Childrearing

50 Reasons Why I’m Qualified To Judge You And Your Family

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judge judy

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.

  1. I  WWOOFed with a pregnant woman like six summers ago.
  2. I have watched The Business Of Being Born three times.
  3. I read an interview with Alicia Silverstone.
  4. 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.
  5. I am your mother-in-law and you are carrying/attempting to conceive/adopting my grandchild so you’ll hear me out.
  6. I am your Great Aunt Sarah and everyone in the family comes to me for advice.
  7. I have a child.
  8. I was a child.
  9. I once babysat my little sister.
  10. Well, I breastfed all three of my kids with no problem.
  11. 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.
  12. I am just being a really, really good friend.
  13. I am just being a really, really good older sister.
  14. I am just being a really, really good samaritan who feels that your baby sling is a rather garish color.
  15. 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.
  16. I watch a lot of reality TV so I sort of know a thing or two about how to raise dysfunctional children.
  17. I really just have your best interests in mind.
  18. I really just have the best intentions.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. I am a person with two eyes and a heart and I simply cannot let you continue to let your daughter dress herself.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. But I read all the books. Did you read all the books?
  25. I worked as a dog walker so I know a thing or two about juggling needy charges. You’re doing it wrong.
  26. That child is my second cousin twice removed and I have a vested interest in her development.
  27. Oh wait, I think my sister tried to burp her baby son like that and now he has chronic stomach issues, so, yeah.
  28. 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.
  29. I hold a doctorate of British history which is a type of doctor, and is that muffin even gluten free?
  30. My grandmother was a nurse during WWII and based on her stories, I basically feel like a medical professional.
  31. 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.
  32. I raised six prize winning pit bulls. What the hell did you ever do?
  33. I garden a lot which takes quite a nurturing sensibility.
  34. I have been friends with you for over fifteen years. The least you can do is listen to me.
  35. Look, I’m not really all that qualified at all but I notice that you use plastic bottles instead of glass.
  36. I’m dyeing your hair so you’re going to listen to my advice for the next few hours.
  37. 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.
  38. 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?
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. I am your boss and therefore I feel qualified to speak about your personal life.
  42. 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?
  43. I also noticed that you don’t get home from work until around six-thirty, and that you bring home take-out a lot.
  44. I’m a person with opinions and I deserve to be heard.
  45. I am a twenty-something who was online adopted by a bunch of cool parents who teach me about parenting.
  46. We’re family.
  47. We’re family friends.
  48. We’re friends with families.
  49. Why is this confusing to you? I have an opinion and I’m going to share it.
  50. I am Judge Judy (only reasonable qualification on this list).

Photo: Judge Judy

26 Comments

  1. Kay_Sue

    June 12, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Seems legit.

  2. jane

    June 12, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    I went to graduate school for a subject that is peripherally related to children.

    • Clara Brandon

      June 12, 2014 at 5:14 pm

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  3. Spongeworthy

    June 12, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Upon research, your credentials are sound.

  4. sitting-pretty

    June 12, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Does anyone have any good advice on how to deal with the relentless judgements? Anything that is more diplomatic than “mind your own fucking business” would be appreciated. My SIL has made it her sole lifes purpose to educate me on how im doing it wrong, & she is the worlds leading expert cause she has 2 kids ok.

    • Marci

      June 12, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      I always smile and say, “Thank you for your opinion.”
      Because it’s that or rage.

    • Spongeworthy

      June 12, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      Alcohol.

    • Spongeworthy

      June 12, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      Seriously though, I usually just say “hmm maybe I’ll try that” and then completely ignore it. I have a sister and SIL who believe they are experts in parenting so I feel your pain.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      June 12, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      i like to turn the judgement parade back on them. She’s your SIL, so you should know what she’s insecure about…… Just judge judge judge about whatever until she gets your very subtle hint.

      SIL: “You let your kids watch tv?”
      What I do: “Did you seriously wear that to work? My God, I’d be fired.” or
      “You do all the laundry? Wow, I’m glad MY husband helps his family.”

      But fair warning, I am a bitch 🙂

    • Frances "Librle" Locke

      June 12, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      I love you.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      June 12, 2014 at 8:58 pm

      🙂 Likewise.

