To All The Parents I Judged Before I Was A Parent: I’m Sorry

In humor, motherhood, parenthood on November 26, 2013 at 9:07 pm

To all the parents I judged before I was a parent: I’m Sorry!



I remember all the times I gave parents a secret dirty look.

“Oh why is that kid not wearing shoes or socks? It’s freezing out!”

Listening to another tantrum in Target—on karmic end, I never gave a nasty look or made any bad comments. I usually felt bad for the kid—“Oh boy, someone’s having a bad day. I’m so glad I don’t have a kid.”

“Jesus is that kid a brat! Parents these days. They spoil kids, you know?”

I was a regular old “know-it-all” yet I had barely parented a plant.

While I wasn’t as obnoxious as half the people I deal with each day in public now as a parent, I still thought I knew enough.

I thought I knew enough to do it better than the poor son of a bitch who was trying to desperately get her tantruming son to mellow out.

I thought I knew better and couldn’t imagine why a couple had to bring their obnoxious 2 year-old to the romantic restaurant on the same night I was having a date night.

To be fair, it was a poor choice on their end, but sometimes you just need to get out.

So, Miss Know-it-all, that’s me if you haven’t been paying attention, now gets to be that poor son of a bitch with her kid in public.

“I’m exercising! I’m exercising! Whee!”

A little blonde tour de force of approximately 26 pounds and 34 inches is twirling, rolling, and jumping around in the front entranceway of a busy Manhattan restaurant.

“Hey, come here. Stop it. You need to put on your coat.”

“But mommy, I’m exercising!”

Richard Simmons couldn’t have done it better. Except for he would have avoided rolling around on a dirty floor and twirling in the way of a bunch of people.

I wrangle my kid outside in the freezing cold, with no coat on.

The ghost of my Know-it-all past echoes in my head: “Why does that kid not have any socks on?”

As the hostess helps me out of the restaurant, I tell her, “I swear I’m not a bad mom, but she won’t put her coat on.”

The hostess who is probably 18 years-old smiles, and is probably deciding on proper birth control methods as I try to make myself look better.

My favorite moment though had to be at a local Starbucks. Everyone is nice and quiet and enjoying their lattes and hot chocolate, while I sit with my daughter and my friend.

She decides it would be awesome to flash people and scream, “Boobies, boobies, boobies!”

I at least got a laugh out of that one.

Sometimes I have to try not to laugh when people say, “Who is that singing?” or “Who just screamed?”

The answer would be most empathetically, my kid, each and every time.

Of course, sometimes it’s not so cute.

It was really awesome to be in Victoria’s Secret, just trying to purchase a bra, when my kid got sick of waiting in the line. A woman and man in their early twenties stopped to tell me how cute my kid was.

“She’s so cute! How do you ever tell her no? You’re so cute,” the woman says, staring into my cranky kid’s face who at this point just wanted to go to the Disney store and had had it up to here with looking at bras, panties, and other sexy things she has no use for yet.


Never, ever.

My cranky kid looks at this lady with a scowl and says, “No. Mommy, I want out! I wanna go! I wanna go to Disney.”

“We’re almost there. Just one more person to be rung up, and then it’s me.”

“Sorry,” I tell the girl, “She’s usually friendly, but she’s cranky today,” which is true.

“No mommy! I’m going to hit you,” my kid says.

She likes to warn you before she does something bad. It’s like a preview of what’s to come.

And yup, she smacks me in the leg as I’m paying for a bra and some girl is going on about how cute my little brat, I mean, darling is.

It was enough to crush my motherhood psyche forever.

So to all the parents who I tisk-tisked and judged, “I’m sorry.”

Trust me; I’m getting enough of my share now.



A mother who knows that as good as her kid is, sometimes she’s just plain bitchy like all toddlers and preschoolers can be.

  1. great post — a good friend who had kids before us said to us (when we had our kids) that her greatest lesson as a mom was never to judge others for how they parent

  2. Ah this post, so good:). Very well written. It confirms even further that I will not be doing the kiddo thing, probably ever. I’ve been decided on that for many years and it’s always nice to read things like this. I’m sure I’d be a great parent, but how can I compete when 3rd graders are watching porn on their phone at recess? Why would I want to subject a child to so many other kids AND their parents clinging to their new iPhones, iPod, iwtfEVER. Of course I wouldn’t buy them a phone that young, but knowing my genes they’d just go down to Walgreens, buy one and hide it from me.
    Keep up the poooooosts and don’t stop doing what you love.

    • Thank you so much!
      If you want a kid, I wouldn’t let the rest of this crazy world deter you, but if you don’t want one, don’t do it. It’s a lot of work. Plenty of my friends are happy without kids!
      And Jesus, porn in third grade?
      Oy vey! I think I just had a mini heart attack. Then again, when I assisted in a 2nd grade class I had a kid tell a girl to suck his d*#k.
      Yeah. Sad indeed!

      Thanks so much for reading 🙂

    • Actually sir, I encourage you to reconsider your decision, kids are a bless that no is aware of but a parent.

  3. Good post, although you noted some of the bad, the good always outweighs the bad in raising kids. They’re human just like us…nice job.

  4. Oh wow you poor thing but yes just how it goes sometimes with us parents. Stay strong! Xx

  5. I can truly relate ! after having my 3 boys (9,11&15)

  6. Gotta love kids. You should know, I’m going to be celibate now.

  7. Only when our own kids start judging us do we realize how we had judged our parents. Good post!

  8. I think we have all been there. I know I have. He’s only 12 weeks old and iknow there’s more to come but I’ve already need therapy after a traumatising shopping experience.

  9. been there done that. hang in there.

  10. haha I had to laugh at this because it’s me! I fly a lot for work and those parents that have those screaming children that used to annoy me……..I now have one myself. I have that son that screams hysterically on a plane. So much fun. he is a legend though!

  11. So true! Enjoyed reading 🙂

  12. Reblogged this on Create your own Reality and commented:
    Love it! I did the same to parents feeding their kids in McDonald’s. Don’t know what I’d have done without it when my Boys were toddlers.

  13. Love this! I did EXACTLY what you did prior to my granddaughter. Now I get it….the ultimate karmic payback!

    Thanks for this,

    Jane at

  14. Enjoy your children, no matter what. We have three and they grew up very fast. Now it is enjoy the grandchildren.

  15. Parenting for sure is not an easy task!

  16. Great post! Found you on freshly pressed and I must say you deserve it!

  17. This made me laugh out loud and remember (almost fondly) the always expected meltdown at the candy/toy laden check-out lines with my own two “darling” kiddos. They made (and I) made it out of their toddler years largely unscathed and without frostbite. Now they are teenagers. You’ll have adventures to write years to come…I know I do! Thanks for sharing!!

  18. Welcome to the humiliating world of parenting. All the things you said you’d never do is now part of your mommy repertoire. Wait till you hear yourself say something that eerily echoes through your brain … and it’s because what you’ve said sounds strangely like something your mother said to you!

  19. Nicely done. Just about every good parent could relate to your post. I cringe at my pre-kid parental judgments. It has taught me not to judge on all levels. Good stuff!

  20. This is great! Thank you for giving me a good laugh and kudos to you for being an excellent mother who enjoys her children even when they act up!

  21. Reblogged this on

  22. I love, love, LOVE your article! I am a single mother of a three year old and before I had my son, I judged other mother’s who I thought, ‘couldn’t control’ their children. Now, I’ve realized that parenting isn’t about control. It’s just as much of a learning experience for the parent as the child.

    • Good for you mama for doing it on your own. It is a hard job, and I hope you get a lot of love from your son! It’s hard being a mommy 🙂
      Thank you for reading!

  23. love this article ! We’ve all been there as moms ..and looking back as bitchy teenagers who judged moms with bad kids ..LOL but i love the way you put it .. and the point of view.. great post!

  24. I’m currently that girl you once were – wondering where the kid’s sock is and if he or she is having a bad day or just had parents who struggled to say no. As a newlywed and someone considering having kids some day, it’s encouraging to see that those thoughts don’t necessarily go away – you just learn to understand them.

    And I also want to apologize for my mother for being like your daughter now – I also warned her before I did something bad. Mine was normally “Mommy, I’m going to go hide in the clothes rack!”

  25. Loved this post! I guess I am “lucky” (??) that my two boys, born 15 months apart were usually well behaved in public and saved all their best “brattiness” for home. While I sometimes miss those days when they were preschoolers I cannot tell you how great it is to be in a crowded store and hear some child having a meltdown and being able to say “yay, its not my kid!!!” Its a wonderful moment in motherhood.

