I am the meanest mom in Augusta. I haven’t been told that I am, but between you and me, I’m feeling it.
I’m strict about a few things.
Manners are a must. I can’t handle chewing with an open mouth, not saying please or thank you, or being disrespectful to other humans. Those go for adults and kids, by the way.
Even if you don’t get straight As, you must be trying your absolute hardest in school. Slacking is for slackers. If you’re having trouble in a particular class, let’s get some help. Otherwise, you should be pretty darn close to all As.
Eat a reasonable amount of foods that came from a seed. My kids love junk as much as every other kid, but I will put a smackdown on a kid who hasn’t had a fruit or a vegetable on any given day.
No lying. Everything is fixable. Please, in the name of all that’s holy, do not lie to me. If you do, know that I will catch you. Lying doubles the consequences.
Otherwise, I don’t get mad if the beds aren’t made, bedtimes have gone out the window, and no one has to clean their plate at dinner. I don’t even mind cussing all that much. It’s just not a hill worth dying on.
I’m crazy about the internet. Both kids have phones, mostly out of necessity. We got rid of our home phone years ago, and if we’re to leave them home alone, they have to have a phone. No, they do not need smartphones. I could’ve gotten them flip phones and considered my job done, but I didn’t. They have the phones with the fruit on the back.
I give them some privacy, but not much. I do not read all of their text messages. No one was listening in on my phone conversations in middle school. Instead of hours on the phone, kids text.
I do look at their phones. They aren’t allowed to have passwords, unless I know them, too. Every once in awhile, I’ll grab their phones and skim messages. I’m not snooping. I’m looking for trends: mean girl stuff, anything remotely sexual in nature, or whatever else doesn’t seem like civil communication.
If they were writing in a diary, I wouldn’t read it unless I was concerned about a change in behavior or something. Unfortunately, the internet isn’t confined to a few locked pages and a set of gel pens.
I hate Snapchat and Instagram. Let me clarify. I love the silly filters and voice changers on Snapchat. Scrolling through Instagram, seeing people’s children, travel and finely tuned cocktails is one of my favorite mindless pastimes. I hate that each has a private messenger function that allows the messages and/or photos to disappear.
A few months ago, The Girl had to take Snapchat off her phone, because she was using the DM (direct message, if you’re a novice) part to talk to her friends. She’d been warned. She knew the rules. She even had a friend message The Boy asking why I’d done it.
Yesterday, I realized she was using Instagram the same way. Why can’t they just text? On Instagram, in the DM area thingy, if they send a photo, it disappears once viewed by the recipient. Nope. Instagram is allowed, if I can see the posts.
I could make this easier by just taking the phones away or by not allowing the apps at all. Or, I can make rules and expect them to be followed. It’s for their safety, I say. I’m the mean mom. Why? Because I said so.