Picture it on pink paper

Dear Sir and Madam:

It it with a heavy heart and much regret that I feel the need to inform you of my decision to tender my resignation as Greatest Mother In The World. We all know that lately I’ve simply become unable to keep up with the demands of the position, and I wish to fall back at this time to something more befitting my capabilities.

This morning I feel that perhaps Mom Who Does Just Enough might be a more suitable choice. Or—should you feel it a better selection—Serviceable Mom. I shall leave it to your discretion as to which would be most useful to the organization as a whole.

I do thank you for the chance to be something more, but now that I’ve realized exactly how thankless this position really is, I’m afraid I am simply going to have to suggest that you get your own damn breakfast in the future.

So, effective immediately, here are the changes I propose:

1) If I spend my entire morning accompanying your class on a field trip, when you later come home and start mouthing off and stomping around, I shall not be expected to either be kind or care about whatever your major malfunction is. If, in addition, said field trip started with an unexpected 90-minute wait for the bus to show up—90 minutes during which I could’ve been at home working—I shall be entitled to suggest that you please continue your fit upstairs where I do not need to look at your ungrateful little pouty face.

2) If you’ve wrung me dry during the previous week, should you elect to sob over the almost-empty toothpaste tube, I will continue to provide squeezing assistance, but I will also be allowed to ask you when you turned from an 8-year-old boy into a 2-year-old girl.

3) I will no longer make wake-up rounds in the morning, gently coaxing and cajoling the two of you awake and out of bed, rechecking to make sure you’re up, and yelling the current time up the stairs while morning preparations are made. Your alarms will be set and you can rise or not as you see fit. As you will be fixing your own morning meal (to save me the grief over placing inferior sustenance before you), you’ll have plenty of time to determine what would be the best breakfast choice for your WALK to school, as your failure to be ready on time will result in forfeiture of your ride.

4) I will only launder the clothes I find inside of the hamper. Clothes near the hamper or squirreled away elsewhere in the house shall remain unwashed. Complaints about favored items being unavailable shall be met with a sad song played on my tiny violin.

5) Items left on my desk become my property to keep or dispose of as I see fit. Period. I am pretty sure I didn’t leave my rock collection next to my keyboard (as I don’t have a rock collection) and if you couldn’t be bothered to put it away, I can’t be bothered to ask you fifteen times to take your stuff. Sorry.

6) Dishes left on the table at the end of a meal shall be used in their unwashed state to serve the next meal on. Mmmm mmmm good.

7) Crumbs, banana peels, and cereal bar wrappers which are not disposed of properly shall be transferred to your beds for safekeeping.

8) Any request to “help” with homework which you are perfectly capable of completing on your own shall result in my leaving the house for a scenic walk. On the down side, you’re going to be spending a lot of time alone, I think. But on the bright side, I should be 10 pounds lighter in no time!

9) Rather than attending every activity, as I’ve been doing, I’ll try to get to a few if I can fit it into my schedule. You won’t mind; after all, the criticism I’ve drawn while showing up for absolutely everything has indicated that my presence has gone completely unnoticed, anyway. Let me know when something big is happening and I’ll see if I have an opening.

10) I will no longer be participating in arguments about the weather. If you’re convinced you won’t be too hot/too cold in that outfit, and/or that you don’t need a jacket, fine. You’re right; you DO know better than me. Enjoy your day wearing whatever you’ve deemed appropriate. I’ll no longer be paying attention to any subsequent whining, so have at it!

Again, I’m sorry that it’s come to this, but I think the resignation of my post and subsequent reorganization will be for the best, all around. I do appreciate the opportunity and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.



  1. rain

    I see we are having the exact SAME morning. Ive had enough as well, and shall commence banging my head off the wall in about three more minutes.

  2. Sophia

    Oh, this is, by far, my favorite post of yours!

    It’s so well written, in fact, I believe I WILL print it on pink paper and leave it for my own daughter. Come to think of it, I could probably use one for my husband, too.

  3. All Adither

    This post is awesome! I was just composing a vastly inferior post about WHEN THE HECK DOES THIS GET EASIER?

    If you have the fortitude for it, I think natural consequences ARE best. Sadly, I have a really hard time biting my naggy tongue.

  4. dad

    Put this post in their scrapbooks. They will need to refer to it when they are parents.

    Keep up the good work.

  5. saucygrrl

    My personal favorite is the bit about the unwashed dishes. As someone who was ALWAYS shirking her dish responsibilities, I’d pick up right quick after that one!

