On Mom Guilt and Judging Others

November 14, 2018

Have you guys seen the video going around on Facebook right now about holding your baby instead? You know - this one. I swear, that thing makes me cry every. single. time. And I've seen it more than a couple times! And then what happens is I get flooded with this terrible sense of mom guilt and I worry that I didn't hold my babies enough, and I fear that it's all behind me and I should have enjoyed it more - and then I just have to tell myself to stop! Because I was totally a mom who let everything else go so that I could hold my babies. You should have seen the mess our house was when Theo was a baby and Coco was a toddler. It was horrifically messy, and I was holding Theo. :)

I really never go on Facebook much any more. I do go on on occasion to check one of my groups (my cohort at grad school actually has a Facebook page, and it's undeniably a great communication tool for us) but I do my best not to get sucked into the newsfeed. One thing that usually does get me is the memories. They're always right there, at the top, and usually they make me lament that my babies are growing up so fast. But a few months ago, I saw a memory that made me really grateful Coco has grown up since then. It is none other than this one pictured above. Coco was almost two-years-old and had become impossible to contain on public transit. She was fearless and boundless and wanted to run up and down the aisle of the tram or bus and I could not let her do that for two reasons: 1). Swiss people would never stand for that and the shaming looks and finger wagging were category 5 level panic inducing. 2). obviously it would have been dangerous. So I resorted to doing something that I would have judged other parents for doing just two short years before. Funny how parenting works like that.

What have you done since becoming a parent that you would have (or did!) judge parents for when you were still childless? If you don't have children, what do you see parents doing that makes you cringe? (It could be that there's a logical explanation;) Let's hear it in the comments below!

Join the conversation!

  1. Replies
    1. YES! And being in a stroller WAY past walking age...

    2. LOL. That one I still judge. Get your ass out and walk LOL.

      I will add also picky eaters. Georgia ate artichokes, brie, capers, all sorts of things that made me feel so smug and Eli is the worst most sensory sensitive little chump when it comes to anything food. I deserved getting him. Ha!

    3. OH! I also totally judged people whose kids weren't fully potty trained by age 3. Coco was a piece of cake to train. Theo has not been the same experience. Not at all. Yes, that was in present tense! Ugh. Deserved that, too! ;) xx

  2. Hi Lindsey, I came across your blog through Expatsblog, I am in Zürich and was checking who else is writing about it. Turns out you have moved in the meanwhile. We also lived in Seefeld when I had babies, then we moved to Japan and came back a few years later. My kids have turned into teenagers so this kind of post makes me think back of what I could have done better, isn't this every mother's favorite pastime? I have always "held my babies", well, "always" is an overstatement, but I tried to remembered to enjoy the DOING more than the GETTING IT DONE, I read a line about it and it stuck with me. That, at least I did right, but then puberty hit and it's been mostly survival mode... ;-D

    1. Oh, I'm so glad you found me. Are you back living in Seefeld now? How long were you in Japan? I find the level of nostaglia, guilt and regret as a mother completely overwhelming! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one. Did you see my post on drinking vs driving at age 16? I would be so curious to hear what you think! Thank you for reading and commenting. It made my day! xo

    2. Hi Lindsey, I will definitely check out your post on drinking and driving at age 16, I have a 16 year old at home and feel so lucky that thanks to Zürich's awesome public transportation at least on that front they are safe! I now live close to the Artergut park, it was crazy difficult to find an apartment in this area after we moved back from Japan, it took us over 6 months! We were in Tokyo for 3 years, but before Zürich we were also in the US, Panama and Thailand. I have wrote a book about our family's wanderings, it's on Amazon, here is the link in case you are interested, it's got a lot of Zürich from when the kids were small and we practically lived at the Riesbach Spielplatz:
      (all proceeds go to charity, currently to the Cambodia Children's Fund)
      Take care and keep up the good work, your blog is awesome!

    3. I have WRITTEN, not wrote, it’s almost 1am...

    4. I must be really tired as I didn't even NOTICE! :) I can't wait to check out your book. Thanks again!! xoxo

  3. I swore I would never let my kids sleep in my bed. I totally deserve what I got: 2 babies who never slept in cribs or bassinets (basically ONLY in the crook of my arm) and now preschoolers who find their way into our beds somewhere around midnight ;)

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