Smug Mothers

Today was the first day of the “Fitness & Fun” class that I signed The Princess up for. Though it sounds like preschool aerobics, what it basically boils down to is a movement class for kids. Today’s activities included stomping around with a tambourine, bouncing a ball, and balancing on a beam. The class is filled – twelve 3-5 year olds and a teacher.

While class is in session, the parents wait outside. We are visible to our kiddos through a big window, but the teacher asked us to wait outside to keep from distracting the kids. Pumpkin and I sat out with a handful of other moms (and one dad), and several other babies (two of them were also 6-months old, another one was 9 months).

One woman waiting with us runs a daycare – she brought six kids to the class today. Only one of them was hers. The 9-month-old with her was not her child, but rather, one of her charges. While we sat, I felt like she was quizzing me about Pumpkin: “Does she have teeth yet?” “Is she crawling?” “How does she nap?”

I answered her calmly when she asked a question, but it just felt like Judgement Day to me! When I told her that no, Pumpkin doesn’t nap well, she got this look on her face, paused, then looking at the baby with her said, “This one will fall asleep anywhere!” Yeah, thanks lady.

It’s funny how becoming a mother opens you up to judgement. It doesn’t matter what you do, there is always someone who says your way is wrong, that their way is better. If you’re a stay at home mom, they think it’s horrible that your child doesn’t have a strong role model, or that your child won’t be socialized with other kids. You work outside the home? How dare you dump your children off on someone else. Why have children if you aren’t going to raise them? You rock your baby to sleep? Well, you’re just teaching her to be dependent on you to fall asleep. You let your baby cry it out? How cruel – she’s going to learn that she can’t depend on anyone. You breastfeed? How gross – you aren’t going to do that in public right? You formula feed? Don’t you know “breast is best”?

For every parenting decision you make, there’s this voice in the back of your head wondering how it’s going to be perceived. It’s really difficult. Becoming a mother is a life-altering experience, no doubt about it. However, it’s amazing that other women – other moms – who have most likely been subject to the same criticisms themselves feel free to look down their nose at someone who is doing things their own way.

I sat there as this woman looked at me and Pumpkin. She was by no means the first person to be smug, and act like her child was perfect, and try to compare babies. Every kiddo is different. As I was telling my mom this story tonight I said to her, “I know many people compare their babies to other people’s babies — but it wasn’t even HER baby to compare!”

It’s going to be a long seven weeks with “Super Mom” if she continues on this path. Smug moms are just no fun.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. Amen sista! It never ends, no matter what age or situation, women continue to judge and beat up on each other. It’s appalling.

    Work on some good comebacks for this moron. Every child is different and develops at their own pace. There is no set rule for when babies must do “xyz”.

    Makes me embarrassed to be a woman with the way some act.

  2. I think they should pass out ear plugs as you leave the hospital to wear when this crap starts. Especially when it comes from say your Mother-in-law or great aunt who never had a child.

    Why do we feel the need to tear each other down? Does it really make us feel better, more superior?
    We’re tolerant of everything else in this country. We don’t dare say something unless it’s P.C. but we can rip into a mother for giving her baby a pacifier. Can you imagine how great motherhood would be if we were actually supportive of one and other?

  3. Don’t get me started sister. I don’t deal well with judgemental people. I usually end up running away to avoid poking them in the eye.

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