Love from Mim Logo

Why do Parents judge each other?

Why do Parents judge each other?

Why do Parents judge each other?

Since I became a mother myself, and even more so since expecting baby #2, I’ve been thinking a lot about the kind of mum I thought I would be and the one I’ve actually ended up becoming.  This post is chance to apologise to the parents I judged.

Why do parents judge each other? - Judging Parents Judging other parents sorry for judging other parents
Image Source: Pixabay

I wrote a post recently on some of the different kinds of mothers I’ve encountered along the way – the Mumcyclopedia.  I think I’m a bit of all of them.

I’ve always been opinionated and whilst I try not to judge others, I know I do.  I always will.  I have never been, and will never be, the kind to sit on the fence or not express the way I feel about someone or something.

However, one thing I have learned in the past couple of years is that, surprise surprise, I am not always right!  Friends reading this will have fallen on the floor in shock and my admission of that.

I never want to stop being opinionated – it’s a quality I really admire in others.  Even if I completely disagree with someone else’s opinion, I really respect their confidence and passion in putting it forward and I’m delighted when they change my mind on something because we’re never to old to be educated.

That said, I am making a concerted effort to not express all of my opinions all of the time, especially about parenthood.  This is for the simple reason that I constantly change my mind now.  It’s inevitable of course that as you become pregnant, a new parent, a more experienced parent and then a parent of more than one child, things change.  Your situation and circumstances change, you learn more, you find out what works and what doesn’t work for you and your family and your eyes are opened to trying new things that you might never have considered before.

With that said, there are a few judgments I made pre-pregnancy/parenthood that I would like to address and apologise for.  So if you fall into any of the categories below, I’m sorry for judging:

1.  Parents who only wanted 1 child

I put this down to simple immaturity.  I always wanted more than one child, all my life.  It was always going to be 2 or 3 (if possible) and I have one sibling myself.  I just couldn’t understand why anyone would only want 1 child and I had no problem in voicing this to them.

I thought how lonely it must be to be an only child and couldn’t think of a good reason at all for why the parents wouldn’t want at least one more baby.  My main problem was that I didn’t ask them.  I didn’t consider that they might have loved being an only child themselves or that perhaps they desperately wanted more but unfortunately couldn’t have any more kids.  I didn’t consider that they might not be able to afford another, that they were already pushed to their limits with the one they had or shock that they might just be so happy with the one beautiful bundle of joy they already have that their perfect family is now complete and they didn’t feel the need to expand it further.

So I’m sorry for judging you and in some friends’ cases, for hounding you to have another baby.

2.  Parents who didn’t want to try for a Girl or Boy

Absolute naivety and immaturity again.  It literally wasn’t until I was pregnant with my own baby though that I dropped this ridiculous notion – that all parents MUST want babies of both gender.  And if they already had 3 boys, WHY wouldn’t they keep trying to get a girl?

Honestly I’m embarrassed to have even thought this, let alone admit it to you now.

Until my 20s, I always wanted one of each – a pigeon pair I think they’re called.  I had 1 brother, it was what I was used to.  It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my first baby that I realised I didn’t care one bit what gender the baby was and of course I only wanted a healthy and happy one.  She was a girl – I was delighted!  I’m sure I would have been equally delighted with a boy!  Now I’m pregnant with baby #2 I’ve had the odd comment of “I’m sure you want a boy next” and when I say I don’t mind, some of them look at me sympathetically as if I’m desperately holding out for the boy I might never have.

The truth is, I just don’t care and in fact, it I really had the choice it might be another girl if only to reuse those beautiful clothes of Miss M’s that we packed away when she outgrew them.

I’m so sorry to the people I pestered to have another one of the opposite sex for all of the reasons given in the point above.  Having babies of both gender is so unimportant and you have your own reasons for not wanting to ‘keep trying for the opposite’ that have nothing whatsoever to do with me.

