Marla Sokoloff’s Blog: Dear My Formerly Judgmental Self

03/26/2014 at 04:00 PM ET

Marla Sokoloff Blog
Ariel at Elliotte’s party – Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

A warm welcome back to our celebrity blogger Marla Sokoloff!

Since audiences first got to know her at age 12 as Gia on Full House, Sokoloff has had many memorable TV roles — Jody on Party of Five, Lucy on The Practice, Claire on Desperate Housewives — as well as turns on the big screen in Whatever It Takes, Dude, Where’s My Car? and Sugar & Spice.

Sokoloff, 33, currently plays Dani on ABC Family’s The Fosters.

She wed her husband, music composer Alec Puro, in November 2009 and the couple — plus pup Coco Puro — make their home in Los Angeles.

You can find Sokoloff, now mom to 2-year-old daughter Elliotte Anne, on Twitter and Instagram.

Hello everyone,

Sorry for being M.I.A. but life has been a wee bit busy over here!

Miss Elliotte turned two last month (OMG!) and I have been working on ABC Family’s The Fosters. I’m still searching for the perfect balance of being a kick-butt mom mixed with a busy-ish working mom. Like I said in my last entry, I’m still searching. One always seems to feel compromised.

The good news is, both are so incredibly fulfilling that I’m just doing my best to go with the flow. Some days I find myself wondering how anything got done!

For Elliotte’s second birthday, she told me she wanted a princess party with Ariel, Elsa, Anna and her best friends. Not sure where this princess obsession came from, but let me tell you, it’s serious.

Elsa and Anna were super busy — obviously — but Ariel stopped by to say hello to the birthday girl and Elliotte even had the nerve to ask her to change her diaper. (I could tell by the look on young Ariel’s face that she didn’t have kids, so I spared her the requested torture.)

Now that my little girl is 2, I find myself chuckling a lot. Mainly I’m laughing because my daughter is one funny little lady, but the thing that makes me laugh the most is the laughing I do at myself on a daily basis.

These laughs aren’t belly laughs or ones that put me in complete hysterics … they are the kind of laughs that only I can hear. It’s that silly little voice that says, “I told you so.”

Marla Sokoloff Blog
With my mom and grandma – Heather Bear Photography

Who is that voice? Is it my mother? Friends who became moms before me? Or is it just the voice of a mom who has lightened up her act a bit? I think it’s safe to say that I’m a little less stressed in the hysterical mom department.

(Author’s note: if you ask my mother to confirm or deny the above statement, she will most likely say that nothing has changed and I’m still a crazy neurotic mommy. Love you, Mom!)

I’m the first to admit, I was off the rails when Elliotte was born. Before stepping foot in my house, I would give you a nice bath in hand sanitizer. If the fruit you were serving wasn’t organic, you would definitely be hearing about it. If you even thought about coming near my kid with a stuffy nose, you were dead to me. (Because we all know you don’t really have “allergies.”)

Here we are two years later and all of those things still irk me a bit, but I’m about 80 percent (okay … 72 percent) better. Time was the rehab I needed to see that at the end of the day, she’s going to be okay.

We all made it out of infancy and toddlerhood just fine drinking from our BPA-laden cups. (Although it’s very nice to know that we now have other options!)

Due to the heath problems Ellie had when she was born, I think it made me (and my equally neurotic but unbelievably sweet husband) hypersensitive on every level about every single thing. Now I just think — if we made it through that, we can get through anything.

Marla Sokoloff Blog
New Year’s Eve – Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

To all of the soon-to-be parents out there or ones that are in the throes of insanity — I decided to write myself a letter that I wish I would have read as I wiped down every high chair in the greater Los Angeles area. Or as I judged every parent’s child-raising choices and swore I would never be like them.

Clearly my judgments and hopes for my family were the expectations of an inexperienced parent who didn’t know … well … anything.

Dear My Childless Judgmental Self,

I know you are rolling your eyes right now. Especially if you are at a restaurant and there are children screaming or throwing food in your direction.

I know that you are frustrated and annoyed that you are sitting next to a fussy baby on an airplane or at your wits’ end over the child who is kicking the back of your seat. It seems like their parents aren’t doing “enough” to control them, and that is terribly confusing to you.

One day you will understand early morning frustrations and temper tantrum marathons that occur with most children, so you will know the feeling of not being able to “control your child.” You will know it well and some days it will leave you in tears.

I wish you knew the helplessness that every mother feels as her child is doing anything and everything to attract unwanted attention. She doesn’t like it and believe me, she also wishes her kid would stop screaming.