  6. Mama Bear

    Perfect Post! I’ll be printing this and putting in a prominent spot at the dinner table. I may need to change the wording from 8 year old to 18 year old, but oh well, I’ll just scratch in that extra 1.
    The little darlings….

  7. Kerry

    I’m just so happy to hear that I am not the only one dealing with #5.

    If only I could bring myself to actually throw the crap away, rather than just threatening to five hundred thousand times. Ugh.

  8. Daisy

    I established #4 and stuck to it. Nothing gets washed unless it’s in the hamper. Hold on to that one when they hit their teens. Really.

  9. Headless Mom

    Are you sure you don’t live in my house? Oh right… You live in a state far, far away. EVERY.POINT could have been written by me, or you ghost writing for me, anyway. (I’m certainly not that poetic or clever.)

    I hope your offspring come out of this soon-hang in there!

  10. hokgardner

    Bless you for this post. I’m printing it and putting it where everyone in the house can read it – or at least those who know how to read can.

  11. Leandra

    “I will continue to provide squeezing assistance” Hahahahahahaha!

    I just tendered my resignation as Servicable Mother and taken the position of Bad Mother this week, so I know there’s a spot open for you. :)

  12. Ben

    You’ve been reading my wife’s emails, haven’t you?

    (and it was a NICE rock collection she confiscated. Just sayin’)

  13. mamalang

    Oh, I have tears after reading this…tears of laughter. I’ve said many of these things so many times over the last few years. Love it!

  14. MomCat

    Some days, I’m World’s Best Mother and some days Okay Mother and some days Psycho Biotch Mother from Hell, and sometimes all three on the same day. I like a flexible work schedule.

  15. Kristi

    7) Crumbs, banana peels, and cereal bar wrappers which are not disposed of properly shall be transferred to your beds for safekeeping.


    Do you mind if I plagiarize this entire letter and turn it into my four employers? ;)

  16. Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck

    I hope you don’t mind if I just copy this verbatim and save it for the future. I can already see that I will be able to use this in a few years with my current 3-year old.

  17. Bob

    I think that this resignation should be accompanied by a BIG pitcher of mimosas in celebration.

  18. Megan

    Instituted #3 only this year – THIS YEAR – although my Children are teenagers. Trouble is the little sloths can sleep through the sonic-boom alarm clock (the one that doesn’t stop beeping after a few minutes but just keep going… and going… and). However fear of oversleeping and not being able to fluff, polish, tint and generally prepare for another day of high school seems to be doing the job.

    They all do their own laundry and in theory I don’t worry about it but in practice I have mentioned to the Boy Child that a) the even scattering of clothes on his floor is NOT acceptable organization method (but it’s only the clean ones Mom! Except that one… and that one…) and b) I think the bottom layer in his hamper is thinking of starting a progressive folk band because it’s got so dang much active culture.

  19. Jenni

    My husband put Red’s boots in the trashcan last night because she insists on leaving them in the middle of the livingroom floor after being repeatedly asked to set them by the door. The boots will come out of the trashcan and there is only paper in this trashcan.

    I’ve gone with the wear what you want (as long as it’s not too weather inappropriate) and if you’re cold that is your problem, not mine. Plus I know that I’m always cold and she’s always hot. So I’m not going to make it wear something so that I’ll be warm. I’m thinking about making a chart that shows ranges of temperature and appropriate things to wear when it is that temperature.

  20. Astrogirl

    This is brilliant! I plan on instituting this today with my 48-year old husband (who will undoubtedly need at least a month of this treatment to “get it”), but do you think it’s too early to do this with my 4-year old? I know the dish thing won’t work (typical boy could care less if he eats off dirty dishes, and might in fact prefer it), but the toy part absolutely would.

    You’re an inspiration, Mir!

  21. Ladybug Crossing

    LOL!! This is awesome.
    Are you sure we weren’t separated at birth? This is something my mother would have written!!

  22. Crisanne

    I believe on all counts, except #9.

    I can’t decide if #6 or #7 is my favorite!

  23. Beth

    Ok, your readers are just as clever as you because many of their comments had me laughing (at my desk…that’s always good for a few odd stares!). And your dad? Well, I see where you get the sense of humor from!

    By the way, I’m with everyone else. I’m printing this out and putting it away for safe keeping. My 2 year old will eventually need to read this! :)

    Thanks Mir!

  24. Dina

    Absotively Posolutely great! I think I can already use a lot of these for my kids at ages 8, 5 and 3.5 too. I just told my 5 yo daughter LAST NIGHT your number 4 so the next time she complains to me about not having clean underwear all she’ll have to do is look on her bedroom floor to find out why!

  25. Sheila

    Please do give us a follow-up as to how this is received. I am particularly interested in the enforcement of numbers 3, 6 and 10, which are areas of concern in my present position as well.

    Do you think perhaps you and your readers would be interested in unionizing?

  26. E

    Have this printed on a poster, and I’ll buy it to display right next to the Hannah Montana and Star Wars ones we already have — because I LOVE IT.

  27. pam

    OMG!! This IS the best post ever… You must write a book Mir. You’re hilarious, wry, caustic, cynical and true. I’ll sell them out of my trunk on the streets of NYC.. I will I will along with my really for true designer handbags.

  28. AmyM

    Wow. When did you start taking care of MY kids? I may steal this idea and write my own letter in the future. Granted the idea survives my swiss cheese memory and procrastination tendencies.

  29. Tammy

    LOVE.THIS.POST. You’re the best Mir!

  30. jennielynn

    Oh, we are having the exact same day! How precious for us.

  31. Burgh Baby's Mom

    Let me know how this all works out for you. I’ve got a 34-year old in the house that is in dire need of figuring out at least half of the lessons in there. I hope to not allow our 2-year old daughter to turn into the same kind of monster.

  32. BethR

    I need to start instituting some of these now so that SS will not be expecting Greatest Mother In the World service as he gets older. All except for #10, which I’ve been doing for a long time. If you don’t think you’re gonna be cold, that’s your call. I do this at least partially because my mother is ALWAYS cold and used to make me wear 20 lb wool sweaters on gorgeous spring days. I figured then, and figure now, that different people have different temperature tolerances and that she ought to take my word for it if I said I wouldn’t be cold, so I grant that to my kids – but they own the consequences if they’re wrong!

  33. merlotmom

    This was EXCELLENT! Completely and totally relate to each and every one! LOL! Thanks.

  34. elizabeth

    Dear Mir,
    It is with heavy heart that we must deny your request of change in status. Your resignation letter alone tells us that you are indeed doing a superior job of Greatest Mother in the World. It is, after all, the ultimate goal to make independent beings out of the intelligent and cute, but needy, children you now enjoy. Your plan is brilliant and should be encouraged greatly. To this end it will be copied and distributed to all parents now cowering in corners under the undue pressure of keeping up with their children’s every whim and all their stuff. So keep your title. Have yourself a large glass of wine and some chocolate (or bacon, your choice) and relax in the knowledge that you are furthering The Cause.
    The Committee for the Random Naming of Best Parent

  35. jen

    I think I love you. You are a Love and Logic success story. :) I may print this and hang it above my desk.

  36. Lori


    My home office is currently occupied by two supposedly sick kids (one strep positive, one not – both incredibly active during their so called illnesses) and two very definite approaching deadlines – I needed the laughs and the camaraderie. Thanks for both!

  37. Dragon

    Oh, I am SO totally using this. Especially number 6 about the dirty dishes. I wonder what milk will taste like after being left in a cup on the table for 8 hours? Hmmm…some of my children are going to find out, and I bet they won’t like it much.

    I just went through number 10 with my middle child. Despite the two feet of snow on the ground, she’s had enough of winter wear (well, I don’t blame her) and decided she would go to school in spring-weight splash pants, unzipped parka, and no hat or mittens. She tried her darndest to get to school so late that she would miss outdoor playtime, but alas her mother was too smart for her and we got to school in time for her to experience the natural consequences of dressing as if it was 10 or 15 degrees warmer than it is. La-la-la, such is life. What really made me chuckle was that the SAME child dressed the SAME way to walk the dog this morning and complained the whole time about how cold she was. I guess she’s a bit of a slow learner.

    I am totally printing out this post for future reference. Perhaps you would like to join me in applying for the position of Meanest Mom in the World? I believe my youngest has already suggested I’m a shoo-in for the position, but I would be happy to job-share with you.

  38. Dragon

    Oops, it was my middle child who suggested I am in the running for Meanest Mom in the World (MMITW) position. Youngest child sometimes thinks I’m mean too, but doesn’t have the vocabulary to say MMITW.

  39. janet

    you go, girl!

    my older children got a taste of this long ago.

    and the personal alarm clock thing? let me just tell you that my college son was late to his first day of culilnary school — and they dropped his grade one entire point. the cold, cruel world can be tougher than mom!

  40. Beachgal

    I bow down to the greatness that is your literary skills. I have all this info in my head but simply lack the ability to process it into something this coherent and funny and totally awesome. I only have one needy Bubba (unless you count the husband) and I’ve had my fill of days that things just suck. Thanks for the chuckle. And I agree, keep your title my dear. You deserve it.

  41. tori

    So, uh, when did you become me? My kids are phenomenal cleaners now that their toys have started disappearing. The same with the clothes that are not right for the weather. Sundress when it is not even 30 degrees outside? Fine with me. I feel much better now that I no longer feel responsible for those things!

  42. Suebob

    I know this is a funny post, but it also has a serious side. I think I have said before that, as the youngest child/spoiled brat, I wish my parents HAD BEEN TOUGHER ON ME. Learning good habits starts in childhood. It sucks to have to learn them as an adult.

    Rock on, tough mama. If the kids complain, have them call Mean Old Auntie Suebob.

  43. joaaanna


  44. marsha

    While finding this entry funny – – I actually instituted those rules quite awhile ago for my 14 and 6 year old. Except for the drinking out of dirty glasses… I have stooped to continue doing those. While I love them to death, they are both gonna fly away one day whether I like it or not… so even though I cry inside sometimes at a “C” that could’ve been an “A” (14 yr. old) due to the paper sitting there next to or in the middle of a puddle of cereal milk – they have to learn to be appreciative of us moms #1 and #2 – to take over some of the things we used to do for them. I agree with Suebob – it is funny… but I secretly hope you actually PLAN on doing some of that stuff!

  45. Kim

    I am all over #10 – my 16YO son is of course more concerned about being cool than being comfortable, so when he elected to wear shorts to school when the temp was going to be falling to about 45 degrees that afternoon, I let him. He’s got a computer in his room – he can check the Weather Channle like everyone else.

    And does it have to be only kids? My husband is a major offender when it comes to rule #7. But I don’t want to put the candy wrappers, soda cans, water bottles or mail envelopes in the bed, cuz its my bed too. :) Maybe I’ll put them in his car…

  46. marsha

    Post #2 – – …. as I sit here at work during a 35 degree day wondering how my 14 year old is gonna feel during track practice this afternoon when he chose to wear walking shorts with socks and adidas sliders to school. I am sure he totally forgot about it (first day of practice). But we talked about it yesterday and quite frankly, I had other things on my mind this morning (like you do sometimes) to remember to REMIND him how to dress. lol

  47. Tom Scott

    I’ve given advice like this to countless parents professionally, essentially advising them to make the child’s troublesome behavior a problem for the child instead of the parent. But it can backfire. I told my five year old daughter that if she didn’t hang up her coat, I would hang it up for her…but in the basement. I did so and it worked, but then one day I didn’t hang up my coat. Guess where I found it the next day!

  48. Jennie

    Ha! I think my mom found this letter 26 years ago, because I was setting my alarm at the age of 4 and packing my lunch. I was the youngest of five kids, so I guess she did what she had to do, and wouldn’t you know – I turned out to be a pretty independent person!

    You do a wonderful job. Thanks for sharing all of your stories.

  49. Jill

    Number 6 is genius.

  50. Karen

    So loved this post! It is my life. It is also my parents life, so I sent them the link with an apology for my behavior starting when I was 11! Lucky me! My father wrote to tell you about me hanging up his coat in the basement when I was five! So Mir, there is still hope! It took him a while, but I think he wins!!!

  51. Deb

    Go Mir!! That was just awesome and so true. #7 was used with my roommate in college who left tuna sandwiches out for days, she was told the next one would be on her pillow when she returned from work…never happened again ;-)

    I am going to print this out ;-)

  52. ikate

    We had to pull #7 on my college roommate. In fact, her dirty dishes when in her bed, too – after a 24 hour grace period. Disgusting. Good thing your kids are learning those ropes now!

    I have co-workers who arrive late due to returning home to pick up a forgotten assignment. Some even run home at lunch to take the assignment to school – all this for middle and high schoolers! Hope they plan to attend college with them to trail after their “babies” and wipe their butts!

    My father made the three of us kids sign a contract similar to the rules in this letter when we turned 7. Anytime we threw a fit he pulled it out and showed us what we had agreeded to. But lord help him if he left an ice cream bowl next to his chair – we were all over him!

  53. prophet

    glad you’re feeling better. [grin!] way to go!

  54. Mom24

    OK, perfect post, but will you really do it? I would love to know how things turn out. Keep us informed.

  55. Janssen

    I know everyone has already commented, but SERIOUSLY, it must be acknowledged as one of the finest posts EVAH!

