Before I became pregnant, I knew that most people like to give advice to others, some more than the others. What I didn’t know was that when it comes to pregnant women and Moms, everyone LOVES to give advice.
As if, you being a Mom gives them the right to give you unsolicited advice. I can even understand to a point when it comes from older people who have gone through the parenting phase. But the people who are not even parents yet? What do you know about parenting or motherhood?
Yes, I understand a few of the people are genuinely concerned. Still, they should refrain from giving advice until asked.
Not everyone knows the whole picture of your parenting struggles, problems, or circumstances. And without understanding the whole thing, the advice is futile.
But when you become a Mom, advice starts raining down on you from everywhere, from family members, neighbors, relatives, etc. And this information overflow, along with your exhausting physical and mental state is so not a good thing.
Who should you listen too?
What if what that friend of yours said about breastfeeding was true?
What your aunt said is the opposite of what your doctor advice. What should you do?
Do this or do that…uh!
This is what a new mother goes through when she gets a hurricane of advice from everywhere. Instead of actually helping the new Mom, it creates confusion and more self-doubts.
Or sometimes it feels like you could say to them, “Did I ask you? No right? So please keep your advice to yourself.”
Not every Advice is bad
As it is said “experience matters”. The women who have gone through the phase definitely know something about it. Seeing you struggling with something may bring out their protective instincts and they may think they must help you.
And you do get some helpful tips and ideas from them. You can’t ignore every advice you get. Otherwise, you might miss out on some really good stuff, and that’s why it’s important to keep an open mind.
Don’t you wish there were some guidelines on who to listen and who to ignore?
But, there is one thing that has helped me in this is to see: how was the advice delivered? With a genuine smile? Or it was a taunt? Or was it with a snide?
If it was the latter two cases, I used to immediately ignore them. Because if you care for someone, that is not the way you give them advice. (Okay, except few elder ladies in the family who can’t stop themselves, even if they mean well.)
But the best you can do is to survive these “advice” with some tips and tricks to make it easy for you.
How to survive the Unsolicited Advice as a New Mom
Trust your instincts
Mother instinct is something you should never ignore. So when you get a piece of advice, if your instinct says it should be ignored then let it go. But if you have an inkling that the advice might be useful, you can think about it.
Consider the Source
Do you trust the person giving advice at some level? Do they have been successful in what they are suggesting to you? If the answer is yes, you can give their advice a spin.
Check with your Doctor First
If you find any advice worth thinking or following about, always check with your doctor before acting on it.
Brush off with charm
If a stranger suddenly comes out of nowhere and gives you advice, just politely say thank you. And then leave with some excuses like it’s time for your baby’s feed or I think he wet his nappy, etc.
And when a non-parent try to give you advice, just tell him/her with a smile, “Thank you for your care, but I think you will understand things better when you become a parent/mother yourself, it’s not as easy as it looks, Dear”.
Don’t let self-doubt creep in
Often, hearing so many pieces of advice can make you think that you don’t know anything. Or what if you are doing something wrong? Just look at your baby’s smiling face and adorable eyes, you will know your answer. But if there is something really nagging you, just ask the doctor about it. If he says all is well, then forget everything else.
Don’t worry, you will the hang of it
With time, as you grow more confident in your motherhood, you start getting the hang of what to ignore and what not. You even learn the technique of making people believe that you are listening to him, when inside, you are just thinking about when did your baby pooped last?
What else can a mother do, she really can’t listen to all those hundreds of advice she regularly gets.
How do you deal with the unsolicited advice given to you time and again? Do tell me in the comments.
Note: This post is written as part of the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge for the letter U.