The Little Dude I Gave Birth To Looks Nothing Like Me


UPDATE: I was unaware that a similar article appeared in another news source online, as pointed out by our reader Hannah. The policy of Mommyish is that we only accept previously unpublished work, and had I know the articles were so similar I wouldn’t have published this. Thank you, E


My son Holt, at 19 months now, is a seriously gorgeous baby. I can’t walk anywhere with him, without people wanting to touch him or comment on how cute he is or make him high five them. Every parent, of course, believes that their own baby is cute and gorgeous and from a parent’s perspective, they are.

I can’t look at my son, completely objectively, when it comes to his looks. Why? Because, even after 19, months the little dude looks absolutely nothing like me. When I say, “Nothing like me,” I really mean, he looks NOTHING like me. I have dark hair, olive skin and green eyes. My daughter looks almost exactly like me, except she has brown eyes, but the shape of our eyes, face, lips, hair color and skin tone is almost identical, and has been since she was born.

But my son however? He takes after his father when it comes to looks. My son has ocean blue eyes, blond hair that too many people to count have said they would “pay” to have the same hair color, and he’s very light skinned, the type of skin that he will need 50 sun block for the rest of his life.

Oh how many times have I heard, “He looks so much like his father! It’s uncanny!” Or, “No doubt who the father is.” And, “Obviously, he’s isn’t the mailman’s!

I’ve also heard, too many times to count, “He looks nothing like you!” Duh.

And, often when I carry him, I do get looks from strangers that suggest, I think, that they are wondering, “How are those two related?” In fact, I’ve been asked, even though I’m pushing him in his stroller, and I’m singing to him, if he IS my son.

Holt and I do not resemble each other at all. He looks like I could have adopted him or I am his babysitter or nanny. Of course I love him to bits, but for some reason, I just want him to have at least one of my features.

For the first year of his life, I thought, “Well, he’ll change. He has to look a little like me at some point.” But now I believe that he’s never going to look like me at all. Not even a little bit. Ever. It is super nice to hear, “You have the cutest baby in the world,” and, “What stunning blue eyes he has,” and, “Oh look how long his lashes are!” The compliments make me happy, but not joyous, like how I can see the joy and pride on my fiancé’s face when people say, “He looks exactly like you!” or the pride I feel when people tell me my daughter is my mini-me.

Is it that I’m feeling left out? Or is it that I carried the little guy for nine months and shouldn’t he have at least the shape of my eyes or even ears, since he has some (I know) of my genes? He also has a dimple in his chin and one on his cheek. I don’t have any dimples (unless you include the ones on my ass, which I think are called ‘cellulite’ rather than “dimples.”)

So, yes, I admit that I am a little jealous that, looks wise, he takes entirely after his father. And if you ever wondered if “blondes have more fun,” while I can’t exactly answer as a brunette, but I can say that blond/blue eyed babies get a heck of a lot more attention than brown haired/brown eyed babies. This may be a sweeping generalization, but it’s been my experience with my children.

My daughter never received as much attention or compliments as my son does, while she was a baby. When we vacation in Mexico, I can’t push the stroller with Holt for more than thirty seconds before strangers are rubbing his hair (Hate that!) or looking at his eyes and saying how amazing they are.

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You can reach this post's author, Rebecca Eckler, on twitter.
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  • candyvines

    Are you sure you’re his mother? Might be time to call Maury.

  • Natalie

    My daughter is two and she has started to look a bit more like me and has my facial expressions, but she is defintely her father’s daughter. (Her father, as I like to refer to him since I read someone else who said it “the asshole who trumped my genes”). I know how you feel. I carried her, she is my little girl, shouldn’t she look like me! Ha,ha. I’m over it, but it bugged me for such a long time especially because I got so many comments about it! We went to Mexico last year and god bless all the locals, but they too loved her blonde hair and blue eyes and fussed with her. She had pneumonia by the time she got home. I’m expecting a little boy now and feel like I could accept him looking like his father, but I wouldn’t mind if he had brown eyes – lol!

    • igottagetoutmore

      My guy looks nothing like me as most people including complete strangers are happy to tell me. He has my rosy skin but otherwise just like papa, brown hair brown eyes, lashes, cleft chin. I’ve had people comment to my SIL that “her” son looks so cute. When I say “he’s my son” they say bluntly he looks nothing like you.

      Well thank you very much ignorant stranger!!!

      Even friends do this. One friend said to me well he can have that bitchy expression you get so that’s how he looks like you. ???????

