What is Your Favorite Mom-ism?

One of my favorite memories of my mother, who died in late 2008, is her voice pronouncing (sometimes ironically, sometimes not) one of her”mom-isms.”  My mom’s mom-isms were often malopropisms, though most of the time my mother meant them to be, unlike the character from Sheridan’s play, Mrs. Maloprop, who mangled maxims.

My mom’s most famous is, “We’ll jump off that bridge when we get there.”  That is the only form of that particular mom-ism I use, to the point where my younger daughter asked me some years ago, “Mom, why are we going to jump off a bridge?”

Well, I answered, that’s an interesting story.  You see, we’re not going to actually jump off a bridge, the expression is, “We’ll cross that bridge when we to it.”  But my mom always said it as “We’ll jump off that bridge when we get there,” as a kind of joke to help us not worry about a particular situation.

What is your favorite Mom-ism?

8 thoughts on “What is Your Favorite Mom-ism?”

  1. My favorite mom-ism is: “If everyone were jumping off the cliff would you do it too?” In all my teenage angst I wanted to say, “duh! Especially if we had parachutes.” I did not of course, but I always wondered in what context all my friends would be jumping from a cliff. I wonder now what my children will remember me saying! I am wracking my brains to think of one that I use, and I can’t think of one! Ah well, I guess we will burn that bridge when we come to it!

  2. I would have to say that my favorite mom-ism or phrase is one that I disliked the most but it helped me more than anything…….”Offer it up”. I vowed to never say that to my children. Well, I think as I matured, I realized that there are some situations where “offer it up” is the best and most appropriate response. So much of our faith can be lived/felt/experienced when trying to have this mindset.

  3. My mom always said “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”. I think I’ve taken this to a new level. I have my Mac stickie that says “is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?” I’d like to think this is more like Philippians 4:8-Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, admirable…think (and speak) on these things. (my paraphrase)

  4. This is a Mom-ism from my 89-year-old nana. I’ve asked her before about if she ever started to worry God and His plan for her family, given that she had nine children. She always smiles with a twinkle in her eye and says, “If God sends you rabbits, He gives you grass.” She’s helped me to trust God and embrace GFP (“God Family Planning!).

    She also was the one who reminded me early on in my mothering career to stop trying so hard to be perfect. “Stop trying to be God,” she told me. “Or you might end up crucified.” This is her signature humor and wisdom.

    She’s such a blessing in my life!

  5. Rose Marie’s mom and mine must have been related – my answer was also “Offer it up!” and I too find myself reflexively saying it to my kids when times get tough! Great question!

  6. One of my favorites is “always tell the truth, then you don’t have to remember what you said.” It may be originally from Mark Twain, but my mom said it!

  7. I’m with John F.! That was definitely the best advice my mom has ever given me. Another favorite “mom-ism” of mine, though not said (that I remember) by my own mom, is “If you are looking for a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.” Followed closely by, “As you get older, you will realize God gave you two hands: one for helping yourself, and one for helping others.” These were printed on the back of a program at a charity lunch honoring a particular mom (of 9, I think!) for all she had done for her family and so many other families here in Seattle.

  8. I actually have a Dadism. 🙂 It was my father who always taught me to “Walk in another person’s shoes before judging them.” The message was clear. Have compassion and understanding for others. Judgement only alienates us from one another, yet understanding can bring connection and growth!

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