I found myself turning to Reddit recently to idle my brain, and have been rediscovering my old haunts: parenting subreddits, mostly. They’re some of the least……. reddit-y places of Reddit, while also generally being the better parenting spaces on the internet, full stop. More people commiserating about banal parenting things, fewer people judging you for plunking your kid down for some iPad time.

As a parent of an eight-year-old now, I’ve sort of moved out of the phase where judgment from other people was the background radiation of my life- both because I’m more confident in myself and because people generally don’t have burn-the-internet-down opinions on raising schoolkids. ‘Dance class or martial arts’ doesn’t spawn the same kind of engagement as ‘circumcision or intact?’

So, I don’t know, maybe I should have expected it given my own experiences that led to the creation of this comic, but when I opened a thread about a mom struggling with not feeling ‘love’ for their newborn only to find the top comments were packed with smarmy backhanded bullshit like ‘you do you, but I loved my baby right away’, I just despaired. It’s really no better, huh!

Even the good parts – the subreddits are almost unanimously ‘fed is best’ places, thank goodness – remind us that the judgement is alive and well in our offline lives. People really just kept on being people, and it hasn’t somehow magically gotten any better for parents – I don’t know why I even subconsciously thought it might have. I just aged out of people’s attention spans.

Maybe this is hopeful to someone who’d in the thick right now; someday, you too will have an eight-year-old, and be baffled to look back upon this from your throne of inalienable confidence. The time of judgement passes, even if the judgement does not.