Please forgive me! I should wait to write a story like this, but I cannot withhold the agony and the embarrassment another minute. So many young people come to me whining about the way they are treated by their parents. "My mother doesn’t understand me! My dad is always after me." I confess to quietly listen and offer condolences while knowing I have far bigger burdens to unload.

Your parents cannot possibly be the worst parents in the world. If an award were given for "World’s Worst Mother," the winner would be ... (Can you keep a secret?) ... my MOM! (Now I’m in trouble!)

Please don’t laugh! Every word of what I am about to say is true. I have evidence. As a struggling seven year old, I needed a certain toy car to add to my fleet. The collection would simply not be complete without this particular little car. I wanted it. I had to have it! When that very car appeared before my eyes in a department store, I took it. It was the natural thing to do, but not for my mother.

My mother saw me holding the car and rather than congratulate me for being sneaky and thrifty, she opened her mouth in horror, immediately spanked me and then had the audacity to make me immediately return the car to the store, pay for it and then apologize to the owner.

Can you believe that I had to endure such cruelty?

The damage to my emotional self-esteem was beyond measure. To this very day, when I see something I want or need to have in a store, I feel compelled to pay for it. Oh, the shame of it all.

Wait there is more. Here are the top ten reasons why my Mom qualifies for World’s Worst Mother.

  1. For making me eat green vegetables with nearly every meal. I now enjoy good health.
  2. For insisting on the use of a foreign language..."Yes, sir and Please." I practice good manners.
  3. For spanking me when I was out of line. I learned respect for the law and officials who carry it out.
  4. For requiring me to occasionally do chores. I developed good work habits and a drive to succeed.
  5. For yelling, "Clean up your pig-pen for a room." (Oops! I still have that nasty habit.)
  6. For forcing me to take typing in High School. I now have an enduring practical skill.
  7. For nagging me to continue practicing the piano. I appreciate good music.
  8. For encouraging me to read. She inspired a lifelong desire to learn and grow.
  9. For dragging me to church each Sunday. My mother allowed God to literally change my life.
  10. When I wanted to be left alone during a difficult divorce she persisted in helping to care for me and my children. Now, I more clearly understand the true meaning of love.

There you have it. The evidence is overwhelming. She consistently refused to allow me to do whatever I wanted, and because of it ... well, I am eternally grateful. My mother deserves to be honored as the "Worlds Worst Mother" and I praise God for her influence on my life and the lives of my children.

I am eternally grateful.
Solomon wrote about women like my Mother in Proverbs:

"Her children arise and call her blessed: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise ..." (Proverbs 31:28-31)

Have you given an award to your mother lately?

On this Mothers Day, pay tribute to the one who loved you through all your triumphs as well as your mistakes and helped to mold your attitude and philosophy of life. Forgive her mistakes, celebrate her triumphs, and honor her life and memory. May God bless everyone this special Mother’s Day.

Questions to Challenge:

  • How does your Mom qualify for the World’s Worst Award?
  • What influence has she had on you and your lifestyle?
  • Was your mom less than ideal? Maybe it’s time to forgive her and even learn from her mistakes.
  • How are you remembering your Mom? If she is alive...take her to lunch or send her a special card. If she has passed away...share her memory with a close friend.