• Mon, Mar 31 - 4:00 pm ET

An Open Letter To Parents Who Write Open Letters To Other Parents After Observing Them For Five Minutes

shutterstock_155485418__1396294000_142.196.167.223Dear Parent Who Writes Open Letters To Other Parents After Observing Them For Five Minutes,

How did you get so smug? It’s an honest question really, I always veer on the side of “I’m not really sure what I’m doing” so I wanted to see how the other half lives. It must be a real brain-drain to run around dissecting everyone’s parenting all day long. I would love to benefit from your wisdom – since you are clearly perfect – but I’m too busy wading through all of your superiority to really pay attention to your point.

You’re disgusted by the man who snaps at his son in line at Walmart. I was going to ask you if you’ve ever been to a Walmart, but clearly you have since you’re judging him from the checkout lane. Do you not understand how annoying Walmart can be? You may have thought it was the cutest thing ever when his son was asking him about juice boxes, but you really have no idea how many times he’s heard that phrase today, do you? Not every moment is teachable. Sometimes we’re just tired and want to get home and want our kids to stop asking us about juice for five fucking seconds. Surely you can understand that, can’t you?

Or the lady who dares to look at her cell phone while out with her kids – she’s terrible isn’t she? Surely you understand that the kids are at a park and should be able to entertain themselves for five minutes without being entertained by their mom, right? When I shot a couple kids out of my vagina, did I sign an invisible pact to stare at them lovingly every minute of every day? If I knew that was part of the deal I would have told everyone up front that I would fail miserably at this whole parenting thing.

What about the dad who doesn’t join mom in tucking the kids in for bed – he’s the worst isn’t he?

Dear Dad in the Recliner,

Long day, huh?

I bet it feels good to put your feet up.

Where is your wife?

Oh, she is tucking the children in bed.

Can I ask you something?

Why aren’t you in there?

They need you, Daddy.

For the love of Christ and all things holy – leave these parents alone. If you are a parent that relishes every minute of your child’s existence – never averting your gaze or losing your patience – you win, okay? You’re the best parent around. Here’s your cookie/gold star/trophy:

BQ_37e0CMAEkeNp

 

There it is. You’re better than the rest of us. Stop writing us letters to tell us what a crap job we’re all doing. That time would be way better served staring at your children lovingly, wouldn’t it?

Signed,

Shitty Mom

(photo: Twitter)

Share This Post:
  • CMJ

    Did you see the open letter to the running “fatty?” UGH.

    STFU, OPEN LETTERS!

    • Kay_Sue

      Can we make that a site? Like STFUP?

    • Robotic Socks

      I’m gonna start a change.org petition.

      In my 54 years of being on the internet, two things work the best to convince others to do things they normally wouldn’t do:

      open letters and online petitions. Also, up/down voting

    • Kay_Sue

      Not down voting anymore…at least not on Disqus…

    • CMJ
    • Kay_Sue

      Perfectly expressed my reaction when I noticed the change…

    • Andrea

      What changed with the downvotes?

    • pixie

      You can’t see them anymore.

    • Kay_Sue

      They don’t give a total anymore. In fact, I don’t know if you have anyway to know if your post has been downvoted or not. I haven’t noticed any on even my more controversial posts since the change. It does still turn red on your feed when you downvote someone…but I miss having the numbers.

    • Maria Guido

      WHAT? Noooo. Now I have to look for this. Damn you.

    • CMJ

      Here you go….I saw some people posting it like it was motivation and when I read it I was like….oh GOD STOP.

      http://groupthink.jezebel.com/inspiration-youre-doing-it-wrong-1540633035

    • keelhaulrose

      I like the idea of that letter, but the execution…. UGH. You know what makes me terrified of going to the gym? Knowing someone out there is noticing all the disgusting crap about me while I’m working out. I already feel like a manatee when I go swimming, I don’t need someone to point out that they noticed that I look like one as well.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      I was seriously having anxiety for a long time about being the fattest (365lbs) mom at my kid’s swimming class. Then I started thinking more that when she grows up, I don’t want her to remember her mom being too embarrassed to take her swimming, I want her to see the woman who suited up year round, jumped in the water with her, and wasn’t afraid to be seen for who she is. Do I still feel like all the skinny moms are watching my thighs jiggle as I jump in? Sometimes. But I am slowly trying to teach myself that if I want her to grow up unashamed of her body, I cannot outwardly be ashamed of mine, and surprisingly, it is helping my inward opinion too. Being a woman is hard, no matter what size you are.

