• Tue, Apr 2 2013

I Was A Super Judgey Parent-To-Be Sanctimommy

sanctimommyWhen I was pregnant and elbow-deep in parenting books, I was quick to formulate opinions and horribly stubborn about maintaining them. I can’t explain this phenomenon, but it really seems like those with the strongest opinions on parenting are childless folk or parents-to-be. Combine this phenomenon with my tendency to read way too many books and my appreciation of a good debate and you can imagine the kind of insufferable prick I was during those nine months.

I actually remember sitting with some of my traditional family members, gossiping about moms we knew who were harming their children permanently by “pawning them off” to strangers in daycare. How selfish to want the prestige of a job title and a career! And what kind of horrible parent would leave their child all day in one of those overcrowded, impersonal, godforsaken germ dungeons?

I was also known to rattle off statistics about the infant mortality rate in U.S. hospitals and why home birth was way totally superior to any other kind of birth scenario. Had I actually given birth yet? No. But I knew I was right. I KNEW it! Why? Because Ricki Lake and some important, smart-sounding people said so in a movie one time.

A good amount of my mommy judgment came from my childhood perception of the world. I’d heard more than enough about the importance of having mom at home for the first three years of a child’s life. Just recently my mom actually looked me square in the eye and said, “you were put on this earth to be a mother.” She meant the proverbial you, too, as in “all women.” So that’s what I grew up believing.

But I can’t blame the entirety of my judgey nature on my parents. During pregnancy I disagreed with my parents on lots of stuff, too. I criticized crib usage, talked up the benefits of babywearing and even dared to suggest that the reason my little sister is so stubborn is because she was Ferberized (left to “cry it out”) as a baby. I initially scoffed at my parents’ well-meaning gift of a cradle—they thought baby would be happy to be by herself for awhile. But I just knew that would be the first step to detachment and ensue in lifelong commitment issues and probably prostitution and a drug problem and prison time. Because Dr. Sears said something kind of like that in a book once.

Wanna know when it all started to turn? I’ll tell you: when I ate my placenta.

God, I kind of feel like I just admitted to having a third nipple or something. I can almost see half of you cringing or gagging into your sandwiches right now. I don’t blame you. I remember reading about Idina Menzel popping pills made from her placenta and thinking, EEW, what kind of Hannibal Lecter voodoo nonsense is this? Who does this?

Turns out, with a side of fava beans, placenta is quite the palatable dish. But seriously, I did eat mine—well, I swallowed small, frozen chunks of it over the course of a few days to help with postpartum bleeding and weakness. It really helped, too!

But eating my placenta was kind of a symbolic step for me, an admission that life is just one big mitigating circumstance and you have to be flexible enough to change your mind about things. And with that came the realization that judgment doesn’t do anyone good. I inadvertently pushed other women away by judging their parenting styles. Furthermore, when I came to the painful realization that some elements of attachment parenting (and other ideas I’d subscribed to) didn’t actually work for my family, I beat myself up about it.

So I’ve made a pact with myself to live and let live, for reals this time. You may do something I disagree with, like feeding your child McDonalds or requiring your child to attend church, but it’s not my place to tell you what’s right for your family. And if you want to have an intelligent discussion about it, let’s do it! I still love a healthy debate. But I’m done badmouthing and judging moms who do things I wouldn’t do.

Unless, of course, you’re beating your child or something. Then I’m going to judge the hell out of you.

(photo: Nejron Photo / Shutterstock)

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  • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

    Hahaha, this may be my fave thing ever: Wanna know when it all started to turn? I’ll tell you: when I ate my placenta.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Amanda Low

      Thank you! Bwahaha

    • http://www.facebook.com/valerisexton.jones Valeri Jones

      Amanda: Aren’t you the writer of The Baby Blues column? I only ask because of the placenta thing. I have read that having it encapsulated and taking it after birth is supposed to be really good for PPD and baby blues. After reading what I did, I thought I would try it with my next child. (I don’t think I suffered PDD, but my baby blues seemed awful.) Do you think it may have helped with PPD while you took it or no? Just curious.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Amanda Low

      Valeri, i am, and it totally helped!! Those first couple of weeks were bliss compared with my later onset of PPD. I can’t say it was just the placenta “pills” i took, because i had a great support system too, but i don’t think it was a coincidence that when my placenta supply ran out after two weeks was also when i started feeling overwhelmed and sad. I hope this helps answer your question!