    • Greta Young

      June 12, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      In my experience, a lot of the people who feel compelled to chime in with a judgy opinion about how “you’re doing it wrong” are simply seeking encouragement and praise about how they’re doing it RIGHT. (My guess is because their own self-imposed choices might actually be causing them a lot of stress, financial strain, internal guilt, uncertainty, difficulty, etc. and they need some kind of validation — not necessarily because they’re genuinely interested in sharing a helpful tip with others.)

      I’ve found “I’m glad that worked for you. We’re doing what works for our family” is a great alternative response when you want to say “Wow. Shut up already and fuck right off, k?”

      Then distract/redirect. Just like you would to her 2 kids when they start being obnoxious.

    • Ursi

      June 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      I think the most polite way to deal with it is to smile and nod. But one thing a lot of people don’t do because they think it’s impolite (it isn’t) is to say nicely outright, “Sorry, I don’t agree” or some variant. Don’t give reasons, don’t try to back it up, it’s not a debate tournament just a short simple statement that doesn’t offer any room for argument.

      Your judge-y SIL will still try to argue but further resistance should be met with repeating yourself and attempting to change the subject.

      Source: my spouse does this sometimes and it drives me up a wall but guess what? IT WORKS.

    • whiteroses

      June 14, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      I do a lot of smiling and nodding.

  5. Elisa Probert

    June 12, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    You can judge all my invisible babies! 😛

    Or my vinyl ones, I suppose. Here, judge the heck out of Baby Hellboy! Started as a blank kit, I sculpted his horns and his Fist of Doom and painted the whole thing, before my cat rudely stole his hair. So now HB is bald. Very sad. Still looking for a newborn sized trenchcoat for him.

    http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/EdieBird/dolls/Red3.jpg

    adding…also feel free to judge my scary scary ass vampire baby, Cornelia.

    http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f271/EdieBird/dolls/Corny3.jpg

    • LadyClodia

      June 12, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      If you give him a Baby Ruth, maybe he’ll stop crying.
      Also, it’s kind of funny that your cat messed with him.

    • Elisa Probert

      June 12, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      I know, right? HB would be totally nice to the kitty.

      He doesn’t get a Baby Ruth though. Everyone knows you don’t give babies peanuts! Even if they ARE half demon.

    • LadyClodia

      June 12, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      LOL, fair enough, so maybe he’s crying because he’s too young to have one.

    • Williwaw

      June 13, 2014 at 10:24 am

      I love those. They are absolutely terrifying. I am going to wake up tomorrow and be scared to open my eyes lest I see Baby Cornelia snuggling up to my carotid artery.

    • Elisa Probert

      June 13, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      Cornelia is usually a well-behaved little monster. Just give her a bottle of blood before nap time and you’re good to go. She prefers B-positive. Just makes her happy, ya know?

      Thanks to my dolls I have all sorts of great baby clothes lying around. LOL Having a hard time finding anything to fit little Janie here, as she’s teeny preemie size.

      https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/t1.0-9/602947_635159979857782_8112680_n.jpg

      And a regular “human” baby, Corey, holding a baby gnome. (I just wanted to use hot pink hair!) The kit for the human baby looks almost exactly like my cousin when she was a baby, and now her son. I love that yellow outfit, found it at a second hand store.

      https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/t1.0-9/14505_633034636736983_303616167_n.jpg

    • Williwaw

      June 15, 2014 at 12:24 am

      What? Cornelia isn’t neck-fed? What kind of vampire-dolly-mom are you?

    • Elisa Probert

      June 15, 2014 at 12:37 am

      The WORST. LOL

      I did offer to let her feed off the orangutan, but HellBoy got mad and punched her because he thinks that’s his kitty. It was a ruckus. Eh, monster babies. What can ya do?

  6. lucie uk

    June 12, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Childfree woman at work keeps telling colleague he must have another child! Cos it’s mean to be only child. Despite myself and another colleague being one child family. And not knowing his circumstances. I think just maybe they had fertility issues, or maybe they can’t afford to buy bigger place, or maybe they are happy with one. Just so rude and inappropriate

  7. Marci

    June 12, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    “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.”
    HE DOES NOT REALLY HAVE A FAMILY TRADITION! HE JUST WANTS TO TOUCH YOUR BREASTS!

  8. Hibbie

    June 12, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Awww, number 45 is sweet!

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