I can't stand women who judge other moms. Yet there I was, rolling my eyes at a mother who caved to her kids' demand for a Snickers before breakfast.
I don't consider myself a particularly judgmental person. I am opinionated, indeed, but not entirely judgmental.
There's a difference.
The opinionated mom says, "All mothers should at least try to breast-feed." The judgmental mom says, "If you don't try to breast-feed, you will be doomed to whichever circle of hell forces you to listen to David Hasselhoff crooning 'Muskrat Love' for the rest of eternity."
One day in the gift shop of a hotel I was visiting, a trio of boys were whining for "just one Snickers" before breakfast. "Well, OK, just one," their mom said, finally giving in. "I don't want you too hyper before breakfast."
And I couldn't help myself. I rolled my eyes big – really big – with the hopes that anyone looking in my direction at that moment could see just how awesome I am.
Oh my gosh: I acted like a "Sanctimommy."
I had first heard about this breed of mother on message boards. She's the type who snorts in your direction when you feed your daughter French fries in the diner, or who tsks you as you walk past her with your pacifier-sucking 3-year-old.
She won't hesitate to comment on your kid's lack of hat when the temperature dips to 59, or make a scene over the nonorganic produce in your fridge. She has read every baby book, and has decided that expert of choice is the expert and that heeding any other parenting theories is akin to worshiping idols. Don't even get her started on the real hot-button mommy-war issues such as Ferberizing or circumcising or ear piercing.