    • http://www.facebook.com/valerisexton.jones Valeri Jones

      It does and thanks! The first 4 weeks of my son’s life were the hardest. I cried all the time and was a total zombie from lack of sleep. And he slept all the time, but I was always paranoid he’d stop breathing and I stayed up and watched him all day and night. I was a hot mess! Because of this, I totally sympathize with your situation. Although mine was restricted to those first weeks. My heart goes out to you!

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Amanda Low

      That sounds awful :-( I’m so sorry to hear that. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely panicked about the whole breathing thing too, but I think what you’re describing is more than the regular new parent paranoia. Fortunately, having already done the newborn thing, I bet you’ll already be a little less anxious with your next child…but if it doesn’t gross you out too much, I’d absolutely recommend the placenta thing. Not only does it help with the emotion thing, but it really is jam packed with amazing nutrients that help your body repair itself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/valerisexton.jones Valeri Jones

      Yeah, it was a little more than usual. I knew a girl whose baby had died of SIDS when my son was a newborn and it just kinda made me freak out. But what I went through is nothing compared to what some mothers face. =/

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Amanda Low

      I would have been a wreck, too, if I knew someone whose baby died of SIDS :-( When my daughter was 6 mo, I read about a complete stranger on Babycenter whose perfectly healthy 6 mo daughter suddenly died in the night and I was a mess for days. And that was a stranger…goodness, it’s amazing how this role and these hormones mess with you!

    • chickadee

      Eating my placenta might have made my stomach turn.

  • chickadee

    This makes me kind of glad that I had my first at 24…..and that placenta-eating wasn’t a ‘thing’ yet. My major concern was not letting my children be the ones who annoyed me in public, and all of my reading focused on what to do when they arrived….so T. Berry Brazelton, the What to Expect books, and of course my life list of things my mother did that I would not do.

    That last source has been pretty helpful, I have to say.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      I LOVE Brazelton and Penelope Leach

    • chickadee

      My only problem with Leach was that she was pretty anti-childcare, which wasn’t relevant to my situation until my youngest was 2.5, but it still hit the traditional image of mothers that made me a little uncomfortable. But I always loved Brazelton, especially when he pointed out that educational computer time was no better for toddlers than tv.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Amanda Low

      My mom raves about Penelope Leach. Maybe that explains why my mom’s so anti-childcare! Well, that and being brought up by fundie Christian parents in a tiny little town in the south…

    • chickadee

      So were my parents! Especially my dad, although I adored him….he just has this attitude towards motherhood that it was sanctified and special….fit right in with the Catholicism and the veneration of Mary. I just bit my tongue.

  • Cee

    I’m childFREE and I do have strong opinions. I highly doubt I have stronger opinions than parents themselves based on the passionate opinions I read on parenting blogs (better term than mommy blogs, yes?). After all, I’m not personally raising children (though professionally it seems like I am) and constantly worrying if every step I take leads to something that may alter the way they see things. I’m also not eating placenta and using terms like momma bear, yet I’m child free and feel my opinion counts…so equally wacky?

    I don’t think parents that feed their children McDonalds are evil, if its an occasional thing. Also, I work for in a VERY poor, often illiterate, constantly working community and I know they feed their children fast food often. And, I don’t think those parents are evil either. They are just hustling like crazy to make ends meet and when a burger costs a dollar…well.

