Bunnies or Goldfish? My Choice is Not a Criticism of Yours!

best bunnies

Dear Courtney,

Do you ever feel like motherhood is a competitive blood sport?  Do you ever feel like the other moms are constantly watching you from the corner of their eye, checking out your stroller, your diaper bag, your discipline, your kid’s snacks and clothes and toys and, and, and.

I feel it.  All the time.  And I’m totally, 100%, over it.

Until I realize I’m not.  No, in fact, sometimes I’m an active participant, in an almost subconscious way.

Example:  Not long ago I was on a zoo date with another mom and her two munchkins.  At lunch I pulled out juice boxes for my kids; she pulled out water bottles for hers.  Immediately I felt self conscious.  I began to stumble around and explain, “I probably should make mine drink water too.  We don’t do juice often, but we had these left over from that party… actually my kids almost never drink juice; I know it’s just full of sugars.  Just on special occasions…”    I felt a need to defend myself and those dumb juice boxes lest she question my family’s nutrition.  A little part of me worried those water bottles made her better than me,  and I made the (stupid) assumption that she would  judge me for that juice.

You know what they say when you assume. (Makes an ASS out of U and ME– in case you don’t know 🙂 )

Then it happened again at the pool, only in the reverse.  Bugaboo really wanted a bikini, but she has a long torso, so when she tried one on, the distance between the top and the bottom was like a mile of exposed skin.  There was something about it that looked really inappropriate, waaaay too sexy for 4,  so I said no.  I bought her a tankini instead and told her she could have a “real” two piece when she’s older.  The first time she wore it to the pool she was crazy excited, and while I smeared sunscreen on her, she jabbered the whole story to the woman on the next chair.  No sooner did Bug finish her tale then the woman’s daughter walked up sporting an itsy bitsy, teeny weenie, purple polka dot bikini.  The woman looked at me and started yammering on about how conflicted she’d felt when they bought it, how her girl had really wanted it, and didn’t I think it was cute and not too revealing?

I wanted to scream from the roof tops, “My choice for Bugaboo is NOT an implied criticism of you and your choices!  You shouldn’t feel bad.  You do not owe me an explanation!  I am no better than you.  Your choice is yours; my choice is mine.”

Today at the park, I had a conversation about this post with two other moms.  They both agreed there’s an unspoken competition among mothers; they both had examples of times they felt judged or criticized because someone else was doing it differently.  One of the women commented on the range of parenting in Seattle (and probably everywhere), and she confessed she keeps both Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies and  Goldfish Crackers in her house; which snack she packs is determined by which friend she’s hanging out with.  Utterly ridiculous.  Except when got home, I realized I have both too!

 So right now, to you and all other parents, I want to say this:  as long as you’re not harming your child or doing something illegal, you don’t have to defend your parenting to me.  Do you feel good about your decision?  Or did you feel good, until you saw that I made a different one?  If yes, then stand proud in it.  Give your kid juice.  Let her wear a bikini or eat whatever cracker best suits your family.  Do not feel bad or judged or critiqued because my family does it differently.  Chances are we also have different histories, values, goals, relationships– we’re making our decisions from different places.

In our family we buy organic milk and non-organic strawberries (even though I know they’re one of the dirty dozen); we don’t spank; we go to church; we keep our midriffs covered; we eat some refined sugar; I breast fed– and used a little formula, we use disposable diapers, we’ve been to McDonald’s, more than once; I made my own baby food; we never used a toddler bed or safety rails, we started time outs at 18months, we eat gluten, I buy all my kids’ clothes on clearance or second-hand; I don’t work outside the home; we may send our kids to private school (even though I was a public school teacher); someday we may let our kids dress up like cowboys/girls, revolver and all, and I honestly, seriously couldn’t care less if my kids eat bunnies or goldfish– if you really think about it, both are a little creepy!

If you do something different; I just want you to know, I’m cool with that.  No judgment.  No criticism.

