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27 Things You’ll Never Hear an Alaska Mom Say

Alaska Culture
by Jennifer Gracey Aug 24, 2017

1. Why don’t you park your car in the garage tonight?

Said no Alaskan mom, ever. It’s one of those iron-clad unwritten rules of the Alaska life. Mom’s car goes in the garage. If there is a multiple car garage then dad is next in the pecking order. Alaskan road rules for newbie drivers begin with a nice frosty spot outside — It’s one of the rites of passage for newbie drivers.

2. Turn the engine off.

While many Alaskan moms are quite conservative in general, the climate often dictates otherwise. Mom is never impressed with the idea of sitting in a cold vehicle.

3. We don’t need any more firewood.

The Alaskan mom is a sucker for a good fire. Especially if it’s cold outside and most specifically, if she’s cold. Alaskan kids learn early, “There is never enough firewood.” And, it’s our job to haul it from point A to point B.

4. It’s time to come in.

Considering winters are long and dark, and kids go bonkers when cooped up in the house for days on end, the reality is quite opposite. Most of us are raised to the tune of, “Get outside now.” There are few exceptions to this rule. When it’s time for dinner, homework, bed OR the odd occasion a four-footed wild creature invades the yard.

5. Oh, yes you are wearing shorts to school!

Alaska moms, along with every other sane human, comprehend the fantastic absurdity of this situation. Particularly so in the dead of winter. Younger, fashion conscious Alaskans on the other hand— not so much.

6. No, you won’t need an extra pair of socks.

Another Alaskan rule of thumb. Always bring an extra pair of socks (and make sure they’re the wool ones.) You just never know.

7. Aw! Go stand next to the cute baby moose so I can take a picture.

What mother of any species would want her offspring standing next to a complete stranger for a photo.

8. I’m so happy you caught that big decaying red salmon for our dinner.

Alaska moms know and deeply understand the whole “really red reds are for the young ‘uns to practice fishing with” paradigm. They cheer and praise when their progeny get to say, “FISH ON! I caught ‘em in the mouth mom!!” Alaska moms do this because they understand catching the old, cancer laden, half dead salmon is the only way kids develop an angling prowess and will eventually work their way up to catching the real deal. What isn’t much appreciated is when the young sprouts can’t grasp why ‘the red ones’ are not acceptable dinner fodder. The Alaska Moms’ School of Fishing and Hard Knocks has some serious downers for the age 5 and below troop.

9. I love it when you stomp through every mud-puddle between the store entrance and the car.

If an Alaska mom actually says this, it will be with exasperated sarcasm. Who wants to deal with a laundry pile that includes sopping wet stinky socks? And what mom doesn’t relish having their kid splash mud-puddle water all over her clean pants.

10. Don’t worry about shoveling the driveway.

Shoveling the driveway is one of those ‘top-of-the-list’ kid chores for winter. There’s just no getting out of it unless we’re dying or dead and even then, we might be told to “Walk it off and go shovel it anyway.” Alaska moms mean business when it comes to having a snow free driveway.

11. No, we don’t need more sand out there.

This is along the same vein as the firewood and driveway shoveling situation. There are steps and procedures and they get followed to a T. First, there is shoveling. Next, there is sand and gravel throwing. The facts of life are: the driveway always has spots that need more sand and gravel in winter.

12. It’s too hot for a fire.

Seasonally speaking, the ‘when’ here is irrelevant. It’s always the right time to make a fire. This is Alaska.

13. We have enough bug spray.

Alaska moms are notorious packers. If left to them, everyone would have one extra of everything, including a can of bug spray in each pocket. Maybe that’s slightly dramatic. However, one can be certain when an Alaska mom is involved in the equation, there is a can of bug spray stationed at each entrance and every other strategic location in the vicinity. The mosquitos must not win under any circumstance.

14. Are you crazy? My car didn’t need to be washed!

If there were a state competition for the largest number of vehicles on the road with “wash me” drawn by finger into the dirt on their hoods and doors, Alaska would likely be the biggest contender. As every Alaska kid knows— washing mom’s car is the fastest way to butter her up to get her in a ‘yes’ mood prior to whatever big ask is being scheme.

15. I’d rather be inside.

Alaska moms are a fresh air, outdoor loving, walk on the wild side tribe. When the weather is good and the stars are aligned, indoor time feels more like a death sentence than a happy, safe place to be. In summer, the only place you’ll find the Alaska mom is in the great big outdoors.

16. I’d love to take the dog for a walk in 30 below.

Somehow, the Alaska mom is the only one capable of doing dog walking duty when the thermostat dips. Not that she loves frosting the inside of her lungs or freezing her eyelashes, she just doesn’t want to have to clean another dog mess off the floor.

17. Sledding is so boring. Why would you want to do that?

This is by far one of the things that make Alaska moms rock. They love sledding and finding stellar sledding trails every bit as much as their kids. They also know, it’s one of the surest ways to get their kids to bed at a decent hour so, “Sleds away!”

18. No, you don’t need any more sun for today.

Catching the sun in Alaska is like finding a Leprechaun’s pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. When you have it, you take all you can get. In Alaska, we can never have too much sun or too much vitamin D so, when the big spotlight in the sky is out, so are we.

19. I think we’ve picked enough berries for today.

An Alaska mom would have to be completely out of her mind to even think this. In Alaska, there is no such thing as picking enough berries.

20. This hike is overrated.

To the Alaska mom, a hike is a hike. It means getting out and enjoying the beauty and awesomeness that is Alaska. There are no bad or overrated hikes, only bad hikers.

21. It’s a terrible day for a bike ride.

This falls in the same category as overrated hikes. Bike rides in Alaska are awesome, period.

22. I love driving the carpool to hockey practice at 6 am.

There are moms and then there are Alaska moms. She’ll never love the 4:30 am wake-up call but she will love watching her kids play.

23. This chickweed in my garden is the best!

Any Alaska mom with a garden has an on-going summer long battle with her arch nemesis. While hard to call a winner on this one, the chickweed always does come back with a vengeance.

24. I love it when the moose eat my lettuce.

This is one of the hates an Alaska mom loves. At least the garden situation is largely salvaged with moose-proof fencing.

25. It’s so much fun when the bear breaks into the shed and drags trash everywhere.

Because who doesn’t get a kick out of retrieving mini-caches of rotting refuse from the underbrush and wooded area around one’s house? In this case, it’d be Bear 1 – Alaska mom 0.

26. No problem! I don’t mind if you use my fishing pole and reel.

Alaska moms are rather generous and will give a lot. But when it comes to fishing equipment, they can be as territorial as the best of ‘em. When it comes to mom’s fishing gear— it’s strictly hands off.

27. Sure, you can borrow Dad’s gun.

This right here is the ultimate Alaska mom April Fool’s Day prank. Everyone knows, the grandaddy of all sacred Alaskan rules, “No one touches Dad’s gun unless Dad himself is there to grant permission.”

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