    • Kermibug

      I’m also childfree, and I feel like I am in a similar boat with you. Growing up, my mom ran a daycare out of our house. She loved working with kids. If a parent couldn’t pay, she just had them come in, on a day off, and help with one activity a month. As I got older, I became more and more involved with the daycare, so I’ve had experience with a lot of income groups and education levels. I love working with kids, I just do not feel like I would be a good parent with my lifestyle. I don’t necessarily walk around spurting off my knowledge and opinions like some childfree people, but when asked, I do give advice, and I feel like my opinion should count a little bit.

    • Cee

      True. I love working with children and spend a lot of time around them. Now that I seek new employment, it always has something to do with children. I love and care for them and wish to help them in every way I can, whether it is through the educational aspect or advocacy. Like you, I do not feel like I would be a good parent with my lifestyle, however, I have years of experience being around children. Children from different backgrounds, with different needs and different age groups. I dare say, I have been around children longer than some of the mothers here. Yes, they are not mine, but I have seen a lot, and those observations lead to opinions..or at the very least questions, which I feel all childfree can have.

    • Page

      Working with kids isn’t the same as having them. Parents can’t go home and relax after putting in 8-10 hours and parenting doesn’t get sick days. That’s the hardest thing for me to get used to – it never (NEVER!) ends. Well, at least not until they are older – I hope.

    • Andrea

      LOL Page, I used to tell my sister that. She was a preschool teacher before she had her babies and she used to judge the hell out of every parent. She thought she could do so much better and that she knew what she was talking about because she was a preschool teacher.

      I distinctively remember telling her: do you know that feeling you get at 2:30Pm when you get home and just relax after you are done with work and other people’s children? Yeah. that feeling NEVER COMES!!!

    • Lawcat

      Really? I find that “parenting is a fulltime, never ending job!!!” bit a little martyr-ish. I get time to relax, to myself, to go shopping, etc. some people may not have the ability to do that, but I think the majority of moms who feel they can never ever relax feel so because of their own doing, not by the general nature of parenting.

      I always listen to the advice of my child free friends. They’re on the outside looking in and can give a perspective when I get caught up in the details. Sure, they can be a little judgy, but not as bad as the other moms out there.

    • Andrea

      It was meant to be a joke..no need to get so shirty about it. And I was referring more to the baby/toddler years where no, you don’t get much of a break.

    • Lawcat

      Which part was the joke? The part where you Lol’d at a santinonious remark, the part where you thought your sister was being uppity because she – as an educator – dared know something about children, or the part where you thought you showed her when you said parents get no time off?

      My son is 2… No, I don’t see the need to martyr myself or get “shirty.” Parenting is hard, but it’s not the hardest thing in the history of the world.

    • Really

      Why don’t you share what you think is the hardest thing for you and I’ll tell you how not hard that thing is? The woman said parenting is hard (not the hardest thing in the history of the world – those were your words), I think that is a fair assessment and not over the top. Can we lay off her?

    • Lawcat

      Well, neurosurgery is pretty hard. So is serving in a war zone. Dealing with PTSD is a bitch. There are numerous things more taxing than parenting. Everyone is exhausted, busy, and stressed. If someone thinks that child free people just go home and relax after work because they don’t have a kid, they probably don’t know many CF people. The friends I have are more involved in the community than I could ever hope to be.

      I was more referring to the sentiment that parenting is a never ending, fulltime pursuit without breaks of any kind. For most people, such restraints are self inflicted. I don’t see the point in being a martyr. Additionally, the thinking that child free people can offer little advice merely because they haven’t given birth themselves is silly. They can certainly be judgmental; but no more than anyone else. Sometimes parents can be so wrapped up in the details or become immune to certain behaviors. Id like for someone – parent or child free – to bring it to my attention if my kids are acting up or if there were a different way to go about something.

