Are You a Mean Mom?



I didn’t want to be mean, I just did not know how to get my kids to follow through and get things done! I was repeating myself-A LOT– and if anyone was listening, it was NOT in a very nice tone of voice. But I wasn’t alone. I remember hearing other moms talk about how they were glad when it was winter and the windows were closed so the neighbors would not hear their shrieking mom voice. Even the sweetest mom can be pushed to the limit!

It is really difficult transitioning from being a woman working out in the world of adults, or at least some adults, and being able to reason with them, and then going into motherhood where there is very little sensible reasoning. And moms, who are usually operating on very little sleep or margin, rarely get in front of the problem.

A big part of the problem was that I didn’t have a great plan for how to train up my kids. I had read lots books and listened to radio shows (that’s what we older moms did before podcasts) to try to grab onto some formula that would work for us.

In an effort to try again to cobble together something that might help bring order to my home, I devised a plan for my kids that wasn’t just a plan. It actually had more bells and whistles than chore systems I had read or heard about. It was an experiment that I prayed wouldn’t crash and burn like all the others that I had tried.

And…. Open the windows folks, IT WORKED, and worked so well that I wasn’t repeating myself or yelling at my kids!

I called it the All Done Day plan. I got my husband involved and we made up a list of things that were really important to us. Like: 1) having a home that didn’t look like a tornado hit it, 2) our kids learning what it means to work, 3) living a healthy, active lifestyle, 4) putting others above ourselves, 5) growing our faith in God, and 6) being life long learners.

Next, we studied each one of our four kids and put together a daily plan for each of them that had tasks or assignments that were age-appropriate and that fit into the targets that mom and dad had decided were important for our family.

My 8 year old son’s list looked like this:

Make your bed

Put Legos away after use

Practice Piano assignment

Homework, if any

Car Custodian – check it daily

100 touches at least with soccer ball

15 minutes reading a faith enriching book

Next, we created incentives that would encourage our kids to complete their daily plan, and earn an All Done Day coupon. With these coupons, they could save them to “buy” specially engineered prizes that we made sure they would want.

We put the plan into motion and watched a miracle unfold before our eyes. Our kids were choosing to succeed on a daily basis and I was not nagging or hoarse! The All Done Day  plan worked so well that we continued using it as our kids grew up. When they were older, they started setting their own goals and making their own daily plan. My oldest son (now in his late 20’s) and his wife, post their own All Done Day plans on a chalkboard in their mudroom!

It was at the end of many days, when passing out the All Done Day coupons to my four kids, who had chosen to succeed that day, that I was able to realize the personal transition from MEAN MOM to QUEEN MOM. I’m so confident in the All Done Day plan that I wrote a book about it. All Done Day: How to Win at Everyday Parenting. Get a copy and  start your own transformation – and open your windows again!

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Ann Lahm

Author, Blogger

I love the opportunities to support parents and Moms in particular, that All Done Day has provided me.

Ann Lahm

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