She has tried every trick in the book (including the shunned upon bribe — gasp!) to get her little one to calm down. She has failed miserably and doesn’t need your stink eye on top of that headache. This is not the first temper tantrum she has dealt with today. She’s tired and broken down, so cut her some slack.

I know you think the kids menu is filled with junk and that your healthy kid will be eating quinoa and veggies exclusively. But guess what? Your healthy kid wants grilled cheese for every meal — and quinoa equals starvation — so the kids menu will be your saving grace for meals out.

You say that sugar-filled fruit juice will never enter your child’s bloodstream or that cupcakes that aren’t gluten/sugar/flavor-free are out of the question … but just you wait until you enter the birthday party circuit.

You can try to pry that juice box out of your screaming child’s sticky little hands, but you will never win. Ever. Seriously.

Marla Sokoloff Blog
The devil wears frosting – Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

Marla Sokoloff Blog
Juice – never say never! – Heather Bear Photography

It’s super cute that you don’t think you will let your kids watch television or use an iPad. Seriously, it’s adorable. Cut to you having the flu and no one is available to watch your daughter besides Dora the Explorer.

You know that 2-year-old running through the park without their shoes on? Before you mumble to yourself in judgment, “Why doesn’t that mother put some shoes on that kid?!” just know that’s YOUR kid.

While we’re on the subject of shoes, don’t waste your money buying those cute outfits either.

I’m writing you from the future to let you know that your little princess has worn her Ariel pajamas everywhere for the past week. Complete with bright blue Nikes. Some battles are just not worth the fight.

Marla Sokoloff Blog
Beloved Ariel PJs – Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

Marla Sokoloff Blog
Anna PJs and the Nikes – Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

I’ve saved my very favorite thing for last. You ready for this one young lady? All of those annoying phrases and threats your mother used to say that you promised and swore you would never EVER say? You say ALL of them. Every single one.

You count to three. You give time outs. You looks could kill. In a few more years you will most likely say, “I don’t care if all the other kids are doing it …” Get ready. You even wipe your daughter’s snot with your shirt.

It’s a dirty job, but it’s the most rewarding, incredible job you’ve ever had and it only gets better as the days pass by.

As you’ve been told a million times before, they pass by very quickly so even on the days that you aren’t exactly enjoying it and are counting down the seconds until bedtime, try your very hardest to not get frustrated.

You will leave a million restaurants, regret every plane ride, and count to 10 on a regular basis — but this is all part of the wild ride and it’s the most amazing journey.

So, what are some things you do with your kids that you SWORE you would never do? iPad? TV? Junk food? Co-sleeping? No judgments here! Would love to hear and honestly, feel better about my own parenting skills.


— Marla Less Judgmental, Way More Understanding Sokoloff

P.S. Don’t forget to send me Tweets @marlasok or leave a comment below — love hearing from you!

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Showing 93 comments

Ariel on

I don’t have any children of my own, but I love the pics of your daughter and I loved you on The Fosters.

Alissa on

Loved your letter!

As a mom, I often go up to the stressed out mom with the screaming child and let her know that we have all been there and it’s okay. New mother’s are especially sensitive and haven’t “been there, done that” enough times to know it is just part of raising children.

When you see a mom with 3 or more children, you can tell she isn’t phased by anything and will probably glare back or say something to the judgmental stink eye giver.

With all the judgment floating around, it’s important we who know(veteran moms), give support to those(new moms) who are doing their best, but are still feeling like failures.

Mommytoane on

Cute letter. It gets easier. Eventually fits will be a thing of the past, and the stubborn little angel won’t want to wear her princess shirts everywhere….in fact at some point princesses will be too “baby” for your darling girl.

My own girl is 11. We’re entering the “Mom is stupid” and “mom is embarrassing” stage at full force. Its hard not to be judgmental sometimes, but judgements seem to come in more of a rush when you’ve never been there yourself. Life isn’t about perfection, its finding happiness and peace in those imperfect moments that matters.

One day you’ll look back in fondness over the princess wearing/obsessed stage. You’ll giggle at how funny it actually was to watch your little one throw a fit. You’ll sigh with relief that the picky eater days seem to have passed (until you enter full blown teen stage where they get all junk food or health food extreme on you….or so I hear) and you’ll sit and share memories about how much those days sucked but how funny they were. Remember these days of innocence as they pass very, very fast.

Great blog post all in all. I love reading your blogs. Elliotte is an absolute doll.