    • http://twitter.com/carinnjade Carinn Jade

      “For most people, such restraints are self inflicted” – that is true of those with children and those without. If we didn’t hold ourselves back, because of fear or hurt, we’d all be blissfully happy and achieving everything we ever wanted out of life. It’s not a competition, she’s saying parenting is hard. For a LOT of people that is true. It’s not always easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Guilt will prevent a new SAHM from spending money on a sitter to do something for herself. She’s overwhelmed with the new responsibility of having a baby/child, so maybe it’s not the best time to take up a new community or social cause. People are so hard on mothers, so quick to call them martyrs without much regard for what’s going on in their minds. Maybe you don’t struggle like that – good for you. Many people do, and they aren’t trying to be martyrs. They are just trying to feel a little less isolated or overwhelmed.

    • NYCNanny

      Parenting doesn’t have to be exhausting. But everyone is told it has to be. Playdates and after-school activities and homework and holidays and blah blah.
      Parenting REALLY ins’t that hard.

    • Page

      It all depends on where you are in the parenting timeline. I’m sure you must have older children if you have time to yourself and time to relax. I was only speaking to my experience, in my current situation, with 3 children under 3. The youngest 2 (twins) are still nursing every 2-3 hours.

    • Cee

      Haha, looks like I got tagged teamed by two moms that think parents have a monopoly on exhaustion.

      Unless you homeschool, you have that magical relaxing feeling when you let your kids go somewhere, and guess where most of that somewhere will be for a long time? With people like me, who work with children. So, we both share that secret happiness, yet a little sadness when we see children go somewhere for a little while that is not around us. Sure, I do look at the clock sometimes after handling 150 different kids throughout the day…but that magical relaxation time does not come, UNLESS my university (current master student) and my job give me the same vacation OR at least one of them gives me vacation so I don’t deal with the paper work with the other. Yea, the kids dont come home with me, but their paper work and assessments do. So in conclusion, unless you are a millionaire, nobody gets to relax. Everyone has things to do at some point.

      Also, I did not say that working with kids is the same thing as parenting. However, my job has given me the opportunity of seeing a lot of children with different needs and many parenting styles and stresses, while at your home there is a maximum of 2 parenting styles and what 2-4 different children with different needs? So, people who work with children can have an opinion.

    • Justme

      I can mommy jack, woe is mom AND sanctimommy all y’all in one blow.

      I get up and take my daughter to one of those magical places where someone else takes care of her during the day. But where do I go after that? To take care of other people’s teenagers, yo. So I got all of y’all beat. I raise my child AND other people’s children. How about them apples!!! NOBODY can EVER be as exhausted as me. Never ever ever. I’m not only a mommy but a counselor, a teacher, a listener, a moderator, a disciplinarian ALL THE LIVELONG DAY. Boom goes the dynamite.

      Drops mike.

      But seriously. I am exhausted somedays. But I was exhausted before I had a child. And I’ll be exhausted after she leaves my house. Life, any way you cut it…..is exhausting.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rockergina Gina Dwyer

      I love your comment. Every word of it. Especially “Boom goes the dynamite!” Just wanted to let you know :)

    • Blueathena623

      I think what kind of job you have and what kind of kid you have plays into it. Teaching is one of those jobs where your day totally does not end when the school bell rings, and summer vacation ain’t the vacation people thinks it is. However, I’ve had jobs where once I leave the building, I don’t think about work until I come back the next day. That does allow for a lot of relaxation. As for kids, right now mine is in that not a baby not yet a toddler stage where he still wakes up during the night and I’m sitting here with a baby monitor in case he wakes up, so I do feel like I never have time off unless he goes to stay with a relative.
      But I still don’t think that parents have the monopoly on exhaustion. It’s an individual thing.

    • Page

      Oh hells yeah I wish I could send my kids somewhere! But public school doesn’t start here until they are 5 years old. I have 3 under 3 years old. My kid are with me 24/7 and I can’t share that “secret happiness” You talk about for years to come. I spent 2 tours overseas with the army before having kids. In my experience, there hasn’t been anything harder than newborn twins. Those that don’t have kids would never understand.

