I am a 'Tough' Mum.


I see so many posts from parents, their children crying over their dinner because they wanted it on a different coloured plate. Or them dressing in something crazy because they refused to wear what their parents told them to. And I just don't understand.

Being a mum to two mischievous toddlers, I've experienced my fair share of tantrums and meltdowns. I've had plenty of arguments with my three year old about why she has to get dressed. Witnessed so many dramatic falls to the floor it's laughable. And don't even get me started on the sibling squabbles.

But do they ever win over me? Their mum. The one in change.


If Indie complained her food was on the wrong coloured plate? Tough. She gets what she's given, and she either eats it or not. I never make them a different meal, or change their dinnerware.

I always decide on their outfits, but if they don't like it? Tough. I want them to look presentable, and make sure I dress them to suit the weather. I do give Indie more choice nowadays, but if what she wants to wear isn't suitable, she doesn't wear it.

If either of them are continuously naughty or misbehave, they will get treats taken away from them. I very much stand by my threats (they're useless otherwise aren't they?), and I think it definitely proves a point. If Indie doesn't behave when we're out there's no way we're going to the toy shop, even if we said we would.

Am I a mean mummy? 

You probably all think so by now.

But it works. They know who's in charge. They know arguing and screaming will only end up with them in trouble. And at the end of the day, we're all just doing what works for us aren't we.

And if I'm judged by others for parenting this way?



  1. I'm the same, with three could you imagine the carnage there would be if I wasn't!! I think having two close together as well it is important you can't let them walk all over you or they'll be in for a big old shock when they get to school and nursery!

  2. Oh gosh, I totally relate to this post Emily, I'm exactly the same and I know my parents hate that I'm so strict with the girls and I'm sure other people do too. And yet the same people tell me how incredibly well behaved they are as if It's pure luck?? Drives me mad!

  3. I am completely the same. I just don't get it. I am the adult and therefore I win. Yes there are times you just let things slide a little but if they don't want their food cos it is on the wrong plate then tough, go hungry or eat it!!! M often asks to wear something completely inappropriate for the occasion - shorts and t-shirt in snow, but if we are going out she gets no option but to change what she is wearing. If they don't want what you give for dinner, and want something else, tough!

  4. I'm starting to become this way and I think it's important actually. I'm all for giving her choices and I will give her another meal or let her wear what she wants as long as she won't freeze but I am starting to be stricter in terms of following through on any consequences etc. She needs to trust that I know best and learn to listen and do as she's told, more for safety reasons than anything else, she runs off and is super-flighty! We can't not have her on reins, it's a nightmare! So no, I think it's fine to be a 'tough mum' as you're just laying down ground rules for their own good and with their best interests at heart. I wish more people would be truthful about not letting their kids run rings around them tbh! x

  5. I think in our home we pick our battles. Some will be won easier with mum than dad. Some will be easier depending on what day of the week it is. But the children do know our boundaries. I don't think there's anything wrong with doing what works for your family- from either side of the colour spectrum.

  6. I really admire you for this Emily and wish I was a bit tougher too. I think I often take the easy way out but kids need to know whose in charge and I think it's a better way to be in the long run xx

  7. I agree to some degree. My son helps me to pick out his outfit for the day as I want him to be independent and learn to make choices. That said I am the adult and he doesn't get to wear anything unsuitable. As for coloured plates, food etc. I am the mum, he gets what he is given. If he doesn't like it he goes without. Simple. We are now at a point where he is testing boundaries and so now we do start to take things away from him for poor behaviour. I wouldn't say that it is being tough, it is setting rules in place and all children need that.

  8. Completely agree with this, I am always getting compliments about their behaviour as if its happened by magic. Today my eldest has been sent home from school with a headache, she is not having her tablet or phone and will be resting in her room for the day, tough love never did me any harm

  9. I feel like this about parenting sometimes, not all the time as I do totally cave sometimes. But most of the time it's that way or not at all, bit of tough love xx

  10. YES!!!!! Yes to this!! My girls like to fight over who has whatever colour plate at breakfast time but they get what they are given and tough luck if they don't like it. If we are staying in the house they can wear what they like, same as I look like a slob too, but if we go out then I choose and they know that I am in charge. It is good to set boundaries and it drives me bonkers as a teacher when I get a child that has been allowed to do whatever they like up to that point as they have no respect for adults. Gah. Good for you, love this post x

  11. I love your no-nonsense honesty! I'm a bit soft at times, is like to be more like you! Xx

  12. This is me. James is much more of a 'threaten but never follow it through' kind of parent and it drives me mad! Lily walks all over him because she knows if he threatens to take something away etc he'll never actually do it! x


If you have any questions or enquiries email me at emilyandindiana@gmail.com or tweet me at @emilyandindiana