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Tips from the meanest mother on the earth

By Staff
Michelle Blaylock, Mom's Corner
Did you know I'm the meanest mother on the face of this earth? According to five of my children, at least at one point or another, I have been the meanest mother imaginable.
What did I do to earn this distinction? Well, I won't let them watch just anything on TV or at the movies they want. (They informed me this goes against freedom of speech. I quickly informed them freedom of speech meant a person had the right to say what they wish. It doesn't mean that I have to or my children get to hear it!) I insist my kids wash their hands before eating. I make them do chores. (They insist this goes against child labor laws.) I refuse to let them go places with people I don't know. I also want to know where they are going.
To further build their case of my meanness, I also make them do homework. I have been known to restrict telephone usage. I've refused to buy them something they want and have even made them pay for things they want out of their own allowance money. I have also timed out toys, taken away privileges, forced them to do extra chores, miss activities, and grounded them for misbehavior.
Furthermore, I won't let my kids eat everything they want. I have even told them they have had enough to eat and made them stop eating! (After all, don't you think five burritos are enough?)
I also make them take baths, wear clean clothes, brush their hair and brush their teeth. My children sometimes ask how I can be so mean. Well, that's easy, I took lessons from the best-my own mother.
You see, before me, my mom had that distinction. To give you a brief background, I was an only child until I turned 16. At that time, we adopted my six brothers and sisters ranging in age from 18 months to 14 years.
I have to admit that although my parents required excellent behavior, I really didn't have to do a lot of chores. In fact, my mom did most everything around the house. I had some things I was responsible for, but Mom took care of most of the everyday duties. However, like Mom always said, there wasn't as much to do with just one child and she really didn't need me to do a bunch of chores. I always did what she asked. She just didn't have to ask as much, but that changed!
Within four weeks, I went from being the only-est to oldest of seven. Ahhh!
I quickly learned I had new responsibilities. I not only had to pick up after myself more. but I also had to help with a multitude of other chores! I had to learn to cook, help with the little ones, and run errands among other things. I have to admit usually my sisters and brothers were stuck with the dishes and laundry, but I got stuck with the stuff they couldn't do-like babysit.
This is when I believe my mother earned the "Meanest Mom" award. If we misbehaved she came up with creative punishments. For example, if we were arguing she would say, "Well, now if you've got enough energy to fight, then you must have plenty of energy to (fill in the blank with any number of energy reducing activities)."
My mom seemed to have the idea that excess energy led to misbehavior, so if we misbehaved she had us scrub walls, floors, doors, tubs, windows and anything else she could find that could be scrubbed. Of course, during the summer she could come up with things like mowing the yard (we had a three acre yard and push mowers), hoeing the garden, picking produce, and many other things!
Mom also insisted she know where we were, what we were doing and with whom. If she felt we were getting in with the "wrong" crowd, you can bet we didn't go anywhere without her or a younger sibling (you couldn't even bribe them to keep their mouths shut).
Yes, I believed (noticed I said believed-past tense) I had one of the meanest mom's ever born. So now when my kids tell me I'm mean, I just smile and say, "Thank you, I try." They just look confuse. Imagine that.
If you have a question or comment for Mom's Corner, please send it to: Mom's Corner; P.O. Box 1496; Hartselle, AL 35640 or e-mail: moms-corner@juno.com.

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