    • facepalm

      Oh here we go again. Because having kids is the ONLY way to be exhausted and have problems that never go away. Who put a gun to your head and forced you to have three kids under three? It’s not a cross to bear, it was YOUR choice. So STFU.

    • Page

      Certain experiences can only be understood by people that have experienced them. That applies to all kinds of life experiences – not just parenting. I would never assume to know what your life was like. I NEVER said parenting was the ONLY job that was exhausting. I was only speaking to MY experience. I love my kids and parenting but that doesn’t mean I can never say I’m tired. Why do the childless jump all over moms when they complain about their job at home? Doesn’t everyone complain about their job at some point? I used to be in the military. We complained about deployment all the time. No one ever said “oh here we go again – armed forces complaining about long hours and problems that never go away”. Have some compassion Facepalm. No only likes a bitch.

    • whiteroses

      I would argue, though, that childfree teachers have more experience with children than parents do. A teacher spends over eight hours a day with a large demographic of children, and if they’re any good at their job they learn very quickly how to deal with all the members of that demographic. Yes, as a parent you know your particular child better than anyone. But a childfree teacher knows children as a whole better than you (the royal “you” here) ever could.

      I’m a (nominally) single parent. Not only does my husband not live in the same state as I do, he lives in an entirely different hemisphere. And if I didn’t have a lot of help from my parents, I’d be the walking dead. My husband supports us financially and emotionally, but it would be incredibly awesome if he was around to change a diaper every now and then. I get tired. I get exhausted. But I’m not more tired than my childfree friends who work two jobs. And I guess part of the reason why it ticks childfree people off when we complain is that being a parent, unlike a job, isn’t necessary for survival for everyone.

    • Kermibug

      So, because you’re being Ms. Woe is Mom, I’m going to give you a little detail into my childfree day, that I have somuchtime in.

      3:30 AM- Wake up, have coffee, get ready to go. Call my MIL, and see if she’s on her way yet.

      4:15 AM arrive at work.

      6:00 PM get home. Take over duties for my mother in law.

      11:00 PM go to bed.

      See, my husband was in a drunk driving accident, where a person who’s BAL was nearly 2x the legal limit, hit him head on. My husband suffered a TBI and needs constant care.

      So, you’re telling my that is easier than having kids? Seeing a man I love more that anything SUFFER day in and day out? Working long hours, to make ends meet, then going home and seeing someone who used to be so active, be reduced to so little because one person’s decision.

      I don’t go spouting off about how hard my life is, because everything in my life has been because a choice I made.

      It’s called empathy. Get some.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rockergina Gina Dwyer

      Yes! A million times yes. Having my elderly, mentally-traumatized grandmother living with us taught me this. Being in the position of full time caregiver to an adult is just as mentally, physically, and emotionally draining as having children *if not more so*. Children are growing up, moving forward, and no matter how crazy that time is, it’s usually mostly positive for the average parent. Being a caregiver to an adult doesn’t usually have that component; this is usually a person who used to be active and full of life, and now by a cruel twist of fate depends on you for everything. Unless it’s a temporary injury, or illness, they will not be getting better. They will not move out when they turn 18. You will care for them your whole life, until they die, or until you do. The extra sadness you will carry because of that fact, I think, makes it that much more difficult than being a parent. Also, as many have said, you choose to be a parent. Life, in all its random chaos makes you a caregiver; we rarely have any choice in the matter. Kermibug, I wish you and your family the best of luck. I agree with you; I think one thing that is sorely lacking in this world nowadays is empathy. So many people have forgotten the concept of putting themselves in someone else’s shoes.

    • Rachel

      “Those that don’t have kids would never understand.”

      UGH these are the kinds of comments that slay me. My guess is, you’ve never done brain surgery either, so objectively speaking, you would understand that either and cant REALLY make a judgement on which is harder/more taxing.