    • Angela

      “I don’t want her to remember her mom being too embarrassed to take her swimming, I want her to see the woman who suited up year round, jumped in the water with her, and wasn’t afraid to be seen for who she is.”

      You are my hero. Thank you so much for this. I’ve been stressing lately (to myself, not my kids) about losing weight in time for summer and there’s been more than a few times that I’ve dreaded taking my kids to the pool. This one sentence has completely changed my outlook on this. Rock on mama!

    • Rebecca

      YES!!! I had the EXACT same pep talk with myself and the kids’ swimming. I can either take them swimming and be fat, or skip swimming and be fat. So, really the only different is the swimming. I keep hoping if I don’t make it a ‘thing’ that it won’t be a ‘thing’. It can stay MY problem, and not the kids’ problem.

    • Guets

      I always assume the people on the treadmills behind me are judging every part of my body and that the ones next to me are noticing how much faster/more calories burned/more hills they are doing than me. I don’t love being in a swimsuit either but I just go when I know it will be quiet (easier to concentrate anyway) and keep remembering that if I want to be comfortable in a swimsuit this is how to do it.

    • Geogirl

      I admit that when I’m on a piece of cardio equipment and there is someone next to me I mentally race them. But only because it motivates me to work harder if I’m in an imaginary competition. I am in no way judging them and I have no idea how hard they are actually exercising. My favorite is the middle rowing machine because then I have then I have this whole fantasy boat race in my head set in the English country side.

    • LiteBrite

      The reply to that letter was the most awesome thing ever though.

    • Maria Guido

      Yeah – that was the worst. I love his rebuttal letter though. Whoever wrote that letter is a total asshole.

    • Kay_Sue

      When did projecting our narratives on strangers become motivating? Bleck.

    • CMJ

      Right?

    • Sri

      Man, fuck that guy. Fuck anyone who thinks that pointing out that a person is fat but “trying to turn it around” is in any way helpful. Fuck people that think that pointing out flaws in others should inspire them to get better. Fat people already know they’re fat. Society tells them all the time. They don’t need you to save them from their fatness with your “it gets better” bullshit.

      It’s a sore spot, I’ll admit. I like to shop at whole paycheck because they’re the only local grocery store with a butcher counter, so I actually end up saving money. However, it also means that I have to put up with insufferable health nuts. On multiple occasions, I’ve been congratulated on buying vegetables. Since I’m a fatty, this was obviously the first time I had ever purchased a vegetable. I’ve been congratulated for buying a green juice (spinach and pineapple ftw), since fatties like me only drink soda, obviously. What those people don’t know is that I have struggled with an eating disorder since I was a kid. I used to just not eat, and then I would run or bike for miles every day. I would eat barely enough to keep me from passing out. My ribs, vertebrae, and collarbone stuck out. My hip bones jutted out in front. Even with that, I was still considered fat by my peers because I have a big ass and big thighs. As an adult, I realized that this was stupid. I don’t have time for that, and it doesn’t work, anyway. I still watch what I eat, but I eat enough for an adult human. I still exercise, but I limit it somewhat. Because my body was so used to running on starvation mode, becoming more healthy caused me to put on weight. When people think my eating healthy is an attempt to lose weight, and especially when they comment on it, I want to strangle them.

    • CMJ

      Exactly. People like to congratulate me for going to spin class…um, I go like 4 times a week and just because I am not teeny it’s like I need to be congratulated for something I do all the time.

    • C.J.

      I would like to congratulate you for going to spin classes. I’m not trying to be sarcastic. I don’t care what size you are those classes are hard! I don’t think I could have made it through one when I was younger and in decent shape. Skinny doesn’t automatically equal being in good shape. You have fit to make it through a spin class. I know a lady that teaches spin class. Many people we both know go to them and they say they are a super hard workout. I would probably fall off!!

    • Guets

      They are insane. I went to one. Just one. I literally couldn’t walk right for two days and I was drenched in sweat whereas normally I barely break a sweat at the gym (I’m lazy what can I say). I want to do another but I’m a little scared! I would say congratulations to her as well.

    • CMJ

      Thanks! I love them and they are hard…but I am the person that HATES running. I could be a spin bike forever but you get me on a track or a treadmill and I want to die.

    • EmmaFromÉire

      But didn’t you know? You’re not a ‘good fatty’ unless you know you’re fat and are trying to change it. Anything other than that means you may as well go live with jabba the hutt

    • Joye77

      One of my friends is a runner and posted that like it something great. When I read it I wanted to punch the writer in the face for being a sarcastic fucking jerk. I haven’t read the response letter until now, it’s great. Good for him.

