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I Win the Mean Mom Award

What does it mean when your child calls you "mean"?

I can't tell you how many times I used to walk out of a store with my daughters when they were younger because I didn't want to give in to their whininess or tantrums over something I told them they couldn't get or purchase from the store. I was the "mean mom" in their eyes, or at least that's what they used to banter. Of course, I questioned myself at first. "Am I really that mean? Wasn't I doing the right thing by not giving in to them? Was I picking fights with my own children? My insecurities used to take over as I looked around the store and saw people staring at me with my daughters. Were they thinking "bravo to that mom" as they saw me leaving the store? Or were they wondering if I was this weak, incompetent mom who didn't know how to handle her own kids? Why did I care what these people thought of me? They're not raising them. Besides, I'm a good person. I'm a peacemaker at heart. I don't like conflict, girl drama makes me sick to my stomach, and for the most part, I'm a very patient mom (unless I haven't had my daily cup or two of java!). I must say, that for the last 13 years of raising my 2 daughters, when they've asked me why they can't do this, that, or whatever, never once have I said "Because I said so, that's why." Shocking, considering that's what my mother used to tell me as a little girl every time I'd ask her why I couldn't do something or have something I wanted.

Now, my daughters are older, tween and teen aged girls whose moods swing with the wind! But here's the difference now that they're maturing into the young ladies I'm so proud of. When we're out shopping for whatever, and they ask for certain things that I deny them, there's no whining or balking anymore. I may occasionally get the infamous eye roll or sigh. Sometimes I remind them that they used to call me "mean" when they were little. They laugh and say "well, did teach us some lessons." I reply "Really? you really think that?" They say, "yah, we could have turned out to be bratty little monsters who get everything we want!"

So I guess you can say patience during motherhood and a lot of hard lessons to teach pay off in the end. I earned the award of "Mean Mom." I take that as a compliment. I now tell my girls that I graduated with a Master's Degree from Mean Moms University. I will hold that certificate with great pride.

Clue phone... If your child calls you “mean”, it means you’re doing an excellent job of setting limits for your kids. Being mean now is a gift to your children. They will thank you later in life for creating boundaries.

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