    • Blueathena623

      The only time I get jealous (ok, seriously jealous) is the sick days things. It sucks when your toddler doesn’t understand “mommy just needs to lay on the bathroom floor and wish for death right now. Please go entertain yourself.”

    • Edify

      Don’t worry too much about the sick days thing. I’ll work through being sick when I should be on the bathroom floor because its sometimes less physically demanding than staying home and having the toddler being excited to have me there. Hence, the paid sick day magically transforms into paid carers leave.
      Being sick sucks no matter what.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      Same here. Especially two weeks ago when *I* had a stomach virus, I still had to take care of the kid. When my HUSBAND got it, HE got to stay in bed! WTF?! Pissed me off a little. BUT with that being said, I would rather be sick at home taking care of my kid than at work sick. Hate my job.

    • NYCNanny

      Nannies and daycare workers may be able to leave at the end of the day…BUT
      1. We’re with your kids DURING the day while you’re away. Many times, nannies are with the kids MROE than parents.
      2. We love your kids and think about them when we’re not with them. Probably more than we admit.

    • TngldBlue

      I love advice from childfree people (as long as, like with any advice, it’s given in the spirit of helping and not “you are so screwing up so let me step in where I’m not wanted and show you the RIGHT way”). I think those without children can see the forest through the trees better than parents can sometimes. While I’m trying to get my daughter to bed without crushing her creative spirit or destroying her independence, my childfree best friend just wants her to stop crying goddammit and go to sleep so we can drink our wine. I like to think I can learn from everyone, everyone has different experiences so therefore a different perspective.

    • once upon a time

      Wow, it must be a Law of Parenting Blogging that as soon as a parent says that they’re tired, the childfree pop out of nowhere to tell them what self-absorbed martyrs they’re being. I don’t know what part of, “Raising a child is exhausting but not the only or most exhausting thing in the world,” is so offensive but Paige, I agree with you. My two year old wears me the hell out. And normally I’d add a disclaimer here, something about how I know it was my choice and people without children are equally exhausted, but reading comprehension doesn’t appear to be anyone’s forte today.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      I’m a parent and I couldn’t agree more about the parenting blogs! Sheesh, these women can get nasty and mean! I have encountered more vitriol online since joining parenting forums and blog sites than I ever did before becoming a mom!

  • Elle

    There are certain elements of natural childbirth that work for me, but I believe the overly simplistic approach contributes a lot to the judgyness. Thinking things like “If you would ONLY do x, y wouldn’t happen,” or “The reason women have to deal with ____ in their pregnancies is because they don’t do enough _____.” I was SO glad I was so much more enlightened than all the other mothers who weren’t willing to do their research!

    And sadly, you couldn’t have talked me out of it because that would have caused me to simply take it as a challenge and continue for years to seek additional validation for my choices by sharing my birth story with everyone and always trying to find an opportunity to slip in a little “I’m so glad I chose to _____! It has helped me so much!” in facebook posts.

    I know, gag me. I’m just glad I have friends who loved me through the self-righteousness, and I hope I can have enough wisdom to do the same with my friends rather than judging right back.

  • Blueathena623

    Pre-baby and during pregnancy I was soooo into the AP thing. Then I had my kid, who decidedly did not like several aspects of AP. He quickly won.

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      lol for me it was the opposite! I was so judgy of it until i realized that I probably unconsciously adhered to most of its concepts in some manner… :S and then i shut up about it ;)

  • http://twitter.com/jlwrench JL Wrench

    I try not to judge. I was pretty bad before my twins were born. I had been teaching for almost 10 years. When the constant flow of questions and comments started when my twins were born at 28 weeks, I learned to calm down and let things slide. Now they are 19 months and I get constantly criticized for every decision I make, from working to deciding to have another child so soon, I just let moms have some slack. We are all trying our hardest. The only thing I don’t let slide are sanctimommies. If you preach about EBF, day care/nannies as satan, or my favorite, if you had a c-section, you didn’t give birth, I will unleash the dogs.