    • Linzon

      Okay, am I doing running wrong that I have to make eye contact every time I go by another person? I’m not doing the awkward stranger polite smile every few minutes while doing my ‘footslogging’ and ‘trudging.’

      Tony Posnanski, you are awesome.

    • Kelly

      I’ll admit I have a huge amount of respect for big people who work out in public. I know it’s hard and people are mean. I have friends who will only work out in their house because of assholes like that guy.

      But the whole, “I have respect for you fatty fat fat.” just doesn’t make any sense. If you respect someone, you don’t insult them.

    • K.

      I fucking HATE this sort of assumption about overweight people.

      I got that from a yoga instructor AND a spin instructor because I’m overweight and my response to both of them was this:

      “I purchased a home, I have a family, I have a career, I graduated from the Ivy League, and I’ve earned a doctorate. I really don’t need your approval or your kudos. Kthnx.”

      So fucking annoying that everyone assumes if you’re overweight and you exercise, then clearly it must be because you’re trying to ‘fix’ yourself. Maybe I do yoga because I just like it? How about that?

    • brebay

      Dear douchey fuck…

    • brebay

      this probably won’t post anywhere near the right place, but, for clarity, NOT you, CMJ!!!

    • Courtney Lynn

      I’m SOOO glad I’m not the only person who didn’t like that! It was SO condescending. She doesn’t need his “encouragement”. Ugh.

    • CMJ

      I literally cringed when I saw it…

    • Courtney Lynn

      I hear ya! I kept reading it thinking, “why do people think this is such a good piece?”.

  • keelhaulrose

    Dear person who started the open letter trend:
    Thank you so much for enabling the sancti-parents (and grandparents) to think they can ‘better’ someone by putting it in letter format. Chances are the intended target will never see it (you’re going to make people feel judged or defensive who had NOTHING to do with the original situation), but good thing those that know best will grant us all access to their infinite wisdom so we can better ourselves through their way of doing things. Open letters are so much better than talking to someone to their damn face, right, because then they might be able to defend themselves and knock the smug out of you at the appropriate time.
    Thanks again, jackass,
    Imperfect parents of the world

    • Maria Guido

      Hahaha! Dear person who started the open letter trend: no one writes letters anymore. Ever.

    • Kay_Sue

      Wonder when we can expect the open email format to take off??

  • Kay_Sue

    <—Is the one in the recliner at the end of the day *shamed*

    Have you ever read the book Sh*tty Mom, A Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us? I love it, and your last line reminded me of it.

    Everyone has "judgy" moments, but there's a difference between letting those thoughts come to fruition and stopping and considering what that other person may be going through. That's a subtle difference, I guess, and one these folks seem to miss out on.

    • keelhaulrose

      I’m not in the recliner, but my husband is the one who puts our two year old into the crib and tucks our five year old into bed.
      He leaves early in the morning, and he comes home late. By the time he’s home it’s dinner time, then bedtime routine starts. He feels he doesn’t get to spend enough time with them. On his days off he often has a million things to do (that I just can’t). He wants to put the kids to bed, to be the last one to say goodnight and give kisses. I never fail to give kisses, or cuddles, or read books in our bed, but I let him have that little moment because it means so much to him.

    • Kay_Sue

      Usually, my partner handles everything kid-related, post-dinner. I cook and clean up after, and make lunches for him and our oldest son, and while I am doing that, he bathes and PJs them. We re-convene for story time and a few last minute cuddles, and then I kiss them and kick my feet up while he handles the rest. He does it for the same reason–he’s gone from 5 AM until nearly 7 PM most nights, and it gives him those few moments and memories with them when I am not there. He needs those.

    • keelhaulrose

      I’m going to just say here my husband is awesome. Our kids are usually up about an hour before he has to leave, and he calls that his “daddy time” when he gets to do what he wants, which he doesn’t get in the evenings because if bedtime routine is messed with we have a major meltdown on our hands. He lets me sleep in because as soon as I’m up our younger daughter is all about her mommy, and it’s time to start our therapies, and all the PT/OT/ST crap I have to do every day in the hopes of eventually getting her to talk. He likes that hour, because she’s cuddly with him or plays with him, and he doesn’t get it as soon as I show up.
      And I’m not going to lie, getting a little extra sleep or getting to watch the news every morning is pretty awesome.

    • Maria Guido

      My husband goes on a lot of trips for work, and we he gets back I basically just say, “YOU’RE DOING ALL THE THINGS, ALL THE TIME.”

    • Kay_Sue

      I don’t blame you in the slightest.

    • Lee

      I hear that. My husband is a restaurant manager and is only home for bed time twice a week. He keeps asking me why it is always his turn to do bedtime. I just sweetly tell him every other night of week is my turn but in my head I am junk punching him.

  • Ptownsteveschick

    When my husband is off from work, I am the mom with her feet up on the chaise lounge, while he is putting the kid to bed. Why am I not in there? Because I do it 5 fucking nights a week, and my kid can take a bath, run out to the living room and kiss me goodnight, then be tucked in by her dad once in a while. It isn’t going to hurt her little psyche if both her parents aren’t mooning over her crib, singing her perfectly harmonized lullabies as she drifts off to sleep in her matching $500 bed set and pajamas.

    • LiteBrite

      Last night I was the one who put the kid to bed while my husband sat on the couch and watched T.V. But he put the kid to bed 5 nights last week because I was at practice, then at a bowling charity event, then out of town with my two friends.

      I think the guy deserved one night to himself, so I’ll cut him a little slack.

  • LiteBrite

    Well, I can defend the first one because she does say her letter is just as much for her as it is for this random stranger. Yeah, it comes off as smug, but I still think it’s a nice reminder for those of us with less patience (LiteBrite raises hand) who tend to snap after the 4th query on juice boxes.

    But the other one? GAG. There’s a “smug alert” over at the Fergusons….

    • keelhaulrose

      I’ve seen that phone one before. I want to smack the writer over the head. I know work at home moms, and busy moms, who take their children to the park because it offers them a few minutes to make a phone call or check e-mail or whatever without having someone crawling all over them. These parents will put everything on hold to cuddle a cranky kid even if it means they’ll be up until midnight finishing their work, and sometimes there’s something you can’t put off. Never judge unless you know the situation.

    • Andrea

      When we were kids adults were not in the playground. Like fucking never. They sat in the benches and chatted or read or stared off in the distance or occasionally looked in our general direction to make sure we were not dead.

      Hell, my father brought his newspaper and stayed in the car (no hard ass benches for him lol).
      Why do we have to spend every waking second of every day interacting with our children? WTF are they gonna just *poof* in smoke if we stop looking/talking to/at them for 10 minutes??? Ugh.

    • Kay_Sue

      And when do kids learn to entertain themselves if they constantly have adults in their faces entertaining them all the time? I feel like that is kind of an important life skill, you know?

    • keelhaulrose

      My husband and I interacted pretty much constantly with my daughter when she was younger. When she was in daycare she was a favorite, and got a lot of attention from teachers. I thought that’s what good parents did.
      What I have now is a five year old who will often sit and mope instead of play by herself, tries to take over her sister’s therapy sessions because she isn’t the center of attention, and often tries to force us to play with her. I wish I had fostered some more independence in her.

    • raero

      Don’t feel bad about that!!! Some kids are just wired that way. I was an enormous attention seeking ham, and I had plenty of solo play time and independence. I grew out of it! You’re doing a great job with both kids I’m sure. :)

    • Andrea

      First of all, don’t beat yourself up. You did what you thought was best and that’s what we all do.
      Second of all, she’s only five; it’s not too late to teach her to play on her own. A little bit at a time.

    • Sri

      Did I read it wrong, or was the kid not only talking to a stranger, but also judging said stranger’s purchases? I completely understand why the dad wanted to stop that behavior, although maybe he could have been a bit more gentle (although the blogger’s analogy where a kid is a flower getting petals ripped off leads me to believe that he didn’t yell all that loudly in the first place). It’s possible that my reading comprehension stb, though, and that’s not what happened.

    • LiteBrite

      I think you read it right. I just sided with the original write a little bit more only because my kid tends to talk so much that there are no words left for the rest of society, and yeah, I’ve snapped at him too and felt horrible about it after, especially when I’ve seen how bad it makes him feel as well. (Although I wouldn’t describe him as a “flower getting petals ripped off.”) I think my own mommy guilt is creeping in. :)

    • Sri

      I somewhat understand that guilt. If it had been the kid asking the dad those questions, I would be a bit more sympathetic toward the letter writer. I get sad when I hear parents tell their kids to stop asking questions because I see kids all day every day who have stopped asking why. I will admit that I sometimes ask my students if they have a real question or if they just want to hear themselves talk, though. I often feel bad about it and apologize after.

