Dear Aunt Becky,

I am a mom of an 8 month old beautiful (and perfect, of course) little girl. One of my closest friends has a 6 month old son. During our pregnancies, we were both really excited to have kids so close together, saying they could grow up together like siblings.

But after my friend had her baby, she changed. I know everyone changes after they have their kids, but this is extreme change. She has this holier than thou attitude, judges all of my decisions as a mother (and everyone else’s parenting choices), and it just seems that now that she has a child, she’s looking down her nose at everyone. I love my daughter, and do what’s best for her, but my friend takes the cake when it comes to overprotective. She won’t take her child outside for more than a trip to and from the car for fear of mosquito’s and *gasp!* the sun. She won’t let anyone hold her baby for more than a few minutes. I could go on and on. Normally, I’d find this behavior to be overprotective, but wouldn’t think much of it.

However, she’ll make rude comments to me when I do take my daughter into the sun or let other people hold her, or even babysit her. I let this go in the beginning, thinking it may be a postpartum issue, but it’s gotten to the point that I’m sort of ready to end this friendship, but I feel horrible for doing it. When you have a friend that goes absolutely insane judgmental after having a child, do you stick by and hope it will go away, or say “Peace out” and head your separate ways? Is there a way to suggest she speak with her doctor about postpartum depression without offending her?


There are a lot of really cutesy terms people could make up to call your “friend.” They’d probably involve a lot of hyphens and Capitol Letters and maybe some RANDOMLY CAPITALIZED WORDS, but I’m going to be uncharacteristically brief here: I’m afraid that your friend has turned into a kind of bitch.

It happens sometimes to new parents, and forgive me if I’m wrong here, because maybe I am, but their personalities, well, sometimes they change.

I don’t imagine that there’s any way that you’re going to politely be able to tell your friend that she’s being insane because she won’t see it and that she should seek help because I’m sure that she thinks that she’s being nothing but rational.

YOU, my friend, will be made out to be the asshole no matter how delicately you phrase it and I’m sorry. I know a couple people that I have thought about politely nudging toward Prozac and have decided to keep my wide trap shut for once in my life. There is just no way to say it without looking like a jackass.

Maybe, just maybe, your friend will return to who she was, but only if she realizes that there was a problem on her own (or at the suggestion of her spouse). Could you speak with the spouse?

If you can’t, I’d walk, nay RUN away from this person, because if there is ANYTHING that I have learned from being a parent for over 8 years it is this: people who live their lives FOR their children are not going to be your friend.

*Gasp, won’t SOMEONE think of the CHILDREN?!?*

They will constantly be comparing their Darling Johnny to your much less adorable Little Billy. Noting you will ever do will pass muster. I’m sorry. In this case, it’s really not you, it’s her and her Perfect Little Suzie. I promise. You cannot possibly win.

Being the eternal optimist in pessimist’s clothing, I’d probably distance myself as much as possible, because REALLY, who needs to be badgered by a friend that often, while hoping that my friend would come back. But really, I’d probably prepare myself for the worst.

You do always seem to lose people during the major transitions in life. I’m sorry, love. It’s not you, it’s her.


Will I ever reach a point where my appearance matters more to me than the appearance of my kids? Or will I go through the rest of my life licking the PB off their cheeks and brushing the hair out of their face but personally shunning a mirror like the vampire I am?

With the way that my mother still lunges toward my brother and I if she detects the slightest hint of a pimple forming on either of our delicate hairlines, I’m assuming that the answer is no. But she was wearing earrings today and, well, I didn’t brush my hair when I left the house to go blow a wad of cash on clothes for my kids. I own 3 shirts that fit properly and my children could go months without doing laundry.

Also: do you want to make out with me now? I’ll let you touch my boob.


How do I win at LIFE, Aunt Becky?

I’m pretty sure it does NOT involve mayo, pickle relish OR John Mayer, but I’m sensing that a lot of you may disagree with me on this one.


Because this felt like I ended it really abruptly (AND because I felt all naked today from not posting today–posting every day of the week is kind of—stalkery on my end, isn’t it? Like, I should I give YOU a break from me and my stupid antics or something.) I am presenting you with a festive shot of my daughter:

Mimi, As A Jack-o-Lantern

She’s too young to run away yet, but the look in her eyes is pleading, Internet, please, please…

….pass me some yogurt.

