I am sure that I am not the only one that has heard these words.


My six-year-old discovered them about three months ago. In moments when he is frustrated with me,  this is his new go-to line. He also enjoys chanting, “Mean Mom. Mean Mom. Mean Mom.”


I get it. Kids do this. I did it.

I once yelled, “I hate you!” into the heat ducts so that everyone in the house could hear me. I remembering yelling it with conviction.

It’s important to note that I have no memory of why I was so angry. I just remember that my mom put my little brothers into a wagon and left for her friend’s house down the street. I was shocked that she left me alone (I was about eight-years-old). Looking back, she was a smart parent for walking away when she needed space. 

Maybe I deserve it a little bit. But it still stings.

Like most things in life, it stings a little less each time. 

Parenting is frustrating and challenging. You know this. I know this. 

Talking logically to a six-year-old about why his Legos can’t travel everywhere with us is difficult. Keeping my cool after saying this over and over again is even harder.

Mom has feelings too. Frustration. Anger. Exhaustion. Love.  

There is a very small piece of me though that is proud that he uttered … well, yelled … these words. It means that I am not giving into his every wish and demand. It means that he knows I love him therefore the words will hurt me. It means that I am a normal, regular mom with a normal, regular kid. (However you define regular and normal).

It means a lot of other things too. That words hurt people. That name-calling is inappropriate. That we need to work on handling frustrations. That my job as a mom is needed and important to his development. 

But these are important lessons. So if I have to be the “meanest mom in the world” then that is what I have to do. 

And I will be the most loving, mean mom ever! Because these little faces need a mean mom to love them and guide them. 



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