Many people think I’m a ‘mean’ mom when it comes to certain things. When I decided to become an SAHM, I didn’t know what kind of mom I would be. But as time passed, I concluded that, despite being called ‘mean’, I had to be doing something right because I had gotten a few compliments about how well-behaved my kids were. Of course, I was glad to hear that but it was then when I realized that, despite the guilty feeling at times, it was good that I naturally was a mean mom.
Here are a few examples of things that I do that people find ‘mean’:
Many parents encourage snacking during the wee hours of the night. I don’t. Now, my kids have come to understand that it is not healthy to eat late at night and I need to rest at the end of the day. Therefore, they make it a point to have their dinner properly, drink their milk and sleep on time. In some cases, if they are awake, there are limited ready-to-eat snacks available at their disposal. Waking me up is not an option.
Though some parents find it cute when their young kids misbehave with them, disrespectful kids are not funny to the outside world. When our kids order us around in public, it is our duty to explain to them in private why they shouldn’t do that again. When they call someone nasty names, we have to correct them then and there and tell them why they should avoid saying such things. I make it a point to ask them to apologize to those they have hurt. I believe that this also teaches them how to empathize with others.
Disciplining kids takes time and patience. But eventually, you will be proud parents (it is a joint effort after all) of great individuals.
Falling is a part of life. Learning from your mistakes is what makes you a mature person. I let my kids make little mistakes while I guide them on how to go about learning from their errors. I let them understand how to correct their tiny blunders or how they could prevent them. I avoid demoralizing or shaming them if they fall, especially in public. I believe that children learn when they understand their surroundings and understand that getting up is all they have to do when they fall.
Sometimes, I tell my kids about the mistakes I’ve made at their age. It helps them understand that I am also human.
I always believed that a woman can NEVER do each and every job allotted to her without compromising her health. This includes house chores, taking care of the kids and a full-time office job. And please! There is nothing such as a ‘superwoman’. That’s just a glorified name given to a scapegoat. Therefore, I believe in delegating the chores not only for the sake of my health but also so that my kids understand that maintaining a house needs collaborative efforts by all able members living in it. For example, our kids will learn that their room does not get auto-cleaned, so, messing it up is limited. They will learn that their dry clothes don’t get washed and fly into their cupboards automatically, so, they will try and avoid dirtying their clothes too much. This will also instill in them a sense of awareness.
Many times, I’m told that ‘nothing will happen with a little extra screen-time’. Well, for the moment nothing will happen but the habit will surely take a toll eventually. Screen-time has increased for many children during the pandemic but we still maintain limits at home. I have seen so many kids covering their cute little eyes with powered eyewear. Being a spectacle-wearer myself, I hate it! Therefore, I’m quite mean when it comes to screen-time.
For example, my kids are allowed a certain amount of screen time only once they do some work like clean their room, do math sums, finish their assignments, practice writing a few words, read a book, etc. If they want additional time to play online, they have to read another book or do another chore. This has especially worked well for my toddler who, since March 2020, has been home-schooled. Nevertheless, I believe that limiting screen-time with or without friends is a must for their eyes, brains and overall well-being.
Yes, I am a mean mom and I’m proud of it. I cannot allow my kids to have everything they want. They won’t learn the value of life. I want them to learn that housework is a family activity. I want them to learn that when they mess up, there is a human cleaning up after them. I want them to learn that they cannot stuff in their mouths anything and everything just because they feel hungry. Yes, I’m a mean mom.
Even though I’m the type of mom who is strict about not having food or beverages in any room (especially the kids’), I make sure I’m not a helicopter mom. Even though I make my kids do some house chores, I make sure that they get plenty of playtime, too. I believe that finding that balance is important in order to have a good relationship with our kids. Don’t you think so, too?
Though we need to be strict and say NO many times, it is important to give even more hugs and kisses once they have understood the message. I believe that yelling at them all day will only increase our stress levels and take them farther away from us. On the other hand, cuddling them all day and ignoring their faults will only spoil them to a dangerous level when they are older. Even though it is important to be mean sometimes, I believe that appreciating our kids is equally important, too. Hence, we have to strive to maintain a good balance between all of this. It’s hard but not impossible.
What are your thoughts on being a mean mom? Is it important?
*Coincidentally 21st March is celebrated as Mother’s Day in most Arab countries, so, I dedicate this post to my mom (as we have been wishing and making cards for her on 21st March since our school days in Kuwait).