My friend Ann shared with me the Mean Mom Poem. I searched for the author in order to give credit where credit is due. Maybe whoever wrote is it was just one of us. Doing her best. Loving her kids by making them pitch in and work – because she is committed to her kids and she knows more than anyone else how capable they are.
Thanks Ann for sharing … and thanks for walking the road with me.
To all you Mean Mom’s.
Someday when my children are old enough to
understand the logic that motivates a parent, I will
tell them, as my Mean Mom told me: I loved you
enough to ask where you were going, with whom,
and what time you would be home.
I loved you enough to be silent and let you
discover that your new best friend was a creep.
I loved you enough to make you go pay for the
bubble gum you had taken and tell the clerk, “I
stole this yesterday and want to pay for it.”
I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours
while you cleaned your room, a job that should have
taken 15 minutes.
I loved you enough to let you see anger,
disappointment, and tears in my eyes. Children must
learn that their parents aren’t perfect.
I loved you enough to let you assume the
responsibility for your actions even when the
penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.
But most of all, I loved you enough . . . to say
NO when I knew you would hate me for it.
Those were the most difficult battles of all. I’m
glad I won them, because in the end you won, too.
And someday when your children are old enough to
understand the logic that motivates parents, you
will tell them.
Was your Mom mean? I know mine was. We had the
meanest mother in the whole world! While other kids
ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal,
eggs, and toast. When others had a Pepsi and a
Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches. And you
can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was
different from what other kids had, too.
Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all
times. You’d think we were convicts in a prison. She
had to know who our friends were, and what we were
doing with them. She insisted that if we said we
would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an
hour or less.
We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerve
to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work. We
had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to
cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, empty the trash
and all sorts of cruel jobs. I think she would lie
awake at night thinking of more things for us to do.
She always insisted on us telling the truth, the
whole truth, and nothing but the truth. By the time
we were teenagers, she could read our minds and had
eyes in the back of her head. Then, life was really
Mother wouldn’t let our friends just honk the horn
when they drove up. They had to come up to the door
so she could meet them. While everyone else could
date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until
we were 16.
Because of our mother we missed out on lots of
things other kids experienced. None of us have ever
been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other’s
property or ever arrested for any crime. It was all
Now that we have left home, we are all educated,
honest adults. We are doing our best to be mean
parents just like Mom was.
I think that is what’s wrong with the world today.
It just doesn’t have enough mean moms!
(Here’s what Erma Bombeck wrote: