Thursday, February 05, 2015

Ten (no TWENTY!) Things My Mother Said to Me

My mom was a real character. Born in 1920, she lived through poverty, the loss of her mother as a young child, a journey by ship to a new country, an evil stepmother who threw her away after her father died, separation from siblings she never saw again, The Great Depression, World War II and a life with a husband returned from that war broken and alcoholic. And yet, this strong and resilient woman raised four children. I still think she did better with me by having me later in her life. She wasn't so caught up in the trauma of the early years and had more patience, which of course made me incredibly spoiled!

One of the things I remember the most about my mom were the songs she sang ("All the Nice Girls Love a Sailor" and the classic, I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles") and her advice to me she gave me accompanied, of course, with the wagging finger. See if you can recognize any of my "momisms" I remember from growing up.

  1. Don't make that face or it will stay like that.
  2. Never talk to strangers.
  3. Always wear clean underwear, you never know when you're going to get in an accident and end up in hospital.
  4. Don't put that in your mouth, you never know where it's been.
  5. Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.
  6. If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all.
  7. You started it, you have to finish. Stick to your commitments.
  8. Close the door, we don't live in a barn!
  9. Money doesn't grow on trees, you know!
  10. If your friend jumped off a cliff, would you do that too?
  11. Boys don't like girls with sharp tongues.
  12. Never let a boy get you into a corner!
  13. Boys are all the same, they only want one thing.
  14. Don't get too big for your boots.
  15. Where there's a will, there's a way.
  16. You made your bed so lay in it!
  17. Be careful what you wish for, it might come true!
  18. It's your life, far be it for me to tell you what to do (then proceeds to tell you what to do)
  19. It's just as easy to fall in love with a rich man than it is with a poor one.
  20. Just wait till you have your own kids, then you'll know.

You can tell from some of the things my mom said she had an issue with boys. Having had her first child out of wedlock in 1939 while she was still a ward of the courts gave her fears for her own daughter.

Over the years raising my own five kids, I've heard that voice come out of my own mouth. How did that happen? I am becoming my mother. I guess that's a good reason to be careful what we say and do - I'm now hearing my daughter's say similar things to their kids.

Did you laugh as you read these, remember your own mother's voice as she imparted such glorious wisdom?  If you have some I didn't list, share below what you remember your mom telling you. I'll bet there's a lot more out there I haven't heard!

Much grace to you and yours today....Kathie

Kathie Chiu is a Salvation Army officer. She lives, writes and knits in Richmond, BC. You can read more of her writing on her blog Sheep Tales and read some of her articles in The Salvationist magazine.


Peter Black said...

Oh-h-h yes, Kathie, you had me recalling voices from the past and grinning widely!
A bunch of items on your list brought echoes of my Mom's admonitions to me in her mellowed London area accent. Even now I 'hear' her singing "I'm forever blowing bubbles" (and also, "I see the moon, the moon sees me."
And I recall my grandmother (Mum’s mum – note the good ol’ British spelling) sounding those out as well, in her lusty Cockney accent.
Thanks for leading me to this delightful trip down Memory Lane. :) ~~+~~

Erin Unger said...

I've heard most of these myself throughout my childhood, and yes I'm saying them to my kids too! Thanks for sharing a fun post.

fudge4ever said...

Hi Kathie,
Yes my mom and dad both said many of these. I had a good chuckle while reading your post. They also said, "A stitch in time saves nine", and "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." My dad used to say, "When it's hardest to pray, pray hardest." Much good advice!
Pam Mytroen

Glynis said...

Way to stir up some memories, Kathie. Oh yes. I think I heard most of these 'momisms' over the many years. And it's funny how we cherish a few of them. One my mum always used to proffer forth was 'A little bit of what you fancy does you good!" Lo and behold my sister gave me the most wonderful Christmas present last year - two cups and saucers, two tea plates and a teapot bearing the words "Ladies that lunch - A Little Bit of What You Fancy Does You Good!" I was thrilled! Thanks for this lovely post!

Kathie Chiu said...

Thanks, Glynis! Tea for two, how delightful!

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