61 thoughts on “Go Ask Aunt Becky

  1. Judgemental parents are the worst because their insane overprotection is worse for their kids than any mistake a normal parent can make. This lady should know that kids need some sun to make vitamin d, and no matter what she does, her precious baby will be exposed to some germs. With my first, I would freak out if she got the least bit dirty, but now, with my 3rd, my policy is dirt don’t hurt!
    PS love the festive pacifier!

  2. When I first saw Amelia with that thing in her mouth, my first throught was Hannibel Lechter!!! It’s probably just me. She’s probably not going to grow up to be a serial killer/cannibal…

  3. What a gorgeous daughter you have. I have no comment on the advice because you said all that needed to be said and you said it so well.
    But I will repeat- WHAT A GORGEOUS DAUGHTER!

  4. I have a stepdaughter-in-law like this although you could see it coming – it isn’t new to her having her first child. With her, it is rampant and deep insecurity all wrapped up in a blustery “I don’t like you anyway” attitude. Even (Great) Grandma thinks she’s a bitch.

  5. Thanks for the advice. If I may be so bold, I would like to suggest that giving moustached men a wide berth (with the exception of Brandon Flowers) might also get one closer to winning at LIFE. But I haven’t won yet, so you can totally question my authority on this one.

  6. I actually went through about a 1 month phase of freakish over protectiveness with W. And then I came to my senses and got over it. I think (& what do I really know?!) that most new parents go through a phase of angst. That it took over 5 years for me to achieve motherhood probably fed into the crazies more than average. And really I think it was a weird ppd coping thing or something…

    as for how my kid is: bathed, fed, well rested, and wearing clean, adorable & well fitting clothes

    me: not so much

  7. Love the Halloween pacifier. I have Judgy MacJudgerson overprotective parent friends. When they and their little darlings come over I send the kids outside to play unobserved in the woods, where the barbed wire fence, lots of tall trees to climb and plenty of bugs are. It’s fun watching my friends’ eyes constantly dart to the woodline & glance at their watches. I make bets with myself about how long they last before they *must* go check on the kids. 90 seconds? 3 minutes? Could the possibly manage 5 whole minutes?

  8. Your daughter is a cutie pie. When people criticize me about how I handle by kids and gently remind them that in 10 years I haven’t lost a single one of them and they are all healthy and happy. Plus secretly I like to think that one day their kids will be working for mine cause I don’t stunt their creativity by controlling their every move.

  9. Great advice! Why does having kids make us INSANE? The funny thing is I THOUGHT I was going to be one of those moms who fed my kids strictly organic, threw away my television, and read the classics to them every night. Bwahahahaha. Oscar now eats dinner rolls that have been on the floor, loves Seinfeld reruns, and the only time I read to him is when he’s trying to grab the People Magazine out of my hands. Truly, I am going to be reported to child protective services one of these days (maybe even by you, lol)

  10. That pumpkin binky is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen! And you could totally get lost in your daughter’s eyes, she’s positively gorgeous 🙂

  11. Great advice Aunt Becky!

    I keep wondering when/if I’ll ever have a moment to care about my appearance again as well. In fact, I’m super excited because I’ve ACTUALLY (gasp) been doing my hair again! Holy crap, it only took a year after their birth. Just in time for their brother to come along…lol. Oh well.

  12. I agree with you about the judgmental friends. It sucks, but she won’t ever get it unless SHE sees it. I’ve known quite a few women like that, and I just do my best to not interact with them as much. And I also gossip to my friends about her ;o)

    Great advice, as always Aunt Becky. Love the picture of Amelia. She’s so sweet!

  13. I agree with you Aunt Becky, keep your distance, even if only for a short time.

    I think that difficult judgmental parents/friends are that way because they are insecure. They see you doing something that is different from the way they do it and it invalidates their way. I have dealt with a lot of this and I try to take it in stride (even though in the early years it made me quite postal). I still get questioned about my choices by certain family members.

    Amelia is the halloween queen! Love that binky!

  14. When I come here, and wait for my slow-internet connection to beam you up, I have, for a few seconds, a black screen with nothing but the words “furry and ruthless” staring back at me. THANK YOU FOR THAT. It makes me giggle every damn time.

