Saturday, 25 October 2008

The Meanest Mother

I had the meanest mother in the whole world. While other kids ate candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal, eggs or toast! When others had cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich. As you can guess by now . . . my supper was a lot different than the other kid's too!

But at least I wasn't alone in my sufferings. My sister and brother had the same mean mother that I did.

My mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times. You'd think we were on a chain gang. She had to know who our friends were and what we were doing. She insisted if we said that we'd be gone one hour that . . . we'd be gone one hour, or less . . . not one hour and one minute.

I am nearly ashamed to admit it, but . . . she actually struck us . . . with a wooden spoon, no less. Can you imagine someone actually hitting a child just because they had disobeyed? Now you can begin to see how mean she was, and it gets worse . . .

We had to be in bed by nine each night and up early the next morning. We couldn't sleep late, until noon, like our friends could. So while they slept, my mother actually had the nerve to break the child labour laws. She made us work. We had to wash dishes, make beds, learn to cook and all sorts of other cruel things. I think that she must have lay awake at night thinking up mean things to do to us.

She always insisted upon us telling her the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, even if it killed us . . . and it nearly did.

By the time we reached teenage hood, she was much wiser, and our lives became even more unbearable. None of this tooting of the horn when a lad or a friend came a calling. She would embarrass us to no end by making our dates and friends come to the door to pick us up. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention . . . when my friends were dating at the mature age of 12 and 13 . . my mother refused to let me date until I was 16 . . . and that was to go to a school dance, which was maybe once or twice a year.

My mother was a complete failure as a mother. None of us three children has ever been arrested or beaten a partner. We, each one of us, have good and responsible jobs. Who do we have to blame for the terrible way we turned out? You got it right, our mean mother! Look at all the things we missed!!! We never got to march in a protest parade, nor to take part in a riot and a million and one other things our friends did. She forced us to grow up into God fearing, educated and honest adults.

Using this as a background I have to say that I raised my own five children in the much same way. I stood a little taller and was filled with pride when my own children called me mean . . . because, you see, I thank God. He gave me the meanest mother in the whole world . . .

I found this piece of writing the other day in a book I have, and I could so relate to it. I had a mean mother too, lol, not to mention a mean father! At the time it was a terrific nuisance, but, looking back in retrospect, I can see they clearly loved my sister, brother and I so very much. They cared a great deal to have put in so much of an effort to make sure we grew up to be responsible, caring, God fearing and law abiding adults, and I am so very grateful that they did.

With the price of food escalating I am really pinching the pennies these days, and making every scrap of food in the house stretch as far as I can. I made this really tasty meal the other night with some leftover chicken and a few bits and bobs from the refrigerator. That's another thing my mother used to do . . . make us eat leftovers . . .

*Saucy Skillet Chicken*

Serves 4

This is a really delicious way to use up some ends and bits you may have in the fridge the end of the week that you want to get rid of.

4 slices of thick cut streaky bacon, diced
a splash of olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and minced
a good handful of sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
about 1/2 cup of white wine or chicken broth
2 cups leftover chicken, diced small
1/2 to 3/4 cup of double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 TBS freshly grated Parmesan cheese
To serve:
the pasta of your choice (I used potato gnocchi)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Heat a heavy based frying pan. Add a splash of olive oil and fry the bacon pieces in this until they are crisp. Turn down the heat and add the onion and mushrooms. Cook and sweat them until they are soft, but not coloured. Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute longer. Add the peas and the wine or chicken stock. Allow to bubble for a few minutes and then add the chicken and heat through. Pour in the cream and the Parmesan cheese, and season to taste with some salt and pepper. Allow to bubble for a few minutes until the cream has reduced somewhat and you have a thick sauce. Serve spooned over your favourite pasta with plenty of grated Parmesan dusted over top and a sprinkling of parsley. Delicious!


  1. Just remember, those kids that ate what they did for breakfast are now 10 feet under after having their arteries clogged and heart attacks.
    Gaz xxx

  2. I LOVE leftovers! The flavours are all melded by then, for one....and for another, I don't have to cook - just reheat!

  3. Great post Marie! It makes me feel better knowing that your mother was so strict and you all turned out so great. I am feeling like the meanest mom in the world lately with my 12-year-old daughter...

  4. Great post Marie. I love that dish of yours - a great idea for left overs!

  5. I had that same mean mother - all those rules and chores, and leftovers to boot! I hope I can be a mean mother too. Well, I already make my kids eat leftovers, and my three year old is forced to set the table! :-)

  6. Love this post Marie, so sweet! Gloria

  7. You're so creative! All my leftovers go in a tortilla with beans. Not creative at all I'm afraid...

  8. Wonderful post! I can relate to the "mean" mother, except my twin sister and I were raised by the mean grandmother. LOL Same chores as you were asked to do. We grew up to be responsible adults and happy that she cared enough to be strict.

  9. thank goodness for mean mothers! i hope i can be as mean as can be:)

  10. How wise are hindsight. :)

  11. I had to laugh as I read your post because I too had a mean mother growing up....the worst! ha ha (or so i thought) now as I look back I think otherwise.

    Now today, I AM that mean mother. How do i know? My daughter tells me that often when I have to tell her "No!"

    Oh, motherhood! Thanks for the smiles!

  12. Hi Marie,

    Thanks for posting this - I love the idea that I am a 'mean' Mum! You post inspires me to carry on being mean! I know I don't comment often but wanted you to know how I love reading your blog and how often your thoughts strike a chord! Helen x


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