July 15, 2008

The Meanest Mom

Team Roberts had a very eventful week last week.

Monday: Our family hung out at a friend's house, playing American Idol on the X Box.

Tuesday: We played hard at Boondocks, a local arcade with laser tag, race cars, bumper boats, mini golf and much more.

Wednesday: Stephen Left on a business trip on and the Kids and I headed for the mountain scenery of Park City to stay with my sister Melanie at her condo rental. While there we tooled around at the local farmer's market, watched late night movies, ate a lot of junk food and played pool volley ball and soaked in the hot tub.

Thursday: The fun continued on like crazy, we partied at the pool for a few hours until we had prunes for fingers and toes. We had arranged to meet Jason and Jess in Park City for a over night birthday party for Shiloh at their condo rental, but there was an error with the hotel and a very sad little birthday girl. Plans changed and we headed down the mountain for a over night back yard camp out at the Preston's. On our way back to the valley we made a stop in Midway and went to my favorite Zermatt Resort, there the children rode the carousel, walked the property to view some of the live stock, the last stop was the sweet shoppe for a decedent taste of gelato. Finally we reached our destination, Shiloh's birthday party.

I woke the next morning realizing that I had done the very thing that I had been preaching to the kids earlier in the week during summer school. I had all the kids collect rocks and task each rock such as: work, play, academic, spiritual, personal, physical and then we talked about the balance of each day. So with this in mind I went and picked up the kids from their slumber party and we headed down to my brother's house to spiff up his over-grown weed infested yard. My brother, Scott has been overwhelmed with a full time job, finishing his last few credit hours of his completed double major and all the hard work of a new baby. This is a lot for one couple to juggle, so the maintenance on their investment property is not high priority. Anyway, a good service project for my kids to participate in after a over indulged week of PLAY.

As we unloaded from the car(all seven of us), Melanie, Angela, Kaia and "Team Roberts" we commented on the jungle before us and stood in wonderment of where to begin.

It was interesting to observe my children. Alexis took the lead and trudged out first with happy heart and excitement. Olivia took on the same attitude as her sister and Kaia followed suit.

Now, Chandler did not seem to feel the same joy of the event. Chandler started to run toward the park. He was quickly stopped by the queen bee(me)and asked to join in the fun. Chandler struggled to find within him how weeding could be fun. I remembered feeling similar thoughts at times toward my Mother, vowing "the only reason she had kids was so she would have someone to do all her work." I get a chuckle out of those words now. Any parent who has tried to teach a child to "work" can vouch that the task becomes more of a challenge, and would be so much less torturous to just to do it yourself!

As I continued to slave drive my son and persisted to cheer him into thinking work could be fun, it was all in ATTITUDE, he lacked to find these words convincing. I was sworn off as the meanest Mom in the world, yet I found some satisfaction that I must be doing something right as a Mom if I was being a Meany. I thought I had the meanest mom when I was a child and now I have to say it was worth all efforts to instill the understanding and purpose of work into my developing character. I have grown to value and admire the tenacity of hard working individuals, it is a true gift.

My sister Angela shared her funny stories of work and a mean Mom and made a wise comment how are lucky to have arms so we can work. Angela is very wise like Confucius.

We all walked away feeling a touch of satisfaction and thankful for the opportunity of some good old fashioned hard work.

Chandler, went home to pull more weeds, somewhere in those weeds, some day...
the prize of hard work is bound to capture him.

A sonet for my children-

Someday when my children are old enough to

understand the logic that motivates a parent,

I will tell them, as my Mean Mom told me:

I loved you enough to ask where you were going,

with whom, and what time you would be home.

I loved you enough to be silent and let you

discover that your new best friend was not good for you.

I loved you enough to stand over you for

two hours while you cleaned your room,

a job that should have taken 15 minutes.

I loved you enough to let you see anger,

disappointment, and tears in my eyes. Children

must learn that their parents aren't perfect..

I loved you enough to let you assume the

responsibility for your actions even when the

penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.

But most of all, I loved you enough to say

NO when I knew you would hate me for it.

Those were the most difficult battles of all.

I'm glad I won them, because in the end you won, too.

And someday when your children are old enough to

understand the logic that motivates parents, you will tell them.

Was your Mom mean?

We had the meanest mother in the whole world!

While other kids ate candy for breakfast,

we had to have gruel, eggs, and toast.

When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch,

we had to eat whole wheat sandwiches.

And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was

different from what other kids had, too.

Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times.

You'd think we were convicts in a prison.

She had to know who our friends were

and what we were doing with them.

She insisted that if we said we

would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.

We were ashamed to admit it,

but she had the nerve to break

the Child Labor Laws by making us work.

We had to wash the dishes, make the beds,

learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry,

empty the trash and all sorts of cruel jobs.

I think she would lie awake at night

thinking of more things for us to do.

She always insisted on us telling the truth,

the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

By the time we were teenagers,

she could read our minds

and had eyes in the back of her head.

Then, life was really tough!

Mother wouldn't let our friends just honk

the horn when they drove up

They had to come up to the door

so she could meet them.

While everyone else could date

when they were 12 or 13,

we had to wait until we were 16.

Because of our mother we missed out

on lots of things other kids experienced.

Now that we have left home, we are all educated, honest adults.

We are doing our best to be mean parents just like Mom was.

I think that is what's wrong with the world today.

It just doesn't have enough mean moms!


Brooke said...

The last little bit sounded just like my mom. I thought growing up was difficult having her for my mom with all the rules and all, but I can honestly say today I'm so grateful she was one of the mean moms! And I must say cute picture of you at the beginning! And one more thing, thanks so much to you and Steve for playing with Sean. I'm a little jealous I'm not there in all the action. I'm coming home soon though.

Michael J said...


Congrats on being a mean mom. I was just having a conversation about parenting and follow through- or lack there of.

It reminded me of how much I hated about mom as a kid. I later recognized what a hard thing that must have been for her. -Amazing

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