For judging you, I am sorry.

Dear sister, friend, and stranger, 

I judged you. I judged your choices before becoming a mother myself, having never walked in your shoes. When you chose to have an epidural, I judged you. Until I begged for one while laboring with my first born. When you gave your newborn formula, I cringed a little. Until I fed my own the same way. When you brought your baby into bed with you, I said my children would sleep in their own rooms, in their own space. Now I bring our toddler into our bed when he cries out in the middle of the night, soaking in his sweet breath on my cheek. "My children would fall asleep on their own", I said, when you laid in your child's bed until he drifted off into sweet slumber. Yet I still sit in my 5+ year old's room at bedtime, and still rock my 2.5 year old for his nap, because one day, they won't want me to. When your two year old was sucking on a pacifier at the park, I thought it looked silly. My oldest had his until almost three. When you read food labels with such intensity and brought out the home-made organic kale chips, I rolled my eyes. "Everything in moderation", I said. Until I learned that not everyone charged with our health and nutrition always has our best interests in mind. I'm now much more careful and selective about what I feed my family. And I love kale chips.

Oh yes, I was the perfect mother once...before I actually became one. So for judging you, I am sorry. I promise to be more mindful, more empathetic, and to remember that a five minute glimpse into your day only tells a very short story.