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Mean Mom


I’m tired.  Tired of being the ‘mean mom’.  That’s what I feel like all the time. 

I feel like the only mom who puts a time limit on electronics.  Growing up we were not allowed to sit around all summer watching TV, and we never had any video games, handheld or otherwise. Andy, on the other hand, was brought up with all of the gaming devices and unlimited TV time so he doesn’t see any problem with it.  Now it seems that all kids have a DS, or an IPod, or a tablet of one make or another.  I gave in, when Aiden was 6, and we bought him a DS.  I was super strict about how long and how often he could play it.  Andy and I were always battling over it because he’d give Aiden permission to play it when I didn’t think it was necessary to.  I’m not sure of my reasoning behind the limit on how long/often he could play – maybe all those studies that show TV time and electronics ‘rot’ kids’ brains.  Maybe it’s because I wasn’t allowed to as a kid.  I don’t know this for certain, but it really seems like most kids around here get much more playing and viewing time than my kids do.  I am starting to think I should just stop being Mean Mom and let them have free reign on everything ‘electronic’.  Look how great Andy turned out!  He’s a gosh darn engineer, for goodness sake.  All I turned out to be is a SAHM cosmetologist.  What I’m getting at with that last part is, I didn’t turn out to be a lawyer or doctor of President of the United States.  I didn’t get any farther in life than Andy did by not playing video games and watching TV all day, so what’s the big deal if I just stop worrying about it?

I feel like the only mom who tries to reign her kids in when they’re all together, trying to keep them from running all over the place being rowdy and loud and crazy.  It drives me absolutely nuts when Aiden and his buddies get together and get all hyper and start running around, chasing each other, acting like hooligans!  But I always feel like the only mom trying to contain my kid, calm him down, tell him to stop running and being loud.  I worry if I just give up trying to get him to settle down and just let him run and have fun with his friends that others will think I’m a bad mom for not controlling my kid.  On the other hand, he’ll have so much fun with his friends and get to be a part of the mix.  I feel like I need to learn to let go, let him have fun and stop being Mean Mom.  It’s not hurting anything that he runs and has fun, it’s just annoying as hell.

I feel like the only mom who doesn’t let her kid ride his bike all over town, or even around the neighborhood.  Yes, we are in a town of 1200, but when I was in jr. high a little girl was abducted, sexually assaulted and killed in a tiny town that is smaller than this one, only about 8 miles from my home.  It happens, it CAN happen, and I don’t want it to happen to my kid!  So I don’t let Aiden hop on his bike and go for a cruise around town to see who he can find to play with.  This summer I finally let him go a block over by himself, which scared me (and still does) all to heck!  Besides being kidnapped and hurt, I see so many kids his age riding their bikes around town  RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAMN ROAD!!!  It drives me insane!  I have preached and preached to the boys that they don’t ride down the middle of the road, they don’t walk down the middle of the road, but I know with 100% certainty that once they get around their friends, and their friends are doing it, they’ll forget all of that preaching.  Would it be a ton of fun for them to get to ride their bikes to and from school every day? Sure!  Do I just put my fears aside and give them a chance, see if they will follow the rules and be safe? Put the muzzle on Mean Mom?

I’m really considering telling Mean Mom to go to hell.  I’m so tired of feeling like I’m always telling the boys ‘no’.  I’m so tired of the groans and upset faces when I won’t let them do what they’re asking to do.  It would be so much easier to just say ‘yes’ all the time.  I don’t want them missing out on fun times with friends because I’m a spaz and freak out all the time.  It won’t be long before Aiden’s friends start to realize his mom is a pain in the ass and stop inviting him to have fun with them.  I don’t want him being left out because of me.

I’m tired of being Mean Mom.


  1. Oh my, you just wrote a post straight from my thoughts! I agree with EVERYTHING you just wrote! This year we finally let our kids go down to the neighbors on their bikes (they must ride on the sidewalk).
    I cringe every Sunday when we're in church and the kids in front of us are on their tablets the entire service when he's old enough to be down stairs in Kid City.
    I tell the hubby that the neighbor kids must think we are so mean because every 3 minutes we're saying- please don't throw the ball at the house/garage doors, get out of the street (while every other kid is in the middle of the road on their bike, yes I offered you and your friends a popsicle- no that doesn't mean you can leave the wrappers and sticks all over our yard......
    I could go on and on! I think you're doing great and one of these days (app. 15 years from now), our kids will GET IT! This world just keeps getting scarier and they'll get it! Until then, be that mean mom and tell them why you are setting boundaries.

  2. Awww, Erin... I'm so sorry you feel like a mean mom. It's so clear that you're just trying to be a GOOD mom raising your boys to be good people.

    I do get where you're coming from though and I've been there... heck, I'm sure we all have been! Try being a "yes mom" and see how that goes... it may lift a huge weight off of you and make you all a bit happier with how things are going day-to-day. You might find that if you give the boys more freedom, they won't necessarily need the restrictions. For example, I've never put a time limit on electronics but that's because I've never needed to. My kids have free reigns of their phones and other gaming devices but they hardly use them. They both have TV's in their room but they rarely watch them. I've found, with my kids at least, that limiting makes them want things more and when they have full access, they hardly want it. But you may not find that same thing with your kids... in that case you'll adjust and do what's best for them, just like you are right now!

    The one thing we don't compromise on, and my kids know we never will, is safety. The bike thing would scare me too and that comes down to a matter of safety... since my kids were very young, they've known the one thing not up for discussion or debate is when I feel like their safety is at risk. Listen to your gut when it comes to their safety!

    Regardless, you're a great mom and doing what's best for your family!!

  3. You aren't the mean mom, you are a mom that cares. People always question why I have strict bedtimes, rules, etc... and I tell them because kids need that. They may think you are mean but eventually it will be appreciated. My parents were strict but I look back and am so glad they were. My 11 year old thinks the world revolves around video games but I don't allow it. I take them away and make him play outside or find something to do. He whines and cries that he is bored and has nothing to do so I make him clean;) I guess I'M the mean mom haha

    P.S. I don't think being a SAHM is anything less than amazing. I could never do it so I admire you!

  4. I'm a mean mom too! We had some neighborhood kids want to go bike riding with us the other day and I had to pull my kids aside and talk to them first. These other kids come shooting out of the intersection without ever look for cars and it scares the life out of me. I told mine that they had to stop at the stop sign and inch forward until I told them it was safe. Thankfully they listened, and they've seen the near misses these other kids have!!

  5. I'm a mean mom too, I agree with you on the electronics. They will thank you later. And the bike around the town. HELL to the NO. You may feel a twinge of guilt, but what if??? They will understand when they have kids. I can add one more to your list. I don't like the thought of sleepovers unless I know the family extremely well. I know that will be a battle with teenage girls, but they are my greatest treasure and I want to protect them from what I can as long as I can. You're doing the right thing and being "mean" because you care!

  6. I today agree. I feel like I am always telling Graycie no and fussing at her. I get so sick of being the mean mom!

  7. You're not being a mean mom, you're being a good mom!
    There is nothing wrong with putting limits on activities - especially ones that don't necessarily encourage a lot of physical activity (ie. electronics), and hands-on play encourages imagination and creativity. Those are good things!