5 Irish Mammy-isms you DON'T want to pass on to your kids
The Irish mammy is a fountain of knowledge.
She can tell you how long to boil a ham for and what size pot to use. She has 10 cures for colic, each one more obscure than the last; countless uses for flat 7-Up and the sacred family recipe for enough of those triangular egg salad sandwiches to cater a funeral or 60th birthday party of virtually any size.
Long after the advent of medical and social science however, every now and then you might be faced with a piece of advice that just doesn't sound quite right.
Here are a few Irish Mammyisms that have outstayed their welcome and should be banished forever from the Irish psyche. Just don't ever tell her.
1. 'Clean your plate'
It's very difficult to teach yourself to stop eating to the point of borderline obesity when you've been raised to believe that leaving behind half a potato and a spoon of peas is tantamount to stealing a meal from the mouth of an African orphan. The truth is, it's not the end of the world if your kids don't finish every bite. Making them force down every last morsel when they're no longer hungry only encourages the kind of weird relationship with food where an open packet of biscuits and a rainy day can set off a week-long cycle of regret, shame and more biscuits.
2. 'Save it for best'
Are you the owner of an expensive Jo Malone candle you've never lit? Do you hoard bath bombs for special occasions that never arrive? The Irish Save it for Best attitude is a symptom of the deeply ingrained Catholic belief that you do not deserve to have a nice time unless it's Christmas or Easter. The remedy is simple. Tonight, when the kids have gone to bed, dump every bath bomb you own into the tub at once, surround it with enough candles to power a vigil and splash about in it with wild abandon while quaffing the Champagne somebody gave you as a wedding gift eight years ago.
3. 'Wait 'til your father gets home'
As a modern woman I'd hope to instill just as much (if not more) fear in my children than their father could ever hope to muster in his entire lifetime.
4. 'It'll be better before you're married'
Although I'm loathe to admit it, in my experience this one has largely proven true. Nevertheless, it does encourage one to avoid getting something checked out by a professional until it (a) heals on its own (b) it falls off or (c) you actually die from it.
5. 'Aunty Flow'
A throwback to a time when uttering these words in public would immediately open some kind of fiery portal between hell and Earth, Irish women are still plagued by a bizarre cast of characters to reference in place of the words 'period' and 'vagina'. Thing is, if there's a problem Down There, we don't want our daughters making an awkward pointing gesture and mumbling about her 'private area' while the confused gynaecologist tries to decipher what the issue is. Say it loud and say it proud: VAGINA! Same goes for winkies, willies and soldiers... it's a PENIS, people.