Mum's Wit: Quips and Quotes for Marvellous Mothers

Mum's Wit: Quips and Quotes for Marvellous Mothers

by Richard Benson

When the little angels are driving you crazy and you're one minivan away from being a personal taxi service, these wonderful quips and quotes are the perfect reminder of why being a mother is the best job in the world.


When the little angels are driving you crazy and you're one minivan away from being a personal taxi service, these wonderful quips and quotes are the perfect reminder of why being a mother is the best job in the world.

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Mum's Wit

Quips and Quotes for Marvellous Mothers

By Richard Benson, Ian Baker

Summersdale Publishers Ltd

Copyright © 2010 Summersdale Publishers Ltd
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-85765-578-3



Nothing beats having this beautiful child look at me and say, 'mum'.

Nicole Appleton

Never being number one in your list of priorities and not minding at all.

Jasmine Guinness

* * *

It's the biggest on-the-job training program in existence today.

Erma Bombeck

* * *

Mothers ... speak the same tongue. A mother in Manchuria could converse with a mother in Nebraska and never miss a word.

Will Rogers

I understood once I held a baby in my arms, why some people ... keep having them.

Spalding Gray

* * *

It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

Elizabeth Stone

Having someone else to blame when there is a rude smell in the air.

Jane Horrocks

Nothing will ever make you as happy or sad, as proud or as tired.

Elia Parsons, The Mother's Almanac

* * *

It intensifies who you are, but also forces you to stretch and go beyond anything you thought possible.

Felicity Huffman

* * *

I want to make a better world ... that's motherhood.

Cass Elliot

... in our law books ... Mother was believed to have been so basic that no definition was deemed necessary.

Marianne O. Battani

* * *

Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it cannot be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues – faith and hope.

Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby

Motherhood is perhaps the only unpaid position where failure to show up can result in arrest.

Mary Kay Blakely, American Mom



There's a time when you have to explain to ... children why they're born, and it's a marvellous thing if you know ... by then.

Hazel Scott

Familiarity breeds contempt – and children.

Mark Twain

* * *

Sometimes when I look at all my children, I say to myself, 'Lillian, you should have stayed a virgin.'

Lillian Carter

* * *

I rely on my personality for birth control.

Liz Winston

Women who miscalculate are called mothers.

Abigail Van Buren

* * *

Next time I'm not just having an epidural for the birth – I'm having one for the conception.

Sally James

* * *

I like trying to get pregnant. I'm not so sure about childbirth.

George Eliot

My husband and I ... can't decide whether to ruin our carpet or ruin our lives.

Rita Rudner on the choice between having a dog or a baby



I studied pregnancy symptoms – moody, big bosoms, irritable. I've obviously been pregnant for twenty years.

Victoria Wood

If pregnancy were a book they would cut out the last two chapters.

Nora Ephron

* * *

Life is tough enough without having someone kick you from the inside.

Rita Rudner

* * *

Typical of Margaret. She produced twins and avoided the necessity of a second pregnancy.

Denis Thatcher

Being slightly paranoid is like being slightly pregnant – it tends to get worse.

Molly Irvins

* * *

I feel cheated never being able to know what it's like to get pregnant.

Dustin Hoffman

The only time a woman wishes she were a year older is when she is expecting a baby.

Mary Marsh

* * *

Being pregnant is an occupational hazard of being a wife.

Queen Victoria

* * *

Carrying a baby is the most rewarding experience a woman can enjoy.

Jayne Mansfield

* * *

Every four weeks I go up a bra size ... it's worth being pregnant just for the breasts.

Natasha Hamilton

I've got seven kids. The three words you hear most around my house are 'hello', 'goodbye', and 'I'm pregnant'.

Dean Martin

* * *

Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder.

Carrie Fisher



Don't tell your kids you had an easy birth or they won't respect you.

Joan Rivers

A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car for ever after.

Peter De Vries

* * *

Poverty is a lot like childbirth – you know it is going to hurt before it happens.

J. K. Rowling

[They] neglect to teach one critical skill: how to breathe, count and swear all at the same time.

Linda Fiterman on antenatal classes

* * *

Speech-making is exactly like childbirth. You are so glad to get it over with.

John Barrymore

There is a power that comes to women when they give birth.

Sheryl Feldman

* * *

Although present on the occasion, I have no clear recollection of the events leading up to it.

Winston Churchill on his own birth

* * *

Having a baby is like trying to push a grand piano through a transom.

Alice Roosevelt Longworth

* * *

A woman has two smiles that an angel might envy: the smile that accepts a lover before words are uttered, and the smile that lights on the first born babe, and assures it of a mother's love.

Thomas C. Haliburton

I wanted to give birth as opposed to being delivered.

Ricki Lake

Just thinking about the pain makes me want to take drugs.

Ellen DeGeneres

* * *

... a little like watching a wet St Bernard coming in through the cat door.

