Sad news for me, because I am sure if any of my new mom friends read this blog post (which I am sure most of them will not – they are too busy uploading 7,000 photographs of their new babies taking a crap – see #2, appropriately numbered…); well, I am sure if any of them actually do read this, they will cease to be my friends. It’s just that I have been quietly judging many of them for some time now. Pretty much since all of them started dropping babies out of their lady-holes… sometime around the beginning of this summer.
I’ve reached that time where a lot of people my age are having babies. A few years back it was that everyone was getting married; and don’t get me wrong, quite a few are still on their way to wedded bliss. But the babies started coming and then this year it reached an all-time high. I think something like 50 or more people that I know squeezed one out, or plan to sometime in the next nine months.
Being a seasoned mother at this point, though, I have been all-the-while quietly judging my new mom friends. You know, we all do it as parents. I write blog posts all the time about how we – as parents and mothers – should support each other and stop judging one another, and all that other happy horse shit that sounds gloriously understanding and open-minded. But of course that is even a judgement in itself (the judgment that people are too judgmental), so finally a month or two ago (as I said, the beginning of this summer), I said “screw it” in my mind and decided to just join everyone in the chorus.
I don’t get all up in the mommy war debates or anything like that, though. And when all is said and done, I still could give two figs what anyone does as a parent. I will support others in what they want to do as a parent, even if I do not agree. Even if I do not agree vehemently. Nonetheless there are a few quintessential ways that I quietly judge my new mom friends. Do you?
#1 I Think Their Pregnancy Announcements Are Lame
Granted, they seem to be getting more unique. More inventive. I saw one recently that involved a photograph of people wearing t-shirts; that was cute. But how many of you have read this – at one time or another – on your Facebook page:
“Blah blah blah and I are proud to announce that we are expecting a baby such and such on yada yada day month year. The first trimester has been rough, but mommy and daddy could not be more excited!”
Oh just can it. There were some days when there would be eight or nine of them in a day. It was all I could do not to make snarky comments, like: “wow, so many of you … that must have been one great group orgy!”
And as their pregnancy continues, I of course judge (in my own mind) just how glaringly awful each set of new mom friends acts, as if her pregnancy is the first pregnancy in the history of all humanity.
#2 I Feel Like They’ve Become Our Parents
I sometimes wonder if our kids are going to find us to be terribly guilty of overexposing them as babies to the Internet.
I’m not talking about online predators or perverts or anything. And honestly I’m not begrudging the occasional family shot, or the cute photos of baby at certain months, or whatever. I mean that when our kids are 14 or 15, they’ll have their own Facebook or whatever is popular at the time, and on our pages will be hundreds of thousands of photographs we have uploaded of them in the most humiliating and compromising positions imaginable.
Think of it. When we were teenagers, the worst thing that our parents could do was break out a humiliating photo album and show off pictures of us in the bathtub or on the toilet. “Look, that’s the first time little Jimmy took a growler on the big boy potty…” and your date to prom decided she’d be going with the kid that smelled like rotten asparagus instead.
I feel like my new mom friends have become our parents. They have exposed all of our children’s most humiliating, most mortifying, moments to the entire world. If I see one more photo of a baby taking a shit on Facebook, I’m going to scream. Every time a friend posts one of these photos, I quietly judge her for becoming exactly what we hated about our parents when we were younger.
#3 I Say Things Like…
… “Oh, I’m not sure how public school works … I homeschool …” Which, of course, I only realize after the fact that it might make a friend that has to work to make ends meet feel like shit because she knows all-too-well the ins and outs of all the horrors the public school system has to offer.
And then I have judged her for having her kids in public school. Because since I don’t really know how public school works, how can I even say to myself or imply that these “horrors” exist and that public school is so awful, in every case?
I could go on, but I won’t.
What I realized a while ago, as babies continued to pop out of others and it seemed that the baby-making time of our lives would never even take a break, is that it’s hard not to judge in any way at all. Because that would mean we have no opinions on anything at all. Of course we have opinions on being a parent or raising kids or being pregnant, or really just about anything – how else would we make decisions in the best interest of all these kids we’ve decided to have?
I think the important part is who you share those opinions with. Do you keep them to yourself, or do you wage wars on Dr. Phil?