Anonymous on

I’ve got one-My sister-in-law (a great mom) had 4 kids. By the ninth month of pregnancy with the 4th, she had a yard stick and would lay on the couch and poke the other kids misbehaving!!

Jess on

I am a first time mom with a 7 month old boy. Thank you for writing this post! I have already told my pre-baby judgmental self so many things, but you really just summed it all so well and made me feel so much better for the future. I am trying not to be a crazy worrier but it so hard sometimes!

I definitely didn’t think I would let my baby ever see a TV, but I get migraines and sometimes when no one else is home to help I have to let him watch a little because all I can do is lay there and him a new toy every few minutes. You are right – it is tough but so worth it!!!!!!

Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

js on

love the letter!!! some things I’ve let go: daughter is dressed, win – jammies & capes count. daughter is eating, regardless of healthiness – win. daughter is NOT eating, she will eventually – win for mommy as we’ll get it to go & i’ll get it for lunch lol.

there are some things that you will passionately fight for for your children, some you’ll let go. takes time & we all settle in differently. as long as kiddos are healthy & happy, & so are parents, that’s what counts!

Brittany on

The funny thing is now that I have a baby, I actually admire the parent that will sit in a checkout lane and let her child scream because she told them no. That means she doesn’t give in!

Jo on

I can’t stand when people come near my toddler sick. It is so funny, but everyone says that they have allergies! That is what happened recently, and we all got sick! Think about the child and their health before your own selfishness!

olsontwins on

I have twins and when they act crazy at various toddler classes I always worry that 1) all the moms of perfect, quiet singletons are judging me for not being able to handle two toddlers and 2) are thanking god they don’t have twins and 3) thinking I’m mean and awful because if I don’t keep a close rein on them, they’ll TAKE OVER (two of them, one of me).

Michaela on

I absolutely adore your mommy blog! I read through each and every one with the hugest grin, it’s as if you’re writing from my heart with my hand.

As a mother of a precocious 3 year old, it always warms my heart to hear about the similarities we parents face. Oh how I would have loved to warn my childless self about how many of those things other parents did and I shook my head at that have now become part of my arsenal. Too numerous to count, but much like you, juice boxes, TV, and co-sleeping are at the top of my list.

We all know that this special time passes with the blink of an eye. It sounds to me like you are one great mama! It truly is the toughest and most rewarding job in the world.

lifeoverthought on

Um, are you talking to me darling? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Stacey on

Seriously love this !

ruffian on

Elliotte is incredibly cute! Such a pretty, happy girl. As are you. ๐Ÿ™‚

anacca on

Cute blog. Cute, cute kid. I love the cupcake picture title “The Devil Wears Frosting” – very funny!!

leahmasson on


Yes exactly. I’m a mom to four (ages 8, 5, 4, and 20 months) and I knew SO much about parenting…..til I had kids.

Now if they are somewhat clean, eating mostly healthy food and everyone is getting along for 2 whole minutes….I’m ecstatic. The rest – well, I figure they will have superior immunities and be incredibly talented lawyers for all the arguing practice they get now!

Anonymous on

Loved this…laughed with a huge grin through all of it!!

Ashli on

I just love Marla’s Blog! Everytime I read it, I have this strange mix of misty smiling tears. The truth is ironic, funny, terrible and amazing. Marla sure knows how to capture it with words. Can’t wait to read the next entry!

Anonymous on

She’s absolutely adorable. Yes to all of that. I was that parent, all the way. And then life happened. The television, the sugary drinks, the non organic food.

Had to come to grips with reality and that I couldn’t circumvent every party and situation that came into our lives. It was an exhausting battle at first, but with a 3.5 year old, I’ve come to realize she’s going to live ๐Ÿ™‚

Jessica on

Loved your letter, Marla! Thank you for sharing. If I had a nickel for every time I said “I’ll NEVER” before I had children, I’d be very wealthy right now!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up the phone and called my mother to apologize for whatever my daughter just did or said to me that I know I said or did to my mom!

Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us.

Guest on

Great post, hilarious and funny. Love it!

Jackie on

I laugh because I’ve lived every bit of what you’ve just wrote! My son is 6 now. I’ve done it all too.

My unspeakable was the co-sleeping. I swore up and down “if I ever have a kid, that’s not happening”. Well, you know what, it did! And we both lived! That first night when he wakes and can’t get bk to sleep in his own bed and you’re dead tired and just want to sleep…well, there it was! It doesn’t make you a bad parent. You cope, you adjust, you move on.

