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Thread: Mom Wisdom

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Feb 2004
    on my 15 minute break

    Mom Wisdom

    Mothers have a monopoly on wisdom because only they know how dangerous the world is and understand one can never be too safe. As kids my mother used to constantly harp on my brother and I about sitting too close to the television. She used to say it would 'ruin your eyes' but then later cited 'exposure to all that radiation' as the negative side effect. Similarly, she made us stand back 10 feet from the microwave and advised us never to look into the microwave when it was on ("or else it will burn your eyes out").

    The source of mom knowlege has always been obscure to me but I swear it's universal. We were taking Junior for a walk one time along a stretch of road that had a 6' bike lane but no sidewalk. MIL happened to be along and admonished us inattentive parents for allowing Junior to walk on the grass so near the edge of the bike path. She evidently thought it would be much safer if he walked in the grass at least ten feet from the bike lane.

    Any recollections of (what you thought were excessive) maternal safety dictates as a child? Any current mothers care to fess up about how they're being overprotective?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
    Jun 2003
    De Noc
    A measure of strength and courage is my MOM who raised 4 kids as a single mom (widow)
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)

    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  3. #3
    Yes, my mom always made us sit at a distance from the television. I don't recall the microwave fear, however.

    Maternal words of wisdom I recall:

    "Don't stare at the sun"
    "Don't love anything that can't love you back"

  4. #4
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
    Jul 2006
    Slightly Off-Center
    "Your grandparents would be so disappointed if you boys ever did anything like that." (As adults we learned that our grandparents had done many of those things and would probably have understood if we had. Any any rate, we made sure not to get caught.)
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  5. #5
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    "Forget putting together a diversified portfolio, put all your money into GM, it is after all where everyone works, it won't go bankrupt"
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  6. #6
    Jul 2006
    Suburban Chicago
    I fess up. I'm overprotective. I have five year old twins and a two year old. Since I've become a mother, everything frightens me - driving on the highway, walking down the street, kids standing too close to open windows, jumping on the beds -- I'm not only scared that something will happen to my children (who I've invested a tremendous amount of time and energy raising) but that something will happen to me and leave them motherless. I actually wake up at night quite often having yet another bad dream that something terrible happens to my children. My husband thinks I need medication!!!

    My friends have all had the same experience once they became mothers. I know not everyone feels that way, but a lot of moms do feel that way. I heard a quote once about how mothering feels like wearing your heart outside your body all the time. That's how I feel all the time: heart outside my body and big lump in my throat all the time.

    Lucky for my kids, they have a stay at home dad overseeing them when I'm not home. He takes them to the park, out on walks, to the zoo (on the highway, dear God), to the pool, shoppnig, etc. etc. -- and he lets them do whatever they want to do without any intervention. My two year old loves the highest slipper slides and hanging upside down on the monkey bars. My five year olds have no fear. See...I haven't damaged them much.

    My mother wasn't very overprotective, but she was weirded out about "molestation" which was a big thing in the early 80's. I wasn't to talk to men, definitely not at strange men, and there were men in my small town that I was absolutely not to find myself alone with. She scared me to DEATH about molesters....yet I was allowed to pretty much do whatever I wanted and go where-ever I wanted to go from the time I walked until I left the home.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
    Jul 2003
    Down by Dun Ringill
    Blog entries
    My mom didn't give us a lot of motherly advice when we were kids. She let us learn what not to do by letting us do it and learning from it. It is a miracle all four kids survived to adulthood and with all our limbs, eyes and ears. As a result she was the most popular mom on the block. My mom had the most torn-up lawn, the happiest kids and the best stocked first aid kit in the neighborhood.

