Wednesday, August 22, 2012

To Live and Parent like Erma Bombeck

By: Alexandra Holmes

Before I start, today is my mother's birthday! Happy Birthday Mom! I love you and I hope you know that you are who helped mold me into the person that I am today and I appreciate everything that you have done for me and my family.

In honor of my mother's birthday I wanted to talk about another mother who has had a lot of impact on me. Erma Bombeck.

Erma Bombeck was a well known writer, journalist, and humorist in the 60's and 70's who really broke ground for women in many ways. She gave voice to many suburban housewives with her wit and fearless observations of family life and parenting.

I have looked up to her as a writer from before I had any children and since having a family I have looked to her as a mentor on how to look at life and being a mother. She was never afraid to make honest observations on the accurate, laughable, and often ridiculous parts of parenting, marriage, and life. Many of the topics that she wrote about in her columns and books transcend time and can still apply to most mothers and are still just as humorous today at they were when she first penned them.

She has played a large role in molding me into the type of parent that I am, I try to have boundaries and rules but I make sure to not  take myself or the endless list of mommy dos and don'ts too seriously.

One of her more famous quotes and also one of my favorites is "Housework, if you do it right, can kill you."

Some other great quips from her are:

"All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with white carpet is one of them."

"Before you try to keep up with the Joneses, be sure they're not trying to keep up with you."

"Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving."

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.”

“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart.”

My greatest dream as a writer would be to have at least a small amount of the type of impact that she had, she brought humor and wit back into the lives of women and also showed men a thing or two about comedy. She was very involved in the women's equal rights movement and continuously broke through glass ceilings and helped make many options more available to women in journalism as well as many other areas.

If you don't know much about her or just need a good dose of humor in your life then I suggest you look her up and read some of her work. She has taught me that motherhood is so much more fun when you can actually enjoy it!

The site below has some great information about her life and her work, I enjoy reading about her life as much as I do her work so you might too. 

Erma's Life

*BONUS: See Below for a great short story from Erma Bombeck on the creation of mothers.

Thanks for Visiting!

-- Alex


When God Created Mothers
By: Erma Bombeck

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”

And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?” She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.”

The angel shook her head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands…. no way.”

“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”
“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. God nodded.

“One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”

“God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest tomorrow….”

“I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick…can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger…and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower.”

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.

“But tough!” said God excitedly. “You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.”

“Can it think?”

“Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.

“There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.”

“It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.”

“What’s it for?”

“It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”

“You are a genius, ” said the angel.

Somberly, God said, “I didn’t put it there.”


I hope you enjoyed! Please take time to look around and you can join my page as a follower or sign up to follow by email. I appreciate you visiting and hope you come back soon.

1 comment:

  1. This is a lovely blog. Great content. Erma was very funny. Thanks for the chuckles.