Two Poems: “Quoting Mom” & “Antiquated Sexist Nonsense”

Photo by Sophie Dale from Unsplash
Photo by Kenny Krosky from Unsplash

Quoting Mom

So often these days,

I find myself quoting Mom…

proverbs, quips, sayings…

Mom had a real treasure trove

of wisdom she shared with me.

“Treat other people

as you want to be treated.”

That one is golden!

It was Mom who taught me that

reliable guide to life.

Mom was unfailing

in her caring and concern.

She gave great advice,

but, in matters of romance,

was a woman of her time.

Mom’s take on romance

was antiquated sexist

nonsense, best ignored.

Mom’s true advice to follow

was, “Think for yourself, Honey!”

After thirty years,

Dad found a younger woman.

Mom kissed a few frogs;

Prince Charming never came, but

Mom found her inner Princess!

My mother, Marian Nicholson, on her ninetieth birthday!

Antiquated Sexist Nonsense

“It’s a man’s world,” was the mid-twentieth-century consensus.

My mother passed several of the following outdated gems along to me:

Always let boys win if you want them to like you.

Act helpless. Let a boy be your hero and lift heavy objects for you.

Play “dumb.” Laugh at all of his jokes. Always agree with him.

Pretend to enjoy doing all the things he likes to do.

Don’t chase after boys. Make them chase after you!

Play hard to get. Never be the first to say, “I love you.”

Hide your passions. You don’t want him to think you’re “easy.”

If you “give in” to a boy, he’ll “dump” you and “kiss and tell.”

Go to college to find a husband, even though you know

you will be a homemaker after you marry.

A woman must never make more money than her husband…

His delicate pride can’t handle it.

Let a man think he’s boss…

Use “feminine wiles” to get what you want.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…

Cook all of his favorite dishes.

Men are like little boys…They like to be told

how handsome, strong, and smart they are.

Make a habit of paying exaggerated compliments to men…

It builds their fragile egos.

Men are unable to control their impulses.

Women must be the guardians of morality.

If a woman wears a short skirt and gets assaulted, it’s her fault.

Sex is something a wife must endure for the sake of her husband.

Fortunately, I never fell for any of this antiquated sexist nonsense!

Sorry, Mom, but I don’t believe in playing games.

I was paying attention when you taught me to be honest and to

“Do unto others as I would have them do unto me.”

With respect to this poem’s dubious advice, I quote Mom,

“You might as well laugh as cry!”

Photo by Jason Briscoe from Unsplash

*Cautionary note: Some of the antiquated advice in this poem may appear to work in the short term, but some of it could come back to bite you later! Authentic relationships tend to be based on honesty and mutual respect. How long would you be willing to pretend you are enjoying a food you actually detest? How would you feel if you found out that someone was playing you? Better to be real!


Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

❤ Happy Mother’s Day! ❤

Show love to Mothers today and every day! Remember to cherish your mother’s wise advice, but don’t forget to “Think for yourself.” 🙂

94 Comments

  1. Happy Mother’s Day Cheryl!
    I love the contrast in these poems and your mom in her beautiful tiara! 💖
    While your mom gave you lots of information you were wise to hold on to the ones that mattered and abandoned the rest.
    Love your poems and so relatable.
    I’ll never forget a boy who took his pencil and flipped my dress behind me in 7th grade. She trained me so well I turned around and slapped him in the face. It was an automatic response. I ended up dating him after.. lol 😂😂😂
    💖

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    1. Happy Mother’s Day to you, Cindy! Thank you for the lovely, thoughtful response to the poems. ❤ Your story is hilarious! It's so funny that you later dated the boy! 🙂

      In seventh grade at my school, it was grabbing and "snapping" a girl's bra from the back. I don't think it ever happened to me. I did slap a boy once, and he slapped me back! Mom never warned me that could happen. 🙂

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      1. Thanks so much Cheryl. I loved your poems. I know isn’t that funny and we kissed at the 7th grade dance for 7 min. to Hey Jude.. lol. (that just came back to me haha).

        Oh that’s sooo funny. My that is too funny… he slapped you back! Wow. Oh my mom scared the pants off me! 😂💖

        Liked by 2 people

  2. This us notably a great piece full of good advice. Your mum was a great woman, and in a way her pieces of advice seemed to work for them pretty well, cause in a way most men like to be treated like demigods, but the hell they suffered in those marriages is unspeakable. Even with that great mindful pretense, a man could still just cheat and beat up his wife. In a way, the pretense promoted misogyny. And so, I agree with you, dear Cheryl, no need to pretend, for the longer one pretends in marriage, the longer they hurt. 🌺💖🌺

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    1. Thank you, Lamittan, for sharing your thoughts. ❤ Treating your partner well is something I live by. It is manipulation and dishonesty that I don't approve of. And of course, I don't condone abuse! As you said…"The longer one pretends in marriage, the longer they hurt." That, of course, goes for both men and women! Have a great weekend! 🙂

