Mom-isms: New Huffington Post piece

I originally posted a version of this post here on katyepling.com, but decided to revise and share it at Huffington Post today…

What did your mom say when you were a kid? You know, the things she said a lot. In my house, it was “How on earth does your room get THAT messy?” OK, that’s not exactly the kind of thing I mean.

Some might call them “mom-isms.” Tell me if any of these sound familiar…

  • If all of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?
  • Because I said so!
  • When I was your age…
  • Just wait until your father gets home!
  • I’ll give you something to cry about!
  • Who died and made you king?
  • You’ll understand when you’re older.

If you just rolled your eyes at those, you’re in good company. And even if your mother’s “ism” of choice wasn’t on that list, you can probably spout off the one(s) she did use… and still hear them in her voice.

But it’s a new day, and I think it’s time to revisit the mom-isms that take up residence in our lives. As I looked up the familiar phrases online, I found some that were funny, some that were angry, some that were just plain boring. (One web site listed “no” under its mom-isms. Really? Did ya think about that one real hard?) Some of them made a point, but many were just easy-to-utter phrases without any real meaning behind them.

Now I’m definitely not above a good mom-ism. Who among us isn’t guilty of voicing the phrase, “No one ever said life is fair” to a surly child? Or an out-of-desperation, “Because… well… because I said so, that’s why!”? But here’s the thing… My kids are going to have my key phrases engraved on their brains. They are going to hear me speaking these words in their heads for the rest of their lives. So I want my words to have weight. I want them to be intentional. I want my voice to hold the messages that will carry them through a tough day at school, the peer pressure of their teenage years, the murky waters of friendships and relationships, the joy of accomplishment and agony of defeat. Someday, when they are laughing at The Things Mom Always Said (because you know they will), I hope they also say, “Yeah, but they helped me, too.”

Friends, it’s time for some new mom-isms.

Read the complete article on The Huffington Post.

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