Jeff Foxworthy on childbirth

I'm not interested in being wonder woman in the delivery room. Give me drugs.


* * *

These wretched babies don't come until they are ready.

Queen Elizabeth II

* * *

When I was giving birth the nurse asked, 'Still think blondes have more fun?'

Joan Rivers

I realise why women die in childbirth – it's preferable.

Sherry Glaser

* * *

It [giving birth] was easier than having a tattoo.

Nicole Appleton

* * *

Ladies Are Requested Not To Have Children At The Bar.

Sign in a Norwegian bar

Giving birth is like taking your lower lip and forcing it over your head.

Carole Burnett

* * *

I think of birth as the search for a larger apartment.

Rita Mae Brown

For when a child is born the mother also is born again.

Gilbert Parker

* * *

If men had to have babies, they would only ever have one.

Diana, Princess of Wales



Here we have a baby. It is composed of a bald head and a pair of lungs.

Eugene Field

Babies are born looking like the ugliest relative on his side of the family.

Jenny Éclair

* * *

The worst feature of a new baby is its mother's singing.

Kin Hubbard

I can't think why mothers love them. All babies do is leak at both ends.

Douglas Feaver

* * *

When I was born I was so ugly the doctor slapped my mother.

Rodney Dangerfield

* * *

I think my life began with waking up and loving my mother's face.

George Eliot

Begin, baby boy, to recognise your mother with a smile.


* * *

If you desire to drain to the dregs the fullest cup of scorn and hatred that a fellow human being can pour out for you, let a young mother hear you call dear baby 'it'.

Jerome K. Jerome, Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow

The hand that rocks the cradle usually is attached to someone who isn't getting enough sleep.

John Fiebig

* * *

It's extraordinary to look into a baby's face and see a piece of your flesh and your spirit.

Liam Neeson

* * *

Loving a baby is a circular business ... The more you give the more you get.

Penelope Leach

Up until they go to school, they're relatively portable.

Liz Hurley

A baby is a loud noise at one end, and no sense of responsibility at the other.

Ronald Knox

* * *

'Diaper' backwards spells 'repaid'. Think about it.

Marshall McLuhan

* * *

People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one.

Leo J. Burke



My opinion is that anyone offended by breast-feeding is staring too hard.

Dave Allen

... reasons for breast-feeding: the milk is always at the right temperature; it comes in attractive containers; and the cat can't get it.

Irena Chalmers

* * *

Breast-feeding should not be attempted by fathers with hairy chests, they ... make the baby sneeze.

Mike Harding, The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac

A babe at the breast is as much pleasure as the bearing is pain.

Marion Zimmer Bradley

* * *

Breast-feeding is a mothers' gift to herself, her baby and the earth.

Pamela K. Wiggins

The babe at first feeds upon the mother's bosom, but is always on her heart.

Henry Ward Beecher

* * *

An ounce of breast milk is even more potent than the finest tequila.

Tori Amos

* * *

My mother never breast-fed me; she told me she only liked me as a friend.

Rodney Dangerfield



The fundamental job of a toddler is to rule the universe.

Lawrence Kutner

A child is a curly dimpled lunatic.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

* * *

I think children shouldn't be seen or heard.

Jo Brand

* * *

There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.

Chinese proverb

I am scared easily; here is a list of my adrenaline-production:

1. Small children ...

Alfred Hitchcock

* * *

Any kid will run any errand for you if you ask at bedtime.

Red Skelton

There never was a child so lovely, but his mother was glad to get him asleep.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

My mother loved children — she would have given anything if I had been one.

Groucho Marx

* * *

Adopted kids are such a pain — you have to teach them how to look like you.

Gilda Radner

Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky.

Fran Lebowitz

* * *

There is no reciprocity. Men love women, women love children. Children love hamsters.

Alice Thomas Ellis

Parents learn a lot from their children about coping with life.

Muriel Spark

* * *

It goes without saying that you should never have more children than you have car windows.

Erma Bombeck

* * *

Instead of needing lots of children, we need high-quality children.

Margaret Mead

A two-year-old is kind of like having a blender, but you don't have a top for it.

Jerry Seinfeld



The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he's a baby.

Natalie Wood

If that's the world's smartest man, God help us.

Lucille Feynman, after Omni magazine named her son the world's smartest man

* * *

There was never a great man who had not a great mother.

Olive Schreiner

* * *

A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.

Irish proverb

A boy's best friend is his mother.

Joseph Stefano

* * *

The one thing a lawyer won't question is the legitimacy of his mother.

W. C. Fields

* * *

Few misfortunes can befall a boy which bring worse consequences than to have a really affectionate mother.

W. Somerset Maugham

But I never bump and grind ... I'd never do anything vulgar before an audience. My mother would never allow it.

Elvis Presley

* * *

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.

Oscar Wilde

Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.


A brief season of exhilarating liberty between control by their mothers and control by their wives.

