“We should have went yesterday,” my son said through a mouthful of granola this morning. 

“Gone,” I automatically corrected, throwing an expectant look at him across the breakfast table. 

“Gone, gone, gone,” he parroted. “We should have gone yesterday.” 

I nodded and knew for certain: the transformation into my mother is now complete.

You see, when we were kids, my mom used the same strict grammar correction method on my brothers and me. Anytime one of us made a mistake, she had us say the right word three times, then repeat the sentence correctly. We would roll our eyes as she insisted we’d thank her for it one day when we were adults with perfect grammar—then grew up to realize she’d been right. 

Now that I’ve assumed the role of the thirtysomething mother, I’m doing the same thing—which proves what UK doctor Dr. Julian De Silva found in a recent study of 2,000 people: women become their mothers at age 33. 

Researchers found that in their early 30s, women noticed themselves doing things like copying their mothers’ sayings and expressions, picking up the same hobbies, and  even preferring to watch the same TV shows. 

Or, in my case, she starts correcting her children’s grammar, has adopted a penchant for writing strongly-worded letters (even if it’s for her eyes only), and stays up well after the sun has set just to enjoy the quiet house. 

The study found a big reason a woman starts to mimic her mother in her early 30s is that it’s often the age she becomes a mother herself—so she often naturally starts emulating the one who mothered her. It’s also the age many of our mothers were when our first memories of them were rooted. 

And hey, no complaints here—my mom is pretty fantastic, and if I’m going to start looking, acting, and sounding like someone else, there’s no one else I’d rather share similarities with. 

For his part, Dr. De Silva agrees. “We all turn into our parents at some point in our lives—and that’s something to be celebrated.” 

Don’t worry, the men in your lives are headed down the same road, too—just a few steps behind; the same study found men begin turning into their fathers at age 34.

Carolyn Moore

Carolyn traded a career in local TV news for a gig as a stay-at-home mom, where the days are just as busy and the pay is only slightly worse. She lives in flyover country with her husband and four young kids, and occasionally writes about raising them at Assignment Mom