      At the same time, if my kid went up to a stranger and started asking them why they were buying what they were buying, I would be embarrassed, because it is a little rude. They’re too young to know it’s rude, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be told. Not yelled at, but informed.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      Yeah, I feel like if there had been different items on the belt she wouldn’t have felt the need to write the letter. “Why are you buying little balloons wrapped in foil and whipped cream lady?”

    • Rowan

      “my kid tends to talk so much that there are no words left for the rest of society”

      So very much this! I love that my son is intelligent and inquisitive but there have been many moments of “No, I do not know who my fourth favourite Jedi is NOW JUST LET ME CHOOSE BISCUITS IN PEACE!”

    • Ana

      Exactly. This could just as easily have been “Dear Walmart Dad, Please control your obnoxious child who is questioning my purchases. Kthxbai.” If you see your kid pelting a stranger with questions the polite thing to do is to call the kid back over to you.

  • pixie

    I enjoyed the mental imagery of “When I shot a couple of kids out of my vagina”, it made me laugh.

    But yes, UGH to judge-y open letters by parents (or by anyone, for that matter).

  • Bethany Ramos

    This was too perfect. I can’t tell you how much I hate open letters. !!!

  • Emily A.

    I am pretty sure that these are the moms who whisper with each other about the moms who bring store-bought cakes for the Cake Walk at the school festival, sad that we boxed-cake-bringers don’t have the patience or moral fortitude to bake a cake *with* our children, smiling the whole time.

    • Williwaw

      Don’t forget about looking perfect while we do it!

  • Robotic Socks

    I wish stalkers would write more open love letters

  • Kendra

    My husband is the recliner dad, and I would just say to the person who penned that letter. You can kindly F off. I LOVE that bedtime is my thing and my thing only. Dad already has so many things that are ‘his things’, like being funny and rough housing and playing games. If like that snuggle time is MY THING. BACK OFF MY THING.

    • Kendra

      As far as the phone one goes, I totally understand where she is trying to go with that letter. The whole, make quality time because they grow up to fast thing. Sometimes, I remember that letter when I’m browsing facebook instead of talking to my daughter during supper. Sometimes, it reminds me that I would like to spend less time on my phone. However, the open letter is just too much because you don’t know what people are doing on their phone or why they are on their phone and it isn’t any of your business. It could have been worded so much more effectively by eliminating the whole “open letter” part and just writing it as a typical blog style post.

  • Rana

    This article was spot on.

  • Sara610

    You win the Internet today.

  • Mikster

    And how about not calling the cops on a woman having a drink whilst pregnant or breast-feeding?

  • Kelly

    Oh major eye roll at the lazy dad letter. My husband and I used to take turns with bed time when our son was little. The person not doing bedtime duty would still give him a hug and kiss good night, he didn’t miss out on anything.

    Shit, I think giving each other a break every other night like we did is one of the reasons we’re still married 14 years later when so many other marriages have bit the dust around us. Yes, we need to relax sometimes. We’re human beings. I can’t understand the people who play like there’s something wrong with that.

    • ChickenKira

      In our house bedtime is Dad’s thing. I do the bath after dinner, then off to Dad for cuddles, stories and tuck-ins, while he is reading our daughter a story and putting her to bed I am usually sitting in front of the TV with a glass of wine.
      On a forum I was told that it’s ‘weird’ and ‘creepy’ that he likes to tuck his daughter in.

      So in short, you can’t win. If a Dad doesn’t put his kids to bed, he’s lazy, if he enjoys doing it, he’s creepy.

    • Kelly

      Ugh, some people are so screwed up. I remember someone making a comment about my husband being weird because he kisses his son. It’s on the forehead or cheek, how is that weird? It should be totally normal for a parent to show affection to their child.

    • Mette

      Well, my husband kisses both our sons (18 mos. and 4 yrs.) on the mouth. I don’t see anything wrong with that. I do it, too. I feel like it would be weird and awkward if we didn’t do it.

    • Guets

      Both of our parents kissed all of us kids either on the lips or like smooching the air while you hug kind of thing until we were teenagers who didn’t want them near us. I think it would be really weird if a dad kissed his daughters but refused to kiss his son(s). But then we would think he was creepy for kissing his daughters I suppose. Some people just can’t win.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      That’s ridiculous. My dad carried me up the stairs and tucked me in until I was in high school. And we have a great, completely not-creepy relationship now and I’m so happy about that, because it seems like the majority of my friends have terrible or non-existent relationships with their dads.

