That’s Some Good Mulch: Signs You Might Be Turning Into Your Parents (and Why That’s OK))

Photo by Esther Town on Unsplash

I am sure you have probably seen the Progressive Insurance commercials making fun of turning into your parents. My favorite line might be “that’s some good mulch.” This is mostly because my husband and I just had a ton of mulch delivered to our house, and we spent an entire weekend filling in flowerbeds.

While we all want to think we are at least as cool as we were in our youth, the fact is, the older we get, the more we act and sound just like our parents.

This isn’t all bad. In fact, turning into your parents is not just natural, it’s OK too. So in honor of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, here are 10 signs you might be turning into your parents.

1. You Fall Asleep On The Couch (a lot.)

I used to be amazed at my father-in-law’s ability to fall asleep on the couch and often in what looked like the most uncomfortable position imaginable. Now I get to watch my husband do the same. Like clockwork, by about 8 p.m., he will be out on the couch. Sometimes I wish I could join him, but I know I would just wake up grumpy with mascara still on and teeth unbrushed.

The best is when he startles himself awake and tells me how he wasn’t asleep — just resting his eyes.

2. Your Weekends Are Lame

I am probably dating myself, but the movie Old School came out while I was in college. I remember going to see it with friends and cracking up at the scene where Frank (the Tank) talks about having a nice little Saturday going to Home Depot and Bed Bath and Beyond. Only if he has time of course.

Now this is my life. I have spent a lot of Saturdays at both stores. Sometimes, when the stars align, and my toddler is cooperating, I can also swing by Costco. A good life hack is always go to Costco last. If you get there after 11:00 the samples will be out and hey, free lunch for the kids!

3. You Understand Mama Bear Rage

The Goldilocks story is of course a fairy tale, but I am here to tell you it is also a myth. In real life, a mama bear would have eaten Goldilocks for breakfast if she tried to break into her home and take her baby’s bed and food.

Parent rage is a very real thing. I did not fully understand the depths of my own rage until I became a parent myself.

My husband once asked me what I would do if someone tried to attack me and my son while we were out for a run. Without missing a beat, I told him I would probably Indiana Jones-style rip the attacker’s heart right out of his chest. My husband looked a little concerned and said that was very specific.

I meant it though. Don’t mess with my cub.

4. You Value Silence

As a child, I never understood why my mom didn’t listen to the radio in the car, especially if she had been driving by herself. Now I get it. Those precious moments of peace and quiet are rare. Cherish them because they are hard to come by. Once you become a parent, you will never pee alone again. I usually have a toddler, two dogs, and a cat watching me.

I tried to close the door once but little hands and paws literally were coming under it like an episode of The Walking Dead.

5. You Worry (About Everything)

I used to worry about a specific thing and usually one thing at a time. Now I worry about everything. I cannot tell you how many times a day I feel my child’s forehead on the off-chance he has suddenly developed a fever.

As a parent, you worry about the present, you second-guess how you handled the past, and you worry about the future.

My own mother calls me every time she reads about a food recall. As a daughter, I scoff at her and tell her how silly she is being. Then I immediately Google it as soon as we hang up.

6. You Can No Longer Tell How Old Young People Are

You also use the term “young people.” Seriously though, I have a hard time discerning whether a kid is a middle schooler or in college. They all look like babies to me now. I have also found myself uttering the phrases “where are their parents” and “they just weren’t raised right.”

7. You Tell Stories That Have No Point

Or maybe they did have a point and you just lost it somewhere. Like your glasses. And your keys. Maybe you are still a good storyteller, but if you find yourself laughing at cheesy jokes and making corny puns, you’re probably still be turning into your parents.

8. You Want Everyone To Let You Know They Made It Home Safely

A few weeks ago, we had friends visiting. When they left, I found myself telling them to drive safely and let me know when they had made it home. My own mother has told me this every time I have gone anywhere ever.

Now I own it.

I have also flipped the script on her and told her to call me when she gets home after visiting us. My own child is not even two but I apologize to him in advance. I am going to be that mother.

9. You No Longer Want To Be Out After 8 P.M.

Is said event going to be loud? Will there be seating? Is there a chance it will be over at midnight? Hard pass please.

I didn’t particularly like staying out late in college; I only did so to have a social life. One of my biggest reasons for having a kid was so I could have a built-in excuse not to go out at night.

Plus my husband needs his couch nap.

10. You Understand Your Own Parents’ Crazy

You understand it because now it is your crazy, too. Parenthood introduces you to a love like no other. A parent will (literally) go to the ends of the earth for their child. It is hard to fully realize how much your own parents love you until you become a parent yourself. So just remember when they are acting a little crazy, it is definitely out of love.

Don’t fight turning into your parents. Embrace it in all its glory. Happy Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to all the parents out there and the parents becoming their parents. May your couch be comfortable, your car ride quiet, and your jokes on point.


  1. Jamie, this is totes adorbs – literally!!????? soooo sooo good! I’m thanking your mom for posting a blog. You are so so spot on! (That must not have been one you frowned on!!!)
    One blog brought me to the next and the next and the next. Love your writing.

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