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Sometimes I Am My Mother

By 05/07/2016March 31st, 201939 Comments


Sometimes I Am My Mother | Maria Killam

This is me 🙂

Many of you know how close I am to my Mother. I’m secretly glad she had us kids when she was so young (my Mom was 20 when I was born), because that means she’ll be with us longer! Hopefully forever!

Sometimes I Am My Mother | Maria Killam


My mother has so much energy it’s hard to contribute to her. When I’m at her house and she needs something upstairs, for example, I’ll start getting up to fetch it for her and she’ll bounce out of her chair and say “I need the exercise!”. Growing up, she would wake us up with freshly made carrot juice in the summer after she’d been up at 5:00 am pulling them out of our garden and of course everything was made from scratch.

Terreeia and I took my Mom to an all-inclusive resort in Los Cabo this winter, she has never been on a vacation where food was simply delivered to your table or your lounge chair by the pool! She felt very spoiled which was our intention! At one point, she said “I don’t feel like I deserve this” which is a comment I’ve heard her say before. It was then when I realized that we all have an insecurity thats always running in the background. I asked Terreeia what hers is, she said ‘I don’t belong’.

Mine is ‘People don’t like me’. Whenever I meet someone new, that is automatically right there for me. I guess it’s because I can be quite blunt and straightforward which is a trait I know many of you thankfully appreciate about me in my musings about subway tile and undertones 😉 ;).

And I am not that good at small talk. When I call people I have to remember to say “How are you?” instead of jumping straight to the point.

Sometimes I Am My Mother | Maria Killam


Since writing this blog, my world has changed a little. When you meet me, because you’ve already been reading this blog, I’ve already made it with you, you already get me, and you either like (or don’t like) my straightforward personality and direct point of view. We’re friends already, and it’s a beautiful thing.

So out there in the virtual world, I have lots of friends, but at home, not as many.

Before I met Terreeia, I was alone a lot, and I was really tortured that I was not doing what I loved to do, my self expression was just not out in the world yet. I didn’t start writing this blog until I was 40, until then I was secretly convinced that if I was ever going to own a home or have the money to do all the things I wanted to do, I would have to marry it first.

My Mom’s unconditional love and support has kept me going through the years when I felt like a failure because I was mostly convinced that the fact that I didn’t have an interior design degree held me back and of course it didn’t help that I kept getting fired. My Mom has always been there for me anytime I called in an upset, sometimes it was late at night, sometimes it was early in the morning, she has never once been annoyed that I woke her up.

Sometimes I Am My Mother | Maria Killam

Hellen & Maria

Through all my ups and downs especially when I was struggling to create my career in the creative world, my Mom has always been there for me, encouraging me and telling me I have a gift and that I was someone special. I have my Mom’s big heart and compassionate nature, and I’m so grateful that I’m lucky enough to call her my best friend.

I love you so much Mom! I am who I am because of your unconditional love and support!

Thanks to all the Mom’s out there who read my blog and I wish you all a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!!

xoxo Maria

If you would like to transform the way you see colour, become a True Colour Expert.

Related posts:

The Best Mother’s Day Flowers

How to Make a Man Love Pink (My Mom’s House)

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  • Diana Deal says:

    Such a sweet tribute to your mother! You are very fortunate to have such a great relationship with her.

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    This was so sweet to read. I hope you are having a great weekend with your mom. I know she must be so proud of you & of all your accomplishments.
    I had my daughter when I was 20 also. I feel like we grew up together.

  • Jo Galbraith says:

    Beautiful post Maria. It is so true – because I have been reading your blog for years – when I met you at the TCE course two years ago I felt I knew you well (and thought you were a charming, lovely person!) Lucky you for having such a wonderful mom.

  • Sheila says:

    Great post! I already know I like you and your straightforward approach, maybe because I am like that too!
    Enjoy Mother’s Day with your family,

  • Sarah says:

    Oh, Maria. My insecurity is also that people don’t like me. I just introduced myself to a new neighbor two days ago and after our 15 minute conversation I came home and called my mom to review all the ways I may have presented myself with negative qualities. Of course Mom told me I’m always lovely when meeting new people 🙂

    It’s just so comforting to know you have a similar struggle! I think you’re fabulous with no reason to care what other people think. I should extend the same encouragement to myself!

  • Crystal H says:

    Maria, thank you for sharing so much about yourself, it takes a lot to open up like that! Having chosen to work with you in the past and currently on two big projects that create the space that me and my family live in and enjoy many hours of the day I must say that your talents and personality are inspiring : ) You have such a unique enthusiasm and dedication to make one’s personal space beautiful and energetic, you should give yourself more credit! I have known all of your sisters and Mom for about 10 years, one even was present of the birth of my first child!!! So Happy Mother’s Day to Helen, she is just too cool! You ladies are all amazing, and so different in so many ways, but so very passionate and strong. I so much enjoy ALL the time we get to spend analyzing everything in circles even if I say “I only have 2 hours today Maria I have to get to work” and we carry on for 6…..You are liked and loved by so many you don’t event know it. And with that I quote something that Maria says every time she really likes something we have chosen, ‘it’s a thing of beauty’….and it always is!!!

  • Kathi says:

    Maria, wonderful post, you are so lucky to still have your mom and I am so happy that you still appreciate it so much, your mom is a doll and i loved when you designed the interior in her carriage house and she went with pink. She is just one cool chick still.

  • Ana says:

    Beautiful and inspiring. Thank you.

  • Kimberly Wright says:

    What a lovely tribute! Happy Mother’s Day, Hellen!

  • alana says:

    Maria you sound like a introvert, nothing wrong with that. I can’t stand small talk, need lots of time alone. Mom’s are amazing never give up on us.

  • Carol-Anne says:

    Like other commenters, I am thankful that you’ve “put yourself out there” and I think that’s one of the reasons you’ve been such a success! I remember when you came out about your relationship & I was so impressed with your bravery.

    I’m sure you know that most people have those “tapes” playing in the background in their brains. We need to learn to talk back to them!

    Reading your description of yourself, being too direct sometimes, reminds me of myself. (I’ve often wondered if I was perhaps on the autistic spectrum because of this.)

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Gina says:

    What a great post! When I met you two years ago in Toronto, I felt like I was meeting a celebrity! I had sweaty palms!! You’re just like everyone, though. We’re all just human with different traits and characteristics. I was a bit (VERY) intimidated, but I knew feeling that way was my pitfall. Thinking I didn’t belong in that group of awesome, gorgeous professionals who’d been formally trained and working in design for decades! Me? I decided to become a decorator/home stager after 28 years of being a stay at home mom. We all know the debate there, right? I THANK YOU, Maria, for your straightforward approach mixed with cute, friendly, polite, and funny! My confidence has grown immensely, in large part due to you! My mom died 6 years ago so I didn’t have her to cheer me on through my fears and doubts. My dad did his best, and still does, but there’s no one like Mom. Happy Mother’s Day to Helen! Tell her she raised an amazing daughter!

  • Louise says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your mom and you, yourself, have been such an inspiration with your wonderful talent for decorating. I have to confess though, when putting that same insecurity question to myself, I came up with all three: I don’t deserve this / I don’t belong / people don’t like me. The things we tell ourselves…..

  • Laura says:

    Beautiful tribute to your mother!

  • Linda says:

    Such a wonderful tribute to your mom and to your fearlessness to be you..

    I once read this, which I repeated at my mom’s funeral. “Today I put my arm into my coat sleeve, and my mother’s hand came out the other end.”

    Happy Mother’s Day to those of us who still have one to hug and hold and for those of us, who have our memories xo

  • Lynnfromthepnw says:

    Dear Maria,
    I appreciate this post. I can relate. We all should be our own best friends and kick those little voices to the curb. Moms are great for helping us see the forest through the swamp. I admire you Maria, I wish I had your courage and passion!

  • Barbara S. says:

    Part of the reason you are so successful is because you worry about people liking you, so you always do more than expected. That was evident when I took your course last year in Vancouver. You share everything you know. Terreeia has that personality that makes you feel like you’ve known her your whole life. You two are great!

    • paula Ryan says:

      Couldn’t have said it better! Great post. I feel the same way…not worthy because I didn’t go to school etc…I remember one time my mom “scolding” me, because someone complimented me on something I did artistically…and I said “oh it was nothing, it was easy” My mom said, to YOU it’s easy, not to everyone else…relish what you do well” I’ve always gotten that support from her! She’s now in early stages of Alzheimer’s and it makes me so sad, but I can still here her voice no matter what, and I’m lucky to have had her in my life for so long.