    • LiteBrite

      We take turns too. Some nights it’s Dad’s night; other nights it’s mine. We still each give the boy a hug and kiss, and I’ll even give him a piggyback ride to bed when it’s Dad’s night, but he doesn’t need both of us hovering over him at bedtime.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      We do the same. We take turns putting her to bed every night. There are nights when I look forward to ‘my turn’ because I love the snuggles, and there are nights when I’m glad it’s not my turn because I relish the alone time. We also take turns sleeping in on weekend mornings. It works well for us. I love my wife, and I love my kid, but I don’t need to spend every waking minute with either of them.

  • Ursi

    I can kind of empathize with the first one when it starts out but the tone goes so holier than thou I just can’t handle it. That and the fact that I’ll take ten parents like him who just want their kid to stop bothering people over one parent who thinks their kid is so adorable that everyone should pay attention to him at all times.

  • Courtney Lynn

    Ugh. How smug. As much as I love my husband and my kids, I would certainly rather be at home resting than in line at Walmart with ANYONE. Seriously? Let’s just quit assuming so much about each other with these stupid “open letters”.

  • Ro

    I’ve seen that phone one a few times. Yeah, it’s a good thing for kids to learn that they are not always going to be the centre of attention. My youngest is too young (19 months old) to leave unattended at the park, but I look forward to the day that I can bring a book and have a few moments to myself while they have fun on their own. Also, on that note, would the letter writer have been so hard on the mom if she had been reading War and Peace, or is she just a technology hater? And this is coming from someone who very much believes that technology has a time and place. There’s nothing wrong with taking a few moments to do your own thing.

    • TheGiantPeach

      If you read her blog a little further, it becomes evident that she thinks the iPhone is Satan in disguise or something. She is also a fan of disciplining her kids by hitting them on the hand as soon as they can sit up in the high chair. So I think I’m going to skip taking parenting advice from her.

    • CW

      I don’t care about moms who look at their phones. What ticks me off is when women who are clearly paid nannies ignore their charges to yak on their cells. I used to be a nanny and one of the rules of the agency that I went through for placement was to limit phone use on-the-job to the bare minimum. It’s totally unprofessional the way these nannies today seem to do nothing but yak on their cells while they’re “on the clock”.

    • Ro

      Yeah that’s a little different. If I had a nanny, I’d rather she/he ignore my kids while doing my housework or prepping my dinner ;).

  • Guest

    I can’t with the second two letters, but I actually agree with the first one wholeheartedly (although maybe not the format because then who is it helping?). There are people who drag their kids to the store (Walmart is always the worst) when said kids are tired, sick, just had shots, at the end of their rope for self-control, and then when the kid gets fussy or doesn’t act like a 30-year-old, they treat them like crap. I’ve seen parents with kids who were clearly Sofa King done and had run out of energy to behave “nicely”, and the parents talking to them like that all the time, through the whole store, mean and nasty. Obviously after a day like that, both parties are stressed, but which one has more control over how they react to feeling like crap? I’ll give you a hint, it isn’t the short one having a fit because she’s overheating and uncomfortable. It’s the one who won’t take two minutes to help her feel better. That’s heartless to me.

    To see this kind of slam-down behavior with harsh tones and yelling when the kid is healthy and happy, too? That just makes my stomach hurt. Maybe the situation looks better if you see it as the parent just having one bad day–but after watching and listening around, I don’t think that’s the case very often. I think once you decide it’s okay for you to talk to your child like they’re not a person, you’ve crossed that line, and any time you get angry or stressed it will come back. I confess that I’ve done the sanctichildless thing at them multiple times, wishing they’d just let up and stop treating their six year old like a piece of trash that got stuck to their shoe. It’s really just not good for their child. I hate to see it and wish I knew how to make these people stop.

    • CW

      A lot of us don’t have a choice about bringing kids at the end of the day to the store. If dad isn’t around to watch them (still at work, traveling on business, on a military deployment, or simply not in the picture) and there’s something that can’t wait, the kids have to come to the store with mom. Get off your high horse and start having a little bit of compassion for your fellow moms…

    • TngldBlue

      But you are judging them based on absolutely no information about who they are or what their lives are like. Maybe they lost their job today or found out a parent has cancer. Maybe their car broke down or they just found out they have to move or they got a big bill from the hospital or maybe they need medicine for their sick kid and didn’t have a sitter…you have no idea. You shouldn’t make assumptions and judge someone as guilty based on the two second snapshot of their life that you see. Just as you wish parents used kindness with their children, I wish adults would use kindness with each other. Instead of assuming the worst, I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt and mind my own business-it is certainly not up to me to correct someone else’s parenting.

  • Bearbones

    Even these 2 were rough on the Beaver, When needed. People need to mind there own business, Wouldn’t that be great??