      I do find that as he gets older he doesn’t appear to be a mini-he of my husband and is developing into his own person – genetically speaking though I think he has my long limbs which I am happy about. My husband is 7 inches taller than me and we have the same inseam. He has such stubby legs – not my kid. All long bones! Some features will eventually appear that show you are related. You just have to wait for it (I’ve been waiting 6 years so far)

  • Hannah

    Didn’t you write basically the same article for the July issue of Today’s Parent, Rebecca?

    • aCongaLine

      I just read this article, out of curiosity. Rebecca, you seem really, really resentful about this issue. I’d look into some kind of therapy before your resentment starts to affect your son. I hope the significant change in tone from this July article and this one is evidence of you working through your issues with this. I’m sorry it’s troubling you so much.

    • drinkpepsi

      Rebecca needs therapy for a whole bunch of things.

      We’ll add this to the list.

    • Mystik Spiral

      Though in that article she gained 60 pounds during the pregnancy, here she gained 70. Not only is she out of ideas, she can’t keep her story straight.

    • Eve Vawter

      Thank you Hannah

    • ChopChick

      Ugh, I’m so over Eckler and the drama fest that is her.

    • Michelle Pittman

      that tagline is awesome: Rebecca Eckler hates that she and her son look nothing alike. can we make the rule that everything she writes has this: “Rebecca Eckler hates that her stepdaughters prefer their mother,” “Rebecca Eckler hate peasants who regifted birthday presents for her little princess,” “Rebecca Eckler hates when people get on her case for calling her fiance ‘husband’ even though he’s not yet her husband,” “Rebecca Eckler hates that the world does not revolve around her every minute of every day”

    • Emily Wight

      Was literally just about to type the same thing. What does Rebecca Eckler love? Anything other than Rebecca Eckler?

    • Michelle Pittman

      I believe she may love Italian rugs? Oh, and she loves talking about her stepdaughters and their “evil” mom…and vacations…she loves vacations

    • Emily Wight

      What’s a vacation?

    • Eve Vawter

      what’s a weekend?

  • G.E. Phillips

    I get the same thing about my son–that he looks just like his father, nothing like me. But it’s actually not true. Sure, he’s blonde and blue eyed like his dad, and my coloring is darker, but his features actually do resemble mine–the shape of his face, his cheeks, his chin. I get annoyed that people can’t see past the coloring, and yes, I feel somewhat proprietary–I’m the one who grew him, I should at least get some kind of credit for his adorableness!

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Same way with BOTH of my children. Who knew Daddy’s damn blonde hair could overpower the genetics of a family where everyone’s dark haired?

  • aCongaLine

    I totally get it. My older daughter looks EXACTLY like my husband, only a girl. Tall, skinny, blonde, crinkle at her eyes from grinning, the exact same skinny chicken legs, hammer toes, and straight teeth. The same very distinct laugh, and the same tendencies to NEVER SIT STILL EVER. Younger daughter? All me. Fawny mousy brown hair that’s curly when wet, straight when dry, chubby thighs, shorter, stouter, even the same earlobes, teeth that will probably need braces, and the same freakishly quick growing fingernails.

    Hubs and I marvel at how two totally different individuals can come out of the exact same gene pool. It’s wild. We joke that we’re grooming them to become a pitcher-catcher battery- both Hubs and I coach softball- but really, we’re recognizing that our children are different, and will, because of their body types, interests, attention spans, and personalities, become different people that are good at different things.

    I’m thankful they look totally different. My brother and I are literally carbon copies of each other. And everyone we run into when we are together points this out, even now, when I am nearly 30 and he is 26. We look like twins. We have to consult my mother on who’s baby pics are who’s. I’m glad my kids won’t have that- and that they look totally different from each other. Because, they’re different people.

    • Bethany Ramos

      You may have expected this, but… It’s funny because my older son looks just like my husband with dark features, and my younger son looks like me with blue eyes! I was assuming that they would both look like him and his Mexican side of the family, but they are completely different. Here’s one more for our parallel lives. :-)

    • aCongaLine

      Ha! That’s too funny :) I will admit, when I hit ‘post,’ I thought I wonder if Bethany’s kids are the same?” :)

    • Bethany Ramos

      LOL – let’s just merge Disqus accounts already!

    • Rachel Sea

      One of my best friends has Mexican parents, and her daughter was as blonde and blue-eyed as can be, but otherwise looks just like her. People still ask her all the time whether she’s the nanny. Her son on the other hand got her coloring almost exactly, but is otherwise a perfect carbon of his father.

    • Bethany Ramos

      I was very surprised the blue eyes came through on my side!

    • pixie

      Growing up my mom knew an Italian family where the parents were stereotypical Sicilian (short, dark hair, dark eyes, darker complexion) and the two kids were pasty-skinned ginger giants. They weren’t adopted, either.

