"Mom on strike"

Canadian mother, fed up with misbehaving kids, goes on strike.

Published September 7, 2006 10:07PM (EDT)

Instead of refereeing another fight, cleaning up another mess or cooking another wolfed-down, unappreciated meal, Roxanne Toussaint, single mother of three, pitched a tent in her front yard and set up a sign reading "Mom on strike." Onion article? Au contraire. CBC News reports that "the final straw was when the three [kids] went to clean out an upstairs room for a boarder and put all the junk in the hallway." Toussaint, understandably, told the News, "I'm tired of the bickering and I'm quite tired of talking and not being heard or listened to at all."

Since she went on strike, neighbors have expressed their support, and the only negative attention she has received is from one radio host who said she was acting "irresponsibly" and the Child Aid Society should be called in, the News reports. Toussaint, however, disagrees, saying she "doesn't need the support of the children's organization, she needs the support of her children." It seems surprising, in fact, that she has not been the subject of more backlash -- Crazy Mom Won't Clean Up After Kids, or Mother's Revenge.

Toussaint says that the strike will continue until the house is cleaned by her kids, ages 14, 10 and 8. In the meantime, she has crossed the picket line to make a couple of lunches and feed the dogs. What do readers think? Is there a better way to handle kids run amok? Or is enough enough? Either way, Toussaint has certainly called attention to the very real labor of parenthood, work that is often seen, for better or worse, as merely what is expected.

By Sarah Goldstein

Sarah Goldstein is an editorial fellow at Salon.

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