by Jessica L. Begley, MFT

Certified Marriage and Family Therapist

Momism: a cliché or proverbial statement deemed typical of what a mother would say to a child.



Do you remember all the sayings your mom had handy for every occasion? They are called Momisms and every mother throughout the history of mothers has a favorite quote or a special statement to teach a lesson to her children. At times when we were children we grew to hate those daily affirmations that mother knew best! But as we grow and mature and become parents ourselves we fondly remember those phrases not as scathing direction but as morsels of sage advice. Over the years we even grow to miss the somewhat harsh, yet sweet, words of wisdom from our mothers. It makes our own childhood memories that much more special.

These motherly bits of advice transcend the borders of time, space, and even language! Momisms go a long way in shaping us all into stronger and better people. And though we grumbled at our moms for use of these clichés, ironically we become cliché’s ourselves as we pass down the knowledge to the next generation of wandering minds.

So for Mother’s Day I thought we would honor our mothers and their perfect one-liners. From ‘stopping the car’ to answering the age-old question of where money actually grows, I have compiled a list, one for every day this month, of the most popular Momisms to which I guarantee you’ll recognize many. I hope this list fondly ‘gives you something to cry about’ as you take this trip down memory lane. Happy Mother’s Day!

31 Momisms we’ll never forget:

• Don’t make me stop this car!
• You better wipe that smile off your face before I do it for you!
• There are starving people in the world who would be happy to clean that plate for you!
• I’m not everyone else’s mother – I’m your mother!
• If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning!
• Because I said so!
• If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times…
• Don’t make that face or it’ll freeze that way!
• Be careful! You’ll put an eye out!
• Always wear clean underwear because you never know when you’ll be in a car accident!
• Money doesn’t grow on trees!
• If I had talked to my mother the way you talk to me…
• Close that door! Were you raised in a barn?
• Don’t use that tone with me!
• What do I look like, your maid?
• I was not put on this earth to entertain you!
• If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all!
• What if everyone jumped off a cliff? Would you do it too?
• How can you be bored? I was never bored at your age!
• If you don’t eat those it will stunt your growth!
• Keep crying and I’ll really give you something to cry about!
• You’re just like your father!
• One day you’ll have kids and I hope they turn out just like you!
• Don’t get smart with me!
• Don’t make me come in there!
• Don’t you roll your eyes at me!
• I’m not going to ask you again!
• Someday you will thank me for this!
• Look at me when I’m talking to you!
• Am I talking to a brick wall?
• Do as I say, not as I do!

 Jessica L. Begley, MFT lives in Southlake with her husband, two daughters and their golden retrievers.  Jessica is a Marriage and Family Therapist and Child Development Specialist.