There seems to be a thing out there that being a ‘mean mom’ is equivalent to being a ‘good mom’. A mean mom says ‘no’. A mean mom won’t give her kid a piece of candy. A mean mom won’t buy that toy. There’s high-fives all around with moms on this one and I don’t get it.
If we set boundaries that make our kids unhappy, we justify it and flaunt it with a #meanmom hashtag. It’s a bit of a “I’m an adult, you’re the kid, so deal with it.” status. If you’re familiar with Danny Silk’s teachings, it’s the “red truck, yellow truck” syndrome. “Only one person can be powerful and it sure the heck isn’t you, kid!” (Yet, many of us will never set boundaries in friendships because we don’t want others to think less of us. But that’s a different story.)
We wouldn’t gloat in being a ‘mean wife’, a ‘mean neighbor’ or a ‘mean friend’. So why do we think being a ‘mean mom’ is something to cheer about? Why do we think that treating our kids, in a way we would never treat another adult, is something to be celebrated?
The definition of ‘mean’ is: offensive; selfish; unaccommodating; small minded; stingy; miserly; inferior in grade, quality, or character….
Should I continue?
All of those words are gross. I don’t think any mama (or daddy) honestly would ever want to identify with them. So why do we?
With our kids, when we set boundaries or make decisions and then advocate them by saying, “Yeah, well, I’m just a mean mom.”, we are setting a precedent for less than stellar relationship with our kids and, even worse, creating a very wrong mindset of who God is for them. As Believers, we know God is our Father, what you may not realize is that our kiddos are making up their mind as to what kind of Father He is by who YOU are to them.
Do I make decisions and set boundaries for my kids that they sometimes don’t understand and, bluntly, sometimes straight piss them off? Yes. Do I do this because I’m a mean mom? No. Never.
Just as I am always striving to be the best me I can be, in my marriage, in my friendships, with co-workers… I am striving to be the best me I can be, as a parent. And mean is something I never want to be. Mean is something that is not the best me.
Some antonyms for ‘mean’ are:
Those words describe the kind of person I want to be. The kind of mom I want to be. And definitely the kind of Father that our God IS and that I want to represent to my kids.