Great writing! What a cutie you’ve got there!!

Steph on

I find you so refreshing and completely on point.

Susie on

I swore I would never be cruel enough to put a “leash” on my child. Then I had a son, who was a runner, and after he nearly went down an escalator after breaking free from me holding his hand, I changed my mind. My heart dropped as I ran after him as he ran towards that escalator. I went straight to the baby store and purchased a harness. Better that than a million deadly scenarios that ran through my head thinking of him breaking loose.

Erin on

Loved your letter! I was laughing because I was that person before I had kids! Now that my kids are 15 & 10 I find myself saying “because I said so” more than I would ever admit to my mom! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anonymous on

I absolutely adore your letter, Marla! Elliotte is incredibly cute!!! Thank you for sharing!:-)

Michelle on

Dear Childless Judgmental Marla,

Before you have children, you must accept the responsibility. The solution for those eyes rolls and dirty looks is prevention, not in excuses or justification.

If your future mommy self is not able to control your kids then 1) remain childless or 2) avoid or remove yourself from situations where your child will inconvenience a crowd of people. This includes restaurants, airplanes, theaters and any other place or activity that is not age appropriate.

It’s ridiculous to ask for sympathy for a circumstance that is 100% of your own making. I’m glad you’re looking forward to enjoying the thrill and reward of being mom, but please be considerate to the rest of us.

Sara on

I love your letter! It is so true! I found my self telling my 6 yr old son “Well I’m not so and so’s mother I’m your mother” and thought UGH…when did I turn into my mom!!! Motherhood is the best and worst job all in one and I wouldn’t trade it for the world! Love you on the Fosters great show!

Brittany on

Amen! All those wonderful parents we anticipated being, washed away by the fact that our parents and grandparents lived through lead paint and smoking while pregnant .. Ours will survive drinking tap water and eating NOT SO organic food. Some of you will succeed at being that completely over judgemental parent who worries ab everything that they do and every morsel of food that goes in their mouth, but please don’t forget they are kids and they are only little once don’t take it soo seriously enjoy it, treasure it, because it will be gone before you know it!

KathyNYC2 on

That’s a beautiful letter to yourself Marla. As a parent and pre-school teacher, I understand exactly what you are saying. I don’t know how many times I said to myself, “if I only knew then what I know now..” Thanks for sharing. You sound like an amazing mother.

Sharron on

Michelle, WTH . . . is wrong with you?! You may not be a mother, but you were most definitely a child/toddler at some point in your life. Unless, your parents never took you outside of the home, you can bet that at some point YOU ruined someone’s quiet moment or annoyed some other person simply by being a child – i.e., playing with your imaginary friends, running around, etc. That is the benefit of living in society! You get to be and be around and in all different situations, some annoying, some not annoying!

4mom on

Wow Michelle I hope you choose to remain childless because I would hate to be your child. Nothing about life is perfect or completely controllable, children or not. Get a grip and learn to forgive the rest of us less than perfect people.

Nancy on

Great writer Marla! Your daughter is adorable and you are an awesome Mom. Sounds like you came from an awesome mom as well. Kudos to you both and enjoy every second of the quick ride that it truly is.

M Chiarello on

So true

Jackie on

So true. Every. Word. Thank you!

I laughed out loud at the Dora comment. I’m guilty. When it comes to cleaning the house, taking a shower, making dinner, whatever. If it buys me 20 (or more!) minutes of quiet time for my 4 year old, I’ll take it!

PS, your Princess is adorable! ๐Ÿ™‚

kelly on

Marla, you are so articulate, and an excellent blogger. You definitely hit the nail on the head with this one! I think every woman at one time or another has been judgmental about someone else’s parenting, and thought of what a better/different approach they would take. Until you have walked a mile in my worn out Nikes, with a cranky three year old in tow, well then keep your opinions to yourself.

All joking aside, its refreshing of you to admit that you are not perfect, just trying to raise a happy, healthy, and very cute little girl! Keep up the blogs.

kelly on

Michelle, its people like you that inconvenience everybody else! If you can’t tolerate a child being, well a child, then go back in the dark hole you came from! Get over it. The world would be such a better place if people like you simply reached in and pulled that stick right out of your uptight a**.

