That’s me. I turned into the wicked witch today.

Now, let’s just preface my mean-ness by all the nice-ness…we’ve had a pretty darn fun summer so far. We’ve been here: Enjoying this: (that is, until we wrecked it…but that’s a story for another post)And soaking in these:And we’ve been here:
(the same deal we did last year…tons of local moms with their kids at this great local resort)

And boy howdy have we ever been here:…like every five minutes…

But at some point you have to balance out the “playing hard” with a little bit of the “working hard.” I’m a big believer in the value of hard work. One of our family mottos is “WE DO HARD THINGS.” But I’ve realized lately that I’m not really pulling my load on teaching my kids how to do the hard things. I am the biggest pushover. I bend over backwards to make sure that these kids get to do all kinds of fun things. I’ll let them get off with not quite finishing a task, I’ll pick up after them over and over, and I’ll re-do particular jobs that aren’t done fabulously without marching them right back in there to get it done themselves. Sometimes I’ll feel bad for them that they can’t go somewhere (especially the ones I worry about socially) because they haven’t finished their jobs, and I’ll give in and let them go (I know…that’s a very bad mom).

Now, don’t get me wrong. They are great kids. They deserve to have fun. And they do work. But I want them to be like those kids raised on a farm who always look hard work in the eye and tackle it with all they’ve got.

So today I was the task-master. I re-taught them how to mop. Really mop. They all practiced their little hearts out on the piano. We sorted through all their school work and re-organized the laundry room. They cleaned out their closets. They dusted blinds and did the laundry. Max cleaned the BBQ grill from top to bottom and scrubbed out the garage.

We got our summer goals all written up too. They are pretty hard ones this year, but man we’re going to learn a lot. (Dave and I are doing our own sets too.)

And THEN we had some fun. (Yes, Tuesday Night Swim Club is officially in session once again.)
But to be quite honest, I personally thought it was fun all day. My mean-witch-self had my kids to myself, and selfishly, I loved it. Because we worked hard, together. The house looks better than ever. And even though I was a little mean, I think deep down these kids know it was good for them. Because there’s nothing like the satisfaction you feel after a hard day’s work.

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  1. that picture at the top is so great. whenever i see it i wonder what the heck dave is doing with his trousers pulled up nearly to his neck and a rope belt on.
    you couldn't be my definition of mean since your kids always know that they are loved.

  2. Oh my gosh, I had this same thing happen three weeks ago. Only, I was so mad that I didn't turn nice again until the next day. But what actually happened had a major effect on our household ever since. I turned off our t.v. PERMANENTLY. I thought, "These kids haven't been learning good communication or how to take care of thier home." So now, my 5-yr-old, 3-yr-old, and 1-yr-old are engaged in dishes, laundry, beds and toys… together. And I swear we are all happier for it!

  3. Ooh, you sound like me. Push over, etc. etc. I'll have to remember your last phrase when I start the summer being a mean mom again 🙂 I can't believe we have two more weeks of school. I'm dying here! I can't wait to be done with school and have my children home and doing all the things I, I mean WE want to do 🙂

    love ya girl.

  4. I had to laugh at the title of your post because I tell my kids every night that "mean mommy" arrives at 8 so they need to be in bed before she gets here. One of our family mottos is "we can do hard things" and teaching my kids to work has been one of the hardest. But I want the kind of kids that know how to work hard and aren't afraid to -we're still working on it.

  5. Are you good at not hollering and screaming after you have asked that a task be done 13 times? If you are, then you are SO not mean! But my aunt told me once that if my kids didn't think I was mean, i wasn't doing it right! I was watching a bit of "18 kids and counting" the other night and decided I needed a little more Michelle Duggar in me…more gentle even when asking over and over again!

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