5 Moms Share the Moment They Felt the Most Judged

Mom Moment 74

breastfeedingAs mothers, many of us have had moments that have left us feeling mommy guilt or second-guessing our own maternal instincts. Sometimes these feelings come from within, not living up to our own expectations, and sometimes the feelings of inadequacy in parenting come from the judgment of other parents.

Here, five women share the moment they felt most judged as a parent.

"I confirmed to a coworker that, yes, I was pregnant again. It was my third (and last) pregnancy and my fourth child (my oldest are twins). She said, 'My goodness! Don't you know what birth control is?' What SHE didn't know is that I have a certain degree of infertility, and required treatment to conceive each of my pregnancies." -- Kymberli Barney

"People see me use a bottle for my son, despite them not knowing he was 11 weeks early and unable to breastfeed. I pumped up until about a month ago and he still gets partial breast milk (I pumped & froze) with his preemie formula." -- Leslie Matteson

"When I was pregnant with my first child, I began having severe panic attacks. In a period of 72 hours, I got no more than 3 hours of sleep. I thought I was losing my mind and ended up in the ER. After much guilt and consultation with several doctors, I decided to take medicine. I was prescribed an anti-depressant to help with the panic attacks. They had me convinced that I was damaging my unborn child. I would email my doctors constantly for reassurance." -- Unknown Mami

"I had three kids, ages 2, 4, and 6. I was a complete mess trying to juggle preschool and kindergarten and nap-time and diapers. I also had absolutely NO help and nobody ever offered to lend a hand. One day when I was taking my youngest to preschool, she started crying that she didn't want to be there. I had no sleep the night before and was exhausted and couldn't deal with her whining. I ended up just picking her up and taking her home, telling the teacher that I wasn't going to leave her there that day. I got the two youngest back in the car and yelled at the 4-year-old to put on her seat belt because she didn't want to do it. Someone heard me yelling at her and told the preschool director ... who then went and told a bunch of other people she was going to call CPS on me." -- Carolyn West

"When I was really pregnant with my second child, I was shopping with the first who is highly ADHD. In about two seconds, he stood up and flipped himself out of the cart onto the cement floor. People were looking at me like I was the devil. He was screaming his lungs out. I was sitting on the floor with him hugging him. People were walking by me making nasty comments about how I let him fall and I wasn't watching him." -- Mimi Dibble

What was the moment that you felt most judged as a parent?


Image via Pusteblumenland/Flickr

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nonmember avatar Sabrina

You can be a perfect mon 99% of the time, and peopke won't acknowledge it. But they are on your a** for the that 1% when you slip. The worst offenders seem to be other moms who have forgotwn their 1% moments.

Foley... Foleygirl24

My moment was when my  1 year old pulled a drawer all the way out of a piece of furniture (before I could get to him) and the corner hit him in the face and gave him a black eye. He was fine, but everywhere I went with him, people gave me dirty looks, or asked what happened. I was so afraid someone was going to call CPS on me, even though it was just an accident!

Sweet... SweetPieMama24

My oldest has fallen out of the shopping cart.....twice. both times in walmart. never fails. (he's got the 2 year old jitters LOL). but like sabrina said - you can be a perfect mom 99% of the time and people dont say a damn thing. the minute they see you give an evil look to your toddler for their 547th tantrum of the day - u get the threat of the cops being called on you

nonmember avatar Mrs. Clark

I feel really judged by my own parents all the time. When I called my parents to tell them my husband and I were preggo for the third time, my dad asked, "r u finally going to get your tubes tied?" more recently, my mother scolded me for no buying books from the school book fair for my son this week, even tho we have purchased books from the last 5 book fairs this year. I can't forget my sister either. She likes to remind me that we moved into a small apartment for this year to finish saving so that we can buy a house. People always like to judge. I figure it's because they're unhappy in their own lives so they have to find things to pick apart in other people.