 These are my choices; I feel good about them, and I’m done defending them.  I encourage everyone else to be done too!

****Update****  There is a sequel to this post.  You can read it here.


If you enjoyed this post, check out:

Sunday Reflections: Lessons from Sibling Love

Unfat and Healthy:  Weight Loss According to Men

Mean Girl Flashbacks

Do You Have A Gun?

97 thoughts on “Bunnies or Goldfish? My Choice is Not a Criticism of Yours!

  1. Eli says:

    I can’t help judging when people do things which in my eyes are harming their child. Like feeding them junk or using those crotch dangler carriers or letting them watch too much tv. I try to keep my opinion to myself and if I comment, I am never rude. But still in my mind, I judge.
    Mostly I have a problem with the way other people’s parenting influences my own child – not only in the direct way (when they try to feed my kid their snacks for example), but also because through the values and behaviors they have instilled in their kids, who then become MY daughter’s social surroundings.

  2. Em says:

    Yes! Thank you! I feel like I have to defend so many choices I make…ahem…we make, husband actually has a good say in all this….about how we raise our daughter. Organic food (for priority foods and when on sale!), tankini instead of bikini, and our church attendance lead the way with no nail polish or play makeup and ears not pierced being close behind. These are the choices we make and we make them out of love. We have discussed it and some choices are easier than others (and less argued by our daughter) but she is the only one we have and we are going too do the best that we think we can while we still can. And as proud as we feel at home when we watch her grow, it is a shame that other times our choices are put to the test with constant questions of judgment, rolling of the eyes, and even being the butt of jokes. Just because these are our choices does not mean I am judging yours. We are doing what we think is right for OUR daughter. Unfortunately our choices make others feel like we are judging them because they foster what we don’t allow……but what they fail to see is that I don’t care! My daughter’s friends all bring out different beautiful sides of her and if I really had a problem with them they wouldn’t be friends!!! Our choices are not in protest to yours!! Our choices are reflective of goals we have for the growth and character of our daughter….simple! Evelyn is the most amazing blessing we could ever ask for and everyday we struggle to make sure we make choices that will keep her healthy, strong, independent, compassionate, intelligent, kind, and happy! We want her to have a fullfilling and meaningful life, as I am sure all parents do, but the path we choose to accomplish this is by no way reflective of our judgments towards others.

  3. ctorosian says:

    Reblogged this on The Neurotic Optimist and commented:
    I loved this one. I have also been guilty of this one. We don’t mean to do it, but we do compare ourselves to other moms. And we all know, comparison is the thief of joy.
    Anyway, a good reminder to all us moms who are “in it.” I couldn’t have said it better myself! Thanks, Natalie, for the poignant message.

  4. stephaniessays says:

    Reblogged this on Stephanie Sylvester | Writer and commented:
    This is a fantastic post about motherhood! Sometimes, I feel as if it’s just easier to not say anything at all about my parenting choices, because I don’t want to seem judgmental, and I don’t want to be judged. We aren’t all going to make the same choices, but I’m sure we can agree that most of us are just doing the best that we can. PS. I TOTALLY have goldfish and bunnies in my cabinet.

    • momupsidedown5 says:

      Thank you for reblogging! We really appreciate it!
      I love talking with other parents; I learn so much from hearing how they do things! But there is a fine line between sharing ideas and trying to use those ideas to make oneself appear “better”– unfortunately too many people cross that line, whether they mean to or not!

  5. Ashlee says:

    Thank you! This is something I’ve written about before and it just never seems to let up. I don’t care if you feed your kid crackers or carrot sticks. Is his belly full? Is he safe? Is he happy? Does he feel loved? Those are things I care about.

    My kid loves Goldfish crackers, by the way. He would probably love the bunnies, too, but he hasn’t had them.

  6. jess fritzges says:

    This may be the best article I have ever read!!! When you told about how you raised your family it rang so true to how I am raising mine. I love your philosophy on parenting.