    I was seriously all wrapped up in my superior ability to parent my child for like… Idk. A year or two. I concur that 90% of that behavior was rooted not just in insecurity, but in outright TERROR. Then I went through a long series of very humbling experiences. I got my feet back on solid ground. I pulled my out-sized noggin OUT of my out-sized (and thank God, when you think about it) ass. I would agree with you, Becky, that YES… distance is good and YES… trying to point out the issues is pointless. I would also suggest that in a few months, maybe a few years… this friend will show up again. She might be a bit timid. She might look sheepish. But if one can smile and act like it’s all good until she gets the balls to fully say “I was an AAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSS – forgive me!!” at which point you might say “It can happen to anyone”… you might just earn yourself the all time devoted girlfriend. Who will know that you rock. OR… she’ll just stay a bitch for the duration. Hard to say, really.

    I can’t even count how many times I’ve gotten halfway to wherever, saw myself in the rearview mirror and screamed at the psycho in the mirror. Sheesh.

    And FWIW, I would completely agree that NONE OF THOSE THINGS – the dully enthusiastic douchebaggery of John Mayer in particular – are the keys to winning at life. But I could be wrong, and that would certainly explain a lot.

  15. What a sweet little binky girl! The stem looks like it’s going to pick her nose, Mea would love it. We’ve been trying with little (no) luck to get our binkies to be gone….makes for a sad, sad girl.

  16. Not to be all ‘hey I’m staring at your adorable kid’s face and noticed…’ but she appears to have the ‘angel kiss’ birthmark on her forehead. My son has one too, and I have to say it seemed pretty apt for a little man who was hospitalized at only 8 weeks – not a lot of probs since then (almost 3) but I have to think that with the miracles you mention involving her medical history – it’s a cool, cool idea. 🙂

  17. Ugh. Judgey moms suck. No question about it, just run away from them. If they ever become sane again, maybe they’ll reach out for friendships again. Until then though, I agree, RUUUUUUUN.

  18. I really need to get a kid so I can have an excuse for not caring about how I look 90% of the time. I do care WAAY more about how my poodle looks, so does that make me less, or more, pathetic?

  19. I’ve experienced this a time or two myself. Thankfully my closest friends never changed in that way. And I’m thinking that since my kids ate cheerios off the floor *I* wasn’t ever “that” friend. I hope.

    Thanks for your comment at my place. I appreciate your support during what is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. Much hugs!

  20. “Won’t someone think of the OTHER parents, PLEASE! Some new parents simply amaze me. I bet she has thousands of pictures of this kid stuffed in her wallet.

    Everyone know this is so “BEFORE AL GORE “INVENTED” THE INTERNET!”

    Hugs and Mocha,

  21. I totally heard ‘Clarice, Clarice” when I looked at Amelia too. Um, just how in the heck does she just keep getting cuter and cuter, my God.

    You made me think, if I ever become a Mother would I act that way… i sure hope not. But for me, cause I’ve been tryin waaaay too long, I may at first be a little bitchy and not let anyone look at him/her and hold her, oh no!

    But then, I know me, I think I could balance my overjoyment (yes it is a word) and still be appropriately protective without overdoing it? I don’t know… but as always your daily dose of brilliance made my early Cairo morning.

  22. Yikes the first year goes by WAY TOO FAST. If you keep this friend in your life, you will always regret that her drama spoiled some of these precious moments. Guard these days with a fierceness usually reserved for PMS chocolate… Anything that does not help you celebrate your daughter is expendable.

  23. Ugh, judgy moms suck. I totally agree, you are better off without people like that in your life. Now if only we could do something about judgy family…

  24. You’re spot on Aunt Becky! I just love your advice columns! I’m still reading–even though I’m seldom commenting, and even less seldom writing myself.

    Thanks for stopping by! You’re the best! 🙂

  25. Seriously, what is it with John Mayer? I just don’t see it. Ahem, anyway…I know what you mean about caring way, way more about your child’s appearance than your own. My kid has a huge closet full of adorable clothing – my pre-baby shoe budget has shifted to her wardrobe. And although it sometimes pains me, no one forced me to do it.

  26. Ok, I just have to point out – the pumpkin binkie? OMG FREAKING AMAZING. I will never cease to be amazed by children’s accessories.

    And uh…good advice. Judgemental parents? Pretty sure they’re the ones that turn into (gasp) soccer moms.

  27. I was a judgy momster before I had kids, more vocally, and then very quietly afterwards. I guess I was afraid that all my friends with older children would invade my house and laugh at me when they caught me doing everything I ever judged them for.

    Pumpkin pacifier is fantastic. Take lots of pictures. Reproduce them for her wedding or prom night, or graduation.

  28. re: psycho judgmental new mom: sounds a whole lot like, “oh fuck, i just had a kid and now i don’t know what i’m supposed to do, so i’ll *act* like i know what the fuck i’m doing and shit on everyone else so nobody’ll see that i’m nothing but a giant fucking FRAUD.” also known as insecurity. i’d give it to her straight: quit judging me or i’m gone. go get some ppd help or find someone else to cruise on.

  29. ack!! i hit submit too soon!!

    and mimi? so freaking cute, it’s probably illegal. i swear, when i saw the picture, it actually talked to me. your kid’s picture spoke to me. it said, “hey what up homeslice? yeah, i’m jes hangin’ wit my new sucky. it rocks.” did you know your daughter talked like a gangsta wannabe?

  30. Your daughter is The Cute, and I would totally feed her yogurt till my arms fell off. And that paci is out of this world. I want one, and neither of my kids even like those things. I’d just hang it off the diaper bag like, “hellz yeah, we be rockin'” and carry it around as a holiday status symbol.

    Also, so glad I didn’t turn into one of “those” moms, even though I’m a bit of a know-it-all-bitch inside my head. It’s amazing, but apparently I DO have a filter between my brain and my mouth. Yay!

  31. The woman with the 8-month-old and the nutty friend should count her blessings that it is a girlfriend who went wacka-wacka and not the 8-month-old’s father.

    I can’t get over how much The Spouse and I see eye-to-eye on the kids. It’s freaky. We were married ten years before you started this kid project, so maybe we know each other really well. But that doesn’t have any bearing on how much we agree on policy.

    We fight about other things, but we have never disagreed on this.

  32. I always try to give the crazy parents a break, basically b/c I don’t know what they’ve been through to make them that way. However, the holier-than-thou parents make me want to choke the crap out of them! We all do the best that we can do (unless you’re guilty of locking your 14 year old in a closet for years), and everyone else should mind their own damn business!

    Can you tell this is a sore subject for me? We get tagged daily for the fact that our son has no male influence, grrr.

  33. blahblahblahBOOBTOUCHING!!!blahblahblah.
    Dude, from now on I’m so reading your advice column as if you had Barry White’s voice.
    And your little girl is … some word like adorable or beautiful, but much stronger.

  34. Love the ninny (binky, pacifier, whatever you call it). My son had to have ones in the shape of bugs. Also with you on the yogurt addiction. My kids never grew out of it.

  35. SWEET! So I’m seeing the general consensus is to cut the bitch free, which is basically what I’ve been wanting to do for months, but felt guilty about. I have guilt issues. Maybe that will be my next Ask Aunt Becky letter. This is great. I can just take my issues here and completely bypass the therapy thing. WOO!!

    Seriously though, thank you for the awesome advice. You rock my world. Additionally, the binky is cuter than cute and your daughter is incredibly adorable. My new mission is to find kickass binkies for my kid who doesn’t like them. She can just carry it around and look hardcore Halloween.

  36. Oh, come on! I love judmental, overprotective moms. There’s nothing better than watching them drive themselves crazy 😉

    That Amelia is my kinda girl!!

  37. Having friends post-kids is hard enough (mine either don’t have kids, meaning they don’t understand how hard it is to find time around them; or they do, meaning they also have no time), without them going all insane on you. I’m probably a little on the overprotective side, but I’m working on it. And hopefully I know that I’m erring on that side and can take inspiration from more laid-back parents, rather than informing them that they’re failing their children. There are so many decisions to make, from the very large to the miniscule, that you just can’t go around critiquing anyone else’s. I know I’m screwing up; hopefully, it’s just as little as possible.

    I love the pumpkin pacifier. My youngest just found a pacifier under her brother’s bed the other day and wanted to carry it around for about half an hour, but that’s the only paci use she’s ever agreed to. I might force it on her, just for the cuteness of that little pumpkin.

  38. AAAGH the change (and not the old lady change, but the mommy change!) I’ve lost a couple friends and nearly a sister to it. So sad. I just stopped calling them – I don’t think they even noticed. (Well, I call my sister when I know she’s at work – because I’m tired of sitting on the phone listening to her talk to her kid.)

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