3.  Parents whose kids throw tantrums.

You know, the tantrums I mean.  The ones in supermarkets, restaurants, shopping centres etc.  The ones where the kids literally throw themselves on the floor in a screaming/crying/shouting rage when their demands are not met.  Or well, just because it took their fancy to.

Oh how I judged the parents of these little treasures.  How had they let the situation get that bad?  What a naughty child!  Why didn’t they just pick that child up and take it home?

It hadn’t occurred to me that the kid might be having a tantrum out of the blue for no good reason and the parent might have been been caught off guard.  Or that even the most beautifully mannered toddlers sometimes throw a tantrum just because.  Or that when that child hits the deck, they somehow become the weight of a bus and try as you might, you sometimes just cannot prise them up again!  Honestly, how do they get so heavy all of a sudden?

Miss M is a good girl, we’re lucky over all.  She only just turned 2, we’re also only at the beginning of our tantrumy years.  We’ve had some tasters of what is to come and we don’t like it.  We’re scared.  We will never judge the parent of a child having a tantrum again and my judgmental head shakes have turned into sympathetic smiles.

4.  Women who complained about their Pregnancy

If you’ve reading my blog during my current pregnancy you’ll laugh at this one.  I do try to be as positive and optimistic as possible in life but when it comes to illness or any physical discomfort, I’ll admit to being a complainer.

Before I was pregnant myself I had no concept of the real changes it made to your body.  Yes I understood that I would increase in size, grow a bump, perhaps get cracked nipples if I breastfed.  But that was it, right?  I couldn’t understand why women who had apparently tried so hard to get pregnant then spent 9 months complaining about how hard it was.  How their back ached.  How their skin itched.  How they couldn’t sleep.  Plus a million more reactions to the never-ending possible symptoms of pregnancy.

How dare they complain?  I mean, why get pregnant at all?  I was SO naive.  It really wasn’t until I’d experienced some of the above (and more) myself that I really understood that whilst pregnancy is one of the most wonderful and magical times a woman can experience, it can also be blo*dy hard work.  There really isn’t any preparation you can do for how pregnancy will change your body – you don’t know until you’re in the thick of it.

I feel such guilt for complaining about my pregnancy symptoms.  There are so many women who won’t get to experience pregnancy at all and here I am complaining about acid reflux and back ache but I will get to carry, give birth to and hold my own baby.  At the same time though, I do try to forgive myself for the complaining sometimes – I am experience real symptoms after all and it doesn’t take away for how grateful I feel every second of every day.  For the same reasons, I’ll never judge another pregnant women in the same position.

5.  Pregnant women who wanted their baby to come ‘early’

When I was pregnant first time round I was all about trying to be as ‘natural’ as possible in my approach to pregnancy, birth and parenthood.  I still am in many ways and my wishes haven’t changed much.

I had many questions about pregnancy and child birth and regularly consulted pregnancy forums to chat to other expectant mums about how their pregnancy was going.

One thing that really confused me at the time was why so many of the ladies who had reached 37 weeks of pregnancy were wishing and hoping that their baby would come sooner than their due date.  I couldn’t understand it – in my opinion, they should be waiting for the baby to come ‘when the baby is ready’.

I didn’t consider that at 37 weeks, that poor mother might be experiencing some of the things I am now – the relentless pelvic girdle pain, the 24 hour acid reflux, back ache, constant discomfort, the emotional toil.  I warned you earlier that I complain!

I had my first baby at 36 weeks – I didn’t get to the really uncomfortable stage.  I was totally naive.  I’m currently 38 weeks pregnant with my second baby and although I’m not wishing it out as such, I absolutely cannot wait to have it in my arms and the aforementioned symptoms to go away.  Sometimes, they feel almost unbearable.  I’ll never judge a pregnant women who has reached term for bouncing on a birth ball or eating a hot curry to encourage her baby to make their appearance again.

You can read about my first baby’s labour and delivery story here.

What about you – do you agree or disagree with the above?  Have you regretted judging another pregnant women or parent before you were fully aware of their circumstances?

