14 Things You Can Do Instead Of Judge How Much Time Moms Spend With Their Kids

Ad failed to load

There are some things you just don't do to a mom. Don't mess with her little ones. Don't ask her when she's going to "lose the baby weight." And, barring neglect, don't suggest she's not giving enough of herself to her children. Look, I get it: we all love the sound of our own voices, so resisting the need to hurl opinions can be difficult. However, I'm here to give you some suggestions about things you can do instead of judge how much time moms spend with their kids.

But first I'd like to talk about maybe why this is an issue in the first place. So there was a while, shortly after I had my first kid, when the people around me would constantly reference my motherhood. "Oh, you're doing that because you're a mom!" or, "You're such a mom!" Even when the subject at hand had nothing to do with maternity in any way, my involvement was somehow always seen through the lens of motherhood. Now I'm sure a lot of that was the novelty of my having a kid, but I think it also just speaks to the idea that society has such a narrow view of mothers, so once a woman has offspring anything about her not in service to the "ideal" is either ignored or judged. The message seems to be that you can be a mother or you can be a complex and interesting human being, but you can't be both. The worst part of it is, I know some women who have admitted to buying into it a little bit and begin only to see themselves as "Caden's mommy" or "Jolene and Sarah's mom." (Personally, for what it's worth, I've found that actively pushing against this idea has been beneficial to my personal wellbeing and interpersonal relationships.)

The idea that mothers must spend an unspecified (but usually highly demanding) amount of time in the physical presence of their children is often the bane of many women (especially working moms). This is often exacerbated by the fact that lots of women would love to spend more time with their kids, but can't due to work, school, or any number of other factors. In short, these women don't need your judgment. So when you feel the need to chastise, here are some handy things you could do instead:

Ad failed to load

Call Your Representatives


There's a lot going on in the world right now that is more deserving of your attention, anger, and action. Including, by the way, policies and legislation that affect a mother's ability to be there for her children. Calling your senators and congressperson is a good start, but that's only the beginning. Honestly, all this is probably going to take you away from judging moms for years to come.


Like, literally anywhere. An animal shelter; a women's shelter; an after-school sports team; with your synagogue, church, or mosque; there is no dearth of possibilities and I believe you will find the time you spend making the world a better place is far more rewarding than giving some poor mom a guilt trip.

Knit A Scarf


Even I could be taught how to knit a scarf. It's soothing, it's easy, and who doesn't love scarves? Bonus: if you ever feel the need to start lecturing while you knit, you can just stick a ball of yarn in your mouth to effectively promote shutting the hell up.

Ad failed to load

Finally Read 'Infinite Jest'

It's been sitting on your bedside table since David Foster Wallace died in 2008 and you heard everyone calling it a "modern masterpiece." I know, I know: it's a slog. However, maybe if you really focus on muscling through it you'll get into it and understand all the hype.

Ask How You Can Support Her


A simple, "Hey, how are you doing?" can go a long way. Or simply giving out the vibe that you are there if she does need to reach out for help, or just talk. This is much more helpful than a smug judgmental vibe that makes her simultaneously feel ashamed and indignant.

Watch A 'Law And Order: SVU' Marathon

Doesn't matter what time it is or where you live, chances are there's one on if you just go through enough channels.

Ad failed to load

Learn High Valyrian


Maybe by the time Game of Thrones comes back in July you won't even need the subtitles on when Dany talks to Grey Worm and Missandei. I also this is a really neat bar trick (if you go to a bar full of geeks, like me).

Bonus: if you do still feel the need to condescend someone, you can do it in Valyrian. Since they won't know what you're saying you'll be less likely to offend them!

Plant A Garden

Planting a garden helped Mary Lennox turn from a sour, miserable little girl to a happy, thriving child in The Secret Garden. Maybe you can do the same.

Watch Some Kitten Videos


They always distract me from whatever I'm doing, including but not limited to work, watching my kids, or talking to my partner. Can you blame me? Look at this cat! He's in a box! Cats don't belong in boxes! That's silly. Kitty, you're silly!

Ad failed to load

Call Your Mom

Mom loves it when you call. You really should call her more often.

Take A Nap


Because you seem really cranky. Are you cranky? You know, when I'm feeling sort of glum and grumpy and free to spew my stupid ideas about what a woman should and should not do, I find that taking just a little bit of a cat nap clears that right up. I wake up refreshed and non-judgmental. Why not give it a go?

Put Yourself In This Mom's Shoes

Instead of looking down on a mom you feel is neglecting her maternal duties, why not think about her challenges and goals? Instead of thinking about what you would do in her shoes, think about why she does what she does. If you don't have a clear answer (or can't muster sufficient empathy), move forward with the knowledge that she knows her life and child better than you do.

Ad failed to load

Take A Step Back And Ask Yourself Why This Issue Matters So Much To You


Because, seriously: what's your deal, dude? It is really the wellbeing of this woman and her family? Really?

Take A Walk


Moms are busy enough. They have precisely zero minutes available to deal with your bullsh*t. Piss off, sort yourself out, and come back with a better attitude.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

8 Things That *Will* Go Wrong Every Time You Plan A Kid-Free Night

The last time my husband and I went out to dinner alone was… actually, I can’t remember. But I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen a movie in a theater in the last year. Before we had children we used to go out all the time. But even with …
By Liza Wyles

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

11 Ways Your Pregnancy Will Be Different If You Have A Boy Vs A Girl

If you've been pregnant before, you might start comparing your previous pregnancies to that of your current pregnancy. A lot of things can change from pregnancy to pregnancy, based on a whole host of different factors (including how well you remember…
By Lauren Schumacker

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

12 Moms Share How They Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Unfortunately, we're in the middle of the roughest flu seasons in recent memory. And we’re not totally out of the woods, either. People around the country are still getting the flu, and, sadly, some of them are having to be hospitalized due to flu-re…
By Priscilla Blossom

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack