Someday when my children are old enough to
understand the logic that motivates a parent, I will
tell them, as my Mean Mum told me: I loved you
enough . . . to ask where you were going, with whom,
and what time you would be home.
I loved you enough to be silent and let you
discover that your new best friend was a creep.
I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours
while you cleaned your room, a job that should have taken 15 minutes.
I loved you enough to let you see anger,
disappointment, and tears in my eyes. Children must
learn that their parents aren't perfect.
I loved you enough to let you assume the
responsibility for your actions even when the
penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.
But most of all, I loved you enough . . . to say
NO when I knew you would hate me for it.
Those were the most difficult battles of all. I'm
glad I won them, because in the end you won, too.
And someday when your children are old enough to
understand the logic that motivates parents, you will tell them.
Was your Mum mean? I know mine was. We had the
meanest mother in the whole world! While other kids
ate sweets for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast.
When others had a Coke and a Burger 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 Labour Laws by making us work We
had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to
cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, empty the trash
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 us telling the truth, the
whole truth, and nothing but the truth. By the time
we were teenagers, she could read our minds and had
eyes in the back of her head. 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 18.
Because of our mother we missed out on lots of
things other kids experienced. None of us have ever
been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other's
property or ever arrested for any crime. It was all her fault.
Now that we have left home, we are all educated,
honest adults. We are doing our best to be mean
parents just like Mum was.
I think that is what's wrong with the world today.
It just doesn't have enough mean mums!