Kayla on

Even though I don’t have kids this all makes so much sense to me already. Your blog posts are always great! And your daughter is so adorable!!
Thanks Marla!! ๐Ÿ™‚

loricarter1 on

Exactly! It doesn’t get easier when they’re older ๐Ÿ˜‰ 24, 23, 21 and 16! I STILL tell them (yup, even my 24 y.o. son!) to PLEASE eat some protein and he doesn’t even live in the same city!! I will still also count ๐Ÿ˜‰ (still works too, LOL!) I will also try to get them into a “corner.” This actually started once they were all older ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s so fun to see your “adult” children giggling and trying to figure out how to get away from their crazy mother ๐Ÿ™‚

Cari on

Michelle, at what age would it be ok with you for me to take my kids out in public? In my opinion, your parents let you out too soon. Please go back. Now and forever.

KellyGreen on

“You know that 2-year-old running through the park without their shoes on? Before you mumble to yourself in judgment, โ€œWhy doesnโ€™t that mother put some shoes on that kid?!โ€ just know thatโ€™s YOUR kid.”

This. Yes. All the time I get judged on this one!

Catherine on

Great letter. I don’t have kids myself but love reading these mommy blogs. Elliotte has grown so much! Really cute.

Anonymous on

So on the money.

Monica on

I used to judge moms of little girls that had horribly messy hair. I used to think “how hard would it be to just brush her hair?”

Cut to me now mom of 2 little girls who half the time leave the house with rat nests on their heads. The oldest screams when I brush her hair (even have a special brush) and super fine hair that won’t stay in a pony tail holder to save her life. The youngest has super curly hair so I can’t brush it and throws a fit if I even suggest pulling it back.

Ok world, I apologize. I get it now.

Georgia on

So happy to hear that Im not the only that thinks like this!! I wish more moms would open up instead of trying to act as if everything is perfect ….

LKT on

I’m laughing at this because I remember my sister’s husband being adamant that his children would always ONLY eat organic food. Problem was, my sister’s secret “cheat” was store bought frosting. She LOVED the stuff. She did her best to hold out, and mostly succeeded because they live in Europe (where frosting by the can isn’t exactly common).

However, for my dad’s 60th birthday, while in the states, she couldn’t help but treat herself…..And introduce her son to the delicacy. We have the video, and it’s hysterical. Initially, he was skeptical, but after a couple of tastes, like mother like son. Frosting lover for life!!!

Alli on

I’m a mom to 3…all teenagers now! I owe my ability to keep “calm in the face of eye-rolling strangers” to my Mom. When I was about 2 y/o I was softly humming or singing in Church…and this meany turned around and yelled at me, “You are in CHURCH!” Well, my Mom looked her right in the eye and said back, “And so are YOU!” Gotta love a Mom who can keep it all in perspective; and put people in their place (when needed)!!! She’s a super grandma too ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jeanne on

The letter could not be more perfect. I’m reading it as I sit here rocking my 7 month old trying to get her to sleep and after having just counted numerous sheep and sang countless row your boats to my 21/2 year old.

Parents need to support each other. Too much time is spent comparing and judging when it should be spent praising each other for doing the best we know how.

Sandra on

Y’all the day my son asked me why he couldn’t have another cookie and I said those dreaded words “Because I said So”. I burst out laughing, gave the kid another cookie and called my mom. I remember her telling me the same thing and responding that I would never say that to my kids when I have some. Well flash forward 20 years and there we were laughing at the karma.

Anonymous on

Hilarious. I needed to read this today.

Jen on

Reading your blogs always makes me feel better about my own parenting – no one else is perfect either!

I imagined that my little ones would only eat healthy, organic, HOMEMADE snacks. Homemade crackers, fruit leather, trail mix, dehydrated veggie chips, etc. and then someone gave them goldfish crackers. And someone else gave them scooby doo fruit snacks.

Suddenly all they want is processed stuff. I make a lot of homemade snacks but now include peanut butter cheese crackers in my emergency car snack kit.

Oh, and they wouldn’t be white bread, PBJ eaters either. Despite exposing them to all kinds of foods and offering tons of delicious healthy options (thanks Weelicious cookbook!) on most days they ask for PBJ. Sigh. ๐Ÿ™‚

Jen on

Ps even though you play a shady character on the Fosters (Brandon? really?!), I think you’re doing a great job on the show!

Amanda L on

I swore I would never buy my kids those annoying light up sneakers. Guess whose 3 year old daughter has been wearing the same style of light up shoes just in bigger sizes for the last 18 months? Yep mine.

Caitlin on

I have never posted a comment to a blog in my life but your posting left me crying and laughing outloud in thinking back on both the joys and the stresses I have experienced over the past 9 months being the mom of my little guy.