  • ChickenKira

    In the first open letter I side with the Dad completely.
    If I’m understanding the story correctly, his son walked away from him and started talking to a complete stranger and he told off his son for doing so?

    Given the author’s writing style I’m thinking that he probably didn’t scream that loud.

  • raero

    Oh my god the mom on the iPhone. I telecommute, which is an amazing godsend, but it also means that I occasionally have to work while also watching my kid. Today we went to the park and he rolled around eating bugs and talking to his shoes while i was listening in on a conference call for 30 minutes. FUCK ME, RIGHT?! How dare I provide for my family using the wonderful gifts of technology that allow me to work ANYWHERE!

  • K.

    Dear Mom Who Never Deigned To Use an iPhone And Made Me the Center of Her Universe (ie, Tonya):

    My professor gave me a ‘D’ on that paper I was telling you about! I mean, I totally worked on it, like really hard. I think it’s because my professor hates me. Yesterday, when I came up to her after class to talk to her about my grade, she told me to come back when she had office hours–I mean, fine, but it’s not like she was doing anything then. So rude. I’m going to explain to her that I really, really tried and put a lot of effort into that paper and even though I never read the book and the paper has no thesis statement and is a big piece of crap, I should be getting at least a ‘B+’ for effort, right? Anyway, if she doesn’t change my grade, I might need you to write an email to her, FYI. Kthnx!

    Your Entitled Brat, 18 years from now

    …Seriously moms. Use the iPhone. It’s okay if your kids learn to do things outside of your constant encouragement, attention, and approval. Put down the helicopter blades.

  • Sam Inoue

    Aren’t we all shitty moms? I know I am, at least by these crazy people’s standards! My husband and I both do good nights with the younger kids (mostly me for the baby cause he nurses still), but our lovely teen stays up with us until the middle of the night watching vastly inappropriate tv. I never let her tell any other parents the shows we watch, or how late she stays up or the fact that I have let her have a drink while we stay up since she is in the house…Yeah so many open letters would be coming my way!

  • C.J.

    I would like to write an open letter to people who judge others for not interacting with their children every waking moment. Kids don’t need to have someone paying attention to them every second. They do need independent play and to learn how to do things on their own. They don’t need to think they should always be the center of the universe. They do grow up quick and won’t want you around all the time anymore but that isn’t a bad thing. I always thought one of the goals as a parent is to raise independent children who will be able to handle whatever life throws at them. My kids know they are very loved and can come to us with anything but they also know how to do things on their own.

  • MellyG

    I’d like that trophy, PLEASE. It’s stars and cookies, two of my favorite things!

  • MellyG

    I’m finally reading the letter, first off…what is she basing this on? “you’d rather be at home watching Storage Wars” – how does she know he wouldn’t rather be reading War and Peace? Can you tell someone’s taste in shows and books and pasttimes by a quick glance at the store? Unless I”m wearing my Doctor Who shirt, likely not!

    also, i’m 33 and i’m pretty sure my parents are REALLY ok with me not pestering them with questions minute by minute. I was a “why why why” kid, so i’m fairly certain they were happy when that phase passed. At like 29.

    So the big bad daddy yelled? Get back here (because i’m sure parents LOVE when their kids wander off….right?) and “Don’t be rude” – so i’m assuming this SAME mom would also be bitching about parents that don’t control their kids right? So now parents can’t control their kids, because it makes little special snowflake sad? I’m glad she wasn’t bothered, but maybe someone else would have been. And maybe dad wanted junior kept near him for a reason!

    Lastly, “Children are like flowers. Tend to them and they will grow into something beautiful. Step on them and they will wither.” REALLY? That is such pretentious crap – children are like CHILDREN.

    ok rant over

  • MellyG

    Also, in the iphone rant – the “His shoulders slump, but only for a moment, as he finds the next cool thing to do.” that’s because that’s what kids do! They’re like “oh ok oh well……on to other things”. My parents didn’t stop their universe every time i wanted to show them something (they would have never gotten anything done) and you know what? I’m ok – it also taught me the world doesn’t revolve around me! Fancy that!

  • Neville

    My wife was killed by a great white shark and I was given sole custody of my six year old, people were against it because they say I have charges of séx crimes against children in another country.

