78: The Meanest Mother in Town

78: The Meanest Mother in Town

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks to My Mom

The Meanest Mother in Town

If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.

~Bette Davis

I had the meanest mother in the entire world. She gave me ridiculous rules to follow, curfews, and long talks about morals and values. Her constant nagging to turn down my music and to know where I was at all times was a hard pill to swallow at times. I had a bedtime and was never allowed to have my own television or a phone in my room. I couldn’t date until I was sixteen.

For a measly allowance, I had chores from an early age. Expectations were high. I had to keep my room clean and make my bed every day. Setting the table, helping out in the kitchen, and doing the dinner dishes were mandatory. I was also expected to iron my dad’s handkerchiefs and everyone’s pillowcases. Feeding the dog was on my list as well. When school was out for summer, my duty list grew.

She was so mean that when I asked for extra cash or something special, she would tell me to get a job. I had to start working at age fifteen. She obviously had no idea about child labor laws.

If I had a date, she would insist he come inside to meet her and my dad. They would then interrogate him about where we were going and give him the curfew speech. Even after I had dated the same boy for quite some time and she knew him, he was made to come inside and escort me to the car. She refused to let me to go out when he honked his horn to pick me up for a date. She not only was mean, but embarrassing to boot.

I wasn’t allowed to watch certain movies or go to a drive-in theater with a boy. She watched me like a hawk when it came to applying make-up. I was sent back to my room on numerous occasions to remove heavy layers. She balked if my skirts were too short. I couldn’t get my ears pierced until I was sixteen years old, and then that had to be my gift. She insisted my ears be pierced by a doctor when my friends could have done it at home for free.

If I did something wrong or got a bad grade, I would be punished. Her explanation was always the same. “This hurts me more than it does you” or “I do this because I love you.”

I wasn’t allowed to receive telephone calls past 9:00 p.m. and the calls could not last more than one hour. If I had not done my homework, there would be no socializing at all.

One of her silliest rules was I couldn’t have boys over if she was not home and even if she was, we had to stay in the kitchen or living room. No doors could be closed at any time when a boy came to visit.

I was expected to be home for dinner every night and eat at the table with the family.

She signed me up for sewing and ceramics classes in the summer, explaining I needed to do something productive. I was enrolled in a charm school when I reached the ripe old age of fifteen. I was forced to learn about fashion, etiquette, and how to become a lady.

I was sent to my room for an hour if I misbehaved in church.

She had the audacity to make me write prompt thank you notes for any gifts I received.

When I got my own car she actually expected me to help out with insurance and I was responsible for buying my own gas. When I started working she made me open a savings account. Half my paycheck and any cash gifts had to put into the account, then I could spend the rest as I saw fit. She was adamant about teaching me the value of a dollar and responsibility.

I was forced to call all adults Mr. and Mrs. No first names allowed. I also had to have good manners; it was drilled into my head from day one.

I was forced to eat breakfast because she thought it was the most important meal of the day. I personally saw nothing wrong with grabbing a doughnut or two and eating them on the run. She saw to it that I sat at the kitchen table and forced me to eat bacon and eggs. Sometimes she made me eat stewed prunes, cereal or homemade pancakes.

If I got into trouble at school, it would be worse when I arrived home.

Several times I would pretend to be sick so I wouldn’t have to go to school at all. Each time she could tell I was faking, and gave me castor oil by the tablespoon. I had to go to school every single day. No relaxing in bed for me. I saw no reason I couldn’t take a day off, but she seemed to have a problem with that.

She used to threaten me too. I can still hear her saying, “Just wait until your father gets home.” Daddy wasn’t the type to use violence in any way; however having to listen to one of his lectures was a fate worse than death. There were times I felt I’d rather have been whipped.

I vowed that when I had children of my own, I would be one of the cool moms. I wasn’t going to be anything like her; she was cruel and controlling. She was the meanest mom in town.

Years later my first child was born, then twelve months later my second one came along, and finally my third. It didn’t take long before I became the new winner of the moniker “The Meanest Mom in Town.” I’m proud to say I still hold that title today, thanks to my mom, a great role model.

~Carol Commons-Brosowske

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners