The Meanest Mother

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
June 19, 2001

I had the meanest mother in the whole world.

While other kids ate candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal, eggs or toast. When others had cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich. As you can guess, my supper was different than the other kids’ also.

But at least, I wasn’t alone in my sufferings. My sister and two brothers had the same mean mother as I did.

My mother insisted upon knowing where we were at all times. You’d think we were on a chain gang. She had to know who our friends were and where we were going. She insisted if we said we’d be gone an hour, that we be gone one hour or less–not one hour and one minute. I am nearly ashamed to admit it, but she actually struck us. Not once, but each time we had a mind of our own and did as we pleased. That poor belt was used more on our seats than it was to hold up Daddy’s pants. Can you imagine someone actually hitting a child just because he disobeyed? Now you can begin to see how mean she really was.

We had to wear clean clothes and take a bath. The other kids always wore their clothes for days. We reached the height of insults because she made our clothes herself, just to save money. Why, oh why, did we have to have a mother who made us feel different from our friends?

The worst is yet to come. We had to be in bed by nine each night and up at eight the next morning. We couldn’t sleep till noon like our friends. So while they slept-my mother actually had the nerve to break the child-labor law. She made us work. We had to wash dishes, make beds, learn to cook and all sorts of cruel things. I believe she laid awake at night thinking up mean things to do to us.

She always insisted upon us telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even if it killed us- and it nearly did.

By the time we were teen-agers, she was much wiser, and our life became even more unbearable. None of this tooting the horn of a car for us to come running. She embarrassed us to no end by making our dates and friends come to the door to get us. If I spent the night with a girlfriend, can you imagine she checked on me to see if I were really there. I never had the chance to elope to Mexico. That is if I’d had a boyfriend to elope with. I forgot to mention, while my friends were dating at the mature age of 12 and 13, my old fashioned mother refused to let me date until the age of 15 and 16. Fifteen, that is, if you dated only to go to a school function. And that was maybe twice a year.

Through the years, things didn’t improve a bit. We could not lie in bed, “sick” like our friends did, and miss school. If our friends had a toe ache, a hang nail or serious ailment, they could stay home from school. Our marks in school had to be up to par. Our friends’ report cards had beautiful colors on them, black for passing, red for failing. My mother being as different as she was, would settle for nothing less than ugly black marks.

As the years rolled by, first one and then the other of us was put to shame. We were graduated from high school. With our mother behind us, talking, hitting and demanding respect, none of us was allowed the pleasure of being a drop-out.

My mother was a complete failure as a mother. Out of four children, a couple of us attained some higher education. None of us have ever been arrested, divorced or beaten his mate. Each of my brothers served his time in the service of this country. And whom do we have to blame for the terrible way we turned out? You’re right, our mean mother. Look at the things we missed. We never got to march in a protest parade, nor to take part in a riot, burn draft cards, and a million and one other things that our friends did. She forced us to grow up into God-fearing, educated, honest adults.

Using this as a background, I am trying to raise my three children. I stand a little taller and I am filled with pride when my children call me mean. Because, you see, I thank God, He gave me the meanest mother in the whole world.


By Bobbie Pingaro, ©1967
  1. Need a few more moms like that! Unfortunately here in NZ smacking is equated as child abuse, and you can be charged. Parents can have a pretty rough time.

  2. Hey mom was neurotic and mean! :She has mellows in her dotage however she is still neurotic! Go figure! 😉 Like looking in the mirror! 🙂

  3. I love this…I am a very mean Mother!! This soothed my heart greatly!

  4. Yoshiko said:

    Your mum loves you a lot and that’s how she does so
    Though my mum is not fierce, she is strict in diet and everything in what you say 🙂

  5. Mpho said:

    Ha ha..mean mother. Makes me miss mine too. She was mean too, said I couldn’t date till I was 21. Really sheltered me, did her best. God bless her for that!

  6. I love mean Moms, I am almost a mean Mom however the psychologist in me tries to maintain a healthy brain as some children crack within the structure of a mean mother, I guess I’m the modern mean mother.
    Simply Jyune💃

  7. Made me smile. Especially when I think about how my kids tell me I’m mean. I must be on the right track. 🙂

    • I was looking thru the comments this morning and I think I found the secret to becoming an acceptable “Meanest Mom”. It’s the snacks. Snacks before homework!!!!! That will fix everything and make all the “meanest” tolerable.. LOL

      Take Care and God Bless 🙂 Kenny T

  8. She took good care of you and endured your dislike of the rules..I went through that as well and ended up inflicting the same behavior on my kids! LOL

  9. mtetar said:

    Amen!!! It all worked out for good. Be A Blessing because you’re Blessed. Mtetar

  10. My mother was the opposite of yours, she did not care if we even had a meal, our clothes were dirty and wrinkled, and I could go on and yada yada this. I like your mother am the meanest mother and grandmother in the world. My children did not appreciate this during their youth … however now, they thank their lucky stars that I am their mother.

  11. ha ha ha, my mom was the worst of all the mean moms then. lrl.

  12. I used to tell my kids that my middle name was “mean.” I made my kids do their homework before playing video games, among other things. I did let them have a snack before homework, though. Now two of the three have college degrees and the third one is a year away from having her first degree. My mother was mean, too. Thank God. And I mean that in the sincerest way. 🙂

    • OK, so it was the snacks before homework that gave you the edge!!! LOL What age is it that you saw your kids go from seeing you as a Mean Mom to a wonderful loving MOM????? Inquiring minds want to know….. LOL

      Take Care and God Bless 🙂 Kenny T

      • It was a process. Once we got over one “mean mom” issue (doing homework every evening), we would work our way into another one (going to a friend’s house when her room wasn’t clean). It’s important to show mercy (the snack) while also encouraging discipline. I would sit on the other end of the couch with my son, crocheting or quilting or reading, while he was doing his homework. If he had a question I was right there, but not I was busy, so he didn’t feel I was looking over his shoulder.

        • So, When are you going to publish the book “How to be a good Meanest Mom”….. This is great advice!!!

          🙂 Kenny T

  13. Nogo said:

    I’m posting this on my brother’s Facebook wall. LOL! It’s true though – how dare we turn out to be responsible adults? *smile*

    • LOL!!!! I hear you on that one!!!!

      Got a question for you. At what age do we figure out that Mom really is a good person?

      Take Care and God Bless 🙂 Kenny T

  14. I’ll be happy the next time I’m told “You’re mean!”

  15. I hope you don’t mind, but I reblogged this post. I’ll be smiling the next time I hear, “You’re mean!”

  16. This is so nice. My son is still a baby but I’m definitely aspiring to become a ‘mean mom!’

    • I love it!!!! I was reading over the comments on this post and I think we may need to have a “Mean Mom” contest!!!! LOL

      Take Care and God Bless 🙂 Kenny T

  17. Planting Potatoes said:

    very good read….! I can relate…but it was my Grandmother who raised me…and was she ever mean! 🙂 But I find it interesting that she got even wiser as she got older….! Even now, I find myself doing and saying things as she did….funny how that works huh? 🙂

  18. Reblogged this on asklotta and commented:
    Every day I thank God for my brilliant and beautiful “Mean Mother”

  19. Our mothers must have had the same “Mothering Manual”….I think it’s called the Bible. Great post.

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