Mean Mothers

In my recent article for Newsreal, I wrote about politically correct parenting. The result was an interesting exchange among readers about corporal punishment. I'm not sure how my argument about being firm and loving simultaneously became viewed as a license to hit children, but it did.

At any rate, my post reminded me of something I read long ago that I was able to find on the Internet. I like the last paragraph in particular -- though modern parents would be appalled. Here it is:

Was your mom mean? I know mine was. We had the meanest mother in the whole world!

While other kids had 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, 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 telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. By the time we were teenagers, she could read our minds. Then, life was really tough!

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 others’ property or ever arrested for any crime. It was all her fault. We never got drunk, took up smoking, stayed out all night, or a million other things other kids did. 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. That must be what’s wrong with the world today. It just doesn’t have enough mean mothers anymore.

2 Responses to “Mean Mothers”:

  1. Cheri says:

    Ms. Venker, to suggest that "nice" parents who care about their kids emotions, or sleep next to their kids, don't provide healthy meals (we eat all organic home cooked meals) or don't care who our kids associate with, or that we just let our kids run wild is ridiculous. I understand some parents just don't want to give it their all. Well, some of us do. I imagine that most of your readers send their kids to public school, costing parents like me hundreds of dollars a year in taxes to raise their kids. Nobody else pays to take care of my kids. That's our job as parents. Becoming a parent does take time out of your day and night. Science backs up co-sleeping. It supports breastfeeding in the early months and beyond and it's been proven to reduce the risk of SIDS. Thousands of babies are found dead every year in cribs. Thousands of babies ARE NOT found dead when sleeping safely next to their parents. I know your article was pointed at co-sleeping with older kids, but aside from Western culture, other cultures consider the bedroom a place to sleep, kids and all. Some of your readers are ignorant enough to call co-sleeping bad parenting. Sad. For them and their kids. Our older kids all transitioned to their own beds when they were ready, and the younger ones will when it's their time. They won't ever have to take Ambien to fall asleep, because the won't have sleep issues. Forcing kids into situation that they aren't ready for is abusive and unkind. And that's no bull.

  2. Anonymous says:

    cheri said, said, said.... yeah yeah you say black i say white you have a boring perspective on life you are the person who waits for the other person to shut up so you can continue.... missed the point.but you do what you think is best for your spoiled brats until they start bossing you around. have fun:) don't forget to buy your safety helmets for every little thing. try ignoring them, it'll teach them how the world is.
    ps: SIDS? WHAT SCIENCE ARE YOU REFERRING TO?? A doctor who has publickly admitted to being a huge case liar,is the foremost opinion on SIDS. here's one for you(smothered infant death syndrome)look into young moms who are or have had difficult times with ( LIFE!!)