On Momma-isms, the Ultimate Momma Cliches Escaping Coffee-Coma Mouths
This morn, I write to you in front of a window issuing in the kind of wind that is all too telling of weather bits to come. “Calm before the storm” comes to mind–an excellent cliche, aye? Perhaps because the phrase reigns true both literally and figuratively. Perhaps because the forever-humming letter “m” immediately follows a jumble of consonants and vowels and thus offers a bit of solace for the speaker’s lips, teeth, tongue. It sounds as right as it feels to utter such a phrase. Most cliches are indeed fun to say; it is little wonder that they have become regular visitors in our dialogue.
Though cliches make conversations between strangers/acquaintances most comfy, when writing I try my damnedest to avoid them. I don’t wish to bore you, dear reader. And even if we’ve never talked in real-time, I hope you expect more from me than to offer you mundane bits of my day vis a vis mundane bits of this language we share.
So many years have I spent avoiding them in writing that I cringe when uttering them as well.
Until I had my babe.
Notions of speaking with every bit of flavor and righteousness I could produce was once so invigorating. At university, I would traverse to bars alone and strike out on various conversations, seeking inspiration for stories both on and off the page. And later, I could channel pillow talks with boyfriends and girlfriends into my work. All this life pounded and published in word-form eventually poured into the most significant creation–my wee one. Admittedly, for the first year of Monster Bear’s life, I talked in coo’s, and my voice was replaced with a sing-songy rendition of “heyyy, momma rock me.”
I didn’t write at all.
Of course, my life was no longer meant to contain one woman’s wants and needs. Organically, I adapted to the little being taking up residence along my breastbone, my thoughts, my bed. And I dont’ regret the interim where my muse straight up ditched me, only to be replaced by momma cliches, or “momma-isms.”
Below are a few momma-isms I’ve caught myself using:
- Stitch in time saves nine (me, conversing with a dirty dish-filled sink).
- Different strokes for different folks (whenever people tell me to cut my wee one’s hair).
- Don’t cry over spilt milk (my babe literally spills milk daily).
- Just go with the flow, bug (to Husband, mainly).
- First things first, (I sing as we ready ourselves for the day).
- If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy (okay, usually a Cinderella voiceover).
- You can’t start the day on an empty stomach (when wee one won’t eat fifth attempt at breaking fast).
- Can’t party with the big dogs–there’s a porch involved (This one isn’t uttered near as much as it used to be).
- Momma knows best (another Cinderella song of sorts).
Initially, my vocal chords wrapping ’round all of these terribly overused sentiments shocked me. Now, the momma-isms are so immersed in my daily dialogue that I stopped realizing it. Or rather, I stopped caring.
Though my former literary self, donned in vintage garb and touting my dog-eared copy of Dubliners, would be horrified with what now spits out my mouth, my current self laughs at all of the effort once used to put in avoiding living any sort of cliche. I currently welcome all cliches, for if you aren’t living one cliche, you’re bound to be a part of another. Particularly in this society where every step taken is judged from one angle, loved by another, and scorned by yet another.
Besides, losing little parts of myself has only helped me to adapt and to create other versions of myself, ultimately up for offering to my bear babes–and to you, if necessary. (“Lace here, forever at your service,” I say whilst rocking back/forth on your doorstep.)
Along this vein of assisting others, momma-isms allow a newfound parent to connect, to talk more intimately and naturally with any passerby that also has a wee one strapped to some part of his/her body. We are connected instantly through a specific use of cliches–a club of overused phrases that were established long before we waltzed the earth and will be overused long after we’ve returned to the hard ground from which we sprouted.
If you are new to momma-life, if you are new to babe-sitting in any capacity, do not fret. The momma-isms will naturally come to you as soon as you have need of them. And yes, you are doomed to add some to your Mary Poppins bag of vernacular. A few might cringe when you speaketh, but the majority of your listeners will understand that you don’t remember what sleeping is like, and will forgive you. (It’s like we’ve heard these cliches repeated from the time we were born, and stored them in the muddy parts of our brains just for this life cycle. It’s just enchanting, what our brain can store–mine a grey squirrel burying nuts too close to the house. If only I could remember where I’d buried it all, and rid myself of the rubbish.)
What momma-isms, or cliches in general, do you say? Aye, admitting is “half the battle” (I forgot that gem!)