Sorry I Was Such a Smug Jerk Before I Had Kids (VIDEO)

toddler tantrumWe're very wise before we have children, aren't we? I know I definitely knew EVERYTHING about parenting before I ever even became pregnant. And I wasn't afraid to judge. Nope! I practically made judging parents an art, so enthusiastic a judger was I.

And then I crossed over to the other side. Wow, parenting sure does look different through the looking glass! It's so clear now: I didn't know JACK about parenting before I became a mom.

That's what blogger Karen Gebhart Uhl says. She just wrote an apology -- to all the parents she judged before she became a mom herself.


I would like to apologize as well for my own pre-mom smugness.

We've all done it -- come on, confess. We've all judged other parents. Especially BEFORE we became parents ourselves. And no one is as judgy as a woman who is contemplating motherhood herself. Before sperm even meets egg, you're watching all the other parents out there and noticing how they're all getting it so, so wrong. Because you're going to get everything right, right?

Haha, yeah right.

I was raised in a very authoritarian household. So when I saw some friends going through the paces with their kids -- explaining every single rule, always willing to negotiate, patiently working out conflict -- I just thought they were foolishly doing everything the hard way. (Insert eye roll.) And then I had my own kid and I suddenly saw the wisdom of authoritarian parenting over authoritative parenting. I get it, I get it!

And that's when I'm at my best. I also know what it feels like to flunk parenting 101 for an hour, or a day. I know why that mom doesn't seem to care that the entire neighborhood can hear her kid screaming in his stroller. I know why that baby's nose has not been wiped in the last three hours. I know it's not necessarily the dad's fault that his daughter is having a meltdown in the middle of the cereal aisle. No need to call Child Protection Services -- everything is going to be fine.

And now I just have to smile when my pre-parent friends judge. One friend of mine recently posted on Facebook the other day: "Children should be seen and not heard." Oh really, I thought. And I was just about to reply when I noticed a mutual friend of ours, mother of three, had beat me to it: "I can't wait for you to have children."

Here's a crazy idea: Maybe what makes a good parent is NOT worrying about being a good parent.

Did your judgement of other parents change after you had kids?


Image via Citril/Flickr

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