Camille Paglia on the adolescence of teenage boys

* * *

It takes one woman twenty years to make a man of her son — and another woman twenty minutes to make a fool of him.

Helen Rowland

Happy is the son whose faith in his mother remains unchallenged.

Louisa May Alcott

* * *

Boys will be boys. And even that wouldn't matter if only we could prevent girls from being girls.

Anne Frank

Well behaved: he always speaks as if his mother might be listening.

Mason Cooley



A daughter is a bundle of firsts that excite and delight ...

Barbara Cage

To me, luxury is to be at home with my daughter; and the occasional massage doesn't hurt.

Olivia Newton John

* * *

A fluent tongue is the only thing a mother don't [sic] like her daughter to resemble her in.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan

* * *

I was a mom so late in life; my daughter was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Candice Bergen

She named the infant 'Pearl', as being of great price — purchased with all she had — her mother's only treasure!

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlett Letter

* * *

He that would the daughter win must with the mother first begin.

English proverb

A busy mother makes slothful daughters.

Portuguese proverb

* * *

A young lady is a female child who has just done something dreadful.

Judith Martin

* * *

There is a point at which you aren't as much mom and daughter as you are adults and friends.

Jamie Lee Curtis

Oh my son's my son till he gets him a wife, But my daughter's my daughter all her life.

Dinah Craik, 'Young and Old'

* * *

My parents treated me like I had a brain — which, in turn, caused me to have one.

Diane Lane

Right now, my daughter's just rolling her eyes at everything I do; I'm just an embarrassment.

Elizabeth Perkins

Trust not your daughters' minds by what you see them act.

William Shakespeare, Othello

* * *

I try to parent equally, but I think little girls are a little more sensitive.

Don Johnson

* * *

Your mothers get mighty shocked ... nowadays, but in her day, her mother was just on the verge of sending her to reform school.

Will Rogers

I'm going to have to live vicariously through my daughter's rebellion because I certainly never did go through adolescence.

Brooke Shields

* * *

I keep seeing myself in my daughter, and I see my mother in me and in her. Bloody hell.

Julie Walters



Telling a teenager the facts of life is like giving a fish a bath.

Arnold H. Glasow

Mothers of teenagers know why animals eat their young.


* * *

I think it's a mother's duty to embarrass their children.


* * *

Little children, headache; big children, heartache.

Italian proverb

Imagination is something that sits up with Dad and Mom the first time their teenager stays out late.

Lane Olinghouse

* * *

As a parent you try to maintain a certain amount of control and so you have this tug-of-war ... You have to learn when to let go.

Aretha Franklin

* * *

Adolescence: a stage between infancy and adultery.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Adolescence is the 'conjugator' of childhood and adulthood.

Louise J. Kaplan

* * *

The modern child will answer you back before you've said anything.

Laurence J. Peter

* * *

Having a thirteen-year-old ... is like having a general admission ticket to the movies, radio and TV.

Max Lerner

Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.

Erma Bombeck

The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant, and let the air out of the tyres.

Dorothy Parker

* * *

'Thank God it's Monday'. If any working mother has not experienced that feeling, her children are not adolescent.

Ann Diehl



If you've never been hated by your child, you've never been a parent.

Bette Davis

Grown don't mean nothing to a mother.

Toni Morrison

* * *

If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

Abigail Van Buren

* * *

You see much more of your children once they leave home.

Lucille Ball

It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't.

Barbara Kingsolver

* * *

The fingerprints on the wall appear higher and higher. Then suddenly they disappear.

Dorothy Evslin

Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.

Oscar Wilde

* * *

The successful mother sets her children free and become more free herself in the process.

Robert J. Havighurst

We've had bad luck with our kids — they've all grown up.

Christopher Morley



I don't approve of smacking – I just use a cattle prod.

Jenny Éclair

Children are gleeful barbarians.

Joseph Morgenstern

* * *

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.

Mark Twain

* * *

If my mom reads that I'm grammatically incorrect, I'll have hell to pay.

Larisa Oleynik

Children nowadays are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food and tyrannise their teachers.


* * *

Kids can be a pain in the neck when they're not a lump in your throat.

Barbara Johnson

All mothers think their children are oaks, but the world never lacks for cabbages.

Robertson Davies

* * *

The truth is that parents are not really interested in justice. They just want quiet.

Bill Cosby

* * *

When children are doing nothing, they are doing mischief.

Henry Fielding

Having one child makes you a parent; having two you are a referee.

David Frost

Smack your child every day. If you don't know why – he does.

Joey Adams


Excerpted from Mum's Wit by Richard Benson, Ian Baker. Copyright © 2010 Summersdale Publishers Ltd. Excerpted by permission of Summersdale Publishers Ltd.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Richard Benson is the author of Blackboard Blunders, F in Exams, The Wit and Wisdom of Margaret Thatcher, and a variety of other witty humor books.

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