“I will never be like her when I grow up.”
Yes, I know. Most adolescent girls have said those words. However, I truly meant them.
My mother and I disagreed about everything from friends & clothes to extracurricular activities, grades, and boys. You name it and we did not see to eye to eye about it.
She just didn’t “get” me. And she was a complete mystery to me.
The arguments were one thing. The lectures were another thing entirely- and trust me when I say there were plenty of those.
What drove me to insanity, however, were my mother’s famous phrases. Also known as: Mom-isms
The minute the first word of a Mom’ism left her mouth my entire body transformed…
First came the eye roll. I was a master of the eye roll. It was epic. In fact, I think I actually saw my own brain a time or two.
I’m pretty sure I looked something like this…
Next came the wordless communication that left no question about what I was thinking. Without uttering a single word, I could express volumes outlining how pissed off I was. Who needs words when you can dramatically cross your arms, cock your hip, huff like a champ and remove your eyeballs from your cranium long enough to shoot lasers? I should probably teach a class to girls 11-17. I could make millions!
I was certain my mother created these Mom-isms to torture me. I imagined her sitting up at night, weaving words into irritating responses she could throw out there whenever I asked to go to a party or refused to do what she asked. She said they were meant to teach me some sort of life lesson; but I’m pretty sure they were created to punish me for for being annoying and, well, maybe for the eye rolling.
Fast forward 25 years and 2 kids and suddenly these Mom-ism don’t seem quite so annoying… Perhaps it’s the lack of eye rolling that made me see clearly? Maybe lectures and cliched phrases come along with motherhood, like stretch marks and a lack of bladder control?
Or maybe, just maybe, my mother’s Mom-isms were 50 shades of brilliant. You decide…
6 Mom-isms Every Mother Should Use, Courtesy of My Mother
1. “Just because you can swim, doesn’t mean I’m going to let you swim with the sharks.”
Translation: This was my mom’s fancy way of saying, “I trust you. It’s the other people I don’t trust.” I think she gets an ‘A’ for creativity. I gave an accurate explanation of this Mom-ism here.
Child: “Mom can I go to a party of Susie’s Friday night?”
Mom: “Absolutely not!”
Child: “Don’t you trust me?”
Mom: “Just because you can swim doesn’t mean I’m gong to let you swim with the sharks.”
2. “Someone is going to be laughing out of the other side of their face.”
Translation: I’ll be honest, I’ve never completely understood this phrase. (Which is surprising considering my brother and I heard it almost every day of our lives.) I’m pretty sure it loosely translates to “It’s all fun and games until someone gets an eye poked out.”
Kids: *giggle, giggle, guffaw, snort, giggle*
Mom: “Knock it off!”
Kids: *giggle, giggle, guffaw, snort, giggle*
Mom: “Keep it up you two and someone is going to be laughing out of the other side of their face!”
3. “Fine. Go ahead and do it. I don’t care. But I’m not going to visit you in the hospital.”
Translation: This is the phrase my mom used when it was clear my brother and/or I was about to disobey, knowing full well she totally and completely DID care and probably would visit us in the hospital, bringing with her a big fat “I told you so.”
Me: “Mom, I’m going to ride my bike downhill, backwards and without hands.”
Mom: “You’d better not!”
Me: “I am. I’m going to do it. Watch me!”
Mom: “Fine. Go ahead and do it. I don’t care. But I’m not going to visit you in the hospital.”
4. “Go to your room. You can come back down when you can act like a civilized human being and not a crazed animal.”
Translation: There were
countless a few times I had difficulties controlling my feelings. One might say I had a habit of becoming frighteningly a teensy bit overly emotional. When this happened, my mom didn’t squash our feelings but she certainly wasn’t going to be subjected to them either. So, she sent us to our rooms to scream in a pillow or kick the snot out of our beds and when we were finished and ready to talk, we could rejoin society and discuss things a little more rationally.
Me: “I really want to go to Susie’s party.”
Mom: “I understand that but you know my stance on swimming and sharks.”
Me: “But Mom! You can totally trust me.”
Mom: “I’m sorry, but my answer is the same.”
Me: “OH MY GOSH YOU ARE SO MEAN YOU ARE THE WORST MOTHER EVER EVERYONE ELSE GETS TO GO BECAUSE THEIR MOTHERS TRUST THEM AND KNOW THEY WON’T DO ANYTHING WRONG WHY DON’T YOU TRUST ME I HATE YOU!”
Mom: “Go to your room. You can come back down when you can act like a civilized human being and not a crazed animal.”
5. “Look around- it’s not all about you!”
Translation: Pull your head out of your ass and think about someone besides yourself once in a while.”
Mom: “You can’t go to the youth group dance next Friday because it’s Grandma and Grandpa’s 50th wedding anniversary.”
Me: “What!? But I love going to the monthly dances! I promised Susie I’d teach her how to do the Cabbage Patch! Grandma and Grandpa won’t care if I’m there!”
Mom: “I’m sorry but this is a really important celebration. You can’t miss it. There will be another dance next month.”
Me: OH MY GOSH WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME I LOVE THESE DANCES I’LL DIE IF I DON’T GO EVERYONE IS GOING HOW IS SUSIE GOING TO LEARN THE CABBAGE PATCH I SEE GRANDMA AND GRANDPA ALL THE TIME I HATE YOU!
Mom: “Hey! Look around- it’s not all about you!”
