As a mother, there’s nothing that bothers me more than when others judge me for how I choose to raise my own child. Each parent has their own methods, so I’m right to get angry when people tell me how they think I can do a better job. Let me be clear: Every time you jump into the deep end to save my drowning daughter you’re actively criticizing my parenting, and you have no right to do that.

You may think you’re doing the right thing by pulling my flailing daughter out of the public pool, but in reality you’re just calling me a bad mom. I would never go up to another mother and save her drowning child, because parents are entitled to raise their kids how they see fit. Yet time and time again I’ve seen some self-righteous “parenting expert” rescue my nearly submerged 4-year-old, and I’m tired of it.

This happened as recently as last week, when my daughter and I were enjoying a day at the local pool. We were having a great time, but when I left to do a few quick errands, I returned to find a total stranger resuscitating my kid like she was her parent. I was shocked, but more so embarrassed to be criticized like that in public. At least talk to me behind closed doors before openly vilifying me.

Do I consider myself a perfect parent? Of course not—who is? But at the end of the day, you’re a stranger and I’m her mother. And the only person who should be jumping in the deep end after her is the same person who’s tucking her in at night, kissing her boo-boos, and teaching her valuable life lessons, and that’s me. So maybe just worry about your own kids next time you see my little angel thrashing around, desperately trying to keep her head above water, all right?

I’m proud of the way I’m raising my daughter, and I won’t let anyone tell me otherwise. You may find it uncomfortable to see my little girl struggling to swim without floaties while I take a quick nap, but I ask that you respect my parenting choices by staying out of it. I would do the same if it were your kid, and I hope that as a fellow parent you can appreciate that.