  7. glutenfreeforjen says:

    Oh my God I needed this! It just backed up a little rant I did about how we have turned into the one up society. I get so frustrated when even kids pull the “well we got this and this and this” and go back and forth over who has the latest gadget and who doesn’t. I even had mom’s act surprised when I told them my husband and I didn’t do anything for our 10 year wedding anniversary when they asked me if we traveled for it and said that we should make up for it this year. That isn’t us- we are the thrift store buying, lack of electronic having, grow our own produce, and never eat out family. Yes we do gluten free but it is for HEALTH and not for the the fad (because to be honest gluten free food can be pretty bland, nasty and expensive and isn’t worth doing it just to do it), and only 2 of us in our house eat it- the other two eat normal foods. I have even had parents try telling me my daughter will never be attached to me because I didn’t nurse her- yeah come meet her and tell me that. I have had parents (even family) put us down because we don’t homeschool. So I try so hard not to judge and let it get to me but sometimes it is hard and I tend to isolate myself to avoid said judgement.

  8. alligator00 says:

    I’ve always kinda thought this was a Seattle thing – always trying to outdo the other in the “greenness/healthiness” or whatever of our snacks/breastfeeding/attachment parenting, you name it. As I started to read this post my first thought was, I bet she’s from Seattle. 😉

    Do you think it’s regional? Or am I just blaming my city for human nature? Do you think you’d find this sort of thing in Nebraska?

    • momupsidedown5 says:

      The content of the judgement might differ, but I don’t think the behavior does. We’ve had 150,000 people read this post– literally across the globe, and the over overwhelming response has been, “yep, me too!”

    • mamajg says:

      I live in Northern Colorado, a sister in Ohio, a sister in New Orleans, cousins in Wisconsin. It is everywhere, unfortunately. Hopefully posts like this one will help rectify that.

  9. Heather says:

    This is a great post! I recently posted a Babywise article about a meshing of what are typically seen as two different parenting styles and I had put a comment that I felt the people who were against Babywise did not understand it and that it worked great for US. WOAH. Open the flood gates. I got accused of criticizing other parenting methods, being judgmental, the whole 9 yards. When in reality I was stating something that worked great for US (multiple times), posting an article I liked, and I thought if I shared some awesome sleep advice it may help some of the new moms out there. So I love this. It’s so true. Mom wars are insane.

  10. Natalie says:

    Love this post. If I read a new article or something interesting I love to share that information with others that I know but I never expect someone to follow exactly what I am doing or change their minds on how they parent because of something I said. For example I try to avoid GMO’s and companies that support Monsanto so I have switched from Goldfish to bunnies but that is my personal choice I don’t expect anyone to follow.

  11. Rebeka says:

    I love this 🙂 I never realized how mean strangers could be until I, someone very passionate about breast feeding, experiences lactation failure with my first, on top of so much pain and self-criticism I was constantly coming under “friendly-fire” from a group I was totally supportive of who wrote me off as just another mom too “selfish” to nurse her baby. Ughh I find myself so tempted to judge those women now as vindication. I’m still struggling to forgive and heal from a very deep emotional wound.

    But my problem is, I’m curious. I like to understand why parents make the choices they make because how people arrive at different descisions genuinely interests me (drive my husband crazy because I’m always asking silly questions about WHY, lol I guess I never out grew that child question stage fully). For instance, I’m super curious why you say “we don’t expose our midriffs” but just told a story about struggling with buying a bikini.

    • momupsidedown5 says:

      I’m so sorry you felt judged in your circle! As you know, feeding your baby is what matters most, regardless of the method. As to your question– when I said “we don’t expose our midriffs I was referring to my decision to NOT buy Bug a bikini. She got a tankini instead and it fully covers her middle. We may change our minds later, but for now, we don’t show belly at the beach 😉

  12. Kathie says:

    Amen! Yes, the ‘mom wars’ have to stop! Our children learn what they live…judging, one-upmanship, keeping up with the Joneses mentality. Is this what any of us want our children to become and embrace?

