On my morning flight yesterday I sat next to a woman who asked me (after we’d started a conversation) if I had children. When I told her I didn’t, she didn’t pass any comment, ask me any prying questions, or shift away from me in her seat. Instead, we had a long discussion about helicopter parents, parenting as a competitive sport, and the pressures of being a teacher in this age. She offered her opinions and accepted mine without even a sniff of condescension at my lack of hands-on parenting experience. She told me about her children—a psychology student daughter, who doesn’t take any crap from guys, and a son who’s a successful white rap artist. She told me, without gushing, that she was very proud of her children, that she loves them very much, but if she had it to do all over again, she’s not sure she would. This was one of the most refreshing conversations I’ve had on the subject of motherhood in a long time, but it was strangely unnerving. I’ve come to expect certain reactions from people when I tell them I don’t have children; I’ve come to expect that look of skepticism when I give an opinion on parenting. My expectations may have come from experience, but they’ve created my own form of prejudice. I expect mothers to judge me in a certain way, and sometimes, they just don’t.