Being a "mean mom" isn't something I love to readily admit, but the more I think about it, the more I realize my parenting style definitely has a streak of "mean mom" running through it. In our house, we're strict about screen time and junk food, we try to stick to a nap and meal schedule, and I try to avoid the most annoying Elmo songs as much as possible. Honestly, there are so many times when being the "mean mom" saved my sanity, plain and simple.
I remember the first time I realized some of my parenting techniques were a little tough. My daughter was just at the teething and gumming anything in sight stage and she reached for my mother-in-law's phone. My mother-in-law didn't care if she chewed on her old phone, so she handed it over. She got the now-perfected "hey, she doesn't get phones, please" from me, and gave me a slightly perturbed look in return. However, we stuck to our guns and she now knows she doesn't get to play with phones. She can look at them when we're FaceTiming family and friends, but she's not in charge. The few times she's been allowed to hold a phone turns her into a phone-obsessed nightmare.
I'm sure there are kids who have been allowed to have their run of phones and don't turn into tiny terrors, but my daughter's reactions are enough to warrant bringing out my inner "mean mom." Luckily, there's a whole lot of nice mom in me as well, so I promise it's not a total fun-free zone at our house.