It’s true – you start turning into your mother in your 30s

If you’ve ever heard yourself saying ‘Because I said so, that’s why’ or ‘Close that door, were you born in a barn?’ or even just cracking a classic cheesy dad joke, you might have a sudden moment of cold realisation.

‘Oh my god – am I turning into my parents??’

We all know aging changes you a little – you swap six-inch heels for shoes you can actually dance in, and trade getting hyped for a night out for getting really excited about a new hoover. Our card creators have certainly jumped on this fact – browse through our bestselling birthday cards and you’ll find plenty of hilarious cards to poke fun at your mates as they get on in years.

But we wanted to take it a step further, and find out just how we change as we get older – and when we officially become our parents. We surveyed Brits at lots of different ages to find out what really happens at each big birthday as we age.

The top 5 traits we pick up from our parents

Okay, so we all know that we all kiiiind of end up becoming our mum or dad at some point as we age. But exactly which parts of them will you end up picking up? We don’t mean that you’ll become a Frankenstein creation of your dad’s beer belly and your mum’s ‘can I speak to the manager please’ haircut, but you’d be surprised at the similarities that crop up. To find out an official list, we surveyed Brits to find out which traits they felt they’d inherited from their parents.

The main trait we pick up from our mum is apparently the same body shape, with 24% of Brits saying they shared their build with their mum. But after that, the top five are mostly personality traits, down to 20% of people feeling they’d inherited nagging from their mum, as well as 22% feeling they’d got their mum’s bossy streak as well!

The top 5 traits we pick up from our mum:

  1. The same body shape – 24%
  2. Bossiness – 22%
  3. Using the same phases – 21%
  4. Constantly nagging – 20%
  5. Using the mannerisms – 19%

When it comes to dear old dad, the main trait is a pretty endearing one – falling asleep on the sofa, with 28% of Brits waking up from a nap in front of the TV with the realisation that they’ve become their dad. Behind the wheel is also the other big place we notice some similarities, with 24% of people feeling they’d picked up their dad’s driving habits.

The top 5 traits we pick up from our dad:

  1. Falling asleep on the sofa – 28%
  2. Driving habits – 24%
  3. Telling the same jokes – 23%
  4. The same body shape 22%
  5. Using the same mannerisms – 21%

What do we enjoy the most as we get older?

With each birthday, you might notice some changes in yourself. We’re not talking about wrinkles or grey hair. We reckon you should wear your greys with pride anyway, and remember that a wrinkle is just a manifestation of your life story, written on your face.

But what kind of things do change in us as we age? Well, number one on that list is maybe the biggest sign of maturity: enjoying a night in rather than going out. In fact, an absolutely massive 91.9% of adults ranked this as one of the things to enjoy about getting older, making it our #1 sign of adulthood. We know a night full of shots, questionable choices, and blaring music in the club is fun every once in a while, but once you realise that not every night out needs to be a recreation of The Hangover, you’re truly on the way to being a mature adult.

This feeling is echoed in a few more of our top 20 – 81% of adults enjoy not going clubbing any more, and 76.8% are really grateful about not being hungover quite as often as they were in their younger years.

A couple of these pleasures might seem a little contradictory, but the common thread seems to be about appreciating things a little more deeply. For example, 90.8% of adults ranked spending time on their own as one of the things they enjoyed most about getting older, while spending time with family was hot on its heels at 87.3%.

Have you noticed yourself really getting into anything from this list?

Rank What we enjoy Percentage of adults
1 Having a night in rather than going out 91.90%
2 Spending time on your own 90.80%
3 Appreciate good food and alcohol 89.50%
4 Spending more time with family 87.30%
5 A long walk 87.10%
6 Appreciate good bedding and towels 86.80%
7 Appreciate an early night 86.60%
8 Appreciate homeware 82.80%
9 Not going clubbing 81.10%
10 Coffee 80%
11 Appreciating home appliances (hoover / iron) 79.70%
12 Spending time with parents 77.70%
13 Appreciate not being hungover 76.80%
14 Cooking 75.70%
15 Buying plants 74.10%
16 Going to museums 73.50%
17 Gardening 72.90%
18 Enjoy exercising and working out 69.10%
19 Birthday parties 68.70%
20 Decorating 66.80%

How you start changing in your twenties

In your twenties, you can start appreciating the finer things in life – 34% of Brits reported really starting to appreciate good food and alcohol in their twenties. It’s always a moment of maturity when you put down the £5 bottle of wine in the shop and go for something that isn’t fruit-flavoured, or when you realise that maybe there’s something better out there than the cheapest bottle of vodka since it tastes approximately like paint stripper.

In your twenties, you’re probably thinking about settling down. It’s the decade where you suddenly realise how many new home cards you’re sending to your friends, when you’re more likely to pop round for a wine and cheese night than pre-drinking for a night on the lash. Yep, things start getting a little bit domestic in this decade – so it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that 30% of people truly start appreciating homeware in their twenties, and that 28% of twenty-somethings start to enjoy decorating. It’s not all level heads and maturity though – still under a quarter (22%) of people in their twenties actually enjoy cleaning the house.


In your thirties, you start to really notice the little things that improve your quality of life, and take pleasure in the simple joys of life. 29% of thirty-somethings have discovered a newfound appreciation for good bedding and towels, and 30% get all excited about home appliances like a new hoover or iron. Look, if you’ve never felt the excitement of getting a new hoover that can really get the dirt out of your carpets, you haven’t lived.

Wellness also becomes a bit more of a priority in this decade, with 26% of people in their thirties appreciating an early night, and 26% loving a good long walk, with the same percentage of people now enjoying not going clubbing, and having a night in rather than going out.

Forties and fifties

Into your forties and fifties, you might pick up a few more stereotypical ‘old’ traits – 15% of people in their forties reported picking up and enjoying knitting, while 16% of people in their fifties discovered a newfound appreciation for opera and classical music. And frankly, that sounds alright to us – we’re not here to knock a sleepy Sunday morning knitting a cute scarf with Classical FM playing in the background.

For more birthday-aging-related humour, look no further than our collection of hilariously funny birthday cards. And if this has got you feeling some newfound appreciation for your mum and dad, and you’re thinking about how to make their next birthday even more special, then make sure you check out our lovely birthday cards for mum or dad birthday cards that they’re sure to love. Even if it’s making fun of their age. Come on, you’re only human.