  26. so funny – thanks for sharing

  27. Hey, it happens to the best of us. But in the end of the day, we all love our little brats. Hang in there.

  28. I remember the days of judging both as a mother and prior to having children. I believe it goes back to the idea of if we haven’t walked in their shoes, we have no idea what their journey has looked like, yesterday or today. Great post. Thank you for sharing.

  29. great post. it’s a form of humility to admit a mistake.
    This is somehow like when I was still single and I was not in favor of some decisions of my parents. They always told me, someday you’ll be a parent. An they were right!

    I’m new also in blogging about parenting, I hope you might have some thoughts about mine..

  30. Oh this post made me think back! My daughter used to be a total terror in the store. She would be “normal” until we got to the store and then morph into a different creature that looked like my daughter but acted nothing like her. Thankfully it was just a phase and she out grew it. LOL Hang in there!

  31. I had a friend who would act like her kid belonged to me when he was misbehaving in public.

  32. I feel your pain…however my daughter is 16 now and full of rolling eyes and…know it all comments about her teachers and just how tedious and oppressive and worst of all ,patronising grown ups are……who knows…you may prefer that to your kid rolling around in the entrance of Starbucks ??!! ( good luck)

  33. Reblogged this on benjuggler and commented:
    Parenting posts are as fun to read as they are painful to remember !!!

  34. As a newly married woman who plans on having children someday, this was a funny post for me to read for I am guilty of judging parents. I’m glad i’m not the only one. Stuff like this makes me look forward to parenting because I know that at the end of the day, kids are freakin’ awesome.

  35. Reblogged this on Bologna Foot and commented:
    But sure which I like better – I’m going to hit you off the flashing outbreak. I can completely relate.

  36. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Welcome to the human race along with every one of us!

  37. hehe this was funny! I’ve always loved kids and think about when I will have one of my own, yet that irritation always kicks in when a kid is relentlessly crying on a train or plane. Then there is always that ‘you’ll only know when you have a kid of your own’ remark my mum always gives me when I’m being a little inconsiderate. Although I rebel at that time, thinking back it makes sense. It is a big responsibility to bring up a child and kudos to you for doing so!

  38. This is so spot on that I often tell my nephews that I am going to be around long enough to see you suffer from the arrogance of your youth.

  39. haha this is so true for all of us!! i love it!

  40. IKR! can only hope I am alive to hear my own kids say this.

  41. Great post! So right on. I used to judge parents too…obviously before I had kids! I remember my thing was dirty car seats. Or dirty noses on kids. Now I have two boys who have runny noses all winter! I can’t keep up. And car seats!! Ha!! Full of food abs chocolate. Always chocolate!!

  42. Great post! I’m pretty sure the lesson I learned as a parent was for every single thing I judged some other parent for when I was a non-parent, I would end up with a child that does that same behavior, ten fold. I have now learned to shut my mouth when a potential criticism may escape. I am now the queen B of birth control examples. Now we as mothers need to ban together and sip wine as we share our horror stories rather then sharing gossip! 🙂

  43. Loved this! I know exactly how you feel! Sometimes I want to just fall on the floor and cry when my three year old is throwing a fit in the store and everyone is giving me that look. Yep, it’s like, that’s me the lady that can’t control her child, seesh! 🙂 Thanks again its great to not be alone!

  44. Geez…………. yes your are me, I just having got that far yet. Mine is 13 months and she is slowly developing a personality that is going to be to much for me to handle. We don’t even do restaurants because the little bugger won’t eat ANYTHING!!! I feel your pain and I pray I won’t have to go through this anytime some. My nerves are already shaky enough!

  45. My grandson has reminded me of all the things I loved about raising babies…as well as the things I didn’t love as much. But, it’s all good…at the end of the day that giant baby laugh and snotty grammie kiss as well as his running into my arms…is totally worth the epic mini-breakdown he’ll have when I tell him he can’t have another lollipop.

  46. A good post, brings back memories of pre baby days. My baby is 12 now and you never stop learning

  47. Bahaha! I love that your daughter warns you that she’s going to hit you. Oh, toddlers! Almost makes me grateful my kids are now teenagers. Almost… 🙂 Great post!

  48. Great post! I will never, ever forget my daughters first public breakdown. She is almost 4 now. Most days, I feel as if I am training to become a hostage negotiator.

  49. First of all, congrats on being featured on Freshly Pressed. Totally deserved. Second and more important, if you’re a Mom, you’re already a hero.
    Keep on rockin’!

