The Secret Language of Moms: Mommy-isms


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Last year about this time, I was very pregnant, very tired, and very, well, lazy.  I didn’t feel like dealing with much beyond getting out of bed or off the couch.  My kids pretty much had free range of the house and could seriously have mutinied and I probably wouldn’t have even given them a second glance.

However, I couldn’t let them know that.  I had to feign control, even if all I wanted to do was crawl into my bed and pull the covers over my head.

And I thought I was doing a good job of faking it until I overheard this conversation one day at the lunch table. And I realized, they were on to me…..

Brody (my 9 year old son):: I asked mom if we could have our candy after lunch, and she said, “Maybe.”

Mikenna (my 11 year old daughter):: That means no. When a kid says maybe, it  really could happen.  When a mom says it, it means no, they just don’t want to tell us yet.

I swear that girl crawled into my head and into my secret thoughts space.

As moms we have to always look like we are in control, even if we don’t want to be in control.  It is a matter of life and death most days.  Am I right???

But sometimes, and I’m not even saying all the time, we moms have to check out.  We need a break.  We need to not have to think for just five minutes. Or twenty.

But we can’t let the kids know that. There would be riots, chaos.  And it would probably end with the kids crying and mommy in her own time out. With a bottle of wine.

And so out of a desperate need to just survive, we have developed a language only moms could understand…Mommy-isms.

It is a language developed by moms for moms that is part truth, part threat, and all desperation.  Mommy-isms buy us time, sanity, and the appearance of control.  It gives us a chance to finish what we’re doing without having to say, “Not now, I’m busy.”  It lets us put off no to avoid a tantrum.  It is our life raft in an ocean of three year old meltdowns, teenage emotions, and everyday stresses and messes.

If our kids ever cracked this language, moms, they could seriously destroy us.  So, while I’m going to share some of my favorite Mommy-isms, please, please, PLEASE, do not show this to your precious offspring.  Delete it.  Trash it.  Eat it.  But for the love of yoga pants and Spanx, DON’T LET THEM SEE IT!

Mommy-isms 101:

1.“Maybe later.” 

Translation:  “It’s never going to happen. Ever.”

2. “You should ask for that for your birthday. Or Christmas.”

Translation: “Hopefully you’ll forget about it before your birthday rolls around in six months. ”

3. “I’ll be there in a minute.”

Translation:  “I’m really hoping you’ll figure it out all by yourself before I have to drag myself away from this latest episode of Fixer Upper.”

4. “That’s a great toy to take to Nana’s house!”

Translation:  “If that noisy toy stays one more day in this house it’s going to find an early demise under my car tire.”

5. “Just wait until your dad gets home.”

Translation:  “I’m tired.  I’m sick of being in charge. And right now I don’t care if you burn the house down.”

6. “What do you want for breakfast?”

Translation: “You’re getting cereal.”

7. “Don’t make me say it again!”

Translation: “I’ll probably say it at least 250 more times because I’m still not finished with Fixer Upper.”

8. “Don’t make me come in there.”

Translation: “I am WAY too tired and lazy to get up so I’m hoping you’ll hear the seriousness in my voice and stop wrestling your sister.”

9. “Don’t make me turn this car around.”

Translation: “I actually won’t, because I REALLY need to get out of the house.  But I am hoping this threat is enough to get you to stop yelling. And if it’s not I’ll probably just say it again.  Or call your dad.”

 10. “Five more minutes.”

Translation:  “It’s really going to be closer to 20 minutes but all the other moms said 5 minutes so I’m going to be a good mom too and give you a 5 minute warning also.”

11. “I don’t know.”

Translation:  “I know I should care, but right now I don’t have the energy to care.”

12. “Oh, wow, that’s awesome.” 

Translation:  “You could have just said, “Mom, I flushed your favorite pair of Spanx down the toilet,” but I’m not really listening so…..


Ok, mamas, spill it….what are some of your Mommy-isms?  I promise I won’t tell my kids.

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Hey all! I’m “mommy” to six kids and “babe” to their incredible dad. But my friends just call me Shilah. I am a “native” transplant to Oklahoma, meaning I was born in Norman (BOOMER SOONER, baby!) but grew up an army brat moving from place to place. I spent most of my “growing” years in Maryland, where I graduated from high school and college and met my husband who was a marine stationed at the Naval Academy at the time. I knew I was going to marry him five minutes into our first date, and actually told him that our second date. Surprisingly, he didn’t call me for a third date…..When he moved to Arizona to become a police officer, I stalked, I mean, moved there too. It took me three more years to convince him that he was NEVER going to get rid of me. We were married in 2005. A decade and several moves later, we are six kids heavier and about one spilled drink away from the insane asylum most days. I homeschool our children, “ages” moody (preteen), goofy (9), sensitive (6), sassy (3), busy (1), and toothy (9 months). My husband works crazy hours as an Oklahoma City police officer. I am extremely proud to be a law enforcement officer’s wife but it can be a lonely, scary title to bear at times. However, I love a man in uniform and still think he’s HOT. Our life is a beautiful mess of structure and chaos. And our family motto is to make weird look awesome. When I’m not bribing kids to do their school work or changing another diaper, I like to breathe and sleep. And if I have time after that maybe read a book or write. I listen to Christmas music all year long, love the color yellow and lighting things on fire (legally, of course). I absolutely hate onions, cooking, and being cold. I can be very OCD about everything, which works really well with six kids. Not. I believe in time outs and have been known to put myself in one from time to time. When I grow up, I would love to write a book, own a Christmas tree farm, and have a bull in the rodeo circuit.


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