6. The 5 Too’s
Translation: This is more of a back story than a translation. Right around the end of 6th grade it was clear that none of the cool kids were shopping for clothes in the Sears catalog. Who knew? My mom and dad decided that I would now be given a monthly clothing allowance and I was free to shop for my own clothes during the endless hours I spent cruising the mall with my friends. As a Sears catalog shopping dork, this was big news. I could go to Benetton AND Sbarro!? Sweet baby Jesus, I hit the jackpot! But as Peter Parker (or Voltaire) once said… “With great power, comes great responsibility.” And so, anything I bought from Lerner, Brass Plum or Allen Allen had to pass The 5 Too’s.
Me: “Mom, look at this cute Esprit outfit I bought today! I think I’ll wear it to school Monday.”
Mom: “Wait one minute, young lady. This hobo-chic-before-its-time outfit must pass The 5 Too’s before it can be worn to school. Go put it on and prepare for inspection.”
Me: “NONE OF MY OTHER FRIENDS HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE 5 TOO’S THEY GET TO WEAR WHATEVER THEY WANT IT’S NOT FAIR!”
Mom: “Put it on or take it back.”
Mom: “OK, here we go. Is this outfit:
- Too Tight?
- Too Short?
- Too Low-Cut?
- Too See-through?
- Too Expensive?”
Me: “NO IT’S NOT ANY OF THE TOO’S I BOUGHT IT AT BENETTON ALL THEIR CLOTHES ARE SHAPED LIKE A RECTANGLE AND ARE UNISEX NONE OF MY FRIENDS HAVE TO DO THIS I HATE YOU!”
Mom: “Wear a tank top under it and you can keep it.”
Me: “Yay! I love you, Mom! You’re the best!”
To my fellow Mothers, take these Mom-isms and
torture your children until their eyeballs disappear use them in good health.
And to my own Mother… You were right. As always.
That’s just my normal.
Janine Huldie says
I always hated when my mom said certain things, but have to agree with your final assessment now that I am the mom to two young girls, “Mom is always right!”
She is absolutely right and wise and wonderful. I have learned, though, that the thing she has that I don’t is perspective. That will come with time I think. I am so blessed that she shares her perspective and wisdom with me And she might laugh every now and then when karma kicks me in the butt!
Robin Bobo says
Ok.. I think the girlchild has been channeling your youthself. Seriously…the eyeroll, the saying volumes without saying a word. She’s got that all down pat! (You better be counting your blessings for 2 boys and no girls!! I always said I wanted 4 kids.. 3 boys and a girl, but I was stopping after my first girl, even if that meant she’d be an only child b/c I was NOT having more than one girl. I grew up with 2 sisters..all of us within 4 years of each other.. WAY TOO MANY TEEN HORMONES in one house, and I wasn’t doing it to myself as a mom! Luckily, (for them) my boys came first!)
and OMG.. Benetton! The only thing I could afford from that store was the perfume, but I loved it!
Maybe the girlchild took my online course “How to say a lot without saying anything at all?” haha! I prayed for boys- only boys. Clearly the Lord thought I’d be a terrible girl mom as much as I thought I would be. 3 girls all within 4 years of one another… God bless your parents!! Haha!
I miss Benetton!
Kathy Radigan says
I love this!!! My mom was famous for #3!!!! All. The. Time! She would also vary it with letting us know that she wasn’t going to go to our funeral! Lol!
#3… I totally got the funeral variation too, Kathy!! That’s so funny! I tend to say, “Fine. Go for it. Don’t come crying to me when it ends poorly.”
I thing #2 means that you’re annoying her and if you don’t stop she’s going to slap your face so hard that you’ll be seeing out the other side, lol!! I do love these by the way! Are you sure we’re not related?
Oh I hadn’t thought of that one, Mel. Maybe she was just trying to be nice and not threaten me. Haha!! Maybe we are related…?
Penny Roach says
Funny how that works isn’t it? But at least karma didn’t work against you by giving you girls! And the united colors of Benetton! Oh how I miss thee!!
I prayed for boys- no kidding. From the moment I decided to take the plunge and have kids, I prayed for boys. I knew I’d be a terrible girl mom and the karma factor was epic. Haha!! Lucky for me, I love that I sound like my mom. She the wisest woman I know and has been a solid rock for me as a mom, wife and woman.
Love you Penny!
Damn if it doesn’t work for dads too. My sisters claim our father possesses my body and speaks through my mouth. Can’t decide if it is scarier because he is still around or because somehow I say all the crap I said I wouldn’t say.
I’ve heard a several things come from my brother’s mouth and we both stopped and stared at one another wide-eyed until one of us said, “Oh my gosh that was totally Dad!!!” Alive or not, it’s scary when we channel them!! Haha!
Elizabeth Pantley says
That was a fun laugh for today. I like this one best and may start using it 🙂 “Hey! Look around- it’s not all about you!”
Glad you got a giggle out of it! I think “It’s not all about you” is a lesson we could all use, right? I know I use that one a lot on my kids.
Thanks for reading and commenting, Elizabeth.
Love them, I think everyone’s mom has those momisms. My mom always said “there is nothing so bad it couldn’t be worse” .
I agree! Every mom has her “things.” I love your mom’s quote!! I think I might start using it.
Thanks for reading!
well, at least you don’t have to deal with, ‘because i said so!’ 🙂
Good point! I have modernized that one and made it Because I’m The Mom. The authority is implied.”
Thanks for reading!
The “Mom Card” as Lorelie in Gilmore Girls would say. When it comes to 5 toos, I’m also relieved that I only got a son. I may not need to use that but for all things I can’t give a reasonable explanation for or when I am already exhausted arguing, the Mom Card it is .
Yes! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the Mom Card. The simple truth is this: We are older, we are wiser. Sometimes we say ‘no’ for no’s sake. But most of the time it’s because I know better through age or experience. They don’t have to like it. They just have to obey. Right? Right!!