Why do parents judge each other? - Judging Parents Judging other parents sorry for judging other parents



  1. Kate
    / 11:45 pm

    I think we are all totally guilty of this! Hey sometimes we still get caught up in judging others. A certain amount of it is human nature. I think its just important to remember not to hold onto those thoughts and to just try and focus on your own backyard. Sometimes i catch myself out and Im like HEY! dont be like that lol.

    • / 7:30 pm

      You’re so right on all counts – I have to stop myself too as well even now :)

  2. / 10:41 am

    Hi Mim, love your honesty! I don’t think there is one person in the world who hasn’t passed judgement on someone for one reason or another. Sadly it’s human nature. And standing in judgement of parents when you don’t have children is so easy to do, but having children is a great antidote for that!

    I was lucky that neither of my two really threw tantrums in public (it’s probably got something to do with the fact I rarely left the house for the first ten years!).


    • / 2:55 pm

      Thanks Debbie! Ah I completely agree, once you have your own children, wow you learn quickly not to judge others! x

  3. Sian @ QuiteFranklySheSaid
    / 8:41 pm

    This is just like me. Or just like the old me. I think we’re all guilty of doing it to be honest, then we become parents and the lightbulb goes on :D x

    • / 6:02 am

      That’s so true Sian – we know better now! :)

  4. / 3:25 pm

    Thank you Stacey! :)

  5. Katie/Pouting In Heels
    / 7:05 pm

    Such a brave and honest post! Well done you for admitting that you were wrong. It’s amazing how we all have ideas about motherhood and parenting and how drastically they change when we actually become parents ourselves! ;-) I like to think I’m certainly much more forgiving and less judgemental now. Thanks for linking up to #AllABoutYou

    • / 3:41 pm

      Thank you so much Katie :) So true – I had no idea of my naivety before I actually became a parent myself – you really do live and learn :)

  6. International Elf Service
    / 10:31 pm

    Great post and I always love reading posts that encourage reflection. Thank you!

    • / 3:39 pm

      Oh thank you so much! :)

  7. Gemma Louise (@sunshineblogxo)
    / 6:51 pm

    I have to admit I have never really been much of a judger on these sorts of parenting things, except for when children have tantrums in public. Don’t get me wrong Corey can sometimes too. But I judge the way that some parents handle it at times just is never appropriate. But you don’t know how they are feeling, now being a mum I know that sometimes it all gets a bit much and you just end up shouting by accident. So I try not to judge but I certainly wouldn’t personally shout in public!!! The other thing I have judged on is people who say they don’t want children – I don’t know who wouldn’t want children, they are such cuties

    thankyou for joining in with #mummymonday – love Gemma – host xo

    • / 3:39 pm

      Ahh it literally wasn’t until mine had a tantrum that I realised what it’s like for the parent – not much fun argh! :)

  8. Caro | The Twinkles Mama
    / 12:14 pm

    Yep — I’m definitely guilty of some of these. It’s incredible how short-sighted you can be before you find yourself in that very situation. At least I can say I’ve grown with maturity and experience! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    Caro |

    • / 3:36 pm

      I’m glad not to be alone Caro :)

  9. mummyofboygirltwins
    / 8:30 am

    Think we’re all a bit guilty of these! Hindsight is a wonderful thing – and until you’ve been in these situation you can’t judge. Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars

    • / 3:35 pm

      Thank you so much lady :) :) :)

  10. Mini Travellers
    / 9:51 pm

    This is a great post and I was definitely guilty of some of those before I had the girls. Now as a Mum to 3 girls who have tantrums and who is definitely not having anymore, I completely understand!! #sundaystars

    • / 3:34 pm

      Ah how we change when we have our own kids! Thanks so much :)

  11. martyn
    / 5:07 pm

    What a great honest post! I think we have all made that judgement and all thought that we would be a certain way. Iv actually got a post out this week on how much I’ve changed. #twinklytuesday

    • / 3:33 pm

      Thank so much Martyn! :)

  12. Jenny
    / 8:03 am

    I’m completely with you, I used to be very judged pre-kids, but it wasn’t until I had kids I realised that I did so many of those things! Great post! :) xx

    • / 3:32 pm

      Thank you so much Jenny! :)

  13. Adventures of a Novice Mum
    / 10:09 pm

    A good list of apologies. I think lots of people will relate. I connect most with the tantrum one; O boy, have I learnt that children are really not robotic, they don’t always do as you want them to do. I mean, I knew this before but it’s on a totally different level now.

    I’m smiling reading this post but I recently wrote about the topic of judging too. It’s amazing how parenting changes us for the better, and helps us to be slower to judge. #TheList

    • / 3:31 pm

      Oh thank you so much! :)

  14. / 11:31 am

    This is a great post, really honest and I can definitely relate to some of these! Second time round and I’ve been much wiser!

    Helen – #maternitymondays

    • / 3:24 pm

      Thanks so much Helen – oh me too! :)

  15. / 10:26 am

    I think we have all judged at one point or another but really we are judging ourselves.
    I choose to find out the gender, people say why, do you not like the surprise?
    I have a well behaved kids in the park, most days but I feel for those other mums and dads who struggle to keep their children from throwing stones. Their kids, they will throw stones…
    And finally I’m currently pregnant and not loving pregnancy. We had some upsetting news to start with and now I’m hormonal, tired and have another 17 weeks to go. I’m living for the day to hold my baby and have this pregnancy done and over with!

    • / 3:24 pm

      That’s very true Kellie, it really says a lot when we judge others! :)

  16. Farmerswifeandmummy
    / 7:24 pm

    I agree with all of the above and am guilty myself. I feel so naive especially about having more than one. It was a long painful road for number 2 but I have learnt. I never ask childless people if they want kids just in case they do and can’t have them.
    I can’t wait to see what you have. I’ve just been sorting Boo’s clothes today and was so sad that Beb won’t be able to wear her dresses ha ha. Girls clothes are so much nicer than boys ;)

    • / 3:30 pm

      Aww thanks so much! It is so sad to put their little clothes away :( I can’t wait too – hurry up baby! :)

  17. Jade
    / 9:52 am

    I think we can all relate to at least one of these, even if you didn’t think you did! It’s quite easy to judge when you’re not the person going through something, but it’s much easier to support someone! I’ve got a boy, with another on the way and, in honesty, we’d love to try for a girl next! #maternitymondays x

    • / 3:21 pm

      That’s so true :) Ahh I’m so impressed you’re already thinking of another one! :)

  18. Sarah Howe
    / 8:21 am

    Great post! I can totally relate to some. I used to judge about wanting the baby to come early or pregnancy symptoms too. It totally proves you really cannot fully get into someone’s shoes until you experience it eh? Makes life easier when chatting to other Mums and reading other blogs! xx #maternitymondays

    • / 3:20 pm

      Thanks so much Sarah! You’re so right, you just don’t know until you walk in someone else’s shoes :)

  19. Nicola@twinmummyyummy
    / 9:18 pm

    I am guilty of all of the above! I also did think just like you, before mine came along. I couldn’t understand why people who had kids, couldn’t keep their houses tidy. Lazy, I would think. Whoops! It’s all coming back to haunt me! #sundaystars

    • / 3:18 pm

      I’m glad I’m not alone ha ha! :)

  20. Fiona @ Free Range Chick
    / 7:10 pm

    Bless you for being so brilliantly honest here. I loved reading this. I have two sons, and am often met with, ‘oh you must try for a girl next’. Because simply having another baby is a guarantee to produce that elusive opposite gender. I couldn’t care less if my second was a boy or girl, I was simply delighted that we were lucky enough to be having a second baby, and keeping everything crossed that he was healthy. Cliché, but really all that you could ask for when having a baby (imho).

    I was probably guilty of judging parents with ‘out of control’ toddlers before I had kids. Little did I know of the devil in the beautiful chubby toddler.

