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"World's Meanest Mom" Speaks Out!

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Jane Hambleton sold her son's car after finding alcohol in it...and now she's our hero.

This morning in "Moms Are Talking About...,"we told you about "World's Meanest Mom" Jane Hambleton, an Iowa mother who placed this ad in her local paper to sell her 19-year-old son's car after she discovered alcohol inside:

OLDS 1999 Intrigue
Totally uncool parents who obviously don't love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for 3 weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet.

Don't you just love it? We sure do, so this morning, we called the "World's Meanest Mom" to get more details.

Mom•Logic: Tell me about your son, Steven...

Jane: My son is the world's most awesome kid. He's a good student. I never had any trouble with him. Usually, he's the designated driver when he goes out.

Mom•Logic: When did you buy the car for him, and what were the rules or conditions?

Jane: When we bought the car, we told him no alcohol in vehicle--and he broke that rule, so that's why we had to sell it. We bought him the car over Thanksgiving, so he only had it for three weeks when I found the alcohol. We bought him a 1999 Olds Intrigue. It was an awesome car.

Mom•Logic: What prompted you to search the car? Take us through the snooping process...

Jane: I had a feeling--that Mom thing--that something wasn't quite right with the car. Steven seemed to be acting a little weird, so when he wasn't around I went through it. I snooped... The car was parked in the driveway and I just felt something was odd, so while he was in the shower, I went outside and looked through it. I looked under the seat and the the first thing I found was a bottle of alcohol.

Mom•Logic: What was your reaction?

Jane: Immediately, I was irate. I went into the house and when he came out of the shower, I told him that there's no more car. He told me he didn't know what it was, it wasn't his, it must be someone else's, someone else put it there, blah blah blah... I told him the car has gotta go!

Mom•Logic: What prompted you to place the creative ad in the newspaper?

Jane: He's in college three hours away, and the thought of him driving in the car with alcohol...I can't have that worry. I don't want him to get hurt or hurt someone else. I am a copywriter for seven radio stations, so I kind of know how to get attention with words. I knew I didn't want this to be a basic 'car
for sale' ad. I thought it would get someone's attention, and they'd actually buy the car. There is obviously nothing wrong with the car, but the kid made a bad decision. It wasn't a lemon, and I didn't want people to question why he'd be selling a car he only owned for three weeks.

Mom•Logic: What type of reaction did you receive after posting the ad in the classifieds section?

Jane: I was starting to think I am overworked--no other parent would do this. I questioned myself on why I always take it an extra step and why I am the "Meanest Mom." But then, parents called me and said, "We're cutting this ad out and showing it to our kids and telling them that this is you if you do this"... they wished their own parents had done this to them. I received calls from hospitals, emergency rooms, nurses, doctors, lawyers, parents, all saying, "Way to go! You're doing the right thing no matter how mad your son is." That helps a lot.

Mom•Logic: What was Steven's reaction after you told him you were selling the car? And his reaction to the ad?

Jane: He was really mad we sold the car. There went his freedom, his ability to take off and go to college, and he was understandably upset. His reaction to article in paper--well, he was really upset about that. I told him I was sorry and didn't realize it was going to sky rocket like this. I remember when I was 19, and if I messed up and it was in the paper the next day...I would have been mortified. I apologized and he accepted, and he still loves his mama.

Mom•Logic: What have you and your family learned through all of this?

Jane: Even though this makes my son look bad (or maybe it makes him look
average or normal), he's a very responsible, intelligent, and nice young man. I said to Steven, "Maybe this is your purpose in life. You may have saved a young boy or girl who was going to get behind the wheel and drink, and now they won't because they were threatened by their own parents after reading the ad." I have received calls from all over the world.

Mom•Logic: Why call yourself the "Meanest Mom" in the ad?

Jane: He says I am the World's Meanest Mom. It's what he thinks, for no other reason aside from the car.

Mom•Logic: What kind of Mom are you?

Jane: I am a strict Mom, but not overly strict. As a Mom, I am a very fair Mom. I have two kids--Steven, and a 15-year-old daughter. I never give them a punishment unless they know what's going to happen beforehand. There are consequences--they can make any decision they want, as long as they know what the consequences will be, and I always follow through. I am surprised Steven has done this because he knows I always follow through, and so does my daughter. She's also surprised he did this, and she thinks it was pretty dumb. She takes me more seriously, or at least, she seems to.

Mom•Logic: Do you plan on buying him another car?

Jane: If he wants another car, he'll have to come up with money. I don't see that happening because he's in college and doesn't have a job. He's a freshman, majoring in business.

Mom•Logic: Did you sell the car, and if so, to who?

Jane: I sold the car for waaaaaay less than we should have. We just wanted it out of the driveway. It was a sore subject every time we looked at it. Believe it or not, a couple bought it for their 19-year-old son. It was kind of a coincidence. They knew why I was selling it, and I told their son on the way out, "Don't drink in the car, and if you do, don't hide it under the front seat!"

Mom•Logic: After finding the alcohol, what did you do with it?

Jane: Truthfully... I drank it, and it was awesome! It was called pomegranate fusion--and the next time I go to a bar, I am going to order it!

next: Sail Alert!
25 comments so far | Post a comment now
ian March 7, 2008, 3:59 PM

that mom and anyone else who agrees with her is so dumb, that mother is only thinking of herself and is really selfish.

Teenager February 16, 2009, 7:55 PM

If you want a person to respect the rules, the PUNISHMENT SHOULD FIT THE CRIME.

While I do think selling an entire car after one offense rather than just suspension of driving privileges is pretty strict, I don’t really care all that much. He’s underage and they made an agreement.

But unless it was agreed upon beforehand that his mother could go through his car like that without permission, what his mother did was very wrong.

But the worse was humiliating him in public. Now is that fair? (At least for a first offense?) No. Not at all. The punishment should fit the crime and common decency should have been employed.

Anonymous January 25, 2010, 2:54 PM


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