Photo Credit: K. Wittcamp/Getty Images
Once upon a time, my Ways I'll Raise My Children list was a long one. It included the healthiest of meals, the finest of manners, and exposure to the best that life has to offer. Like, on a daily basis.
Yes, before I had my first kid, parenthood seemed to be a simple mix of love and creativity. Why were my friends with kids so stressed? Didn't they care that they had no social life? What did she mean by "I just want to take a shower"? Everyone needed to chill out (and take showers!) as far as I was concerned.
Wasn't I cute? These days, my Ways I’ll Raise My Children list is down to one bullet point: Do whatever works best at the time. Now I know that parenthood is anything but simple. I'm overjoyed to see so many women in our iVillage community who have gone through this process with me! Check out the ways we used to judge other parents…and consider this our mea culpa to all the mamas and daddies of the world.
"I was judgmental about a lot of things, but the one that jumps in my head was how uncomfortable I was with moms nursing in public places...only to do exactly that same thing once I had my own baby!" -- bailarina2005 on our message boards
"I was judging their parenting skills, their attitude, their noisy children, etc. Well, now somebody is judging me, that is for sure." -- Pavla on facebook
"I was all gung-ho for homemade food prior. That went down the tube fast! Maybe if there were 36 hours in a day. Now I'm more of a head-nodder or a, 'I've got one of those at home' type moms. If someone has an unruly child, I just look at the mom/dad and shake my head, 'Dude. I know. I know.'" -- ubergeek on our message boards
"Before I had kids I had this vision in my head of how wonderfully behaved they would be and how peaceful and serene our house would be. There are days when I end up at the store, Cheerios stuck to my shirt, my son screaming in the cart, and all I want to do is get out of there with my gallon of milk and sanity in hand!" -- aspenwillow on our message boards
"Letting your kid go out in public with boots on in the summer and costumes other than Halloween? Amazing how cute A. was in his Zorro boots, and E. always looks flawless in her Batman rain boots that are three sizes too big!" -- Felicity on facebook
"I am so guilty of judging pre-kids. Four kids and a grandchild later I can tell you that there are a few words that will never leave my mouth again and they are: 'If that were my kid…' or 'My kid would never…'" -- karla1842 on our message boards
"I definitely never thought my kids would watch as much TV as they do -- and I'm guilty for judging others (pre-kids) who used it as a crutch so often. Now, "post-kid", I often give a Baby Einstein DVD as a gift to new parents with a message that says, "This will allow you to take a shower!!" -- shortstuff333 on our message boards
"Before: No kids at weddings? Thank goodness! Now: If kids aren't invited, we are not going. This is a family affair!" -- Maureen on facebook
"Man! How many times did I say 'Where's that kids mom?' [Then] I watched my kids flow into independence, and how they act one way around me and totally different when I wasn't around." -- g-mama17 on our message boards
"Screaming children on planes, or anywhere for that matter. As a parent you can try and try to calm them, distract them, entertain them, but if they really want to have a temper tantrum, they are sure going to have a temper tantrum. It still makes me sweat for the parent (or me!) but I know it's not (usually) the parent's fault." -- Meredith on facebook
"No way was I going to have a picky kid. He was going to eat whatever I put in front of him. Well, no dice. Don’t underestimate a kid's ability to put on a hunger strike if he objects to whatever edibles are in front of him." -- delphinia07 on our message boards
"I didn't use to judge them but I didn't really appreciate their hard work and sacrifices. Now, I understand. That's why whenever I see a mom, I try to make her feel special." – Hadia on facebook
Aw, thanks, Hadia! We’d love to hear from you, too -- were you judgmental of other parents before you became one yourself? Leave a comment, or join the conversation here.
Follow Jessica on Twitter @JessicaSDukes