  • Ellie

    Yes-people go crazy for the blonde/blue-eyed babies! My son got sooo much attention as a baby and still at 4 people marvel at his features. I would frequently be asked if I model him!? Umm…”Never!!! But thanks.” My daughter has dirty blonde hair and blue eyes and doesn’t get nearly the attention he did/does. I don’t mind actually b/c it is so superficial anyway-no one on the street making these comments knows my kids and knows about all the great and unique qualities each possesses. I just find it interesting I guess.

  • Terry Teague SF

    I bet your husband was cheating on you!

    • M

      What’s wrong with you?

    • Come On

      If a baby doesn’t look like the man, people are quick to say “your wife must have been cheating on you.” So, this is poking fun at that. Get it?

    • Maria Guido

      I think I’m the only one that got your joke.

    • Terry Teague SF

      Thanks Maria, I knew you, Bathany, Eve or Kay-Sue would get it

    • Bethany Ramos


    • Kay_Sue

      It took me a while to get here because I needed a drink before I could venture into the comments section on an Eckler piece…

    • rebecca Eckler


  • Dusty

    I can only hope my daughter looks nothing like her father. That full beard and chest hair would make her really unattractive

  • Nica

    BOTH my sons look nothing at all like me – I have dark brown hair and brown eyes. My first son has light brown hair and hazel eyes and my second son is blond haired and blue eyed. So much for dominant and recessive genes… (for the record, my husband has light brown hair and blue eyes).
    And it’s always fun when you get “Your son is really cute. He looks nothing like you.” Sometimes people realize how insulting it is right after it comes out of their mouths, most of the time, however they don’t…

  • Lee

    People always ask me who my son looks like. As in that child looks nothing like you or your husband so what relative does he look like?

  • pixie

    I have features from both my parents and features from neither. I have my dad’s build, blonde hair, and ears, and my mom’s high cheekbones, colouring, and eye shape. My nose is a mashup of both my parents’, my eyes are more green than either of my parents (mom’s are fairly blue, dad’s more blue-grey), my hair is straight where my mom has ringlets and my dad waves, and my chest is all my own. Different stages when I was growing up I looked more like one parent or the other. As a really young child, I resembled my mom more because of face-shape, but I had my dad’s hair. As a tween I looked more like my dad when my face shape changed (obviously not the bone structure, but how my skin goes over it) and I had my growth spurt.
    Now I look like myself. I can see traits I’ve inherited from both my parents as well as past relatives, and I have no problem with people pointing that out, I take comparisons as a compliment, in fact, as do my parents, but one of the big things my parents impressed on me as a child was that I look like myself. I heard them tell it to others, as well, and though I still have image-issues (like most women), it helped me define myself as an individual as a kid.

  • EX

    My daughter looks just like my husband. Has his personality too. Although it did surprise me a little at first (in my mind’s eye I imagined my daughter to look like me as a child) it’s never bothered me. When people point it out I usually say “it’s a good thing I like her dad!”

  • Kara

    I don’t like the way this woman writes.

    • EX

      This is my favorite comment of the day. So straightforward. And I can only say that I agree with the sentiment!

    • Michelle Pittman

      LOL! welcome to the masses…

    • momjones

      The former high school English teacher in me wants to rip through my screen with a red pen. I really have a hard time accepting that she is a published author.

    • drinkpepsi

      Maybe because it reads like something she scrawled on a napkin while eating a Big Mac?

    • Michelle Pittman

      hey now…JK Rowling scrawled Harry Potter out on napkins in a coffee shop…and you Becks would NEVER have a Big Mac or step into a McDonalds

    • clara berger

      yeah + shes afraid of her babys penis lolol… more like her husbands baby penis

  • JLH1986

    He could still end up looking like you. For most of my life all I heard was “My goodness you look like your daddy!” Blonde/Blue Eyes, his coloring etc. But now at 30, my features have changed enough that while I still have pops coloring…my nose is more like my moms, my legs, even my toes. So it might just take longer…mom never did get a dark haired brown eyed kid though, so she’s pretty pumped I’m starting to look more like her.

  • Sparklechops

    My son looks nothing like either me or my husband at first glance, because he’s got albinism, so pale skin, pale eyes, almost white hair. However, we got sick of people comparing him to albino rabbits and suchlike when we explained, so for years I said that he got his blonde hair from my mother, who actually gets hers out of a bottle. When you look past his colouring though, you can see both of us there looking back.

    • Tea

      Just giving a support upvote from a person with albinism.