  • AS

    I have definitely become a lot less judging since having my daughter. Things I said I would never do, I did even within 24 hours of birth. I see that not all things are black and white and so much of it depends on the child. I think it also makes you look at the big picture, that things you see a parent doing are only a glimpse into what goes on in their regular life (ie if you see a child eating McD’s, that might be the one time a year they go). However, I do judge when parents do things that are detrimental to their children’s health (ie letting 2 year olds drink soda/eat sweets non-stop…have a family member that does this) or refusing to do anything about bad behavior (ie letting your children run wild in public), both of these affect society as a whole. Other than that I try and careless what others do!! (Note the try!! :)

  • Justme

    For the most part I’ve kind of stuck with a lot of the things I said I’d do or not do…not in a braggy-I’m-better-than-you way, but I just knew what I was/wasn’t comfortable with as a parent.

    Then there were some things that popped up that surprised me – I never thought I would be the “no screen time until two” parent but my daughter was never interested in television so here we are…..the same goes with giving her juice – she’s a milk and water kind of girl.

    But the fast food stuff – I knew that at some point my child was going to eat a chicken nugget. But I also knew that most of her meals would be home-cooked and relatively healthy so I am okay with the occasional nugget and fry.

    I think it’s potentially dangerous to have any sort of black-and-white depiction of life after baby because there’s one BIG variable that can influence how you parent – your child.

    • Blueathena623

      Yes yes yes to your last sentence.
      And I’m the opposite of you on the TV thing. I thought I’d never turn on the tube or allow screen time but my kid is so fricking active that I totally know the PBS line up and take total advantage of Super Why and Dinosaur Train so he can stare, zombie like, and I can use the bathroom allllll by myself (bliss!)

    • Justme

      I never intended to be a no-tv mom….but it just happened because that’s how she is. But now that she’s reached two – cartoons in the morning, hurray!

    • LiteBrite

      I agree with your last paragraph. As I just commented in another article, I had all sorts of ideas of what kind of parent I was going to be prior to kids and even during pregnancy. Then I actually had the boy, and things changed.

      In regards to T.V., I try to limit it, but man, sometimes it’s nice to get the boy engrossed in “Monsters, Inc” while I do the dishes. :)

    • Justme

      I’m not saying that NOTHING about my parenting changed from per to post delivery, but I just didn’t have any hard and fast rules going into motherhood, you know? And then the tv thing just kind of started happening with her not being interested and then it became a challenge – can I make it to two without Elmo?!

  • ejohns313

    On the parenting forums and blogs I’ve read since having a baby, I’ve been surprised at people’s certainty that their parenting choices are universally the best way. They seem really immature and unable to see the world outside of their own little experiences.

  • Melody

    I didn’t really have any opinions before I had my 1st, just the medical facts that I had learned in childbirth and parenting classes. I knew that I wanted to try breastfeeding but that was it. With everything else I just kind of winged it and did what felt naturally, and figured that everyone else is just doing what works best for them. I do get a lot of judgment coming my way though, and it’s mostly because I was a teen mom so everyone just assumed that I couldn’t possibly know how to care for a child because I myself was still a child. They were wrong btw, I totally care for my kids (now 3) like a boss. The worst mommy judging comes from my MIL, though. I cannot remember the last time I spoke to her without her disapproving of something I was doing. And she’s a schoolteacher so she tells me all about how terrible the parents at her school are and then turns around and talks about me to everyone else. Meanwhile, her relationship with her own kids isn’t what I would call great…Oh snap! I just did it there! I guess we all judge sometimes.

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  • Puja

    Totally agree with this- as a first time mom, I can relate to this big time! Great article:)

  • Puja

    Totally agree with this- as a first time mom, I can relate to this big time! Great article:)

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  • No One In Particular

    Lol. These catty Sanctimommy vs Sanctimommy vs ‘Childfree’ comments are hilarious.