An Open Letter to Moms Who Had Babies Before I Did (Sorry I Judged You)

nicole fabian-weberDear Moms Who Had Babies Before I Did:

I have a confession to make -- and it's not one I'm proud of: I judged you before I had a kid of my own. There, I said it. It wasn't intentional. It was just something that sort of happened. A knee-jerk reaction in my brain that I couldn't control. And now that I have a child myself -- well, this is awkward. I think I owe you an apology.

I'm sorry for not always letting you and your strollers past me when I was in a rush. At the time, it never dawned on me that once I got home, I could take a nap, where you -- you definitely weren't going to take a nap. I didn't realize that the remainder of your day was probably much busier than mine -- and that nothing you were going to be doing was for yourself. And I apologize (and am a little embarrassed) for letting an obvious look of annoyance creep across my face when you and your kids were trying to squeeze by me in the bodega with the two-inch aisles.

More from The Stir: 7 Things Every Woman Should Know Before Having a Baby

I'm also sorry for wondering why you always, well, looked a little disheveled. Not put-together like you did before you had kids. And I'm not just talking about the baby weight (even though, at the time, the moms I knew best were Kate Hudson and Natalie Portman, and they lost the weight quickly). I definitely thought it was sort of lazy of you to not change your spit-up-stained shirt. I now understand that this is how it works. And that that's okay. I thought having no time to primp would bother me, but it really doesn't -- just like you said it wouldn't. So, I guess, sorry for doubting you, too.

I'm sorry for wondering why your house was a mess. I just thought, "Kids take naps, don't they? Why don't you clean while they're asleep?" I now know that when your baby is sleeping, you can get much more important things done -- like showering or eating! I also now understand that "cleaning" in and of itself is sort of a silly thing, because the results only last about an hour.

I'm sorry for thinking I knew way more than I did before having a child of my own. (I knew nothing despite the countless books and blogs I read.) I shouldn't have made a mental note when I watched you give your kids a piece of plastic to play with (as opposed to the all-natural, unicorn-infused, wooden toys my child would constantly have access to). And I'm sorry I was slightly horrified if a TV was on in the same room as your baby -- and you didn't shield their precious eyes from that brain-washing demon box (because you were on the phone [the phone, you monster!]).

I'm sorry for looking at you puzzled when you stood on the subway staring at photos of your kids on your phone. Sure, it was cute, but I definitely was like, "Um, didn't you just see your kids?" It's pretty much all I do when I'm not with my daughter. And speaking of photos, I'm sorry for not fully grasping this uncontrollable desire you had to constantly show others pictures of your children. I so get that now.

Lastly, I'm sorry for wondering why you all were so damn sensitive when people commented or questioned your parenting. "Who cares?" I thought. "They're your kids. Whatever." I understand now. Being a parent makes you more vulnerable than you've ever been in your life. And when someone questions what you're doing to the thing you love more than anything on this planet, it can make you irate. And sad. And insecure. So, I'm sorry I didn't say, "You're doing the right thing." I didn't know that was what you needed.

I hope you can accept my apology, Moms. It may be asking a lot, I know. But, like I said, I had no idea what being a mother was about until I had a baby of my own. If it's any consolation, I think you're all beautiful. You're all amazing. And you're all doing a damn fine job. But as far as our houses go -- I'm just gonna say, that's probably a lost cause.

Did you judge moms before having a baby of your own?


Image via Nicole Fabian-Weber

baby first year


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nonmember avatar Karrie

Thank you Nicole, this made my day!

nonmember avatar Abby

I think the only time I've actually been annoyed/judgy of a mom was at a midnight showing of a rated R movie. They had a small, just wobbly walking baby, and it was crawling around on the floor and under our seat and down the stairs. It was frustrating having sticky fingers brush against my ankles (and a little creepy if you didn't know it was a child). But like i said, rated R, and this kid was NOT ok with it. Graphic demony violence. And every time the monster was on screen dealing out gratuitous killings, the kid would plop on the floor and scream for his mom. Who did not retrieve him.

Melis... Melissa1508

That was really nice of you, Nicole.  :)  I had some of those same feelings before I had kids, but it sure changes you!

NatAndCo NatAndCo

Id like to sign my name to the bottom of this if that's okay with you...

gridi... gridironsmom

Amen. And babysitting, even overnight, does not give a non-mom a true mothers view.

nonmember avatar MammaMel

So true!!! I feel terrible for how judgemental I was! I thought that being a step-mother to a baby and a toddler = being a mother...FALSE! I never understood until I was a bio-mom!

LuvMy... LuvMyDandD

Geez Michele take your Xanax or Valium quickly! You need it, you must have forgotten to take it this morning. Love how diss being judgemental while being completely judgemental! Quite a feat. Bravo.

Great article! So true!

Snake... Snakecharmer76

That's awesome! I can't remember if I was ever so judgy before I had kids but I know some of my friends who've had kids after me and have become far more sympathetic now that they 'get it' about little kids. I think they secretly judged moms and thought that when they had their own they would just do soooo much better! lol!

Andi Dodd

As I was reading this I was sure this would be the one article that nobody on here would have a negative comment for... Michele you proved me wrong. wow is all I can say to you.

Great article Nicole. :)

Desti... DestinyHLewis

Awesome article Nicole! I am betting there are millions of us out there that realized we knew nothing before kids. Lol Michele needs a friggin cocktail, or maybe an epidural to pull that huge stick out of her ass. Sheesh! 

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