  50. I just came across you blog and it is soooo true. Before you have kids you think of them as little puppets. You think if the parents were just stern enough they would have little perfect angels. After parenthood you realize, even great parents have those “just holding on for dear life days”. By my second child I had decided NO ONE could care for my kids unless they had some parenting experience themselves. NO matter how hard you try to be understanding unless you have cared for a child in a parental role you will never know even good kids get moody and overwhelmed.

  51. Loved this! I could totally relate, remembering the one time my son screamed his way through the supermarket. My kids are now 13 and 10, and I have to deal with THOSE attitudes in the store (mostly the 13-year-old). Karma at it’s finest, for sure! lol

  52. I laughed so much at this! Great post. I have no children, yet. But, I have dreaded the karma of my judgements will come back and haunt me.
    -Lili xx

  53. LMBO!!! I loved this piece. I had the hardest time getting my sons to remain dressed when they were younger. When my oldest was four, I took him to the doctor and they asked me to undress him. Well oops Joshua had took that day to take off his undies. He had them on when we left the house. He had them on in the car…. The nurse started cheesing and said “Well at least now we know where the batman briefs came from that are in the bathroom”. 🙂 🙂 Kids are such a joy. LOL!

  54. I have a 6-year old son with autism. So many times I find myself apologizing for his meltdowns (not tantrums– it’s not the same) and other behaviors. I’m grateful to those that express empathy, especially those that have been educators working with kids like mine, or have relatives with autism.

  55. I don’t understand you guys say you don’t Judge, RIGHT ? but when
    you come across some Thugs in the Street Do you or Do you not
    judge ? Judging is a natural Thing it comes with growing up, You know that fear or desire stuff that we all have in our heads !

  56. And the teen years are yet to come!

  57. LOL, I had my kids while I was fairly young so didn’t have much opportunity to judge others before, but I had listened to my boss judge parents before his child was born, and of course, when I got the news that his wife was pregnant, I sat there quietly (smuggly) because I knew what he was in for soon. I’ve never heard him curse another parent since. Great article.

  58. What a lovely post. My greatest fear is of becoming a parent and my kid, who I will probably have such high hopes for, turning out to be a little tyrant. Haha. In my head, I have this image of a sweet angelic little girl or boy but I’m sure that will be far from the reality, especially since waywardness seems to run through the blood of children.

  59. Girl do i get it, with four children embarrasment like no other has come with each experience. but gotta love the little boggers hot mess n all.

  60. Want to have lunch with my brother? lol

  61. Hysterical!! Love this one!!! I too was very judgmental and now that I have a 5 4 and 2 year old I am lucky when I can leave a store and DYFS is not meeting me at my doorstep when I get home !
    I like to have my single childless kids babysit so I can have a date night…It is truly the best form of birth control that I have found thus far!

  62. Reblogged this on Simply Supermom and commented:
    I had to share this. I read it the other day and wanted to roll my eyes just a little … until I realized I am that parent with the temper tantrum throwing kid and I STILL give those looks to not only parents with unruly children but even to myself as I am carrying my overly cranky new born through Target, trying to soothe her and finish my shopping while profusely apologizing to everyone I am slowing down. This begs the question, why do I care what complete stingers think? Why do I care if caring for my child’s needs slows them down by 5 minutes? And why do I continue to see that dirty glare not just from others by also from myself???

  63. Great post! I’m guilty of the same crime. Now I get the dirty looks instead and when that happens I’m thinking ‘karma’s a bitch, your turn will come’ 😁

  64. I am there now with my little “darling” lol is two years old and can turn a simple grocery trip into a nightmare. So now instead of judging I empathize for parents who have it going on worse that day.

