Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Men are what their mothers made them.” The same goes for women who typically grow to become their mothers -- no matter how hard they resist! There’s something about a mother’s love and care that can’t help but shape us into the unique person we will eventually grow to become.
“Whoever is the primary care giver has more significance than others when it comes to a child’s development,” says Sil Reynolds, therapist, mother-daughter workshop leader, and co-author of the book, Mothering and Daughtering: Keeping Your Bond Strong Through the Teen Years (which she wrote with her own daughter). “Since the primary care giver is usually the mother, she will have a more significant influence on her child’s development than others.”
Pandora MacLean-Hoover, a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in Newburyport, Mass., echoes that comment. “Mothers are theoretically considered ‘primary love objects’ because they often are the adult with whom a child first bonds,” she says. “Appreciating and understanding who influenced us and how, throughout our lifetime, is central to how we think about ourselves.”
To show just how greatly a mother’s influence can shape her child, here’s a list of ten famous people throughout history who matched the great successes their mother’s had already achieved.
10. Mary Wollstonecraft (1759 – 1797) and Daughter Mary Shelley (1797 – 1851)
Mary Wollstonecraft was a famed British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights. Her daughter, Mary Shelley was an English writer, best known for writing the Graphic novel, Frankenstein.
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9. Marie Curie (1867 – 1934) and Daughter Irene Joliot-Curie (1897 – 1956)
Marie Curie was a Polish physicist and chemist, working mainly in France, who is famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity. Her daughter, Irene Joliot-Curie, pursued her mother’s work and went on to jointly win a Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1935 (with her husband, Frédéric Joliot-Curie) for discovering artificial radioactivity.
8. Josephine Baker (1906 – 1975) and Son Jean-Claude Baker (b. 1944)
Josephine Baker was an American-born French dancer, singer, and actress. She adopted Jean-Claude Baker in 1958 after she met him while he worked as a bellhop in Paris at the age of fourteen. Following in his adopted mother’s footsteps, his career has included being a model, nightclub owner, and recording artist.