    My wife is full of motherly advice. "Don't sit too close to the TV." "Waer your sunscreen." and "wear your coat." In fact she admonished my son to put on his coat today. "Mamita," my son complained, "It's JULY!"
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Jul 2003
    San Diego, CA
    I'm not the overprotective mother type. I've been accused of it by folks who had no clue what I was dealing with. Then my oldest was diagnosed with CF and suddenly I was "brilliant" instead of "overprotective" because he had not been on antibiotics for over 3 years prior to his diagnosis. He has a long list of handicaps, including some memory issues. When he decides he is going to walk 10 miles round trip spur of the moment to the video game store he prefers (instead of some place closer), I fuss over him until he gets out the door to make sure he has money, he has stuff to drink and so on. He's glad I do it and both my kids think it's a reasonable thing to do given what my oldest son can be like. But I wouldn't for a second dream of trying to stop him. Yes, he still kind of freaks me out at times with his devil-may-care personality. But he got a lot of that adventurous spirit from his mom. He's sort of like me squared. So I'm pretty accepting of it. I know how nuts I made my mother and how little difference it made for her to try to "control" me. No point in giving my kids some reason to actually REBEL.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Dec 2005
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Blog entries
    I have a teenager now so it's more about sharing wisdom of life type things rather than "stop doing that you are going to poke someone's eye out" kind of thing. I'm a young mom for having a soon to be 16 year old, there's only 20 years between us so I think I have a more relevant perspective on my own teenage years than my mom did with me (1950s vs 1990s ). She generally makes pretty good decisions for herself and I really do try to explain the decisions I make for her in a rational way, keep the dialogue open, and give her a measure of space.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    May 2004
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Quote Originally posted by southsideamy View post
    ...My mother wasn't very overprotective, but she was weirded out about "molestation" which was a big thing in the early 80's. I wasn't to talk to men, definitely not at strange men, and there were men in my small town that I was absolutely not to find myself alone with. She scared me to DEATH about molesters....yet I was allowed to pretty much do whatever I wanted and go where-ever I wanted to go from the time I walked until I left the home.
    Mine (g-d rest her soul) was hung up about getting raped, robbed, mugged, and/or murdered anywhere I went. As a would-be free-ranging female cyclist, this was limiting.

    One time she worried about me going out on a group ride (with other cyclists!), experiencing a mechanical, and sitting in the ditch crying (!!) only to fall prey to a big carload of inner-city (slur) folk who would ply the back country roads a couple counties away. So I learned to fix bikes.

    Garrison Keillor has a great riff on parental advisories. Funny how his said the same stuff that mine did, and that other 'rents still do. "I have worked my fingers to the bone..."

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Sep 1999
    400 miles from Orlando
    My mom was a font of mis-placed wisdom. Yeah, we got the staying away from t.v. thing because of radiation. After we were grown and microwaves became common, dad bought her one and it sat unused (radiation) for 10 years. She was not otherwise overly protective of us, but sure was with my son. She moved across the street from us when he was 7 or 8 and her driveway was maybe 50 feet from ours, but she insisted I walk him to the street when he visited her, and she'd wait at the end of her drive.

    The weird one she kept telling my sister and me in late grade school and middle school was "Kissing a boy gives you warts". And that you have to clean any hotel bathroom you use with Lysol (well, maybe that's not too far off, but when you're 8 and just got to the Holiday Inn and really have to pee...).

    then there's weigh every day, and if you gain even one pound, eat nothing but baked potatoes until you lose the weight. And cepacol lozenges cure the common cold.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
    Jul 2007
    more West now
    My mom would always tell me if my stomach was upset at night, to lay on my left side and it would feel better. I still flip over every now and again
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
    Nov 2002
    Ocean to the east, land to the west
    Don't pay for anything you can get for free (even if its not entirely legal to do so) - good role model, eh?

    When we get on the T, you're still 10, remember? (this one lasted until I was 13-14 and was designed to avoid paying full fare)

    If you get a cavity I'll kill you (I was the first child to get one, when I was 16 and too big for her to kill me.)

    On the more sympathetic side:

    Don't lie down after you eat.

    If its in a closet it doesn't matter if its folded, sorted, etc. - its in the closet and the door is closed, so why bother?

    Learning is important.

    Travelling is good.

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