  • Angela Taylor says:

    Maria, I have two sons, no daughters! If I could pick a daughter, I would pick YOU! You are a wonderful human being in so many ways:) I wish we could be neighbours, and depending on the outcome of this upcoming election, we may be;) OX

  • Debra says:

    Your mom is lovely. So wonderful that she always believed in you…best gift ever <3

  • Joanne Michael says:

    Ahhh, my Sister. Shades of Landmark are harkening me back. My lil background voice is, “I can’t do it right.” I have not taken one of your courses YET. it’s on my bucket list. I have purchased all your products and they have helped me transform many of my friend’s and contractor’s projects.
    My Mom is no longer alive. I am incredibly happy for you and your Mom. Continue to ignore that lil voice of yours with a “Thank you, for sharing, but I’m moving forward.”

  • Ellen says:

    Beautiful post Maria I really enjoyed reading this, thank you for sharing.

  • Candice says:

    Hello, Maria…I so wish the best for you. You work so hard, and I wish you, the joy of relaxing in your brilliance. You are a shining star, with so much to offer. Please try to see that, like your Mom does! Try to truly enjoy your wonderful life. We love you!

  • Gayle says:

    Hi Maria
    I finally had a minute today to sign up for your NYC class and I was so disappointed to see that it is sold out …. If I place my name on the waiting list might there be a chance that I can attend ?
    Hoping ….
    Thank you in advance…

  • Robin says:

    Heartwarming post. So nice. And food for thought.

  • Lisa says:

    Beautiful post Maria! Your mom is lucky to have you too:)

  • Fran says:

    Lovely post, Maria. You and your mom are both blessed to have each other!

  • Beautiful blog today Maria!! Thank you for being so open and honest and vulnerable. Just lovely!!

  • Julie says:

    Thank you for writing this. I need the encouragement of seeing somebody happy and putting their best into the world after a ‘late start’. (Especially on a Monday morning at a job I do not love, after an exhausting weekend.) I’m in my mid-30s, experiencing the same career qualms and struggling with the same fears that you mention. This gives me a shred of hope that I’ll get through mine, too.

  • Molly says:

    I love this.

  • Elara says:

    Such a beautiful post. I so love your honesty. And I love how you love your mom…

  • Carol says:

    I think your wonderful just the way you are and if
    people cant recognize that in the real world…..they
    are the ones missing out!!! But I do know what you
    mean about having trouble making new friends. I had to retire early because of my health and without a regular workplace to go to its harder to make new friends and the ones I have are still working and dont have a lot of time to see me so I spend a lot of time alone also.
    I know a guy who was rather outspoken and he got fired a lot too.He told me that he knew he could do the job better than most of his bosses so he started what turned out to be the largest
    consulting firms in his field. I also admire him for his ability to say what he thinks and wish I was that self assured.
    So I vote that you stay as you are and be proud of it because your heart is in the right place and you are so lucky to have a great Mom and Terreeia
    in your life. If I lived in Vancouver I would Be thrilled to be your friend.

  • Pamela says:

    What a lovely tribute to motherhood and what a special mom you have. You are blessed. Earlier this morning I was thinking how things have changed. When we were starting out things were easier in many ways, especially in how much things like houses cost. We all had homes in our 20s, married young, children young. Our daughter is in her 40s and they are finally able to build a house. Also, when you have a fabulous mother like you had it can be hard to live up to and the mom doesn’t even realize that by making it look easy she is causing her daughter to doubt herself. It was just different then, simpler in many ways. God bless you and your mom.

  • Mid America Mom says:

    Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing and keep your chin high.

  • Melissa says:


    Well said Maria!

  • Lorri says:

    What a great post. I understand everything you wrote, Maria. We have some things in common.

  • Lorri says:

    Tell Terreeia that her super power is kindness (according to how you write about her).

    There are probably a lot of people who meet her and start second-guessing themselves about how kind they are.

  • Such a beautiful post! I appreciate your honesty and transparency. Hope to meet you in person one of these days! Your straightforward voice is always with me when I do color consultations. I’m more of a people-pleasing empath, so I’ve appreciated the tools and words you’ve shared over the years to help me be more of a strong leader with my clients. xoxo! -Jill

  • Di Schwalier says:

    Maria, how truly enjoyable your blog is! As a color consultant for “Beauty for All Seasons” (skin analysis paired with fabric drapes from each season’s colors followed by instruction for make-up purchasing and application…wow, I initially thought the description of that would be much shorter b/c you probably know all about that and, after all, this comment is about your amazing instruction online), THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR GENEROUS EFFORT TO ALERT US AND MAKE US HAPPY WITH OUR CHOICES! And especially, thank you for today’s long message re: wonderful moms who enabled their daughters to be so influential and wonderful, too.?

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