You ever have days where you see a mom that’s out and about with her children, and think, “Well, THAT woman sure has it ALL figured out!” She’s well-dressed (how can she even walk in those heels??), her hair is done, nails are polished, kids are well-behaved (all 6 of them), and how the hell did she have the time to put on a full face of makeup and contour like a Kardashian??! Come on, admit it – you’re a little jealous. Or maybe a-lotta jealous.
You catch your own reflection in a window. Messy top knot, bags under your eyes, and did you even remember deodorant this morning? Yup. Still looking more like a hobo compared to those mothers you see in the magazines that are always smiling, calm and put-together. Or like THAT mother.
But didn’t anyone ever tell you, “Never judge a book by its cover,”? Come on, snap out of it! ATTENTION, ladies, we’re ALL crazy – some just hide it better than others. And even the ones that LOOK collected have breaking points, too.
Which brings me to the entire point of this blog post – looks are deceiving. People may look a certain way on the outside but could be feeling something TOTALLY different on the inside. The same goes for what we say . . . especially what we say to our kids.
I like to call these phrases, “mom-isms” – common things we all say to our children at some point in time. You know, things OUR mothers used to say to us as kids that we SWORE we’d never say to our own? Yeah . . . who were we kidding!?
Did you realize “mom-isms” have underlying messages? There’s what our sons and daughters actually hear, and what Mommy is REALLY trying to say. SO! Let’s look at some of these translations, shall we?
1. “Why?? Because I said so!”
There’s no way I’m going to admit defeat, but dammit, I just can’t come up with a good answer! I’m either too tired to argue anymore or I honestly don’t KNOW why. This is the one thing my mother said to me as a kid that drove me bonkers, and I’ve always told myself I’d never say this to my kids. But sometimes I open my mouth, and surprise! My mother slips out. So kids, take note: this particular mom-ism is going to drive you absolutely crazy, but don’t worry – you’ll be able to use it on your own children one day.
2. “Don’t make me come over there”
No really . . . please don’t make me get up and come over there. This one’s not for your own good – it’s for mine. I’m in the middle of cooking dinner or folding laundry, or I’m actually sitting down, reading an article in a magazine. I’m tired, y’all! Can’t I get a break sometimes? Ha. Right!
3. “Don’t play at the dinner table”
You’ve been playing all day – are you even capable of sitting still for like, 20 minutes? What is it about dinnertime that makes kids think it’s playtime, anyway? We’ve never been the type of parents to hand over a tablet or cell phone to occupy our kiddos during a meal, yet Jordyn still picks at her food like a bird, and it takes dang near an hour for her to finish half her plate…all the while, she’s bouncing up and down, playing with her food, making silly faces, tickling Averie’s toes, teasing the cat. . . CHILD! Sit still and eat your meatloaf! I absolutely cherish our family meals, but geez, I need to get up and get other things done. (I’ll admit that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree with this one . . .)
4. “I’m going to give you until the count of 3”
And I’m going to count very, VERY slowly…better yet, I’ll count to 5. Maybe that will encourage you to do whatever it is that I already asked you to do three times before I resorted to counting. You know, because mom-ism #2.
5. “Don’t put that in your mouth”
You dropped your sucker on the ground and made quick eye contact with me. Oh, I knew I was in for it! Like a little candy ninja, you swooped down, snatched it up and shoved it back into your mouth with one quick move, . . . because you KNEW what I was going to say, and you weren’t willing to give up your treat. Honey, your mom is a germaphobe, and I try really hard to play it cool and not freak out over stuff like this. But OH MY GOSH, that sucker must have tons of plague-inducing bacteria crawling all over it now! The last thing I want to do is spend hours in and out of doctor’s offices, or clean up all sorts of fun bodily fluids and fight to force medicine down your throat. And when ONE family member gets sick, the rest are sure to follow. Like Mary and that annoying little lamb.
6. “Just wait until your dad finds out”
Can you see me waving my white flag now??! My energy is spent, we’ve been battling for what seems like hours, but I’m STILL not going to admit defeat. It’s your turn, Daddy-o, to be the “bad guy”! It’s time for YOU to take the reins and get our little ones in line! Good luck . . . I’m going to go take a bubble bath, now.
7. “Eat your vegetables”
For the love of all things mighty, PLEASE, do this one thing for me! Sure, veggies are packed with nutrients, make you big and strong, keep you healthy, blah blah blah . . . but honestly, I don’t want to lie to your pediatrician. Even if I did, you’re not too shy to call me out on it. Plus, there’s no way I’m going to admit to your doctor that you live on cheese rollups and bologna. I’d feel like a much better parent if I can be truthful about your healthy eating habits. So come on, eat your veggies, please . . . I’ll give you a piece of candy if you do!
8. “Time for bed”
TIME FOR BED! TIME FOR BED! It’s BEDTIME!! I love you, my little heathens, but it’s tiiiiiime for BED!! Do not “pass go”, do not “collect $200”! Get your cute little booties under your covers, say your prayers, and drift off to dreamland. Mama needs a little quiet time! Uh, no, I will not get you a glass of water. I’ve already read you one book, so I’m not reading another. No, I don’t know where your stuffed tiger is. I’ve already given you a hundred hugs and kisses tonight. No, no more cartoons. Don’t get out of bed. No really…don’t get up again. For the 5th time, STAY IN YOUR BED. It’s been an HOUR since I turned the lights off, why are you still awake??! STOP SINGING, AND GO TO SLEEP! Oh, who am I kidding? “Time for bed” is just another phrase for late-night playtime.
9. “I’m going to turn this car around”
I hope you never catch on that I’m TOTALLY bluffing. We’ve gone this far, and I’m not willing to go back home empty-handed! If we were to turn around now, I’d have to wrap a sheet around Averie’s butt because we don’t have diapers at home, and we’ll be snacking on stale crackers since we’ve run out of fruit and Goldfish. Not to mention, at some point I’ll be forced to wrangle you both up AGAIN and load you back into your carseats, which frankly, is my least favorite thing to do since you tend to become floppy, wet noodles when I try to buckle you in.
10. “I love you”
I FREAKIN’ LOVE YOU! You girls are living proof that my heart walks outside of my body, and I would give my last breath if it meant giving you one more. I never knew of a love like this until you were born, and the joy I get from hearing you laugh and watching you grow is enough to make my soul burst! These three words will never be able to describe the depth of my love for you, my daughters. Please understand, though I may have rough mommy moments and bad days, my love for y’all will NEVER lessen. I’m kind of winging this mom thing, and I hope I’m doing a good enough job. I promise to be the best mother I possibly can for you girls because you deserve nothing but the best! (Photo by Sweet Pea Photography by Blaire)
I’d love to hear YOUR “mom-isms”. What kind of things do you say to your kids when you WANT to say something completely different?