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  3. Happy Mother’s Day, Cheryl! Like all moms your mom gave some very good advice and as far as her “antiquated” advice is concerned, I guess, women of that age learnt to twist men around their little fingers by pandering to their egos. The next generation of women were smarter and knew what they wanted and how to get it without playing games. ❤️
    Love this tribute and that is an adorable pic of her. 😍

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    1. Thank you, Punam, for your insightful comment and good wishes! I think you are right about the generations that followed becoming smarter. I wish you a delightful weekend! ❤ I am not sure when you celebrate Mother's day, but I wish you a Happy Mother's Day too.

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  4. Happy Mother’s day Cheryl! is you Mum still alive? She looks great in those vivid colours with her princess tiara 🙂

    I’m a straight shooter all the way, reared by the biggest chauvinist of them all, my mother! She repeatedly told me that “women are only here to serve men”, I saw no reason to accept her senseless maxims 😦

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    1. Wow, Kate! That’s a pretty extreme point of view that women are only here to serve men! It must have been hard to grow up with that advice! Good for you for disregarding it!! ❤ Thank you for sharing your experience.

      My mother died about six months after her ninetieth birthday. Many family members from different states helped her celebrate, knowing it would probably be the last time they spent with her.

      The thing that bothered me about my mother's advice was that she didn't seem to see the contradiction with her other advice about being truthful and treating others as you want to be treated. I guess maybe she believed that other maxim, "All's fair in love and war!" I know she always did her best as a mother!

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      1. mine too but maybe her strict evangelistic father, cold mother, and ten siblings confused her … I am trying to be more open about my background as I tire of everyone claiming to have the perfect childhood but I need contradictory posts like this one to draw me out … thanks Cheryl!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Cheryl I loved your poems – for the simple beauty of truthfulness. It is a forever dance between generations – moms teach what they know best and it is the person’s job to know what to accept and discard – this discernment comes at different timing for each. I love how the relationship still can hold precious while we make our own choices.

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    1. Thank you, Pregalba, for sharing your beautiful perspective. I am happy that you liked my poems. It is not evidence of lack of love to want to find your own way in life, I think. I always knew that my mother did her best, and I think most mothers do their best for their children. I agree with what you said about it being each person’s job to decide what advice to keep or discard. ❤

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  6. Sweet poem and photo of your mom, Cheryl. 💞 I often find myself saying my southern grandmother’s expressions. Her constant cliches and funny quips running through my mind. I am glad for it. Happy Mother’s Day to you! Enjoy! 💐

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    1. It sounds like your grandmother was a positive influence in your life, Michelle. I lost one grandmother early, but the other one was an inspiration! It is a wonderful connection to know and repeat the sayings of our elders. Thank you for sharing about your grandmother. ❤ You also, enjoy your weekend! 🙂

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  7. Both the poems are so genuinely authentic. The pretentions in a relationship can’t take it a long further, what really does count is the real feelings and attachment for one another. Very honest reflections .
    A very happy Mother’s Day to you Cheryl. My regards and best wishes.❤

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    1. Thank you so much, Mousoumi, for your lovely response. Yes, I think you have hit on the essence of relationships..real feelings for each other and attachment. Thank you for your holiday wishes. I don’t know when or if you celebrate Mother’s Day, but I wish you a joyous weekend! ❤ I hope the teaching career is going well! ❤

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      1. Thanks a lot Cheryl for your good wishes. ❤ My teaching career has given me a window of varied experiences, most of them I am enjoying.😊 Shall tell you about them whenever I manage some time . Sending my regards.❤❤

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Your mother looked beautiful with that Tiara Cheryl. Guess while we don’t agree with all the advice mom’s give, the place they hold in our hearts is always special. Lovely tribute to your mom Cheryl.
    Happy mother’s day to you 💖

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    1. Thank you so much, Radika, for your kind response. I agree with you about the place mothers hold in our hearts.
      Mother’s Day is Sunday here. I don’t know if you celebrate such a holiday, but wishing you and your family a delightful weekend! ❤

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  9. Loved the poems for its truthfulness and genuineness. I wonder how our old generations used to think and act alike across the borders. But I agree, that the mores and values change with time. Pretentious never last long. Your mother’s photo looks awesome. Happy Mother’s Day, Cheryl and enjoy the weekend 🎉💖💐

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    1. Thank you so much, KK, for sharing your wise perspective and your kind wishes. ❤ I have a great deal of empathy for my mother, who grew up with societal norms that conflicted with her core values. Maybe she would have had a happier life if she could have escaped from all the bad advice of that era. She was a well-intentioned and talented woman and a very devoted mother. 🙂 You, too, have a pleasant weekend!