Thank you for such a beautifully honest blog. Loved reading it….particularly today on a recovering from being sick, extra cranky but also extra snuggly day.

Your family is beautiful! We are truly blessed (as my mom would say and I now say often ๐Ÿ™‚

Nicole on

I absolutely loved reading this blog. I don’t have any children yet but when I do I will definitely keep this in mind.

Also you have a very adorable daughter. Thanks for the cute pics.

Kristin on

Hilarious. I recall how often I would say the line “my child would never” and now he does most of the above.

My most embarrassing was when my son picked up the butter knife at a restaurant. I was reading the menu and didn’t see but once I noticed I took it away. I recalled a moment when my past self judged a mother for her child doing the same thing.

theonejanice on

This should be the letter I wrote to myself! Everything is on point, but I do love my little ninjas and wouldn’t change a moment of the 24 hr. learning process that is being a Mom. What a marvelous post. It definitely made me reflect and appreciate every little thing!

Kate on

Dear Michelle,
You’re a bitch.

Andrea on

Happy Birthday! Don’t worry you are not alone, my son had a large CCAM and I was very crazy about cleanliness and germs! Lol

Judy on

I loved Marla in a Hallmark movie and thought she was precious. Her blogg is equally sweet and so point on about things I went through as a mom when my kids were little. It is tough being a mom.

linz on

i always swore that that i wouldnt be the kind of parent that had so much baby “stuff” i thought it was ridiculous that a tiny person needed all those things. but my baby got everything! the house was littered with jumperoos baby swings bouncers excersaucers gyms and on and on.

but you know what “old me” was still right in a way my kid didnt need all that stuff… i did. if the excersaucer let me put away the dishes then in the excersaucer you go! if the baby gym let me get out an email to a friend i had been unintentionally neglecting for weeks then baby gym it is. if the swing guaranteed that baby would sleep for 2 hrs straight so i could maybe remember what sleep felt like myself night night baby enjoy your swing!

my house looks like a toy store and i am actually proud of it!!!

dawn delbianco on

I used to yell at all my friends, that I could not believe they let their kids eat and drink in their car. Their cars were filthy and sticky. I was appalled. Then I had my son and my car has a 5 year old mcnugget under the seat and I have to pry skittles out of the niches.

I too have apologized. Forgive them for what they do not understand….:)

Annie on

I told my pre-baby self that my house would not become overrun with toys, that my kids wouldn’t eat processed foods, that I wouldn’t spend ridiculous amounts of money of outfits that they would only wear once or (gasp) never! I’ve done all that and more…

it was funny to read you talk about the “sanitizer bath” as I did that with my first, but with my second, I just make sure that my (and his) hands are clean! He’s five months old and only gotten sick once!

Jessica on

This is great, thank you SO much for sharing!!!!

halo2014 on

My 3 boys 11 and twin 9 year olds constantly are hungry. The open the fridge and just stare in to it….I instantly become my dad and say….”Shut that door! You are letting all the cold air out”. It drove my dad nuts when I did it, and now it drives me crazy. Open the bloody door when you know what you want! Lol

Jennifer on

Love love love this! As a mom of 3, this was spot on for me.

Renna on

Great letter Marla! I am on baby #3 (all 4 and under) – still in the throes of craziness, but all well worth it.

Well said!

Christine on

@Michelle Hopefully you take your own advice & go with option #1 and remain childless.

Staci M on

That was spot on! As the mom of 4 boys (ages 23, 21, 18 & 9), I am here to tell you that it does go fast! And having teenagers in the house while raising a toddler gives you an even clearer perspective on child raising

! The most important thing to remember is to not swear the small stuff & mean what you say because those little boogers are looking for your weak spot & when they find it they will prey on it!

Brenda on

That was a cute letter. I am a mother or two, and I swore once I had them they wouldn’t sleep with me. My twelve yr old slept with me until she was 3, and my son is now six still sleeping with me. I say to myself every year that it would be the last, but I can’t bear to see him sleep alone in his own bed.

Ana on

Dear Michelle on March 28th, 2014.

1) You suck.


3) Also, YOU SUCK.

Rachael on

The no tv rule was so me! That only lasted until our second baby was born and our 18 month old came down with a fever the day we came home from the hospital. Praise the Lord for Veggietales and Thomas the Tank Engine!

