Fellow parents, we really need to leave each other alone. In the four years that I have spent either pregnant or as a mother, I have discovered that parents are, without a doubt, the most judgmental demographic on Earth. I can say this with some authority because I have also spent time as a teenaged girl.

Seriously, if you’re in the market to have someone passive-aggressively dismantle your self-confidence, I invite you to tell another parent how you’re raising your kids. If you’re really a glutton for punishment, go have an opinion about parenting on the internet. Those piranhas can flay you alive in 140 characters or less. If you have young kids or babies, chances are good that you’ve had someone condescend to you about breastfeeding, Montessori, or the evils of gluten this very day. Lucky you!

Why do we feel this constant need to shove our agendas onto other parents? Isn’t it enough for us to carve out our own parenting niches, raising our kids the best way we know how? Nope. If you’re not lording your parenting choices over your friends, family, colleagues, that lady at the grocery store, and BraydensMommy412, you’re doing it wrong.

An old friend of mine loves to post about parenting on Facebook. Her favorite pastime is rolling her eyes and sucking her teeth at anyone who doesn’t prescribe to her particular philosophy. Today’s gem was a particularly snide look down her nose at her poor ignorant friends, awash in “misinformation” about rice cereal. Let’s make a mental flow chart: If you find yourself overly concerned with what another parent is doing, take a moment and ask yourself, “Is this abuse?” If the answer is no, I kindly invite you to take a deep breath and mind your own business. There are many more pressing issues than whether the first food to pass a baby’s lips is rice or organic avocado.

When my oldest son was a baby, I breastfed him for nine months and made most of his baby food. When asked about it, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel that nice glow of superiority. Hooray! I had my very own thing to be smug about! I plan to do the same with our baby, but honestly, I made those choices because that’s what worked for our family’s budget at the time, not necessarily because it’s what bubbled up from the depths of my glowing Earth mother heart. He ate a hot dog today, so there’s some perspective for you.

My theory is that parenting is really hard and most people are just making the best choices they can for their kids and crossing their fingers and hoping that they aren’t turning them into serial killers. I think that this obsessive need for others to agree with those choices stems from the insecurity that somehow, despite our best efforts, we’re screwing it all up.

We would all do well to remember the wise words of our teachers: “Keep your eyes on your own paper.” There’s peace in knowing that no one else has all the answers either.