    I hope lots of people have stumbled upon this post – it was a brilliant read! x


    • / 3:17 pm

      Thank you so much! I really try and stop myself in my tracks before I make judgments now, you live and learn :)

  21. Sarah christie
    / 6:39 pm

    Great post, yes I too am guilty of some of these judgements pre parenthood xx

    • / 1:23 pm

      Thanks Sarah! So pleased I’m not alone :)

  22. / 8:20 am

    This was a great read. We all learn flexibility through our children as they often challenge our beliefs. I learnt so much from my first child and thought that it wouldn’t be quite so much of a learning curve with my second, but guess what, it was. And about judging, well we all do it. Our judgements of others say more about ourselves than they do other people. i wrote a post on it a while back ‘Comparing ourselves to other mums’ because it works both ways. We compare and judge and can feel superior. OR we compare and feel that we are not good enough. Thanks for sharing.

    • / 1:21 pm

      Thank you so much and yes, I’m constantly learning to be more flexible in my views now :)

  23. MOMM
    / 10:19 am

    haha! I have to say I am guilty of quite a few that you mentioned!

    • / 1:22 pm

      I’m glad it wasn’t just me! :)

  24. Lora @ The 21st Century Mama
    / 10:04 am

    I’m one of those people who judge too. As a parent I still do, and I can’t help it.

    I have to have a bit of a talk with myself, much more often than I’d really like to admit, and remember that everyone has different babies, and different parenting styles and personalities.

    I became slightly less judgemental after the birth of my second child, who is quite different to my first, in many ways. But it’s not been a total cure… not yet anyway.

    Lovely blog post. x

    • / 1:22 pm

      It’s something we need to work on all the time as we learn more about parenthood isn’t it :)

  25. You Baby Me Mummy
    / 9:19 pm

    Oh you would have judged me! I only have one child and Baby is the child that lies on the floor in shops! Thanks so much for linking up to #TheList x

    • / 1:20 pm

      I promise I wouldn’t judge you now! :)

  26. Tim
    / 12:12 am

    Being opinionated is fine but I think it’s important not to judge. So often we see parents judge other parents based solely on something ludicrous like how many kids they have (or want to have) or the evidence of an isolated tantrum in a supermarket. As a statistician would say, a single data point is not an indication of a trend. I’ve had to deal with plenty of public tantrums from Isaac over the past few years, and he’s just about the most placid child you could ever meet 99% of the time.

    • / 1:19 pm

      Thanks Tim, you’re so right there :)

  27. Ah, it’s so easy to judge when we have no clue what being a parent is like. I have done so many things as a mum that I judged for previously, but like you I am happy to put my hands up and say I was wrong. I often think parents grow and learn as much as their children do #thelist

    • / 1:17 pm

      Thanks Cathryn! We’re constantly learning are parents, you’re right :)

  28. HonestMum
    / 4:31 pm

    Loved this so much, I never cared what gender baby I had, I did want another boy second time, purely because I’d had such a traumatic birth with my first that another boy made me feel like a 2nd chance at the birth again, silly logic and I would have been happy with either. If I have another I wouldn’t mind one bit girl or boy. It’s so easy to judge generally, particularly with no kids or fewer than the person with more but once you’re in their shoes, you quickly relate. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

    • / 1:18 pm

      Thanks so much Vicki :) We learn so much more every day as a parent.

  29. John Adams
    / 10:25 am

    Wow, that is quite a list. How very brave of you to put it in the public domain! Of oucrse we can all be judgemental and just yesterday I was telling a mum how there’s a kid I’m not too keen on my daughter socialising with. In a bizarre way I think I was blessed. My brothers are both 10 years younger than me and so I saw all the tantrums and bad behaviour in their formative years. It prepared me for what was coming my wasy a sa parent! #TheList

    • / 1:17 pm

      Thanks John – it was therapeutic to write! :)

  30. Mumma McD
    / 7:23 am

    Haha, yes I’m guilty of many of these too! Nothing like actually having a baby to give you a good slap of reality!

