“Your mom is so mean! Your house is no fun,” I heard my son’s friend say to him as they walked away from me.
Then I tackled the little fucker and put him in a headlock.
Just kidding. I didn’t do that. It may have crossed my mind for like a hot second, but I quickly moved past it and started wondering … Am I the mean mom?
I always thought I would be the cool mom. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I’m a good fucking time, OK? I laugh A LOT. I sing and dance (poorly). I love candy. I love friends. I love funny movies. I love animals. I’m the life of the party. I’m pretty laid back yo’. But more than anything, I love my kids. So how could I not be the cool mom? I always pictured my house as being the place all my kids’ friends would want to come to. I imagined their friends saying things like this someday:
WOW! Your mom is the coolest! I can’t believe she knows all the words to “Shoop” by Salt N Peppa! You’re so lucky bro …
Dang dude. Let’s just stay at your house this weekend instead of going out and getting into trouble because your mom is so cool. Playing board games with her will be waaaaay more fun than that lame kegger field party that’s happening Friday.
Well, guess what? They don’t know what a “Salt N Peppa” is, and they prefer XBOX to Monopoly. So there’s that. Plus, I’m finding that the older they get, the bigger the issues are that we are dealing with. While I have to be hard on my 3-year-old because he likes to talk sassy and ride the dog down the stairs, I have to keep my 7- and 8-year-olds safe online, safe at home and at school, and smart about how to stay safe in the world.
This is harder than it sounds. So when they come and ask me if they can use my computer to watch YouTube videos in their room without me supervising … I have to say no. One wrong click and they see some shit that they can’t un-see. So with that, I became the mean mom … with the not-fun house.
But guess what?
I don’t care. I don’t give one single solitary fuck.
I’m not going to set them free on the Internet with a gajillion preying pedophiles.
I’ve also been around long enough to know that while YouTube includes everything from Barney to The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, it also includes some incredibly raunchy shit. I’m fine with them watching a video or two if I am there with them and can monitor, but otherwise … it’s not happening.
So, “No” had to happen.
But this is only the beginning.
Someday when they are older, they may ask me to buy them beer. They may ask me to keep secrets from their friends’ parents. They may ask me to stay out two hours after curfew. They may ask me all kinds of shit that I’m going to have to say no to. I had better get used to it now, and if it makes me the “mean mom,” so be it.
So yes, I’d love to be the cool, lets-us-stay-up-late, makes-us-milkshakes-at-midnight, takes-us-to-do-fun-things, does-embarrassing-and-unasked-for-vocal-performances type of mom … and I will. Like I said, I want their friends to like me. But I have to teach my kids right from wrong and how to stay as safe as possible. Again, I love my kids more than anything, and that’s why it’s not about ME or what kind of mom I want to be. It’s about them. It’s only about them.
So I’ll be the mean mom sometimes, if that’s what it takes for me to be a good mom. And … I’m totally cool with that yo’. Totally cool.