A mother’s judgement of a stranger

Judgement. Social media is full of it. It also permeates into our off-screen lives, particularly out of earshot. We are all guilty of judgement to some degree, but most of us also understand that respect for others should be first and foremost in our minds. The way that other people wish to live their lives, as long as they are not causing harm to others, is surely their own business and does not warrant hurtful comments from anyone else.

Do you want to end up like her?

A New Zealand mother of two recently shared her experience of judgement on a local community page, whilst visiting a Pak n Save store.

“You: beautifully dressed, immaculate makeup, high heels; three school aged daughters with perfect hair; shiny new car; parked in new parents only car park while unloading a very full cart of groceries.

Me: stained clothes because I cleaned for four hours, no makeup, a bit sweaty because damn it’s hot; doing a quick shop before I go take a shower so I’m fresh for my volunteer job; beaten up car; happy face because I’ve had a pretty awesome day until now.

Just wanted to say thank you. I heard you say in a very pointedly loud voice, while looking me straight in the eye, to your eldest daughter “look at her, do you want to end up like HER? That’s where you’re heading if you don’t get your grades up.”. I’m so sorry I was in a rush, we should meet up and have a little chat.”

(The post has been reprinted here with permission).

Where’s the respect?

How will the next generation learn tolerance, understanding and acceptance when the people they learn the most from are so vocal in their judgement of others?

Dozens of local people responded voicing their shock at such an awful lack of respect. One person acknowledged this woman’s restraint in not shaming the woman in front of her children, hoping that the woman’s children will learn that “no matter how you appear in a materialistic sense, and what you possess; that being a kind, decent human being is valued much more.” Other comments supported the view that, if this woman’s daughter was to grow up to be like her, she will be doing just fine.

By all means, encourage your children to aim for the stars and help them find their place in the universe. But if they happen to fall back to earth, ensure that you have taught them that everyone has a place in this world and deserves respect for who they are, not what they look like or the size of their bank balance.

Judgement and understanding

Kidspot spoke with the mother who suffered this judgement. She is a mum to two kids. One of her children has just finished three years of chemotherapy for leukemia. She is the sole driver and therefore struggles to find work around her child’s treatment requirements. Her message to the other mother was this: “I want this woman to come forward and have a genuine conversation. She needs to be educated, I’m willing and able to guide her through the complex struggle of working families. She obviously hasn’t had that experience and I’m glad for her, it is so nice I’m sure. I just want to sit down with her over an affordable coffee and just … I don’t know, help her to have some form of understanding?”

This blog was written by Julie Scanlon, Editor for Kidspot NZ.


  1. SarahBlair 31/12/2017 at 5:55 pm

    Wow! Just wow!! How Im not sure who I feel the most sorry for, the poor woman who is being judged without any information on her character other than that snapshot in time of her life, the ‘judgy’ woman has no idea of her situation, she might have been a millionaire dressed down to help out at a charity.. The daughter who was told in that moment that her life choices will never be ok if they don’t align with her mothers shallow ideals or the poor disillusioned women her finds her self worth in belittling others. She must really think little of herself deep down.

  2. Angelgirl081 30/12/2017 at 9:34 am

    Wow, it still amazes me when I hear stories like this, that we have people in this country who treat others like the lady in the story. How sad, that she feels the need to criticize others without walking in their shoes.
    I don’t wear make up (who has time for that?!) I haven’t had a hair cut in over a year, and what I’m wearing is probably just whatever was sitting on top of the clean wash basket haha.
    But I’m a great mum, with a good job, working hard to provide for my children all on my own and it is so rewarding. I know which mum I’d rather be and it’s definitely not the stuck up cow haha

  3. Mands1980 10/12/2017 at 9:59 am

    This article is so true too many people judge others and it is reality now unfortunately it is so sad. You see it in all school situations as I recently went on a school camp and as you say some people are quick to judge others families situations when we don’t know the true situation.

  4. Shorrty4life1 07/12/2017 at 1:54 pm

    This is sad. Makes me really angry when people don’t know other people’s struggles but yet still judge. It’s not fair and should not happen.

  5. Bevik1971 07/12/2017 at 10:57 am

    Gee, I’m actually quite gobsmacked – I still find it hard to believe there are actually people out there that do that sort of thing? I have been a solo Mum and raised a now 24 year old son on my own whilst holding down a job, if anyone judged me for that, then too bad. I think I did a pretty good job and my son is a pretty cool human 🙂 I am now raising a 5 year old with my partner of 9 years, that’s not easy either! I still work full time and he has been stay at home Dad. I can’t imagine how difficult for that awesome Mum having a very sick child and still coping day-to-day. She did very well to restrain herself and not retort back, I’m pretty sure I would have had to say something! When my 5 year old points to someone who, for example is in a wheelchair I explain to her why they are in the wheelchair etc and ensure she has empathy, for I most certainly do not want her growing up without that trait.

  6. MuddledUpMolly 06/12/2017 at 8:20 pm

    This was really sad to read 🙁 I didn’t see this come up anywhere on social media but I often hear of cases similar to this where strangers are judged and made to feel awful publicly. The sad thing is to even make those judgements aloud, let alone to an impressionable child, is disgusting. I think most of us are guilty of casting judgement, on some level, and this is a lesson that can be learnt by many. Good on her for saying something.

  7. kymmage 30/11/2017 at 9:00 pm

    Wow, that sounds like an awful experience. I dress down a lot in the weekend because I can. But I am “successful”. This really is a two fold issue – one, where is the kindness but also absolutely the pressure of success on those kids could easily break them. I have seen kids like his, where all their siblings are hugely successful but they don’t want to be a lawyer or a doctor and so their accomplishments and grades are considered poor by the parents. Imagine doing that to your own kid?

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