Truly, Southern people are a different breed. I can say that because I am indeed Southern—whereas if someone else said it about me, we might have a problem (which, of course, is a Southern reaction). And Southern moms (yep, also one of those) are a sight to behold. They are super-sweet and loving; they fierce and loyal; and they are friggin' hilarious.
To get a glimpse into the fabulous and enigmatic world of Southern motherhood, please peruse this list of a dozen of the most common dilemmas Southern moms face.
- Can’t. Stop. Monogramming. Southern mamas like to emblazon just about all their kids’ clothes with their names or monograms. It’s almost like we will forget which kid is ours if we don’t go ahead and label him. And the kicker to this issue is the burgeoning resale market. There’s big money to be made reselling gently used children’s clothes—but the monogram, “ESP” only works for a very small segment of people. So, do you put the monogram on or not? Decisions, decisions.
- What’s in a Name? Speaking of names, we Southern mamas have an obsession with names—double names, triple names, and especially surnames. Surname for a first name? Check. Surname for a middle name? Check. Wait ... how many names can my kid have? I need to honor all 42 of my favorite ancestors!
- The Sweet Tea Life. So, how old do your kids have to be to start drinking sweet tea … all day long … from a Bubba Keg … with a straw? And does it have to be decaffeinated? Asking for a friend.
- A, E, I, O, U. Teaching kids to speak with the appropriate number of vowel sounds can be difficult for a Southern mama. Sometimes, it hurts mommy’s mouth to control syllables like that. You know, we have to make sure words like boy, oil, and whale have only one syllable ... and we have to work to keep that long a sound out of eggs. Whew! It’s tough!
- Sticker Club. A Southern mama does love a good bumper sticker, especially when it lets her brag about her family. But sometimes it can be a challenge to fit all the stickers for every organization and activity your child is involved with on the back of your car. Yes, Maximus’s involvement in Fidget Spinner Club really IS that important. We MUST find a spot!
- Today’s Temp? Seriously, y’all, Southern weather seems to change on a dime, does it not? Southern mamas often find themselves switching out seasons in their child’s closet in one day with no warning. I mean, it goes from 30 degrees to 90 degrees in less than 48 hours. And don’t forget to switch out that change of clothes for your preschoolers too or you’ll be picking Amelia up from school in 100-degree sun only to find her in a fleece sweat suit (been there, done that).
- Matchy-matchy. And more on the whole clothing thing—you must understand the immense pressure baring down on southern mamas to coordinate sibling outfits, especially for the semi-monthly professional family photo shoot. And the trick is that it CANNOT look like you wanted it to be that way. It takes a lot of tedious planning. I’m not sure even the Osmonds put this much thought into their family attire.
- Football Feuds. Southern mamas love their football and all the intense, competitive rivalries and nostalgic tradition that comes with it. Every Southern family has a team (or maybe two) that they are dedicated to, and they practice that fandom like it's their job. The big challenge for Southern mamas comes when you have to politely turn away gifts representing other teams—‘cause there ain’t no way my kid is wearing a gators jersey. Just sayin’.
- What’s For Dinner? Staying healthy in the South is tough for everyone. We just know how to cook really, really well. A lot of Southern mamas really do struggle to teach their children that there are indeed better meals than a slab of ribs and a pound of baked beans. (And, then, of course, comes the dilemma of whether you’re going to be a “dry ribs” family or a “wet ribs” family. Am I right, Memphians?)
- That Bites. Southern mamas want to protect their babies from everything just like any other mama. But around these parts, we have to be extra diligent about the dang mosquitoes. Anyone else dress their kids in the summer and just want to envelope them in a head-to-toe mosquito net?
- Bow-dacious. When you’re a Southern mama with girls, your bow game has to be strong. I am not a girl-mom myself, but it’s easy to see that there are unspoken rules about hairbows in the south. For example, every bow placed on a child’s head must be exponentially bigger than the last one she wore; and the diameter of the bow must always be bigger than the child’s head itself. Southern mamas are up all night worrying what kind of neck issues might be caused by such gigantic accessories; but, you know, the bigger the bow, the closer to God.
- Pass the Gravy Boat. If you’re a Southern mama, chances are you have one or more collections of china, serving dishes, silver, figurines, village houses, etc. A Southern mama might appear to get multitudinous joy from these collections; but as she unpacks the pieces from the buffet each Easter Sunday, just give her a moment to be with her thoughts. She’s already trying to decide which child will inherit her Arthur Court. It’s a query for the ages.