I had the meanest mother in the whole world.
While other kids ate candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal, eggs or toast.
When others had cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich. As you
can guess, my supper was different than the other kids' also.
But at least, I wasn't alone in my sufferings. My sister and two brothers
had the same mean mother as I did.
My mother insisted upon knowing where we were at all times. You'd think we
were on a chain gang. She had to know who our friends were and where we were
going. She insisted if we said we'd be gone an hour, that we be gone one
hour or less--not one hour and one minute. I am nearly ashamed to admit it,
but she actually struck us. Not once, but each time we had a mind of our
own and did as we pleased. That poor belt was used more on our seats than
it was to hold up Daddy's pants. Can you imagine someone actually hitting
a child just because he disobeyed? Now you can begin to see how mean she
We had to wear clean clothes and take a bath. The other kids always wore
their clothes for days. We reached the height of insults because she made
our clothes herself, just to save money. Why, oh why, did we have to have
a mother who made us feel different from our friends?
The worst is yet to come. We had to be in bed by nine each night and up at
eight the next morning. We couldn't sleep till noon like our friends. So
while they slept-my mother actually had the nerve to break the child-labor
law. She made us work. We had to wash dishes, make beds, learn to cook and
all sorts of cruel things. I believe she laid awake at night thinking up
mean things to do to us.
She always insisted upon us telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing
but the truth, even if it killed us- and it nearly did.
By the time we were teen-agers, she was much wiser, and our life became even
more unbearable. None of this tooting the horn of a car for us to come running.
She embarrassed us to no end by making our dates and friends come to the
door to get us. If I spent the night with a girlfriend, can you imagine she
checked on me to see if I were really there. I never had the chance to elope
to Mexico. That is if I'd had a boyfriend to elope with. I forgot to mention,
while my friends were dating at the mature age of 12 and 13, my old fashioned
mother refused to let me date until the age of 15 and 16. Fifteen, that is,
if you dated only to go to a school function. And that was maybe twice a
Through the years, things didn't improve a bit. We could not lie in bed,
"sick" like our friends did, and miss school. If our friends had a toe ache,
a hang nail or serious ailment, they could stay home from school. Our marks
in school had to be up to par. Our friends' report cards had beautiful colors
on them, black for passing, red for failing. My mother being as different
as she was, would settle for nothing less than ugly black marks.
As the years rolled by, first one and then the other of us was put to shame.
We were graduated from high school. With our mother behind us, talking, hitting
and demanding respect, none of us was allowed the pleasure of being a drop-out.
My mother was a complete failure as a mother. Out of four children, a couple
of us attained some higher education. None of us have ever been arrested,
divorced or beaten his mate. Each of my brothers served his time in the service
of this country. And whom do we have to blame for the terrible way we turned
out? You're right, our mean mother. Look at the things we missed. We never
got to march in a protest parade, nor to take part in a riot, burn draft
cards, and a million and one other things that our friends did. She forced
us to grow up into God-fearing, educated, honest adults.
Using this as a background, I am trying to raise my three children. I stand
a little taller and I am filled with pride when my children call me mean.
Because, you see, I thank God, He gave me the meanest mother in the whole
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