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BEWARE of Sanctimommy

Criticism is a misconception.

When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person;
it merely says something about our own need to be critical.

- Unknown

It is difficult to determine who the first mom was that was so lucky to be labeled as a ‘sanctimommy’.  Making an educated guess, I bet it was somewhere in a place where assaulting others under the veil of anonymity reigns supreme: the internet.

So what/who is a sanctimom exactly?


Sanctimommy: (noun) refers to a person, usually female, who judges perceived faults in the parenting of others with a condescending tone. This is sometimes done in a fashion that provokes anger.

Dropping the fancy definition: Someone who judges and criticizes the hell out of others.

How do we deal with these horrendously, judgy creatures?

Easy, really – two ways.

One, you realize that destructive criticism only stems from insecurity.

Second, and most importantly, recognizing we all have the potential of becoming one!

This is important because once we recognize that our own judgment comes from our insecurities we can deal with others criticism more easily because we know it is coming from the same insecure, anxious place. We can stop reacting to others who judge us, and instead show compassion because they are people who suffer from their own insecurities.   

It’s not about our parenting choices, judgmental moms or criticizing comments at all – it’s about you. It’s about being confident and secure.  

In my experience, it seems that this term is applied solely to mothers who do anything “non-mainstream” and that is severely limiting. Thinking only one “type” or “style” of mother has the potential to morph into the loudly critical “sanctimommy” reduces our awareness that we all have latent judgments of other’s parenting choices. Instead of looking outward, pointing a figure and labeling others as judgy sanctimommies, we should look at ourselves and make sure we are dealing with our own ideals constructively. This will ultimately lend in the ability in accepting ourselves unconditionally and give us the ability to deal with criticism in our life like water off the camels back (I think that’s the term I’m aiming for).

Even the most seemly non-judgemental of us struggle with our inner-sanctimommy and that’s ok. The loud, squeal of judgment should act like a light bulb to tell us that we have unresolved issues to deal with.

Let me be the first among my fellow mothers to step forward, offer a truce and say that I am sure that I have unthinkably made comments about parenting differences that might have been “sanctimommi-ous”:.

And to my friends that have bourn the brunt of my sanctimommy-ous-ness, let me say: You are doing a great job. I think your kids are awesome and my daughters love to play with them. Thank you for dealing with my shortcomings.  I am grateful for you in my life and what I have learned from you.

Motherhood, if nothing else, provides a host of brilliant opportunities to grow, love and nurture – not only our children but ourselves.

Embrace criticism with compassion for the other person, for their words come from a volatile place. Make sure to deal with your own inner-critic to spark the growth needed to become a better person, mother and friend.  


  1. It took me a while of reading to see sanctiMOMMY - my brain was just reading sanctimony, lol! Great post I think compassion is the answer as well.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Can't find you on fb, what do I search?



Please be respectful. If you are about to say something that you would not let your child hear, then please refrain from saying it.