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Same Momisms, Different Mom

As I wandered the grocery store this morning, my eyes focused on a stunning woman accompanied by her preschool son. In passing, I caught snippets of their conversation, with the boy asking his mom for something and then her reply: “But Honey, every time I buy you something you think you’ll like you never eat it.”

“My God,” I thought.  “That’s MY LINE!”

I continued to listen as the mom listed what her son had asked for in the past (the list was LONG) and how much of the food had gone bad or been thrown out. The mother talked about how much food they waste and what a shame it was. I caught her eye. “Been there, done that. I completely understand.” She smiled back, validated.

I’m betting that for centuries, mothers have been giving the same lectures to their kids, with only minor variations. Can you identify with any of these “Momisms”?

  • “Honey, I asked you like five times before we left if you have to go. NOW you have to?!!!”

  • “I don’t care if all the other parents in the neighborhood (tribe, school, temple, church, caravan, commune, etc.) let their kids do it. I’m your mom and I say NO.”

  • “Your sister (brother, pet, our furniture, rocks, our chariot, etc.) is not food. Don’t bite it!”

  • “Try it (the new food). If you don’t try it you’ll never know if you like it.” (Sidebar: I had to coerce my kids to try pizza. PIZZA!)

  • “Stop yelling/screaming/talking so loudly. You’re giving Mommy a headache.”

  • “Go to bed. NOW. Not in 5 minutes. NOW!”

  • “No, you cannot have a pet (cat, dog, rodent, yak, elephant, snake, etc.). Why? Because I’ll wind up taking care of it!”

  • “Get back here and stop running around. NOW!”

  • “You kids are so spoiled! Back in my day….”

  • “Don’t make me get up!”

  • “I don’t care who started it, YOU stop it!”

  • “Where do you think YOU’RE going?!”

  • “Someday I hope you have a kid exactly like you!”

These Momisms are much easier to take when you’re not spewing them.  And kids are a lot easier to take when they’re not yours (although other people’s children aren’t NEARLY as lovable as yours!).

I listen to moms with babies and toddlers and think, “Been there, done that.” I talk with other mothers of teens and ask, “Is this normal?” And I seek the advice of mothers with older kids to get a handle on what’s coming up (I have a son. Girls are on the horizon.  It’s not looking pretty.). The scoldings, the phrases are as old as mothering. But my favorite “momism”?
I will always love you – no matter what. 


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