This Winter, I’ll Parent My Own Children


Parent My Own Kids | Denver Metro Moms Blog

Ah. Shopping with children. It’s fun, yes? Oh, that’s right, it’s not. To peruse Target uninterrupted is every mom’s dream, yet we all know it rarely happens.

A couple of weeks ago, it was a balmy 50 degrees in Denver, and if you grew up here, or even if you didn’t, you know that Denverites break out the shorts and flip flops whenever they can, even if it’s the middle of winter. I hadn’t taken it that far, but my 4-year-old didn’t want to wear her jacket, and I didn’t want to deal with the fight, so I didn’t make her. Because say it with me parents:


Anywho, we had a lovely trip to Target. You know, the kind where you have to tell your child “no” to pretty much every single thing she asks for. Dora the Explorer gummies. No. A life-sized Elsa doll. No. Pink cheetah pajamas. NO and, side note, Gross!

We finally made it to the check out line. I was ready to get the h*!$ out of there. The line was atrocious. The little boy in front of us was tantruming, because his mom wouldn’t get him popcorn. At 9:30 in the morning.

Solidarity mama.

We walked out and I was victorious! On with my sunny Saturday! Strolling through the parking lot, my daughter holding my hand, potentially even laughing and I was somewhat enjoying myself. (I mean as much as you can when you’ve just dropped $100 on dish soap and markers and what else again?) My Parent of the Year moment was abruptly interrupted when out of nowhere, an older lady, bless her heart, pulls over in the parking lot and WAGS HER FINGER AT ME.

First of all, if you know me, you know you do not wag your finger at me. No. Just don’t do it.

Then comes the real kicker . . . She rolled down her window, leaned out, and scolded me while wagging her finger, “Your daughter must be cold. She should really have a coat on.”


I just could not hold it in. I lost it. In front of my 4-year-old, whom I know I have probably scarred for life, but I guess it was bound to happen at some point anyway. I gave her a piece of my mind. Don’t tell me how to dress my kids. Don’t tell me my business. Do NOT tell me how to parent! You don’t know me!

It was not my finest parenting moment, but it happened.

She drove off. Smug, I’m sure, and me still fuming. She got to me. Since when did it become okay for people to publicly tell you how you should parent your kids?

I don’t judge others for judging, heck – I do it all the time, believe me, but I keep it to myself! Do not pull your car over to tell me I’m doing it wrong. I already know I’m doing it wrong. I don’t need anyone else to tell me.

I just wish that woman knew that I went straight home, gave my kids some sugar and caffeine, and let them watch 5 hours of R rated movies.

I think I’ll start over this weekend.


  1. Some people have no life. She would have really hated me last night when it was about 10 degrees and my kindergarteners didn’t want to wear jackets to walk from the store to the car. Somehow, we all survived.

  2. Oh my goodness! This hit close to home for me! When my son was younger (at Target, too), I had an elderly lady chase after me as we were heading out the door to tell me that my son MUST HAVE A HAT ON. I didn’t know whether to start crying or laugh. In the process of me stopping outside, she caused us to stay in the wind longer. (Also, he had a hood on but apparently a HAT was the necessity.)

  3. Oh Jeni!!! I could not imagine what my reaction would have been, it would have taken everything in me not to use R rated language. As a Floridian who has been here for a year, 50 degrees feels like a vacation from the cold and we are ripping off coats like we’re back home. Great read!!

  4. Oh ugh! The judgement feels constant doesn’t it? Getting my children to put on a jacket or gloves or anything else in Colorado is nearly always a battle. I had the argument this AM with my 5-year old.

    I find myself glaring at anyone who looks our way as I just assume the judgement and I mentally tell them– “hey, judgy, I am grateful they have ANY clothes on today!”. But to have someone actually pull over and make the declaration is too much. I would have lost it, too.

    • This almost exact thing happened to me last winter here in Dallas. It was fifty degrees, mind you, and my daughter, 9 month old son and I were leaving whole foods. Racing to the car, I had my sons bare feet cupped in my hands. He had no socks or shoes because, well, I don’t have to explain…s$&t happens. A woman stopped me in the parking lot and scolded me for not having socks on my child’s feet!! I was having a hard time wrangling the children into the car and she had the nerve to roll down her window and make us stand in the cold so she could give me a lecture from her heated luxury SUV. I was frozen with shock. I said, “thank you for you opinion”. However, I should have told her that I sold his shoes and socks to buy my new coat.
      I cried in the car. A year later I found out she lives on my street.


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