My son just told me he didn’t want me to be his mom anymore because I was the meanest mom in the world. (I made him play outside in the beautiful weather and I said he couldn’t have an ice cream bar for breakfast, so in his defense – Fair. I am a clearly a monster.)
Meanest mom in the whole world. Wow. Out of all those other moms, they chose me. Me! Just a small town girl, living in my lonely closet hiding from my kids with a box of cookies.
At first I felt unprepared. At first I felt undeserving. Then I decided to be polite, empty the Teddy Graham crumbs out of my bra, hand the bajillion bags and folders and trash and chewed gum I had been holding to someone else, and walk up on stage with the best Taylor Swift reaction I could muster up (minus the red lipstick and cutout dress, because...mom life.)
[Walks up on stage.]
[Waits for applause to die down.]
Oh my goodness. Thank you, thank you. Friends. Family. Thank you. I am absolutely flabbergasted right now. I feel so blessed to be standing in front of you today. I truly wasn’t expecting this.
[Tries to run fingers through hair. Doesn’t work. Somehow there is dried strawberry jelly in it.]
I’m sure you weren’t expecting for me to be standing up here either.
[Pulls acceptance speech out of bra.]
But here I am. Here we are. I am only up here as a mere representation of the meanness that is inside all the parents gathered here today who love their children with all their heart, but who are not ruled or squashed or persuaded by their every weird demand.
Cindy. Linda. Karen. Rachel. Rebecca. Amber. I feel like you guys should stand be up here with me. Linda, I saw you stop your kid from standing up at the slide – so mean. Rachel, for only letting your kid be in two activities at a time. Amber, for not buying your sweet baby a third Halloween costume just because they changed their mind – you are ruthless, girl. I am honored to know you.
First of all, I want to thank my husband. This is only possible because of you and that one night. You know the one. Without you, I would only be “world’s meanest,” and that’s not nearly as fun.
Second of all, I would like to thank my children.
You nominated me. You voted me. You appointed me. After nine months and hours of labor, you came out looking exactly like your father. That was nice.
I am standing in front of you all today to show you that dreams really do come true. You can do the impossible. You can climb the mountain. You can be meaner than you ever thought possible.
To all the moms who make their kids play outside when it’s warm and sunny outside. To all the moms who made them drink water to keep them hydrated. To all the moms who only gave their kid one cookie instead of four. To all the moms who said no to keeping a spider as a new pet.
To all the moms who made them put on pants this morning before leaving the house. To all the moms who yelled when they wanted to urinate right there in the middle of the Walmart parking lot. To all the moms who said brownies and cheese sticks and popsicles weren’t a real lunch.
To all the moms who accidentally ordered pepperoni pizza instead of cheese. To all the moms who threw away their favorite toy that they haven’t played with in seven months. To all the moms who made them have a bedtime. To all the moms who made them eat vegetables.
To all the moms who set boundaries. To all the moms who say “no.” To all the moms who are training their kids to clean up their own messes and be kind and be non-jerks.
This is for you.
I hope this award reminds you to hold your head up high and pat yourself on the back, or have your children roll Tonka Trucks on your back if you can’t reach that far and you need a good massage, but can’t afford one because kids are expensive as heck. Maybe open the dishwasher and get a good steam facial.
You are doing it. You are really doing it.
World’s meanest mom. Wow. We are living in a great time, when anything is possible. When even relatively nice, good-hearted momma who only loves and wants what’s best for her children can win an award like this.
We are all doing okay.
Later that evening during the interview...
Announcer: Who are you wearing this evening?
Me: A collaboration between this ironic tee-shirt I found in the floor this morning and and Batisse Dry Shampoo. Dang it...is that a marinara stain?
Announcer: And who are those shoes?
Me: New Balance. I couldn’t be nearly this mean if I wasn’t so comfortable.
Announcer: I see you’ve gone with the no makeup look. Is this a statement on the female empowerment movement?
Announcer: You’ve just won the award for “World’s Meanest Mom,” what’re you gonna do next?
Me: Not go to Disney World. Maybe a take a nap I will probably get woken up from. Maybe pee alone. Maybe drink a cup of water and not share it. Who knows? But yeah, I'll probably cook and do laundry.
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