Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

The Advice You Never Asked For

This topic may touch a nerve with a few of you or it may make you say, “thank God I’m not the only one!” Either way, this is how I feel about the topic. You can choose to agree to disagree, that is yours.

Throughout my time being pregnant and as a new parent, I have grown to really dislike one thing specifically. Advice that I don’t ask for. To be more specific, unsolicited advice that someone begins to give you without any ask or want to hear it.

When I need help or want someone’s opinion, I ask and I ask who I trust for that. I don’t need coworkers I barely speak to telling me how they birthed their kid or a friend of a friend’s mom saying something about how to calm and soothe a baby they raised 30+ years ago or even how someone raised their kids and then more for whatever reason.
Great, good for you, nice job. You successfully raised your babies, now let me raise mine.

Let’s be honest though, no one does it perfect. You mess up. You try again. You call your mom or your best friend. Not a single mom has ever been perfect, except for mine! 😉

When I talk to a lot of mom friends and prego friends, we all can usually agree on this. Now some people welcome any and all advice they could ever get from this world and that’s great if you can handle it all.

I’ll be honest, it overwhelms me and gives me anxiety as if I’m not doing enough or the right thing for my child. Truly, everyone who offers it too never means any ill intentions when they speak their advice or tells you what to buy, but it seems to always step over a boundary they either don’t notice or don’t give a shit about.

The advice we hear…

It is overbearing.

They don’t back off no matter your response.

Their way is the ONLY way.

It’s too much.

You don’t want to offend anyone so you nod and agree but cringe inside wondering if this is how every single encounter with them is going to go from here on out.


Before I go any further, let me share a clip from one of my favorite TV shows, A Million Little Things. Maggie, in the pink wig, nails how we sometimes wish someone would step in for us and say how we feel to stop the overbearing advice.

Granted, this was in the hospital, but I sort of had a similar experience with the second of the two lactation consultants I met with when Dominick was born. They can be extremely helpful though, so don’t think this is an overall appearance with them! I had one superb lady who helped us out and I hope others have a good experience as well.


And we’re back…
When I would start to get the said advice and questions about what I would do as a parent, I began to back off from going places and avoid certain situations so I didn’t have to hear it. It wasn’t fun either because I would avoid seeing friends and family for the sole fact that I didn’t want the pressure of what the next “you have to do this” or “are you breastfeeding?” questions from them. And truly, I wanted to be with them, but the pressure made it feel like too much and still can at times.

You start to learn how to deflect situations and discussions though. That might be a new hidden talent we discover as moms, I’m not sure.

Guess what? No matter what you are told and suggested to do, it is YOUR child.

Whatever you do and choose is the RIGHT choice.

I’ll admit I’m guilty of doing what I am telling you I hate. I caught myself telling a prego friend of mine advice and had to stop myself. I remembered I didn’t want that when I was expecting so maybe she didn’t either. She did thank me later for all of what we discussed, but I still question if I overstepped and made her cringe inside like I had.

I can see how some people such as myself do it/did it without thinking because I love to share all I can with other moms or expecting moms, if they want to hear it or ask me about it. However, why does everyone feel like they NEED to PUSH their advice onto you?

It seems that everyone has something to place on your shoulders to think about as if you, as a mom, do not already have a million other things to already worry and think about. A few of the thoughts just in the hospital… Will our nurses be nice? Will delivery be easy or long? Will he cry right away? Can I move well enough to shower after I deliver? Will I get any sleep in the hospital? Will my baby love me and know I’m his mom? How do I know if I’m doing anything right?! Plus a thousand other thoughts in probably a matter of 2 minutes.

We already have so much to worry about, why do people want to add any more to our plate? Especially other moms who have been through this and know it’s hard. Maybe it’s been 40 years, 15 years, or even just 1 year since they have had their children so they feel like their advice is the best advice because it worked for them and their babies.
Great, good for you, nice job. You successfully raised your babies, now let me raise mine.

One of the things I remember from a good friend of mine when I spoke to her right after Dominick was born, she said, “I can tell you what worked for me and my daughter, but it may not work for you and Dominick. Maybe it will. I can give you a ton of advice but it won’t always be right because you need to figure out what works for you two.” She is dead on. It’s our story and no one else’s.

I also have another great friend who is the first person I text when I have a mom question. She is so light hearted and reassuring to me of what I can try. It is never direct and pushy. Also, I go to her to ask because I wanted and needed her advice, which I whole heartedly trust!

Here is my advice about your advice, shut up and listen.

Be there for the mom to offer help when she needs it and NOT ONLY in the first two weeks at home when that baby is born. Moms could use a hand at all times! It is not a walk in the park ever. Moms are bred to be strong, independent, and coffee thriving beasts that get shit done. That doesn’t mean we aren’t tired or want to cry. We just don’t show it… often.

So instead of giving us the what we should be doing/buying/trying advice, step up and help out by holding that baby or watching the child for an hour or sit with her one evening while she can get her shit back in order and tell her she is doing a great job raising her babies or growing that baby! We need a pat on the back and not a smack in the knees knocking us down with your stupid advice.

Next time you find yourself about to give a mom advice, stop yourself. Instead ask her, “How are YOU?!”

Kudos to a great friend for teaching me that. She will text me occasionally with only that in the text and it means so much. Let me remind you, I’m learning this all as I go, all of it. Other moms I respect and adore are teaching me along the way and they don’t even know it.

Author:

I'm a new mama to a beautiful baby boy and am married to my wonderful husband. We're on this crazy journey together and learning how much our little man can teach us along the way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s