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      1. You’re welcome, Cheryl. I could very well understand and visualise your mother. I really appreciate what she lived for. I also appreciate your respect for her. Whenever someone talks about mother, my own mother comes to my mind. The same empathy, emotion and affection, but bound with societal norms.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy Mother’s Day, Cheryl! I love your delightful poems and your mother’s advice. Sometimes I think women have come a long way and other times, not so much. Your mother looks radiant in her tiara. 💖

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    1. Thank you, Eugi for your kind words. ❤ I was thinking similar thoughts about the progress of women. It seems to me to be a very mixed bag. Discrimination and violence against women still exist, though maybe to a lesser degree. There certainly is a lot of lip service to women's rights, and many women are now in powerful positions. My life is better than my mother's was. 🙂

      Hope you are enjoying your weekend! ❤

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  11. Loved the poem,Cheryl for its honesty. Am glad you knew which advice to follow. This was the advice my grandma gave my mom. Fortunately, dad, helped my mother strengthen and spead her wings. Though, I’m sure my mom did practice many of your mom’s advice to build the bond.
    Have a lovely Sunday🙂

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    1. Thank you, Smitha, for your kind response and for sharing about your mother and grandmother. Kudos to your father. He sounds like a very enlightened man. Everyone should be able to develop their human potential. ❤
      You too, enjoy your day!

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  12. I’d say Your Mom was wise: gave you all that satire she was taught on how to make it in that era and then told you to think for yourself. Oh, very wise, Your Mom. I bless her. She was on to something. Bless you too. Happy Mother’s Day: Happy Mothers’ Day!

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    1. Thank you, Lavinia! Mom’s been gone for about seven years, but is certainly in our thoughts today! I had a lovely Mother’s Day with phone calls, emails, and handmade gifts from my children, who live pretty far away. I hope you and your family had a joyous celebration! ❤

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    1. Thank you, Dwight, for your thoughtful response. ❤ I think my mother failed to see the contradictions between her beliefs and values and the very dishonest and manipulative romantic advice of that era. I am sure that didn't make for a happy marriage, but I also think their main problem was that my parents were very poorly matched. They made each other unhappy for thirty years. In those days more people stayed together "for the sake of the children." 🙂

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      1. Your are welcome Cheryl. Times have changed. Patronization has gone by the wayside and Women have become very independent, often leaving their men behind once they have kids. It is a different world.

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  13. Why would you follow the advice of a woman with a failed marriage over one with a successful marriage?

    It’s like a woman writing an article telling women what men find desirable. I see them all the time too.

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    1. Thank you, Gerard, for reading and commenting.

      At seventy-two, I am looking back on another era and the outdated advice that I and many in my generation rejected. I empathize with both of my parents, who made each other very unhappy. To me, the “failure” of their marriage was that they met in the first place. They stayed together “for the sake of the children” and for religious reasons. I think we might all have been happier if they had gotten a divorce much sooner.

      My mother eventually did follow her dreams, becoming a nurse at age forty-five. My father seemed reasonably happy in his second marriage. My life has been much happier than my mother’s. Every generation has its opportunities and its challenges! Wishing you a happy and successful life. ❤

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      1. I’m not sure the advice today is any better.

        I see a lot of bitter angry people with failed marriages and a determination to blame marriage rather than look at their own failings.

        Marriage is and always has been a bet. If the bet pays off you’re better off than someone who didn’t marry. If it doesn’t worse off.

        That’s the only think people need to know about marriage. Caveat Emptor.

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  14. Stunning post Cheryl🌸💕
    I love that you took your mom’s advice and made it your own. I cannot agree more about the authentic relationships and for it to be based on honesty and mutual respect.

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  15. I think my first husband of 20 years (who found a younger woman) believed some of your mother’s beliefs – the parts about the fragile ego and delicate pride – though he would not likely admit it. Our mothers, being human, were such a mix of both good and not so good advice, but they loved us and wanted the best for us. Your mother was beautiful. I’m glad she found her inner princess.

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    1. Thank you, JoAnna, for your lovely response. Your comment resonates with me. I experienced some old attitudes during my divorce from my first husband after 18 years. My mother became a nurse at age 45, making her lifelong dream a reality. 🙂

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  16. If she taught you to think for yourself, she could have done a lot worse. Lovely picture of your mum. Lovely poetry as always. Wishing you and your family the very best Cheryl 🙏🙂

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  17. absolutely wonderful post, Cheryl – the best kind of love is the one that appreciates yet doesn’t idealize ❤ & your words of advice are the best! I'd enjoy a whole post full!

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    1. Thank you for a very interesting and thoughtful comment! ❤ You are right that everyone just wants to be loved. I think that back in my childhood, mothers were expected to be the primary advisors of girls while men advised sons. The roles seem to be shared more nowadays. Have a great weekend!

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