’t use them they diminish in power. It’s good that you are aware which characteristics remind you of your mother and have some strategies to help you.
It’s understandable that you are particularly sensitive to these traits but everyone has some traits they dislike.
Finding a life you enjoy will diminish the chances of you being negative.
You are obviously aware of your faults and are doing the best you can to stop them spoiling your life. If you raise your children with love and are able to apologise when you’ve been angry, it won’t affect their love for you.
There are more tips to help you on our website’s Coping page.