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).
This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla
in collaboration with RRE Studios and ShowCase Events.
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Hahaha by your definition, I’m a mean mom too!
Same pinch! Haha!
I too am a mean mom and I too am proud of it. Infact in tthe last a2z challenge I have written on it too. Love your post
Wow will look for it, Sadvika!
Thank God! I am not alone in this “being mean Mom” I am called cruel at times as for me No means No, no amount of tantrums can melt my stone-heart. Well I belive it’s not being Mean, It’s being normal, Being Natural, Being Human, Being a Woman and nothing else.
High five, Pooja!
To instigate the value of life, rules and other virtues in our kids is a necessity. Even I have found certain parents entertaining misbehaviour in small kids, which is a definite no no.
Glad we think alike, Jhilmil.
I enjoyed reading this. Just like you I also wear the tag of a mean mom with elan. My children know there’s no messing with me.
Haha, high five, Sonia!
Looking at strict parenting from a beneficial standpoint, some would say that it creates self-discipline, establishes the idea of responsibility and accountability. So your post is very much required.
Yes, of course, Moni.
Agree! Parenting is not easy and sometimes being a bad cop is the only option left for us. It’s our responsibility to teach our kids discipline and value of life, no matter what style we choose for this.
Oh, true, Abha!
I don’t have kids but I agree with what you say- it’s good to be friendly with your kids but sometimes you need to draw a line to ensure they don’t get carried away
Nowadays, its not mean mom but we must be addressed as smart moms as we know that we cannot do everything without the help of our family support. Well mentioned points to how to inculcate the habit in children and lead a balanced life.So true
Fortunately or unfortunately, it’s a mom’s ‘job’ to be ‘mean’. But in the end, kids will be happy, successful and grateful.
I don’t mind getting called mean if it’s for my kids welfare . I proudly say I’m mean
Haha! High five, Sindhu!
These are exactly the type of pointers even I believe in and would follow once I have a kid. At young age moulding the kids is very easier and these habbits become a part of their adult life and make them self capable. There is no harm in being a mean mom if that helps the kids grow with some good habbits
You’re not a mean mom. I can relate to it as a child. Our mom was quite strict when we misbehaved. But we knew we could go to her when things went wrong.
Wah, Cindy. Every word of your post was resonating in my DIL’s voice. I was SAHM but as we had maids the kids didn’t need to do many chores. Their TV. time was always restricted and reading books was a part of my daily routine. But, as they live in Mexico, where there is no help, my grandsons do so many chores. As a doting Gma, I do get emotional but it is best for them, I guess.
Yeah, true, Harjeet, our feelings also change when we become grandmas I guess!
You are absolutely right. Sometimes we have to be a mean mom but they should not be scared of us. I was very particular about discipline and my children turned out fine.
Hehehe! Thanks, Madhu! I can see that! 😉
Your parenting style is quite similar to mine and in effect it makes me mean too. I don’t mind it at all as long as our kids are disciplined and learn the right things.
Hi five, Varsha!
oh, this is so true! shared it with my sis
I would say you are a disciplined Mom and not at all a mean Mom, Cindy. Like the fact that you have certain rules for your kids and for yourself.
Thank you, Mayuri!
Discipline does not mean putting an undue restriction on children.The right kind of discipline is one of the keys to having a happy home and is also essential for the holistic development and well-being of every child.
All moms are mean but then it is for the good of their kids future. I like the way you have shared all the possible things u have implemented with your kids routine which definitely will help me.
If you are a mean mommy, I am the meanest mommy😛. I often wonder if they already hate me but somerimes you gotta do what u gotta do…. aa
What a much-needed post. Managing the home, teaching and writing I feel guilty sometimes and want to let the kids indulge, but common sense quickly takes over. Indulging and spoiling are two different concepts and I proudly call myself a “Mean Mom”, who is looking out for the overall welfare of her kids.