  65. Simply lovely and so true. I’ve been known to say “please stop, you’re embarrassing mommy”, which leads to more quiet looks that could burn a hold in my head. 🙂

  66. Funny and oh so TRUE! I have three daughters and I try to avoid taking them in public it at all possible!

  67. I believe every new parent has this happen to them. Honestly, you don’t know till you have your own. I have a preschooler & a almost 3 month old and I know this too shall pass! Those moments don’t last forever, but oh do they happen. haha. 🙂

  68. I see children that ‘misbehave’ differently now since a friend of mine discovered that her son has asperges and is at times uncontrollable …

  69. I can totally relate. Somehow my daughter behaves better in public than when she’s home. So the occasional times she throws a tantrum in public, my husband and I gets a shock. Thank God that strangers still find her adorable (>.<)"

  70. lmao OH, I’ve been there. And am still there often. I totally judged other moms when their kids acted up. I have to admit, even though I have 3 (11yo with special needs, 2 yo, and a 1 yo) it still bothers me when the parents don’t even try to defuse the situation

  71. I still don’t have kids so I am sure this is all something I have to look forward too. Such a great post.

  72. This post is so funny yet so very true. I don’t have any kids of my own just yet but I defintiely know the feeling of mis judging some one esle parenting skills. Lol my 5 year old niece is just like your daughter she gets a kick out of blurting things out loud. Oh and nice title it grabbed my attention.

  73. great post! I think everyone without kids does the judge mental thing at least once or twice. It’s only when you have then you understand, and see the sympathetic looks more than the judging ones.

  74. […] all the time like many of us attained to in her twenties is a baffling goal when you’re chasing down a toddler who is screaming, “I’m exercising,” while doing some sort of drugged Richard […]

  75. I feel your pain.. I was heading to the shops with my four-year-old twins in the backseat of the car. My little boy said ‘Mummy, I don’t like you, bu that’s OK because Eva likes you (his twin sister) I like daddy.’ He also said it 3 times just to sure I got the message.
    Well that took the wind out of my sails!

  76. Although mine are all grown up, and I now have a grand daughter, I laughed so hard, because I have gone back to that person. Yes. Yes I dare admit it. The problem is societal pressures. If we punish, it’s child abuse, if you don’t then you are a terrible parent. I say everyone keep their noses in their own business so parents can do their jobs. Thanks for the laugh.

  77. Actually, I approve parents who ignore kids who throw tantrums. Throwing tantrums is a pres-schooler’s way of controlling their parents. By giving in or hushing them, parents are actually spoiling their kids.

  78. True story! I was the same way, then I had a toddler. She’s a mess sometimes!

  79. That is hilarious! I have an almost 2 year old son and I feel the same way as you.

  80. God gave kids a book before they are born, It’s called “How to exhaust the shit out of your parents and get Everything you ever wanted” Some have really taken their time to read it.

  81. […] I think that was a bad choice, you know” at 2.5 years old…and notifies me, “Mommy, I’m going to scream now,” I know she has the blood of independence, rebellion, and freewill that will only make for […]

  82. Ha! Some interesting points in there. But I can assure as a mother myself, my judgements on other parents are even harsher than yours were as a childless woman.

  83. My three-year old daughter got a double dose of temper–both her mother and myself were temperamental as children–so when she blows up and stomps around with her ‘dark cloud face’, I stop her and ask why she ‘s so angry. She scowls at me and screams, “I’m not ANGRY, I’m SAD!”.

    God help me, I laughed out loud and made sure my hand protected my balls. Her accuracy is uncanny.

    • Too funny! Love girls 🙂

      • I love her with all my heart, but my little angel should have a button with ‘Devil Inside’. She’s also extremely precocious, trying to mingle into conversations with a ‘can you please stop talking, it’s my turn’. Sometimes I have to bite my cheeks to keep from laughing as I reprimand her…

  84. Well written, and entertaining to read! My wife and I have a baby so we are not there yet. We just have to wake up once in the middle of the night! 😉

  85. Reblogged this on Lee-Bell's in London and commented:
    Like deja vu

  86. Aww sweetie, we forgive you!

  87. Well said!!

  88. […] Of course, now I have bred a child who asks me on my rare days off, ‘Where are we going Mommy? Who are we seeing?” […]

  89. Love this! Used to be a judger myself, now I feel people doing the same thing to me when my baby refuses to wear shoes in the grocery store!

  90. […] world known as parenting. Not that I wasn’t a good teacher–I certainly was, but to the parents I judged when I was  teacher and not yet a mom, gulp, I’m sorry […]

  91. awesome. We’ve all been there.

  92. […] being raised by the heteronormative/hegemonical (not such a word I suppose) standards of the two parent heterosexual […]

  93. […] sure one or two parents  that don’t know her might think, “Oh wow, she’s just a mean kid,” but I […]

  94. Very true!
    I mean, I’m not a parent yet but whoa…I sure am amazed by everything you wrote.
    I love the way you write!
    Please follow me.

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