  • Anika

    A lot of kids that start with blonde hair end up with dark hair, my husband and I were both blonde as children and are brunette now. Our daughter has blonde hair but we expect it will darken.

    • pixie

      It’s not uncommon for babies to have blonde hair and blue eyes and then end up with brown hair and brown eyes. That happened to my boyfriend. His hair and eyes are both fairly dark, but there’s baby pictures of him with golden hair and blue eyes.

    • K

      Yes! My sister was born blonde and now it’s super dark as an adult. I was born brunette and ended up being a blonde.

  • Armchair Observer

    Yes, RE, you truly have been screwed over by not having a kid who is your spitting image. Oh, the horror!

    Please, can we stop with the RE nonsense?

  • pineapplegrasss

    My boys are night and day. My pale blue eyed blondie is now 2.5 and his eyes are starting to get dark. I’m going to miss that blond hair when its gone, if it goes. My older son has the dark skin and such green green eyes that the strangers all have to stop and stare. Now, when somebody tells him he has beautiful eyes, he rolls them and says everybody says that.

  • Christina

    While I agree that blondes get more attention than brunettes, nobody gets more attention than red heads. I have red hair and light blue eyes like my brothers and everywhere we went as children people would comment on us, still do now that we are grown up. My daughter has orange-red hair and navy eyes and is commented on at least twice a day. Some of the comments are nice, some not so much. I just tell my daughter to respond with ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all’ or ‘Personal comments are never in good taste’.

    • elle

      Truth. My half sisters have what I think is the most gorgeous red hair (think young Lindsey Lohan) and they ALWAYS get complimented from the time they were born up til now when they are in their late teens and early 20s. Their hair always gets fawned over.

  • Get Over It

    Good lords, woman, get over your resentment on this issue. Seriously, does it even really matter that he doesn’t look like you? It doesn’t make the boy any less your son, and I should hope that you do not love him any less for it. This is about the most selfish, silly thing I have ever heard. Just because you carried him does not mean that he has to come out looking like you.

    Genetics are crazy, and NO, dark genes do NOT always win. Check this out:
    My theatre teacher in high school was an African American man, his wife was a white woman. And I mean WHITE. Ice blonde hair that fell in soft curls, blue eyes, skin white as snow. She could have passed for Queen Elsa from Frozen. They had two children together, a son and a daughter. The daughter? She was a DEAD RINGER for her father, in female form. She picked up his skin tone, his facial features, his hair, EVERYTHING. Looked absolutely nothing like her mother. The younger son? He was a dead ringer for his mother. Not a DROP of his father in that boy, he had his mother’s eyes, skin, soft-curled blonde hair, the works. You couldn’t even tell he was related to his own big sister. Two children with the same parents, but they looked ENTIRELY DIFFERENT, because that’s just how the genetic lottery worked for them.
    Yes, lighter colors do tend to be recessive genes, but they DO NOT always get covered by dominant ones by any means. And the biggest question: Did their father resent that his daughter was the only one who resembled him? Did he love his son any less for resembling his mother? NO. He simply loved his for who they were, and for the fact that they were HIS children, which is what YOU should do for your son and get past this silly, selfish resentment about how he looks more like his father than you before he’s old enough to pick up on it. Gods above, woman, you are nuts.

  • Jessica

    My husband was adopted from South Korea as an infant, so when we decided to have children I knew my baby probably wouldn’t look anything like me. It still stings when people comment on how she looks exactly like her dad & nothing like me. But her personality is a carbon copy of mine.

    It’s minor in the grand scheme of things, but it doesn’t hurt your feelings any less when it happens.

    • Allyson_et_al

      Oh, I love this. I showed it to my 13-year-old daughter and it cracked us both the hell up.

    • rebecca eckler

      This is awesome! Love it!

  • Kate

    I like how she not-so-subtly likes to work in brags into all her pieces. In this one it’s “I can afford a house manager” and “My son is so cute people want to steal him”. Keep it classy, Eckler.

    • Mystik Spiral

      “When we vacation in Mexico…”

    • drinkpepsi

      The truly wealthy don’t feel the need to humble brag.

      They also don’t vacation in Mexico or Jamaica.
      More like Anguilla, Maldives or Musha Cay.

  • MegzWray

    Oh Rebecca, Rebecca, Rebecca. I thought we were all past this! Are you really lamenting because your son doesn’t look like you? My daughter is adopted. Do you think I pearl clutch everyday because this child, whom I love with all my heart, doesn’t look a lick like me? Do you think my “step”dad, who raised me ever thought, well, hell, that’s not MY kid! She doesn’t have black hair. Love knows no appearance. Mom’s are actually dogs that way. We love by the sight, sound, smell and taste of our young. Not by their physical attributes. Shame on you for lessening my love for my daughter because she doesn’t look like me.

