I’m the meanest mommy ever.
I mean, I’m working on it; it’s my hope that I’ll eventually get there. I feel it’s how I’ll know I’m doing my job as a mom correctly. I don’t want them to like me too much all the time, because then I’ll be more of a friend and less of a mom. I want them to sometimes feel I’m unfair, horrible, and awful so I know that I’m making responsible, good mom decisions.
Unfortunately, my oldest is just like daddy and she has no mean bone in her body. She is all about rules and being fair, not being in trouble, and doing the right thing. She’s never going to call me mean or think I’m being awful.
*Amended to add that my oldest did, in fact, have a moment of unfair-mommy feelings recently. She told me I don’t love her because I wouldn’t let her eat goldfish crackers for dinner. I then used the analogy that the food she puts in her body is like gas. If you put the wrong kind of gas in your car, it goes…but not for long. If you put the right kind of gas in your car, it drives and drives and drives. If you run out of gas, your car no longer runs. She liked it. It felt good.*
What a let down.
My five-year-old, though; she’s different. She’s a rulebreaker, an independent. She’s her own person, and I just know she will one day tell me I’m the worst mom ever; and I can’t wait. I love my kids, and I want them to love me, too. But I look back at my childhood with the realization that the times I told my mom she was the worst mom in the world and that she didn’t love me were the times she loved me most, hardest, and best.
It wasn’t easy for her to tell me no, or to deny me something my teenage heart desired so badly. She simply did what was best for me, and she did it knowing that it would take years and years and years for me to understand that.
You just don’t realize until you have a little girl or boy of your own how much you love this tiny human, and how important it becomes to be the meanest mommy and daddy ever in the whole wide world one day. It means you’re doing what’s best for them. When my mom told me no, it was because the teacher in her knew the friend I wanted to spend time with, or the family whose house a party was being thrown. She knew things I didn’t know, and she she’d never tell me.
As many times as I cried hysterically and yelled at her that I hated her and she hated me and I’d never be the meanest mom ever to my own kids, she never once looked at me and said all the horrible, negative, awful things that made her tell me no. She never told me if one classmate’s mom was a drug addict, or if another classmate’s dad didn’t travel for business all the time but that he was in jail for beating women up.
DISCLAIMER: Those are both FICTIONAL situations. She still, despite me being 33-years-old, has NEVER once told me anything negative about anyone I was friends with, their families, or anything of that nature…I just assume these things now that I’m a mom and am getting to that point in my own life with my kids.
The times she could have easily told me she wasn’t the bad guy, but that she was protecting me from the bad guy are numerous. Now that I’m a mom, I know how much I must have hurt her. I know that as she stood there letting me blow off steam before quietly sending me to my room with disappointment in her voice and the promise that an appropriate punishment would be issued before the night was over/when she had time to discuss it with my dad/when she calmed down, her mind was screaming.
I know her mind was screaming, because it’s what mine does when one of my kids is upset when I tell them no. I’m not even the official meanest mom in the world just yet but I know that when my kids are sad when I say no, my mind is screaming to tell them why I won’t let them go to a sleepover at someone else’s house or a playdate at someone’s home. I don’t want them to think I’m mean, I want them to know that other people are the problem.
But, I’ll protect my kids; and I’ll protect other people’s kids. I won’t tell my kids that I’ve stalked their new friends’ parent’s social media accounts and there’s not a chance in hell they’ll ever go over there. I won’t tell them their little friend from their new class belongs to someone who spends most time airing her person dirty laundry on social media than she does anything else. I won’t do it, because I don’t want them repeating that information, hurting other kids, or causing family problems for other kids. I won’t do it.
I’m going to be the meanest mom in the entire world one day, and I’m all right with that. Eventually, someone will want to go to a party or a sleepover or on a trip with someone else, and I’ll say no. My husband will back me up 100%, and we’ll present a united front in the mean mommy/daddy department.
And I look forward to being the meanest mommy in the entire world.
I’ll remind myself that when my kids call me mean one day that I’m not mean; I’m an amazing mother. That’s what I’ll remind myself. It’ll hurt my heart, but I’m not afraid to be the meanest mom in the world one day. I welcome it, because I imagine that’s the day I’ll finally fell like I’m doing something right.