  • Suzanne Williams Guest

    I am horrified by your rant, Maria, but then when I looked up your profile on Twitter, I see that this is who you are. A person who dwells on the not so nice and glorifies it. I know the author of that particular blog, not personally, but through her blog and know where she is coming from. I know her heart. You, and many of your readers, don’t. Is she condescending? Or is she simply a Mom who is walking through her journey as a mom, stumbling on her way many times and perhaps, very likely, seeing pieces of herself in this particular blog post. Is she really talking to the guy in WalMart or is she talking to herself and reminding herself that these years are all too short. I know that I regret many times the authoritarian way I raised my own two.

    • Ursi

      “Is she condescending? Or is she simply a Mom who is walking through her journey as a mom…”
      I vote for both.

    • Maria Guido

      HORRIFIED? You’re HORRIFIED? That’s pretty dramatic. I think it’s nice of you to stand up for your friend who you don’t actually know, I’m just doing the same thing for all the parents who feel constantly judged by this particular type of writing.

    • MamaLlama

      Nice article.

    • MamaLlama

      What’s funny is I don’t know the mother you write of nor do I know Maria… But I do know numerous other parents who post or blog these same types of ‘open letters’ and/or ‘public service announcements’ on Facebook. I also get the side eye and a muttered comment when someone who does not know me, feels the need to tell me I should act more #blessed. Or take more time to appreciate my little ones… I don’t need their judgement nor does anyone else…

    • Suzanne Williams Guest

      Thank you, MamaLlama. I really appreciated your measured, well-reasoned reply to my comment. I don’t think she meant to tell you to feel #blessed or come across as judgemental; however, from your response I now see how it could be taken as such.

      P.S. – I love your moniker.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

    So this past weekend, we were at our local science centre with the kid, and beside us at the lunch table were these twins, maybe just over 2 years old, happily eating the mashed avocado on multi-grain bread that their superhero mom was making for them. We were feeling like the worst parents ever, giving our kid the mac & cheese from the cafeteria. Then her husband came over with burgers and fries for mom and dad, and that’s when the mom yelled at her kid not to touch the table, and I realized that underneath their avocado sandwiches, she’d basically covered their entire side of the table in saran wrap.

    All that to say: we’re all weirdos/fuck-ups/whatever in our own ways, and we’re all doing the best we can, at least most of the time anyway.

  • Guets

    Thank you for this. Idk if it is just me but I’ve been getting super annoyed with how involved people are in other’s lives. Every article is about how COULD the parents do that HOW COULD they?!?!? When it is really up to them to do whatever the eff they want to. Unless you’re the state and you’re getting involved it isn’t any of your fucking business how someone else raises their kids.

  • Shannon

    I love this post. The people who write these letters are viewing the situation through their own lenses and can’t demonstrate any empathy for the other person they’re addressing in their sancti-mommy rants. That kid could have been asking questions for a straight hour and the dad could have reached his limit. He could have been warned half a dozen times on that shopping trip to stay next to Daddy and not to wander off or talk to strangers. Sweet, innocent little boy could have been acting like a little shit all morning long (as preschoolers are wont to do) and Dad is just over it altogether and can’t wait for Mom to take over parenting duties that afternoon. He might have been nicer about how he spoke to his son, but it doesn’t even sound that bad, and maybe he’s usually very patient and understanding. We all have our limits.

    And the phone thing at the park pisses me off. I have caught major side-eye from other parents at the playground when I tell my 4-year-old, “I didn’t bring you to the park so you could play with me. I play with you all day at home. I brought you here to play with other kids, go on.” But it’s true, and I do go on Facebook and Mommyish and Buzzfeed while my kid is playing, and I look up every few minutes to make sure he’s getting along with the other kids and I step in when I need to. He doesn’t need me to micromanage his play.

    I once read in a wonderful book, “I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids” a line to the effect that judgy sanctimommies (and daddies) are feeling insecure about how they’re doing as parents, so they look for people doing it “wrong” and tear into them. I’m not perfect, but I think my kid is turning out pretty well and I’m happy with my choices.

  • Courtney Lynn

    I have an acquaintance who likes to post status updates that are similar, but sound far less eloquent. One night she made a status about me without saying who it was about but just saying that she is (paraphrasing) “tired of women complaining about their babies and it makes her so sick and she will take them and love them because they’re innocent babies”. All I said was I was out of ideas on getting my baby girl to nap longer than 20 minute spurts throughout the day because I can’t get anything done. She also commented on MY post that I probably wasn’t feeding her enough. She made her own post “for teh babiez” when I flat out ignored her. Then one of her equally ignorant friends came along and emoted with her about how young women just don’t appreciate their little miracles. She also rants about various other things and has the audacity to claim that she’s being brave to speak her mind. On Facebook. Behind a screen. Riiiiiight.

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