Mother knows best - our favourite mum phrases

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There’s nothing like a cup of tea and some good advice from your mum!
Image: GIPHY

"Life doesn't come with a manual, it comes with a mother." Whichever way you look at it, mums always seem to know best. And even if you didn’t agree with her at the time, when you look back, she always had the right idea. Well, nearly always.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner (get your Mother’s Day gifts now!), we asked you to tell us the phrase that will always remind you of your mum, no matter how old you are.

A whopping 2.5K of you responded with some utter corkers. And, while we can’t publish all of them, here are some of the wise, funny and just plain crazy words of wisdom that remind you of your mums.

“Take your coat off or you won’t feel the benefit”


Take your coat off, for mum’s sake!
Image: Giphy

The science behind this nugget may be weak, but mums throughout the nation clearly believe that keeping your coat on indoors will make you feel colder when you venture out again. Either that, or they don’t appreciate you looking like you’re about to run out the door any time soon.

When it comes to mum advice, keeping warm is a strong theme. Other sayings in this category include:

  • Don’t go outside with wet hair, you’ll catch your death of cold.”
  • “Don’t sit on the cold floor or you’ll get piles.”
  • “Tuck your vest inside your pants to keep your kidneys warm.

Yes, each and every one of these is weird, random and has no basis in scientific fact. But what they prove is every mum’s instinctive desire to keep her kids warm and well at all times.

“Close the door, were you born in a barn?”


Children of all ages still need to be reminded to shut the door!
Image: Giphy

It’s a well-known fact that mums have an innate horror of doors (front or back) being left open. And kids seem to have an aversion to shutting them. But mums have a point, don’t they? Open doors don’t just make the house cold (see, there’s that ‘keeping warm’ theme again), they also waste all that money spent on the heating.

Similar to the barn comment is: “Turn off the lights, it’s like Blackpool Illuminations in here!

We might laugh (and we do), but when it comes to saving energy, money and the planet, mums have got it pretty much spot-on here. Definitely one to hand down to the kids.

“If the wind changes, your face will stay like that”


A face only a mother could love
Image: Giphy

This is the ultimate mum-myth peddled for at least two centuries as a way of jolting kids out of pulling horrible faces. You won’t be surprised to read there’s absolutely zero science behind this pearl of wisdom.

But with today’s teens sharing silly selfies on Snapchat and Instagram, this mummy myth could probably do with making a comeback.

“Eat your carrots, they’ll help you see in the dark”


Don’t leave the table until you’ve eaten them up!
Image: Giphy

Yes, you’ve guessed it. This is another load of old cobblers. Carrots do contain vitamin A, which promotes eye health, but they won’t help you see in the dark.

However, we bet you didn’t guess that this mummy myth helped Britain win World War II. The British Government sent out press releases in the 1940s claiming our pilots were eating lots of carrots to give them exceptional night vision. The idea was to distract the Germans from discovering the new, secret radar technology we were using on night raids!

Mums are obsessed with making sure we eat well. That’s why so many of you mentioned your mums’ favourite food fibs. Others include:

  • Eat your crusts, they’ll make your hair curl.”
  • “Eat your greens, they’ll put hairs on your chest.

You also told us a whole bunch of myths around what you should NOT eat; including: 

  • Don’t eat apple pips or you’ll get an apple tree growing in your tummy.”
  • “Don’t your swallow chewing gum or it will get wrapped around your insides.

And we had to include this classic mum-splanation from Katy’s mum: “If you swallow bubblegum it acts as a trampoline in your stomach and your food will bounce back up!

“I want never gets”


We all have to learn to ask nicely
Image: Giphy

Ooh, this is one of the really annoying ones. Often heard when you desperately wanted some random, expensive and pointless trinket that mum wasn’t willing to fork out for. Already teetering on the edge of a tantrum, this snappy little saying had the habit of pushing you straight into meltdown mode.

But we have to admit that, along with other character-refining gems, including:

  • “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” and,
  • “Treat others how you wish to be treated yourself.” 

… this phrase is an essential part of a mum’s repertoire – designed to shape us into lovely human beings. It’s another keeper.

“Good manners cost nothing”


"... don't say nothin' at all"
Image: Giphy

Mothers make polishing up our manners their lifelong mission. Whether they’re telling us:

  • “Manners cost nothing”
  • “Don’t eat with your mouth open”

  • “Don’t speak with your mouth full” 

… mums expect us to mind our ps and qs at all times. They’ve got a point. Good manners give us a better chance of getting a great job, bagging our perfect partner and even staying safe on the road.

But some mum-sayings in this regard are utterly hilarious. For instance, Fiona’s mum used to say: “all joints on the table to be carved!” if she put her elbows on the dining table!

“Because I said so”


Mum always has the last word
Image: Giphy

The ultimate comeback – and usually the end to any argument – “because I said so” is proof of the power of mum. Mums know their own mind and they usually know best.

Their advice might seem bizarre, or even downright bonkers. But there’s usually some substance behind it. So whether they’re advising you never to date a man with really shiny shoes (Kaya’s mum), or warning you not to press your belly button too hard in case your bottom falls off (Kath’s mum), it’s probably best to listen.

And while we’re celebrating the wisdom, love and goddess-like status of our mums, don’t forget to show her you appreciate her with something very special this Mother’s Day.

As Debbie wisely reminds us: “You only get one mum.”

If you’d like to spoil your mum this Mother’s Day, come and check out Rex London’s wide selection of Mother’s Day gifts, cards and wrapping paper.

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