Fotolia

10 Ways People Without Kids Unfairly Judge Parents

By
Share
Ad failed to load

I think the easiest thing in the world is to judge people on something you know very little about. It seems to be a "thing" these days (thanks internet). I mean, just look at the Harambe incident and the Disney alligator incident are any indication. People become over-night parenting experts, dishing out "parenting advice" in 140 characters or less. While other parents are often the ones judging (let's be real), there are plenty of ways people without kids unfairly judge parents, too.

The majority of my own friends who are childless have done a pretty great job of not judging my parenting choices, but when I worked at a particular retail establishment where many of the full-time employees where childless (by choice), I encountered some strange moments of judgement and shame. The biggest offender once questioned my choice to breastfeed my baby past one year of age. I believe the answer I gave was, "Because it's my choice."

Parenting is hard enough without having to sift through and essentially survive other people's judgement. I know there are parents out there who are neglectful and make poor decisions, sure, but the majority of us are just doing the best we can. As I have said before, until you've been in my exact situation, you can't possibly judge the decisions I've made. So, do everyone a favor and hold back on the snark, on the judgment, and on the backseat parenting, especially if you aren't a parent yourself. If you're wondering if what you're saying is, in fact, judgement, just take a look at the ways people without kids shame parents (even unintentionally):

Ad failed to load

The Inability To "Pack Light"

GIPHY

I have to tell you, even my husband seems to think I should be packing "lighter" when we go places. Then we'll try it his way, and inevitably, the kids want or need something I didn't bother to pack; whether it's snacks, or a toy, or a change of clothes or something similar and equally important. The fallout of that situation is always a lot of fun to deal with, as is the chance to say, "I told you so." That is why you can't pack light.

Being Late

GIPHY

Anyone with a child knows that they wait to poop, pee, or ask to bring along a toy that no one has seen in weeks as soon as you're all at the front door with shoes and coats on, ready to head out into the world in the hopes of actually being on time for an appointment or a meeting or a playdate. In order to not be late, you basically have to plan to leave an hour before you really need to.

Saying No To Last Minute Plans

GIPHY

What's that? You want to go on a hike at 2:30 today? Well, you should have mentioned that before I put my kid down for his nap.

Ad failed to load

Going Home From Events Early For Bedtime

Giphy

I remember scoffing at the parents who needed to leave parties with their kids as early as 6:300 in the evening so they could help their kid "stay on schedule." My kid certainly wasn't going to be like that. Nope, my future offspring was going to be adaptable, because we were going to be more free with schedules. And that's when we learned that kids don't sleep in later to make up for the time they lost the night before.

Not Being Spontaneous Enough (Or At All)

GIPHY

I'm not saying spontaneity has been ruled out completely, but it's a lot harder than it used to be, thanks to extra-curricular activities, nap schedules, and many other variables associated with parenting. These days, spontaneous means making plans a week in advance, instead of at the very last minute or ditching plans altogether.

Taking Kids Out To Restaurants

GIPHY

Judge away, child-free adults. I know I used to. Sometimes, you just need to get out of the house and you can't afford a babysitter or you can't get help from friends or family. My kids are crazy when they go out to a restaurant, but I'm paying for my meal just like everyone else is, and there are no rules against bringing your kids to a more family-friendly restaurant.

Ad failed to load

Continuing On An Excursion, Despite A Meltdown

GIPHY

When my daughter used to have a tantrum at the zoo because we were leaving the sea otters (after 45 minutes of standing there), I would continue walking with her, despite her cries. Why? Because we had only been there for 45 minutes and it cost me $38 dollars to get in and I know that as soon as she's distracted by another animal, she will be totally fine.

Buying The Kids Cheap Toys At Any Point

GIPHY

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I swore up and down that my kids would only play with ethically produced, eco-friendly toys and, sure, I've purchased as many of those as I can but they are expensive. I just can't afford them every time we decide to get our kids something new.

Letting The Kids Eat Junk

GIPHY

I was that judgmental person, too. You never know the other person's whole story, though. Maybe this is a once-a-month treat, and the kid usually eats really well. Maybe the parents needed a break. Maybe they can't afford that organic, farm-to-table produce. Until you've walked a mile in that parent's shoes, you can't judge.

Ad failed to load

Too Many Toys

GIPHY

When you visit with a friend who has kids, you will be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of toys, especially if you don't have kids yourself and your living room hasn't turned into some oversized toy bin. You will wonder what kid needs that many toys, and the answer will inevitably be, "none." I guarantee you half of those toys were gifts though, and pretty much all kids are pack rats, which means it's virtually impossible for you to throw out anything of theirs without them going ballistic.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}