  13. SolowD says:

    I have neither of those snacks for my kids…..uhhhhh they are totally lacking in any real nutrition, they are just fat and flour……..a better snack all together would be nuts and dried fruit….so many more nutritious options. I use to buy Annie’s until I realized it was just like goldfish just with an organic label….still junk. I have tried not to judge people, but when I see people checking out at the super market with those sugary breakfast cereals for kids, an alarm in my head goes off that spews judgements…..Sorry.

    • momupsidedown5 says:

      I think judgement is a natural human response; where it becomes dangerous to us and our relationships is when we allow our judgements to elevate ourself in our own mind. Such as, “I feed my kid a more nutritious diet therefore I’m a better mother than you,” the problem is that isn’t logical and likely isn’t true. You may be a better nutritionist for your family than the woman with the sugar cereal or me with my processed cheese snack (or you may be better educated on the topic), but it is likely that you have failings and short comings too– different from the mothers you judge. They are probably better than you at some aspects of mothering! The potential impact of your judgement is isolation from community; when someone has there nose self-righteously in the air it is hard to form strong bonds and LEARN from those who are different. It also makes it difficult for others to learn from you; people sense judgement and are turned off by it.

    • Jenni says:

      Well maybe you can work on that. However, if it was me in front of you in line, don’t worry. Your judging glare didn’t phase me a bit. 🙂

  14. Matt says:

    Well, I’m a full time dad and I have to say, this type of thing never crosses my mind. I guess I’m too worried the moms around me at the park think I’m some kind of predator. You should see the looks I get when I hug and kiss my 2 year old son or take my 4 year old daughter to the potty. Give it a rest, ladies. I have bigger concerns than your stupid snack crackers. Like if one of you is gonna call the police.

    • Jenni says:

      Matt, you’re not alone. My husband has said the same thing. Other kids always gravitate to my husband because he’s playing with our girls while the moms are sitting/ standing around talking. As soon as he pushes another kid on the swing, or helps another kid up the ladder, some mom will yell at her kid to leave my husband alone when what she really means is “he has a penis, don’t get near him”. My husband always says he feels like he would be treated differently if we had some boys instead of all girls, but based on your comment, it seems it doesn’t matter.

  15. sarah says:

    I love this post and definitely feel it can be applied to the BF’ing/ formula divide. I have been blessed to nurse all three of my girls, and worked through the hard parts quickly. Too many of my friends, make “guilty” comments when I start to nurse my current baby. Like they need to defend. At times I almost feel like u should apologize to them that its so easy for me. I believe we all do the best we can, and most of us desire to learn and do what we need to for our children. I am not someone who judges. My choices of Organic and water and Nursing, and no spongebob is my choice. I love you just the same if you make different choices.

  16. Jackie says:

    Very well written. I’m a huge advocate of “my way is not better than your way.” I think we all have moments of judgement at times, either judging someone else or being judged. Last night I had a brief moment of judging someone else, this post reminded me to stay true to the “my way is not better than your way” theory, so thank you for that.

  17. Christie says:

    Fantastic post!! Applies to parenting decisions and most other things in life that people argue or get competitive about! Thank you!

  18. A says:

    Amazing! Took only a few posts in comment section to turn this into a one up, who is better! Well done guys. Nice job. Glad you could take the meaning of the article to heart.

  19. Carol Ann says:

    I get what you are saying and I do agree for the most part. I often get judged because our lifestyle is alternative. I just chalk it up to people feeling judged themselves and not knowing how to deal with people who are different. I make no apologizes for how I parent and I do not expect other people to do so either. I just think that when you are ‘awake’ to certain things it is hard to unlearn them and go against your nature just to fit in. For example our diet is very strict. I do not let my kids consume things, even at special occasions, simply to fit in. It is not worth all of the hassle later (stomach aches, loose stool, etc.) and I want them to feel confident in the decisions we have made as a family. What kind of message am I sending as a parent if I explain why certain foods are bad for you and how they destroy your gut health, but then cave and let them eat them so as not to be socially awkward? At the end of the day I think people should do what is best for them and NOT care what others think 🙂

  20. Kat says:

    First I want to say I’m quite impressed by the “grace” you’ve displayed in your responses. I usually don’t read the comments because they get so mean so fast.. But I think your blog is very true on so many levels. Whether people want to admit it or not, we’ve all judged and been judged. Personally, I try not to get totally caught up with it all but take it as an opportunity to learn of healthier options for my kids that I didn’t know existed and when possible, try to include them into our life. I’m thankful to see what new things are out there. For me, the Key is compromise- I want them to be kids but also want them to have good nutrition and habits. For example- when I let them have juice it is usually diluted with 1/2 water or as a “special treat”. If the store is out of organic fruit I will buy the non-organic fruit. We need to give ourselves a break every once in awhile and know we are are always trying to do the best for our kids… Let’s be a team parents!

  21. Leila Boukarim says:

    Great post! I’ve had a mom defend her juice choice to me when I pulled out my water, and I told her my choice of water was based purely on the fact that my kids won’t drink anything else! I wish they would! And we also have bunnies and goldfish, and honestly, reading your post, I have to clue which is the “better choice” cracker. We bought bunnies only because they come in sour cream. Really, these mom wars have to stop. As long as our kids are happy and healthy, growing and learning, then what on earth does it matter? The looks and the questions, the unwelcomed advice and the “I had 5 kids and I never used a pacifier”-type statements (yes I got that one) are just ridiculous.

    Leila Boukarim

  22. Kimberly says:

    So true! I too feel like everything we do is judged by others, especially when it comes to our children. I also know for a fact that some others feel that I’m judging them because we eat a pretty strict organic diet and when they learn that they instantly think I’m judging them for not doing the same. I’m definitely not. There was a time before we knew what we know now, and when I too made the same food choices as them. So, as for an answer to your question, bunnies (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THEM!). And my choice is not a criticism of yours either :o). Thank you for the great read!

  23. Kelly says:

    A great read!! Mine are 13 & 15 years and I remember this ‘competition’ you’re writing about. I tried not to do it or feel it (guilt), but it still happened anyway… Now, it’s not as bad because the kids are just like… “Mom! I don’t care what they’ve got, I like (insert thingy here)” or they are the complete opposite.. the typical “But Mom!!! Everyone Else has (insert thingy here)”…. 😀

  24. julie says:

    I like to see what other moms do different from me it gives me ideas BUT I don’t like being told I’m doing something wrong! My choices are my choices!

  25. Rick L. says:


    This was an interesting read and it let me get the perspective of what some of you woman go through. I’m a single dad of a two year old girl that I’ve been raising on my own since birth with literally not help. I have the joy of playing both mom and dad in this venture. I guess because I’m constantly busy and enjoying my time with my daughter I never really noticed what other parents do when around fellow parents and their kids. After reading this I went down to the pool to enjoy the sun and wear my daughter out so she can nap easier and to observe others. I’ve been teaching my daughter how to swim since birth and she comfortable with the water and jumps in and can semi float and hold her breath under water. I made it a point to never use any sort of floation devises on her when teaching her. Another parent shows up with their daughter who looked similar in age and after afew minutes the mom says to me “your daughter is really good in the water, how old is she”? I told her and explained why I don’t use floatations on my daughter and she comes back with “well I only do it sometimes, but I try to avoid it too.” I knew she was just saying it because like you mentioned “a sense of guilt” maybe because she feels she was doing something wrong and her daughter wasn’t learning like mine was. So now I see this unspoken competition that you speak of first hand as a parent. Personally it doesn’t bother me and I just do things that make my baby happy. But it is funny to witness.

    • momupsidedown5 says:

      To be honest I’ve wondered if this is something men experience as much as women (I don’t think my husband notices it much!). Women, as a group, seem to compete in this way more than men. Or at least that’s how it seems!