    • / 1:16 pm

      Ha that’s so true! :)

  31. Folabomi Lewis
    / 6:48 am

    This is a considered and mature view on parenting and made me wonder if I also judge. I have specific views on overbearing parenting but otherwise being one of six kids has thought me that parenting is a hard job and all deserve a medal (except for those who end up in prison or something!)

    • / 10:35 am

      Thank you so much! You’re so right, I had no idea how tough parenting was until I became a parent myself :)

  32. / 2:39 pm

    What an honest post, I must have a think about some of my pre baby thoughts. Your comment about having more than one child made me laugh because I feel slightly guilty about having a birth child when there are so many children that need homes (and there’s probably a least a little judgement in that). Now I’m not even sure my nerves can handle another :)

    • / 10:33 am

      Thank you so much Charlene :) I know exactly how you feel, we are very lucky indeed.

  33. Ali
    / 9:34 pm

    I was totally guilty of this before I had children! My classic was “I’ll never give my children dummies” “how awful children with dummies look”. 4 weeks into the relentless crying with my first and bam – I gave her a dummy!

    • / 10:35 am

      Ha I tried my best to give Miss M a dummy – she refused – oh the things you try to survive! :)

  34. Toni @ Gym Bunny Mummy
    / 5:43 pm

    This is a brilliantly honest post, which I’ve got to admit I think I’ve probably done most of too. It’s only once you have your own children you realise how ridiculous you were #BrilliantBogPosts

    • / 10:34 am

      Thank you so much Toni :) Yes you’re right – ah hindsight! :)

  35. Emma
    / 2:16 pm

    Great post, we’very all been guilty of judging and many of us have had to eat our words!!

    • / 10:32 am

      So true! Thanks so much Emma! :)

  36. Morgan Prince
    / 10:53 am

    It takes a lot of courage to admit when you’re wrong and I really admire people who do that. I have done these things too, still do occasionally. It takes experience to realise that things aren’t always as they seem to others. A brilliant post. xx

    • / 10:31 am

      Thank you so much again! :)

  37. Mummy Fever
    / 10:08 am

    Great post – I think it is easy to judge but not especially helpful to anyone. I always think there is a story or explanation behind everything #brilliantblogposts

    • / 10:30 am

      Thank you so much! And you’re quite right :)

  38. Talya
    / 9:45 am

    Oh yes, I was also a bit of a judger…but now our little girl is coming into our 2nd year, I have learnt, through quite a lot of challenging times not to judge and that everyone’s situation and child is different. It’s strange, we are all lumped together as “mothers” and “parents” but a huge amount of the time, we couldn’t be any more different from each other, and we have to respect that individuality…but usually have to learn it the hard way! #brilliantblogposts

    • / 10:29 am

      That’s so true – we are all individuals, our kids are all vastly different too! :)

  39. Baby Isabella
    / 6:35 am

    Great post! Very thought provoking #BrilliantBlogPost

  40. Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
    / 2:58 am

    Haha, yes. I am guilty of a few of these too. I am trying really hard not to judge other mummies. I’ve gotten better but I still need to work on it. Nice post.


    • / 10:28 am

      Thanks so much! :)

  41. Ashley Beolens
    / 2:29 am

    I think we can all be guilty of judging without prior experience or knowledge of a situation. Well done for admitting it publicly though, not many of us would :)

    • / 10:28 am

      Thanks Ashley! I’m glad I’m not alone :)

  42. Gretta
    / 2:14 am

    Oh I am with you. I was incredibly naïve!!! I was never going to put my kids in daycare, have a car DVD player, let them leave the table without finishing their tea, let them out of bed before 6am…and the list goes on! Now I do it all, some days it’s a matter purely of survival ;-) Bahahahaha!! Great article! #brilliantblogposts :-)

    • / 10:27 am

      Isn’t it funny how we have grand ideas before we’re even parents! :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land I work and live on, the Awabakal peoples, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.
I thank them wholeheartedly and express my love and gratitude for the privilege to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world and for the opportunity for my family to be part of this vibrant and supportive community.