My youngest is notorious for saying, "You're beautiful, mom, but you're mean." He says it often, to my face, and he's right (about the mean part, at least). I may not be "mean" in its darkest definitions, but to both of my kids I'm the meanest in all the land. Sorry not sorry, children, because I'll never stop being a "mean" mom. Being a mean mom has been challenging, sure, but my amazing kids are the product of all my meanness so, really, I have no reason to apologize. None.
I don't know if I've always been considered "mean" by my kids, but sometimes I don't think they understand what it's like to have this job (and of course they don't because, you know, they're children). Long before my precious children were born, I made a promise that I'd be the one to stay home and care for them while they're young — no matter what — and there are days I probably do come off as mean in order to keep that promise. I'd never hurt them, and of course all my "mean" mom behavior comes from a good place. I don't want to raise spoiled, entitled brats, so sometimes mean is the only way. Where my kids see "mean," I feel I'm only organized, structured, and an advocate for all things "get it done."
I guess when I really look at my particular parenting style, I guess I may come across a little mean to a 10-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy, who always want to hear "yes" instead of "no." Still, saying no when it's necessary is part of the job. So if my kids are looking for an apology, they'll have to keep looking. I won't stop being their "mean" mom, and here's why: