To the mom I judged for insisting on providing the preschool I worked at with organic milk for her child, I’m sorry. I thought you were pretentious. Now, I get it. The other day I bought organic, free-range turkey corn dogs as if that’s somehow better for my little boy than a regular corn dog. I’m sorry.

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To the mom I judged for having a dirty caroooh, boy. My car currently looks like a cross between the floor of a cereal factory and a garbage dump. Now, I get it.

By the way, mama, your car was 10 times cleaner than mine will be for the next 18 years. I’m sorry.

To the mom I judged for bribing your little one with a lollipop, I thought you were taking the easy way out. Now, I realize a) even if you were, that’s none of my dang business and b) you probably weren’t. Today, I made it through the grocery store with my little guy with a little help from Jesus and a whole lot of jelly beans. I’m sorry.

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To the mom I judged for letting her kid watch a show on the iPad in Target, I thought you were ignoring your kid.

Now, I get it.

Today, I carried my 2-year-old out of Walmart, tears streaming, legs kicking, fists punching. As I drove home, I thought What if I absolutely needed to get medicine, or food, or anything at all? I would have given him a dang iPad, too. I’m sorry. 

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As the saying goes, I was the perfect mom . . . and then I had a kid. Whether we choose to admit it or not, I think most of us judge to some degree. We want to think we’ll do better, we’ll take the high road, we’ll have the solution. Here’s the thing, though: we’re all winging it. Whether it’s our first kid or our fifth, whether it’s a fit over wanting to go home or wanting to stay, we’re all figuring it out, one moment at a time. 

To all the moms I’ve judged before, I’m sorry. Now, I get it. 

Amanda Turner

Amanda is a former teacher turned stay at home mom and writer, currently residing in Dayton, OH. As a military wife, Amanda enjoys travel, adventure, and never being quite sure what city she and her family will call home next.