Teri Pandaslayer Steele on

Dear Hateful, Spiteful Anti-social Michelle,

Get over yourself. As a childless adult I have come to the conclusion that I would be too selfish to raise a kid, but working in an industry that caters to kids I’ve learned KIDS ARE NOT CONTROLLABLE!!! Yes they can be taught rules, proper etiquette, and normally are just fine. But guess what? That poor mom who is TRYING to teach these practices to a 3 year old is going to have resistance from her baby sociopath. Children care about what they want, not what mommy wants! That comes l a t e r!!!

So stop making us childless women look like uncaring, psychotic, judgmental witches and just stay at home. Order take out. Rent movies from Net Flix. You shouldn’t be around other humans PERIOD.

To all the moms. Seriously…most of us get it. Yeah I might get all judgemental for 5 minutes, then remember the stuff I pulled as a child and go “ooooooooohhhh”. And I was well behaved in “Public”, but was a terror at home (according to my mom).

Anonymous on

Go girl. My little one is 17 months and I have done about a million things I said I would “never do” already! I have also behaved more like my own mother than I EVER thought I would. Parenting is super hard., but I can honestly say every single second I have had with her since she was born has been a joy. Even the hard times. She is who I always wanted to be. Tantrums and all.

imbetts on

to all of you ragging on Michelle, get over yourselves. You have a responsibility to make sure your kid acts appropriately. It is not up to us to just suck it up. All manners seem to have gone out the window and too many are letting their kids rule the roost. You teach your kids manners at home and if they cannot behave out of the home then don’t take them out until they do..

You had the kids not us.. and for the record, I have raised 2 daughters and now a grandson. They all learned that if they didn’t behave in a public place they were left home the next time with a babysitter, and guess what??? they learned!!! You don’t let the kids tell you how it is going to be, you tell the kids what your expectations are for them. That is what is wrong with society today.

You who are name calling someone who doesn’t agree with you are the more judgmental people than Michelle. What wonderful examples you all are. You all need your mouths washed out with soap for how you talk to other people and believe me what goes around comes around, when your kids start treating you like that please remember this and don’t question where they got it from, because it was YOU!

Tanya on

I have 2 yr old fraternal twins and nothing makes u less judgmental than having to care for 2 little ppl who honestly just want what they want when they want it.

My big thing was cosleeping. I never ever wanted TWO babies in my bed after struggling years to get my oldest out. I did good for 6 months & after my daughter refusing to sleep in the crib for prolonged periods of time and basically no sleep I gave in. My family makes comments all the time & I’m not exactly thrilled but I get to sleep on top of having twins, working full time and being in grad school!

Moms should absolutely learn how to support one another. Temper tantrums, ect are just a part of the package along with all the hard decisions that we make in order to make our different situations work! Thanks for the article!

Teri Pandaslayer Steele on


Kind of hypocriticalof you to post that if your children misbehaved in a public place, the next time they stayed home. They learned. But as many have pointed out. The first time they will embarrass the poor parent WHO IS TRYING to teach their child.

Most of what “we” childless adults complain about is for all we know is a kids first temper tantrum. Heck, it could be their millionth, but what do I know. I at least know that I couldn’t deal with a screaming 2 year old and usually it isn’t my place to say anything unless that kid is putting itself in harm’s way by running around like a crazed monkey.

Parents are always going to have to bring their kids someplace inconvenient. That’s LIFE and convenient isn’t in it’s game plan.

Guarantee you weren’t a prefect parent. So get over yourself too.

Angie on

This is a cute a letter, nice for you to sharing it!

stacey on

imbetts, may I ask why you are raising your grandson?

4mom on

Dear imbetts, I am currently raising my 4 children ranging in age from 2 to 10. My husband and I take them everywhere with us because what exactly are they learning by staying home with a sitter? How to sit quietly through a church service? How to hold the door for someone? How to be polite and wait your turn? Did your babysitter teach those things?

My children go out into the world because that is where they live. They are made to mind and they have had to leave stores for acting up. So quit being sanctamonious and lumping everyone with children together. Some of us are raising well behaved and well mannered future adults who realize that they must be a productive part of society. We didn’t turn on the tv and leave them at home with the sitter.


Love reading your blog…. you sound a lot like me ๐Ÿ™‚ My 4 yr old makes me count to 3, give time outs and act like OMG a Mom! Still at 4 yrs old sleeping in the bed with mommy & daddy, loves her fruits and veggies but offer her a chocolate you better have 4 ready.

You are correct in this is the most stressful most wonderful job that I would not trade for all the money in the world.

