50 Reasons Why I’m Qualified To Judge You And Your Family
After my extensive research of parenting (asking you all inane questions that mostly betray my own naiveté and insecurity), I’ve pretty much deduced that parenting is one big parade with nosy busybodies sitting in bleachers, judging your every move. I imagine santimommies peering over their sexy librarian glasses, shaking their heads, and making notes in some never-ending Judgment Tournament tally–a competition in which everybody loses.
I’ll never entirely understand why people in general feel that they get to have an opinion on parenting choices in the first place. Barring abuse or neglect (or, these few judgment-worthy decisions), it’s really nobody’s business if you breastfeed, let your kids watch TV, how you balance careers or responsibility among the parents, or really any other innocuous decision. And yet, we all know a world free of judgment aimed at mothers is a pipe dream (that’s not to say that fathers don’t get their share of judgment, but let’s be honest–moms get it worse. I have the sneaking suspicion that this has to do with the fact that somebody somewhere decided that women, their bodies, and their lives are up for public debate).
And so the parade of judgment continues, despite the fact that I would think if we can put a man on the Moon, we can decide to let parents do the parenting without comments from the Peanut Gallery. Let’s take a look at 50 reasons why people feel qualified to make judgments about your parenting, even though they’re full of shit.
- I WWOOFed with a pregnant woman like six summers ago.
- I have watched The Business Of Being Born three times.
- I read an interview with Alicia Silverstone.
- I am your mother and I had seven kids back when they encouraged labor during twilight sleep so I think I know what I’m talking about, thank you very much.
- I am your mother-in-law and you are carrying/attempting to conceive/adopting my grandchild so you’ll hear me out.
- I am your Great Aunt Sarah and everyone in the family comes to me for advice.
- I have a child.
- I was a child.
- I once babysat my little sister.
- Well, I breastfed all three of my kids with no problem.
- I am the person ringing you up in line at the grocery store and as such am entitled to make comments on your food choices.
- I am just being a really, really good friend.
- I am just being a really, really good older sister.
- I am just being a really, really good samaritan who feels that your baby sling is a rather garish color.
- I watched OITNB so I know about clogged milk ducts and I’d be happy to talk to you about yours if you have them.
- I watch a lot of reality TV so I sort of know a thing or two about how to raise dysfunctional children.
- I really just have your best interests in mind.
- I really just have the best intentions.
- I wrote a vegan blog for a few months in college and so I really just feel that you should stop turning your children into raging blood mouths.
- I found some very convincing information about vaccinations on some message boards and so I feel obligated to tell you that you’re giving your children zombie diseases.
- I am a person with two eyes and a heart and I simply cannot let you continue to let your daughter dress herself.
- I am a person of deep religious conviction and as such I feel obligated to tell you that your family is going straight to hell.
- My parents put way too much pressure on me as a child so you really should listen to me about how you should treat your kids.
- But I read all the books. Did you read all the books?
- I worked as a dog walker so I know a thing or two about juggling needy charges. You’re doing it wrong.
- That child is my second cousin twice removed and I have a vested interest in her development.
- Oh wait, I think my sister tried to burp her baby son like that and now he has chronic stomach issues, so, yeah.
- I am a stranger on the street but I have to share a family tradition wherein I can determine the gender of your baby based on your breast size.
- I hold a doctorate of British history which is a type of doctor, and is that muffin even gluten free?
- My grandmother was a nurse during WWII and based on her stories, I basically feel like a medical professional.
- I work at the expensive baby supply store you got a gift certificate to (that won’t cover a single item in the store), so you might want to hear what I have to say.
- I raised six prize winning pit bulls. What the hell did you ever do?
- I garden a lot which takes quite a nurturing sensibility.
- I have been friends with you for over fifteen years. The least you can do is listen to me.
- Look, I’m not really all that qualified at all but I notice that you use plastic bottles instead of glass.
- I’m dyeing your hair so you’re going to listen to my advice for the next few hours.
- I’m cutting your child’s hair so I’m going to recommend that you stop letting your son grow out his hair like this. He looks like…a girl.
- I am a guest in your home so can you please explain to me why you allow your child to watch an hour of TV every night?
- We’re Facebook friends from 2006 (I’m a carry-over from your Myspace days but we haven’t met IRL.) I will air my grievances with your parenting with passive aggressive liking.
- We’re not Facebook friends, but you married this dude I used to know so I stalk your public profile and I know your life.
- I am your boss and therefore I feel qualified to speak about your personal life.
- I’m your across-the-street neighbor and I can’t help but notice that you let your kids play in the sprinklers every single day of spring. When is the homework getting done?
- I also noticed that you don’t get home from work until around six-thirty, and that you bring home take-out a lot.
- I’m a person with opinions and I deserve to be heard.
- I am a twenty-something who was online adopted by a bunch of cool parents who teach me about parenting.
- We’re family.
- We’re family friends.
- We’re friends with families.
- Why is this confusing to you? I have an opinion and I’m going to share it.
- I am Judge Judy (only reasonable qualification on this list).
Photo: Judge Judy