MamaD... MamaDee83

Sabrina hit the nail on the head - we should remember that it's impossible to be perfect, and kids are challenging at times!

daddysgf daddysgf

I'm not a "mom" but fill more of a stepmom role... I'm also a full-time university student and look to be about 18. One morning I pulled into a parking lot at school and a woman who worked at the university pulled in beside me and looked into my car and gave me THE dirtiest look when she saw the car seat. I've never felt more judged in my life.

heave... heavenlybliss19

My 2 yr old DD jumped from the cart in Walmart.  I had walked away leaving her, my 3 yr old niece, and my 1 yr old nephew with my parents, both my brothers, and my sil, in search of a price for a pack of onesies.  i heard this God awful scream and thought "That can't be my kid, she never screams like that." As I get back to the cart, I see my Dad running towards the cart, my mom dropping everything the next aisle over to run to the cart, and both my sil and brothers standing around looking stupid.  My DD and niece were sitting in the back of the cart (not where I put her...), and my DD saw a toy she wanted and leaped from the cart to get it - landing on her head.  I felt like the worst parent ever. 

kiri8 kiri8

Mine was on the internet.  14 years ago, on Hip Mama, the attachment parenting writer Katie Allison Granju responded to my comment about not being able to breastfeed with this horribly superior response.


My son was 10 weeks premature.  TEN.  I was in intensive care when he was born.  My breastmilk never fullly came in, even after weeks of working with a lactation consultant at the NICU.  I had to give up on the idea of breastfeeding so that I could take him home from the hospital with a way to feed him -- formula.


Granju responded by saying that she had had a kid in the NICU also, and that she spent 24 hours a day there and sacrificed herself to do nothing but breastfeed and eventually was successful.  She sneered at me for having gone home at night to sleep (I was still recovering from a major illness and major surgery, but whatever).  She implied that she was a much better mother than I was.


I probably would hate AP fanatics no matter what, but I really hated Granju for years.  Now I just feel sorry for her.

lissa... lissalynn83

My mom judgement moment was when I had to stop breastfeeding and go to formula. I breastfed my daughter for 3 weeks, despite the fact that she couldn't get the latch down properly and I was in severe pain the entire time. After almost a month, my supply dropped to almost nothing. I tried to help out by pumping extra, eating oatmeal, and taking fenugreek suppliments (what my lactation consultant told me to do). Nothing worked. The milk completely dried up. I didn't have any engorgement, pain or anything...it just went totally away almost overnight. I switched to formula to feed my hungry child, and you would think I was feeding her rat poison in a bottle! The "women" (more like judgemental monsters) at WIC treated me like I was the absolute worst mom in the world, and a lot of moms in groups online did as well. Turns out my PCOS (severe hormone disorder) contributed to my milk drying up. You know what? My baby grew up healthy and happy. At age 2, she is more developed in her learning than many 3 year olds. So screw you, judgemental people! Formula is not evil like people make it out to be. I went through severe depression over not being able to breastfeed thanks to all the judgemental morons out there. I'm so glad I realized that I wasn't a bad mom, afterall.

PonyC... PonyChaser

I had a miss...  About two weeks after my husband's wreck (a truly nasty one that left him nearly dead), I was in the store with my son, who was around 4 at the time. I was feeling the stress, The Boy was feeling the stress, but we NEEDED to go to the grocery store. He was about as good as you'd expect a stressed-out toddler with a stressed-out mommy to be, and as we were standing in the checkout line, he hauled off and punched me in the face. I cannot imagine the look that must have crossed MY face, but it took all I had left in me to not react (because that's what he was looking for).


One of the checkout ladies knew my son from his preschool, and I found out later, knew of us from church. She came up to me, took my son, and guided me to a new checkout that she opened for us. She was so calm and understanding, I could have cried with gratitude. That five minutes of compassion she gave us still stands out - she could just as easily have judged the situation, me, him, everything, the exact opposite way. But instead, she stepped in and diffused it, giving me a few minutes of help and sanity that held me until we got home and could both take much needed naps.

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