NOLA Family August 2022 Issue
Family Life, Parenting

An open letter to the moms who clearly are better than people w/out kids

by Ann Herren, March 20,2019

The judgy mom has gotten to be too much. Leave the ‘non-parents’ alone, please.*  


You love telling everyone “How it is.” and let them know, ‘These are the new rules now”. I read you everywhere, you are too many moms, and frankly, I’m tired of you. It’s getting old. Like, it’s 2023 and you’re still avocado toast. Enough. 

Look, we all became empowered when we became Moms. We see, feel, and live the magic that is our children. We all had that moment when we felt like pushing Leonardo de Vinci out of the history books so that we could plop our kid right in the middle of the page and say, “Look what I just made! This is some amazing shit, right here!”

Once we become moms, we start viewing everyday life differently. The world is replete with dangers, misunderstandings, and new challenges, but just because you birthed a child that does not make you judge, jury, and executioner of all The Important Things.

The typical smug-mom post usually starts with something like this, ‘Dear childless adult- you don’t get to judge parents. EVER.’  

Guess what dictator? They actually do. People without kids live in the same world as we. Pay the same taxes. Help enact and enforce laws to protect our kids. I might even go so far as to say – you were one of ‘those people’ once. The Great Unwashed–childless. 


(Sigh, isn’t it always the condescending, judgmental people who are most likely to feel they are being judged, and also most likely to be offended?) 

It’s my observation that people who fuss about your kids more often than not have good reason to. It doesn’t matter whether or not they have children. What matters is, are you keeping your shit under control in public? Are you letting your screaming kids run free in a restaurant? Are they trashing your table so badly that when you get up and leave it looks like a family of raccoons ate there?

An example for those who say, “Example, please” –You wouldn’t want a dog (in a dog-friendly restaurant) stealing food off your plate or nipping at your ankles. I feel confidant that you would not hesitate to complain about that. Ergo, if your kid starts acting out, you shouldn’t fall back on ‘it’s a kid-friendly restaurant, what do they expect?’ (heard it a millions times) They expect you to do something about your obnoxious kid. If you can’t redirect or calm them down, remove them from the situation (Your child, not the other patron). I’ve taken my baby to restaurants and if she cried I didn’t make everybody else suffer, I took her outside and walked her around the block. 

What you may not know–because you’re too busy being pissed at people being pissed about your kids behavior– is that when your child has a complete meltdown in public, how people react is entirely up to you. The parent.

You could remove your baby from the movie theater until they quiet down. Maybe look around helplessly and apologize to those closest to you in the plane, because you simply just can’t anymore and are bone-weary and about to cry yourself. Or you may need to explain that your son is on the spectrum and is having a bad time right now. 


Be vulnerable. Do you know what happens in those situations? Suddenly the people around you are your allies. Your friends. They try to help, they understand. They give you a sympathetic look. They give your child a lollipop or a turn on their lap or a pet of their dog. Sure, every once in a while somebody may roll their eyes. But honestly that’s not the standard human response.

What is so frustrating to me is, as a society, our complete intolerance of others these days. The condescending attitude toward others, like telling non-parents ‘Here are the new rules.’ Who are we to judge their story? The difference is we chose to be parents. This is not the Handmaid‘s Tale, it’s not like it was thrust upon you and therefor an unfair burden when things (or people) suck.  Don’t be so surprised when not everyone is delighted with your child. Parenting comes with the rough moments, it comes with the moments that you think you’re not doing it right, and yup, it comes with the moments that the people around you think you aren’t doing it right. 

And it comes with amazing moments.

I promise you, being considerate and understanding of how you impact those around you makes for a smoother, more pleasant walk through life. For all of us–both parents and non-parents.



*you may want to stop reading if;

-you hate curse words.

-you honestly like being better than everyone else.

-you get all fired-up and spitty when you talk.

– you think I don’t see the irony of telling people to not be judgy, as I’m clearly judging here. 


-You hate open letters. So do I. I think they’re corny, but people love them.

And besides, who am I to judge?

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