  56. kathleen

    i am going to save this for future use! of course, i have a long way to go…but this is perfect!
    i am, however, going to email this to my mom who could use this with my 15-year-old brother. heh!

    you go, mama!

  57. Stephanie Chance

    This is hilarious! I love it! It’s given me a few ideas…

  58. danelle

    When my son was 7 I took him to school “as is” when it was time to go. He spent the entire day in his pajamas, and he never ever was late getting ready for school again.

  59. Heidi

    Ah, isn’t it marvelous that the little darlings are growing up and asserting their (heh!) independence?

  60. Heather Cook

    Strike! Strike! Strike!

  61. Niki

    Other than number 2 (we no longer cry over toothpaste, though we pout over pop-tarts), every one of these could be posted on the wall at my house and pointed to several times daily. I completely agree that you should make the bothersome behavior a bother to the child, though failure to arise for alarms in the morning will make ME late, as I work at the same school the kids attend.

    Oh – and could we please add “I no longer care if you brush/comb/put up your hair in the morning. If you wish to look like Cousin It, I will no longer give a crap.”

  62. Sue

    Mir – you are awesome! I love every.single.word of this. Hardest freaking job, that’s for sure!

  63. Lis

    funniest post ever.

  64. Cindy

    Great Post! It must be the weather because the same type of stuff has been going on here too. I think I’ll quit too!! A friend asked me a simple question today & I told her all the stuff I had been stewing on all day about my son. She said she couldn’t help laughing at me because we are so different. I am a worrier and she isn’t. I love your humor!!

  65. Woman with Kids

    Can I print this and hang it in every room of the house? Especially numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10? Those will be in bold, all caps.

  66. Valerie

    If only you’d been able to post something like this about… 13 or so years ago. Though I’m still tempted to try 5, 6, 7 and variations of 1 and 2.

  67. Heather

    “Complaints about favored items being unavailable shall be met with a sad song played on my tiny violin.” Oh wow. This was the funniest entry I have read in a very long time. Great job!

  68. Little Bird

    I think I’ll be calling my mother in the morning so I can appologize to her. For my childhood. And to thank her for never giving into the urge to shove me out of the moving car when I forgot my homework, lunch, and yes at least once– my SHOES.
    She did often employ the “throw it away if it doesn’t get picked up” except she gave all those toys to the less fortunate kids in our neighborhood.
    Yep, I’m gonna call and appologize. In the morning. If I call now (12:55 at night) she’ll kill me.

  69. Cele

    I hope this works for you, it sounds good, but my daughter would never have noticed…that goes for the banana peels in bed too.

    Good luck and a better tomorrow.

  70. Chris

    That was awesome. Great for their baby books.
    It’s great to have a Mom with a sense of humor!
    Too much! ;)

  71. Jennifer (Wilson-six)

    I love this!

    This is what I call “Tough Love”. I have four children and I have done similar things in my house.

    I am going to link to this on my blog!

  72. Fran

    Hehe..pardon my redundancy – but Great job. This is parenting at it’s finest because without a sense of humor we’d all be doomed. As funny as it is, the frustration come through and they will get it – now and again when they are parents. Pay back is beautiful…I’m loving every minute of our son parenting. – snort

  73. annie

    Hilarious! Wonderful! I’ve been there (ALL of them) and done that (ALL of them) and we are still alive. Although I must say that it’s a good thing Daughter Dear has a loft bed, or I might never have survived #7. Keep up the good work!

  74. Susie

    Oh my! May I please, please, pretty please, steal this and make a copy for my darling 12 year old daughter? Maybe a copy for my hubby too? hmmm…. I love this!

  75. Aunt Jo

    Been there and done that on all points.

    For #5 I got a box and anything left out was placed in the box. Finally fed up, I decided they were going to pay me for the pleasure of picking up their crap. Need shoes for school and they’re in the box, you’d better come up with the money or go barefoot. It’s not like there wasn’t at least a dollar in change laying on the floor in their room at any given time anyway. They soon learned and now I’m broke again. :)

  76. sb

    I think I wrote that in my head (but not as well).

  77. Shalet

    I’m printing this out and taping it to the television! Perfect!

  78. Michele

    I so want you to give it to them! On pink paper! And that you’ll be downstairs if they want to discuss it! It’s a lesson, damnit.

    You know – that I could totally steal it and use it on my own kids.

  79. Lynne


  80. ImpostorMom

    Is their such a position for wives because my husband could use some of those lessons lately?


  81. Pann

    I’m with you on this stuff! Very funny way to express it

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