94 Best Erma Bombeck Quotes about Life, God and Marriage

Erma Bombeck, born Erma Louise Fiste in 1927 in Dayton, Ohio, was an American humorist celebrated for her satirical take on suburban life.

Her works included best-sellers like “I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression” (1973), “The Grass Is Always Greener over the Septic Tank” (1976) and “If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?” (1978).

Readers resonated with Bombeck’s self-deprecating humor which captured the everyday crises of family life.

Erma Bombeck

She began writing in junior high, later working for the Dayton Journal-Herald. After a hiatus to start a family, Bombeck returned to writing and her column “At Wit’s End” was syndicated in over 900 newspapers.

She contributed to magazines, had her own TV series and appeared on “Good Morning America”.

Despite health challenges in her later years, including a mastectomy and kidney issues, her legacy endures.

I have made a list of the top quotes by Erma Bombeck.

Best Erma Bombeck Quotes


Kids need love the most when they’re acting most unlovable. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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

Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Time. It hangs heavy for the bored, eludes the busy, flies by the for young, and runs out for the aged. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Why would anyone steal a shopping cart? It’s like stealing a two-year-old. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Humorists can never start to take themselves seriously. It’s literary suicide. ~ Erma Bombeck.

A grandparent will help you with your buttons, your zippers, and your shoelaces and not be in any hurry for you to grow up. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Cats invented self-esteem; there is not an insecure bone in their body. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Never accept a drink from a urologist. ~ Erma Bombeck.

It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Famous Erma Bombeck Quotes

For years, my husband and I have advocated separate vacations. But the kids keep finding us. ~ Erma Bombeck.

She’s as funny as a toothache. ~ Erma Bombeck.

I used everything you gave me. ~ Erma Bombeck.

One meal a day is enough for a lion and would be for all of us if all we did all day was swat flies. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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

If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

No One Diets on Thanksgiving. ~ Erma Bombeck.

There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Ultimate Erma Bombeck Quotes

Housework is a treadmill from futility to oblivion with stop-offs at tedium and counter productivity. ~ Erma Bombeck.

The grass is always greener over the septic tank. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

When you’re lecturing teenagers and they begin to hum and leave the room, you can sense there is hostility. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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

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

Mother’s words of wisdom: Answer me! Don’t talk with food in your mouth! ~ Erma Bombeck.

I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

With boys, you always know where you stand. Right in the path of a hurricane. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Good kids are like sunsets. We take them for granted. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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

Encourage independence in your children by regularly losing them in the supermarket. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Marriage has no guarantees. If that’s what you’re looking for, go live with a car battery. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.


There is so much to teach, and the time goes so fast. ~ Erma Bombeck.

I have just come up with a wonderful solution to end all wars. Let me give directions on how to get there. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Once you see the drivers in Indonesia you understand why religion plays such a part in their lives. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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

In two decades I’ve lost a total of 789 pounds. I should be hanging from a charm bracelet. ~ Erma Bombeck.

When the going gets tough, the tough make cookies. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Insanity is hereditary. You can catch it from your kids. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Top Erma Bombeck Quotes

My sister and I never engaged in sibling rivalry. Our parents weren’t that crazy about either one of us. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Did you ever notice that the first piece of luggage on the carousel never belongs to anyone? ~ Erma Bombeck.

Cleaning the house while the children are home is like shoveling while it’s still snowing. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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? ~ Erma Bombeck.

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

When you look like your passport photo, it’s time to go home. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Housework can kill you if done right. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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

Great Erma Bombeck Quotes

When children reach the age of sixteen, they discover the meaning of life: car keys. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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!’ ~ Erma Bombeck.

If the nest is truly empty, who owns all this junk? ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

What’s with you men? Would hair stop growing on your chest if you asked directions somewhere? ~ Erma Bombeck.

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

A child needs your love most when he deserves it least. ~ Erma Bombeck.

I’ve exercised with women so thin that buzzards followed them to their cars. ~ Erma Bombeck.

As a graduate of the Zsa Zsa Gabor School of Creative mathematics, I honestly do not know how old I am. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Wise Erma Bombeck Quotes

There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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… ~ Erma Bombeck.

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

Giving birth is little more than a set of muscular contractions granting passage of a child. Then the mother is born. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Let me put it this way. According to my girth, I should be a ninety-foot redwood. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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

Unique Erma Bombeck Quotes

The term ‘working mother’ is redundant. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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. ~ Erma Bombeck.


I am not a glutton – I am an explorer of food. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence. ~ Erma Bombeck.

It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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

My kids always perceived the bathroom as a place where you wait it out until all the groceries are unloaded from the car. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Poached eggs are good, poached animals are not. ~ Erma Bombeck.

How come anything you buy will go on sale next week? ~ Erma Bombeck.

Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere. ~ Erma Bombeck.

Children make your life important. ~ Erma Bombeck.

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

So these were the 94 top Erma Bombeck quotes about Life, God, Marriage, Aging, Motherhood, Housework and Kids.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Emma Goldman quotes and Cher quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar