What is Italian Mother Syndrome?

Italian Mother Syndrome, more commonly known as IMS. To my knowledge, I am one of the only young women out there afflicted with this rare, untreatable disease.

I was diagnosed with IMS as early as high school. Symptoms included doorway-wide hips, a moustache like my mother's, and my persistent clarion call of "Eat something!" My friends started to suspect something was amiss when I kept getting cast as mothers, old women, and tough broads in school theatrical productions. Thank God they were paying attention -- I thought all young women with any sense acted this way. Turns out I was wrong.

In the years since, I've slowly come to accept my situation. True, I worry about everything and everybody constantly. I fawn over every baby that crosses my lap. I prepare fresh, healthy food for anyone whose stomach so much as gurgles. I adore hugging people and then smacking them. I will never be a size 2.

But when all is said and done, IMS isn't such a bad thing to have. It's made me passionate, earthy, loving, and dedicated. Plus, nobody's complained about the free meals and hugs. I'll take it.


  1. Anonymous10:02 PM

    I had not known you had this affliction. I'm very happy with you like you are. I presume this is incurable. If hugs help it I will do my best when we are together! Re: the hips. Instead of referring to them as door wide, let's call them great!!

  2. Just came across your blog as I am up in the wee hours of the morning looking pup more prayers on the internet. I, too, suffer from IMS. . Believe me, when I say this road of ours can get quite bumpy at times. I'm 62. One son turning 40 this summer(still unmarried) something to worry about., and my late in life 16 year old. But, here I am.. sun isn't up, and go figure, after I say prayers fro guidance, I click on your blog. What a blessing.
    Many thanks,

  3. Priceless... IMS indeed is genetic, we will discover the chromosome or gene snip soon:)
    I so enjoy your writing Julia, and even with this blessing (and affliction), I am the proud recipient of your fine poetry to words of inspiration through the challenges of chemotherapy. I will always be grateful for your priceless "love through words".
    You are simply the best! Keep up this remarkable talent in so many ways (and venues...)

    Love you, Mary Lou