Becky Mansfield; Your Modern Family
When I was little, my parent’s bedroom held a poem titled A Mean Mother, that I often read, but never truly understood, until I became a mom myself. I would walk by this poem on a daily basis and pay it no attention, until my mom gave me this poem when our first son was born. Today I happened to be reading it again and smiled with joy to realize that I am, in fact, “A Mean Mother”, as the poem suggests:
“A Mean Mother (author unknown)
A Mean Mother never allows candy or sweets to take the place of a well-balanced meal.
A Mean Mother insists on knowing where her children are at all times, who their friends are and what they do.
A Mean Mother breaks the “child labor law” by making her children work- washing dishes, making beds, learning to cook, and doing other cruel and unpleasant chores.
A Mean Mother makes life miserable for her offspring by insisting that they always tell the truth.
A Mean Mother produces teenagers who are wiser and more sensible.
A Mean Mother can smile with secret delight and pride when she hears her own grandchildren calling their parents ‘mean’.
What the world needs now are more …
Mean Mothers… and Fathers!”
(Here I am with my mom when I was little & she was “mean”…)


You know, it takes a lot of hard work to raise your kids the right way. It really does. It takes courage to teach them and discipline them, while loving them and comforting them. It takes patience to not yell and understanding to listen.
It can be hard to tell them no when we so desperately want to tell them yes, but we are trying to teach them lessons or to have good values.
It is hard to not buy them things when we know that we can, but we want to teach them that they can not have everything that they want when they want it.
No… we give them great experiences and love instead. Pretty mean, right?
When we tell them that they have to play outside instead of sitting on an electronic device… pretty mean, right?
Or when we tell them that they have to come with us for a family-day instead of whatever else they had planned… pretty mean, right?
When they don’t feel like going on a bike ride, but we tell them that’s the plan and we’re sticking to it … pretty mean, right?

We are just so MEAN… and what a wonderful thing to be mean for so many GOOD reasons. ♥

 
The truth is…
It’s hard to be “mean” and not do things for them. To teach them the value of self-worth, hard work and independence. It is hard not to clean their room for them when you could do it in a minute, but instead you watch them work for 20 minutes on the same job (and still not the way that you would do it.)
Just remember that in everything that we do, and as “mean” as we are… we are always doing these things because we love them and we care about them.
The next time that our kids call us ‘mean’ (and they will) I’ll just remind them that it is all because I love them…

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