      • Rick L. says:

        I think you’re right. Men unless it comes to sports don’t worry about those things. If I pulled out a juice box and the other kids had water that just makes me cooler than the other parent Lol. To me I just let my daughter enjoy being a kid without feeling different about how she does it or what others do.

  26. Meagan T says:

    Sometimes it the best someone can do. Are the children fed, safe and happy? Then let it be. If you find your buying Annie’s Bunnies over Goldfish to feel superior then you may want to look deep inside and find the “why”.

    • Renee says:

      Hmmm… Megan I really don’t think parents buy these products to feel superior, I’m sure there are some but Id be willing to bet they’re in the minority. It’s mostly about feeling the pressure to do what’s best for your kids at all times. Is it justifiable? Probably sometimes, but I agree whole-heartedly with the main point of this article which is to stand behind your own decisions regarding what’s best for your family and to not judge others for theirs.

  27. vicki says:

    It was good until you went on the defense concerning your non-organic strawberries! Still perpetuating the battle, right there.

    • momupsidedown5 says:

      Hmmmm, I see what you mean! Though when I wrote it my intention was more for that aside to be a point of levity, but I see how it reads as a defense! Either way the type of strawberries you buy does not determine your worth or quality as a mother!

  28. Blondie says:

    Isn’t this whole article a way to explain and defend your parenting methods? If you didn’t care then why post and explanation of why you owe no one an explanation.

    • momupsidedown5 says:

      I suppose it is possible that ANY explanation could be construed as a defense. Though in this case I don’t agree that’s what I was doing. The intention of the post was to draw attention to the (sometimes unintentional) inclination to defend or adjust parenting to fit in with a crowd, and to encourage any other parents who may struggle with this particular issue.

      • Kathie says:

        We teach our children to avoid peer pressure, yet we mommies and daddies either consciously or subconsciously yield to what others have judged to be parentally superior.

        I was a rebel mommy when placed in context with my peers. I couldn’t afford high-end, luxury, brand name items; instead I used Consumers Reports to find the best and safest items for my money. BTW they often surpassed the luxury brand. My children played in the yard and dug in the dirt with shovels and Tonka trucks . They used their imagination and weren’t tied to a schedule dictated by the hands of a clock. Some days dinner was at 5, and on the days we lost track of time because fun got in the way we ate dinner late, took baths late, and *gasp* went to bed late.

        I’ve had mothers mockingly call us the dirt people since my children played in the yard, who thought I was a bad mother when I jokingly said, “You have to eat a pound of dirt before you die,” who questioned my belief in using organic lawn care because the lawn wasnt as green as the chemical company lawn was, who were dismissive of the severity of one child’s food-related allergies, who wouldn’t give me the time of day because my husband wasn’t a college-educated professional.

        Despite the judgements of my maternal inferiority, I’ve raised children who graduated HS and college, received a ton of scholarship money (one for environmental studies — guess there’s a plus side to playing in the organic grass), are independent and on a path to helping their peers and future generations.

        The judgemental, peer pressure moms: a few children still living at home not working and sponging off mom ans dad,, a couple of kids have addiction issues, a few moved out with an allowance, yet others have moved onto good careers post college.

        Bunnies and Gold Fish do not matter in the big picture. What does matter is the self-confidence and dedication of the parent who makes the choice based solely on their own convictions.

  29. Olivia Winwood says:

    Our culture is structured to continue this false, competitive presentation of “life” with chronic narcissism laced in. It’s not easy for us to live authentically and many cave to those they seek approval from. Relax in that moment when it presents itself and just live your life for yourself only. It sounds exhausting. And the PeppFarm product ingredients are the issue, vs. the consciousness and transparency of Annie’s.