  • Ptownsteveschick

    I think of it this way. I LOVE my husband, so much, in a gross cry when I listen to love songs kinda way. Our daughter looks like a teeny tiny version of him. I got to carry her and have that time with her he will never have. When she was born, I couldn’t have been happier to see that she looked like him, someone I love so much. I grew up looking absolutely nothing like my mom, and people sometimes didn’t know we were related, until we opened out mouths and started talking. Get over the superficial and spend time getting to know your child as he grows into a person, there is probably more of you in there than you might think.

  • AlexMMR

    Meh, happens to the best of us. With my twins, one is a mini-me and the other is a mini-he.

  • Michelle Pittman

    my favorite parts of any Rebecca article are the comments…i’m pretty sure Eve could get a month’s worth of “Comments of the Week” from any story RE writes…

  • mananieto

    My boy looks NOTHING like me. He is a 100% his father, and I absolutely love it. I always hoped this would be the case. There is a saying in my country which I love: A baby that looks like his father honors his mother (As in, Your mother is not a slut). So congrats to you Eckler on not being a whore.

    Now for real, he looks so much like his father this is the last comment I got about it… Oh my god he is gorgeus!! He looks nothing like you. Thanks?

    Also your writting: UGH. and this is coming from a little Colombian girl, whose english is probably on the same level as Sophia Vergara.

  • Kati

    All three of my children have their father’s features. Especially around their eyes, which kind of makes or breaks it when it comes to taking after someone. I’m petite, 5’4 and slight. My daughter will probably outgrow me by fifth grade (her dad is 6’2 and she takes after his side of the family in regards to her build). Everyone makes comments about how much they look like my husband. I just shrug and say something stupid about the milkman being off the hook. If they ask if it bothers me, I just say “My husband may have given them their looks but I made them cute!” and the issue gets dropped. Because it is a non-issue,which is as it should be. If I was a narcissistic person who wanted to live a second childhood vicariously through my children, this might bother me. I’m not. So it doesn’t. I’m a grown-ass woman who doesn’t think hours spent in misery carrying and birthing an infant should be directly proportional to how much they look like me. Children don’t exist as validation. Get over yourself.

  • MegzWray

    I hope her husband is complaining to coworkers, “GAWD! My daughter looks NOTHING like me! These kids are fucking worthless! UGH!!!” What a twat-monkey.

  • MellyG

    Oh come on – you have a healthy baby boy and you’re COMPLAINING? Really? REALLY?

    Also, guess what – I look nothing like my mother, and exactly like my father AND my step father. I don’t think my mother loves me any less.

    Also, when i think about having kids with my current partner, I think about how i want my kids to look like HIM. I adore him, so i want a mini HIM. I feel like wanting a kid to look like mini MI is the height of narcissism, just get a freaking clone!

  • Teleute

    My son and I look so much alike that he has trouble telling my baby and toddler pictures apart from his own.

  • Stacy H

    I’m assuming that Mommyish does not employ editors, as evidenced by the lack of correct punctuation in the article.

  • Kevin Brady

    I have three kids and love each of them dearly (and, I believe, equally). However, sometimes life experiences can bring you even closer to one of your children. For example, my eldest daughter (who looks nothing like me) was a preemie and had host of health challenges after she was delivered. I spent many weeks sitting beside the plastic bubble in which she needed to be enclosed, and there was something about that harrowing experience that created a deep bond between us. Ultimately, what you kids look like is really unimportant, it’s the relationship you develop with them that matters.

  • Anonymous Pete

    One of the most interesting aspects of having a child is being able to watch them grow and notice the traits that they have. It is true that when a child is born half of their genetic endowment will come from the father and the other half from the mother. However, this does not necessarily mean that they will look or act like one parent over the other. The beauty of the whole process is the variability in how the traits are expressed. Of course, some traits will be dominant such as physical traits like eye color, hair color, height, etc. Meaning they will likely resemble one parent over the other in that respect. However, in terms of personality and temperament it might be expressed differently despite having come from one or even both mother and father.

    In terms of them “looking” like one parent over the other, it doesn’t always have to occur. They might have a combination of traits from both parents that influence the way they appear. For example, a child might take the father’s eyes but the mother’s hair color. They might have a similar body structure to one parent over the other but might take a little bit here and there that makes them unique.

    When a child is born they won’t be an exact replica of either parent but the constellation of traits will be expressed in different ways. I would let things unfold in due time, you might be surprised by the outcome.