Last week, youngest daughter texted to tell me she was the “Meanest Mom in the World,” something about a scooter she won’t run to Walmart and buy because the neighbor boys each got one and it’s better for tricks, etc, etc, etc. This week it was because she bagged up the toys the boys didn’t pick up, grounded them from their Kindles, and made them go play outside.
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It brought back memories. You see, I held the title, “Meanest Mom in the World” for 19 years, from approximately 1988 until about 2007. I earned that title because, our children did not have tvs in their rooms, computer use was in the living room and Dad and Mom had access to their myspace accounts.
I was the meanest mom because they had curfews, chores, limited telephone and tv time and because they couldn’t watch Bart Simpson or Beavus and Butthead.
I was the meanest mom because I expected them to tell us where they were going and who they were with. And, I didn’t always take their word for it, because, sometimes teenagers don’t tell the truth! (Shocking I know!) I was the mom who called other parents to check up and make sure they were where they said they would be.
I was the meanest mom because I waited up to be sure they were home on time. on occasion, I even moved the cars in the driveway so somebody couldn’t sneak out after being told, “not tonight.”
I was the meanest mom because I pulled my 17 year old son (who was 8 inches taller than me and outweighted me by 100lbs) off the football practice field for a conference with his teacher because what he was telling me about the reason for his grades was not what she was telling me. How dare I embarrass him like that!
I was the meanest mom in the world when our then 10 year old daughter learned to do drywall after she accidently kicked a hole in the wall in anger, and when our 13 year old son lost his door and was told he could have a new one when he could pay for it.
I was the meanest mom because privacy was not a right in our house. The kids bedroom doors did not have locks. I was not above going through backpacks, searching dresser drawers or reading diaries if I thought there was something going on that might need adult intervention.
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Here’s the thing. I was the meanest mom because I loved them.
I loved them enough to want to keep them safe from themselves because teenagers don’t always make good decisions.
I loved them enough to hold them accountable for their actions so they would grow up to hold themselves accountable.
I loved them enough to teach them responsiblity.
I loved them enough to teach them that actions have consequences.
And so, today, when oldest daughter called and told me she is the meanest mom in world, I laughed. She is the meanest mom in the world because she told her son, “no you can’t have a snack because we are going to eat in 10 minutes,” and “you made the mess you need to clean it up.” And when she told him, “No, Grandma is the meanest mom in the world” he vehemently disagreed.
The pupils have exceeded the teacher. Mama is so proud!
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