    • momupsidedown5 says:

      Wow! Don’t I wish that were true!!! I’m not sure what gave you such a silly impression– perhaps you thought my examples were trite? In which case, that was sort of the point! Or maybe you have a hard time relating cause you’re dealing with some heavy stuff right now, and you don’t have the time or bandwidth to give mommy competition another thought. In which case, I’ve been there, and I hope and pray you’re delivered from your worries soon!

  30. Bianca says:

    Love love love this post. To me this applies in the vein of breastmilk vs. formula. My choice to breastfeed and be pro BreastFeeding does not mean I’m anti formula or against moms who chose not to breastfeed for any reason. My choices are not to imply that I find your differences inferior.

  31. MrsFun says:

    I love this!! My kids are older and I’m thankful. Motherhood is so much more of a competition than it used to be. I buy goldfish and grow my own strawberries 😉

  32. Kelly says:

    Great post, but I want to share something about Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. The goldfish are sold into stores by self employeed PF contractors. So when you spend an extra .10 on the fish instead of the bunnies you are supporting a small and more than likely a local business. Your buying bunnies or whales is going totally to the walmarts of the world. So help your local guy or girl and his family, buy the fish.

    • Di says:

      The bunnies are by a company called Annie’s. They make organic versions of popular snacks. I imagine they’re contracted out similarly to PF. Bunnies and goldfish are the same snack, but one is organic and therefore implies that you love your kid more because they are eating the “better” snack.

    • April says:

      Not to get into a debate Kelly (and thus prove the point of the post), but the bunnies are actually more money because they are all natural (some organic even). They also have half the amount of ingredients (mainly the ones you cannot pronounce) and that includes MSG. There is always a reason to buy one or the other. All we can do is what is best for our family.

      Not that it matters for me as my toddler has a gluten and dairy sensitivity and can’t eat any of it (good excuse BTW when I am on the playground with her fancy gluten free options). I am still waiting for them to come out with bunnies that are made from rice instead of wheat and don’t include cheese.

      • meagan says:

        Hi April,
        My daughter also cannot have gluten and we have found some gf bunnies from Annie’s. They are a mix of choc and vanilla and come in a blue box. My daughter loves them! Although, I am not sure if they are dairy free. We buy them at target 🙂

      • edevoli says:

        The chocolate/vanilla ones that meagan is talking about are definitely dairy free as well as gluten free (though always be sure to double check). We bought them for our kids for Easter because one of my boys has a dairy allergy.

    • Lindsay Kurtze says:

      Kelly I do believe she is talking about Annie’s Bunny Crackers….a great deal more expensive than PF fish crackers and “organic” (why some people feel the need to judge. IE if you buy the PF fish crackers you are some how lesser as you do not buy “organic”. However, I do feel your post misses the point slightly…you may value supporting the PF contractors – that is great for you and your family! However, someone else may value (or be forced to value) keeping the extra 10 cents. Whatever choice we make is fine for our families 🙂

  33. jdaddycoach says:

    I’m a stay at home dad and don’t notice anything like that, of course my focus is on my kids not what the other guy or gal thinks.

  34. GinnyV says:

    This is spot on! I’ve judged and been judged, and you know, we’re all doing what we think is best. As long as someone is doing what they think is right, who am I to judge? Thanks for a great post!

  35. Maryann Leary says:

    Natalie, I wish all parents could read this! So true what we do, but good for you for embracing who you are! Love the blog!

  36. Matthew says:

    I enjoyed the post. I am a first time dad, and sure I am making heaps of mistakes, but I have a super happy almost two year old, so whatever it is is working so far. I am raising a son in Japan, so probably the societal expectations are a bit different, but your advice is solid. Don’t worry about it. Your choices are your choices and you don’t have to justify them to anyone. Do the right thing for your family and things will work out.

    • Klhrrs says:

      Wow!!! That’s super awesome, and congrats almost two years too late!

      What kind of societal norms do you feel like you kinda mess up in Japan?
      (This is NOT a criticism; I’m just curious about their culture as seen through the eyes of an American living amongst them. 🙂 )

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