“Use Your Inside Voice” and Other Mom-isms I Can’t Stop Saying

what not to sayAs mothers, we repeat many mantras. My top five?

I'm going to count to three.
Don't touch that.
You like everything on your plate.
Don't throw your food.
No, you can't fill the sink with water and create a crab colony.

But the one that comes up over and over again in our house is: Use your inside voice. For the longest time, I thought both of my kids had hearing issues. I took them to the doctor's office and asked for a test because not only do they not hear me when I call for them, they seem to operate on the upper levels of human volume limits. As my good friend said when we visited last summer, "Their noise level is impressive."

She was being polite.

Their hearing tests came back normal which left me scratching my head as to why my kids are so very loud. I thought for a while maybe it has something to do with excitement levels. Then I realized that either everything in their lives were Level 10 exciting or they're just loud.

Joseph will stand less than a foot from me and tell me about his day at the top of his lung. Elizabeth's idea of a whisper is more of a stage whisper. I find myself saying, over and over again, "Use your inside voice." I'm hoping, in time, they'll lower their volume. In the meantime, I need earplugs just to protect my own hearing.

What are the mantras you find yourself repeating?