Erma Bombeck Quotes


Erma Bombeck (1927-1996) was an American humorist, columnist, and author. Born in Ohio, she began her writing career in the 1950s, first as a freelancer and later as a columnist for local newspapers. Her humorous observations on suburban life and motherhood quickly gained a following, and her columns were eventually syndicated in over 900 newspapers across the United States and Canada.

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Bombeck published her first book, “At Wit’s End,” in 1967, which became a bestseller. She went on to publish over 15 more books, including “The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank” and “If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?”

In addition to her writing, Bombeck was a popular speaker and television personality, appearing on programs such as “Good Morning America” and “The Tonight Show.” She was also a strong advocate for women’s rights and a supporter of various charitable causes.

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Bombeck passed away in 1996 from complications related to kidney disease. Her legacy lives on through her writing, which continues to entertain and inspire readers around the world.

We delve into the delightful world of Erma Bombeck’s quotes, offering a funny take on the everyday moments of family life.

Erma Bombeck Quotes

1. “It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.”

2. “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”

3. “Kids need love the most when they’re acting most unlovable.”

4. “Pregnancy is the only time in a woman’s life she can help God work a miracle.”

Pregnancy is the only time in a woman’s life she can help God work a miracle. - Erma Bombeck

5. “There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.”

6. “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for one another.”

7. “A child needs your love most when he deserves it least.”

8. “Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.”

9. “If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?”

10. “I am not a glutton – I am an explorer of food.”

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11. “If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it.”

12. “If I had my life to live over I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.”

13. “When you look like your passport photo, it’s time to go home.”

14. “The grass is always greener over the septic tank.”

15. “Some emotions don’t make a lot of noise. It’s hard to hear pride. Caring is real faint – like a heartbeat. And pure love – why, some days it’s so quiet, you don’t even know it’s there…”

16. “Cleanliness is not next to godliness. It isn’t even in the same neighborhood.”

17. “There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.”

18. “My sister and I never engaged in sibling rivalry. Our parents weren’t that crazy about either one of us.”

19. “I have a theory about the human mind. A brain is a lot like a computer. It will only take so many facts, and then it will go on overload and blow up.”

20. “Time. It hangs heavy for the bored, eludes the busy, flies by the for young, and runs out for the aged.”

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21. “Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.”

22. “Before you try to keep up with the Joneses, be sure they’re not trying to keep up with you.”

Before you try to keep up with the Joneses, be sure they’re not trying to keep up with you. - Erma Bombeck

23. “Cleanliness is not next to godliness. It isn’t even in the same neighborhood. No one has ever gotten a religious experience out of removing burned-on cheese from the grill of the toaster oven.”

24. “Cleaning the house while the children are home is like shoveling while it’s still snowing.”

25. “The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.”

26. “Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what.”

27. “Children make your life important.”

28. “As a graduate of the Zsa Zsa Gabor School of Creative mathematics, I honestly do not know how old I am.”

29. “When your mother asks, ‘Do you want a piece of advice?’ it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.”

30. “A member of the committee slapped a name tag over my left bosom. “What shall we name the other one?” I smiled. She was not amused.”

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31. “Shopping is a woman thing. It’s a contact sport like football. Women enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death, and the ecstasy of the purchase.”

32. “If the nest is truly empty, who owns all this junk?”

33. “When humor go’s, there go’s civilization.”

34. “Never accept a drink from a urologist.”

35. “I used everything you gave me.”

36. “Marriage has no guarantees. If that’s what you’re looking for, go live with a car battery.”

37. “Let me put it this way. According to my girth, I should be a ninety-foot redwood.”

38. “With boys, you always know where you stand. Right in the path of a hurricane.”

39. “No One Diets on Thanksgiving.”

40. “My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?”

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

42. “Know the difference between success and fame. Success is Mother Teresa. Fame is Madonna.”

Know the difference between success and fame. Success is Mother Teresa. Fame is Madonna. - Erma Bombeck

43. “When you’re lecturing teenagers and they begin to hum and leave the room, you can sense there is hostility.”

44. “The term ‘working mother’ is redundant.”

45. “When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out.”

46. “When children reach the age of sixteen, they discover the meaning of life: car keys.”

47. “If I raised my hand to wipe the hair out of my children’s eyes, they’d flinch and call their attorney.”

48. “Encourage independence in your children by regularly losing them in the supermarket.”

49. “Women are never what they seem to be. There is the woman you see and there is the woman who is hidden. Buy the gift for the woman who is hidden.”

50. “It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.”

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51. “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me” Erma Bombeck as quoted in A Christmas Blessing.”

52. “There is so much to teach, and the time goes so fast.”

53. “I’ve exercised with women so thin that buzzards followed them to their cars.”

54. “If I had my life to live over, instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished ever moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.”