She has her own.. yes OWN iPad, Santa gave to her last year for Christmas of course filled with educational games and Frozen the movie, but she is limited to when she can use it.

Renee on

I never thought I would have a 7 year old sleeping with me. But guess what? At 2am I am not in the mood to argue (usually I am hardly in the mood to even roll over) thus, I have a sleeping partner. I keep telling myself he won’t need to snuggle as close as humanly possible when he is in college, right? Right!? At least I am setting him up to be a snuggles with his future wife!

YuckRenee on

One more thing…I NEVER thought I would be a parent who would throw a towel over a pee spot in the middle of the night! Again, sometimes I do not function with a full brain when I am half asleep!

Michelle on

To all the haters out there calling me names rather than offering any logical well-thought arguments, this is why we’re even having this silly discussion. All the self-righteousness and excuses does not change the fact that having kids is optional, and if you do have them, parenting comes with responsibility and sacrifice. You might not be able to control your kid but you can control your situation.

My point was if you can’t or don’t want to control your kid, then avoid going out to places not age appropriate. It’s an inconvenient truth that you don’t have to go out to eat, to the theater, on vacation, etc. with your kids – you can opt not to go or leave them at home until they are old enough to handle the situation and behave accordingly. The reality is whatever you decide shouldn’t impact or worse inconvenience the rest of us.

aeromel78 on

@Michelle: I don’t have children but what you are suggesting is completely illogical. People have lives to live. They can’t stay at home with their children 24/7. Maybe you don’t have to go out to dinner or to the movies but you do have to go the grocery store and the bank and all other manner of errands that are part of everyday life. Kids get tired in these situations, they get bored but, you know what? Not every parent can afford to hire a sitter every time they need to leave the house to run an errand.

Verรณnica on

I love your letter!! Sooo true

Wendy on

I said I would never let my kids co-sleep with me. Well when #2 came along, she has severe ezcema and allergies. I keep her in my bed so she doesn’t scratch herself to death during the night. Try waking up with them covered in blood. That would quiet some people.

Also I used to get so annoyed when people I was meeting would say that their child was sick and cancel at the last minute. I always thought that was a cop-out until I realized how many germs kids get and how frequently they get sick especially from daycare. Now I appreciate those who cancel on me and am grateful for friends who understand who have been there.

TT on

This letter is refreshing and to the point!

kelsi on

@ Anonymous with the yard stick – LOL! Literally. Out loud. Hilarious.

katie on

I am guessing most mom’s are saying the same thing I am going to say….LOVED THE LETTER TO YOUR OLD JUDGEMENTAL SELF FROM THE FUTURE!!! So so TRUE:) Kudos…now let’s all cut each other some slack as women, and just be the best Moms we can be and help a fellow Mom out when needed/we can!

galen on

Amen! My favorite insenstive remark was the “where is the parenting section” question shouted my way when my 3 year old was throwing the tantrum from hell in our local bookstore.

Yeah, I guess I could have picked him up and carried him out of the store, except for the fact that I was nine months pregnant and couldn’t bend over far enough to get a good grip on the little twerp. I laughed then and laugh now, all the while PRAYING that one day that pompous man will be in a store with his usually delightful child who has suddenly decided to visit to the dark side and check out the action.

Kindness goes a long long way, and being nice to the mommies whose toddlers have gone to postal guarantees good karma forever…

Andrea on

I used to criticize mothers who didn’t part their girls hair in a straight line, when doing pig-tails or any kind of hairdos for that matter. Twenty months later, here I am happy that I can get her hair off her face even if it looks like a tornado just went through her head.

Motherhood changes everything. Your letter really hit close to home. I too was that person. Now I embrace every single moment I spend with my little girl. Thanks for your words.

Amanda on

I said I’d stay home with the kids….nope. Since I had to work, I that I’d take the full year off….nope. I thought I’d happily get my baby (now toddler) used to a crib…nope…we co-sleep (thank God we have a Queen sized bed!).

We have finally started using BPA free plastic bottles (in the microwave no less) after my son “Vikinged” his last glass bottle and it shattered across the floor. **Vikinged is a term my husband and I use in reference to how Vikings used to simply throw their beer mugs on the floor when they finished their beer lol.

Anyhow, I’m still a little squeamish when my son gets loud at a restaurant or church, but hey, it’s thankfully not in response to stank eye so much as my own sensitivity to offending or annoying others.

Good post Marla!

Hev on

Is it just me or does the woman dressed as Ariel look exactly like Marla? I thought it was her at first – it could be her twin!