55. “Giving birth is little more than a set of muscular contractions granting passage of a child. Then the mother is born.”

56. “For years, my husband and I have advocated separate vacations. But the kids keep finding us.”

57. “There was a time when the respect and trust my children had for me would have made you sick to your stomach. They believed I could blow on a red traffic light and turn it green.”

58. “I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.”

59. “I have a friend who lives by a three-word philosophy: Seize the Moment. Just possibly, she may be the wisest woman on this planet.”

60. “Insanity is hereditary. You can catch it from your kids.”

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61. “She’s as funny as a toothache.”

62. “Housework can kill you if done right.”

63. “When it comes to cooking, five years ago I felt guilty “just adding water.” Now I want to bang the tube against the countertop and have a five-course meal pop out. If it comes with plastic silverware and a plate that self-destructs, all the better.”

64. “Did you ever notice that the first piece of luggage on the carousel never belongs to anyone?”

65. “When you’re an orthodox worrier, some days are worse than others.”

When you’re an orthodox worrier, some days are worse than others. - Erma Bombeck

66. “Cats invented self-esteem; there is not an insecure bone in their body.”

67. “All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them.”

68. “When the going gets tough, the tough make cookies.”

69. “Mother’s words of wisdom: Answer me! Don’t talk with food in your mouth!”

70. “The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.”

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71. “My mother won’t admit it, but I’ve always been a disappointment to her. Deep down inside, she’ll never forgive herself for giving birth to a daughter who refuses to launder aluminium foil and use it over again.”

72. “When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and he says he’s doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911.”

73. “I read one psychologist’s theory that said, “Never strike a child in your anger.” When could I strike him? When he is kissing me on my birthday? When he’s recuperating from measles? Do I slap the Bible out of his hand on Sunday?”

74. “Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.”

75. “I never go to a college reunion that I don’t come away feeling sorry for all those paunchy, balding jocks trying to hang onto youth. I feel sorry for the men, too.”

76. “Housework is a treadmill from futility to oblivion with stop-offs at tedium and counter productivity.”

77. “Why would anyone steal a shopping cart? It’s like stealing a two-year-old.”

78. “Hello there. I’m out social climbing, but if you leave your name and number and if you’re anybody, I’ll get back to you.”

79. “The bad times I can handle. It’s the good times that drive me crazy. When is the other shoe going going to drop?”

80. “Every puppy should have a boy.”

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81. “Most children’s first words are ‘Mama’ or ‘Daddy.’ Mine were, ‘Do I have to use my own money?’”

82. “Before we sent kids to computer camps and told them they were having a good time, there was imagination among the human species.”

83. “Never underestimate what it takes to watch someone you love in pain.”

Never underestimate what it takes to watch someone you love in pain. - Erma Bombeck

84. “Once you see the drivers in Indonesia you understand why religion plays such a part in their lives.”

85. “I just clipped 2 articles from a current magazine. One is a diet guaranteed to drop 5 pounds off my body in a weekend. The other is a recipe for a 6 minute pecan pie.”

86. “Poached eggs are good, poached animals are not.”

87. “In two decades I’ve lost a total of 789 pounds. I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.”

88. “Good kids are like sunsets. We take them for granted. Every evening they disappear. Most parents never imagine how hard they try to please us, and how miserable they feel when they think they have failed.”

89. “Grandparenthood is one of life’s rewards for surviving your own children.”

90. “Let us hope manufacturers can come up with a diaper that is environmentally sound. To go back to cloth would send us back to the day when breathing and raising a baby at the same time were incompatible.”

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91. “What’s with you men? Would hair stop growing on your chest if you asked directions somewhere?”

92. “Next to hot chicken soup, a tattoo of an anchor on your chest, and penicillin, I consider a honeymoon one of the most overrated events in the world.”

93. “The woman who says, ‘My kids are all speaking to one another and they love us’ is a psychopathic liar.”

94. “Good kids are like sunsets. We take them for granted.”

95. “My kids always perceived the bathroom as a place where you wait it out until all the groceries are unloaded from the car.”

96. “Families aren’t easy to join. They’re like an exclusive country club where membership makes impossible demands and the dues for an outsider are exorbitant.”

97. “On vacations: We hit the sunny beaches where we occupy ourselves keeping the sun off our skin, the saltwater off our bodies, and the sand out of our belongings.”

98. “My son would walk to the refrigerator-freezer and fling both doors open and stand there until the hairs in his nose iced up. After surveying $200 worth of food in varying shapes and forms, he would declare loudly, ‘There’s nothing to eat!’”

99. “The age of your children is a key factor in how quickly you are served in a restaurant. We once had a waiter in Canada who said, “Could I get you your check?” and we answered, “How about the menu first?””

100. “You become about as exciting as your food blender. The kids come in, look you in the eye, and ask if anybody’s home.”

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