I take what everyone says with a grain of salt. I don’t have an issue with a fellow mommy offering me advice. The only time it bothers me is when there’s an undertone of you’re doing it wrong, do it this way.
To be honest, I don’t really have any women in my life that would speak to me with that undertone. And if someone did, I’d pretty much excuse myself, turn my back to them and walk away…hence, they wouldn’t be in my life for longer than a minute.
Advice from People without Babies
I’m totally guilty of this! When my brother and sister-in-law had their first baby I was full of ideas. I had no experience with raising my own newborn but because some things were common sense to me, I’d mention a tip or two. Of course, my tip was something Fred and Lynette already tried, but I didn’t know that. Thankfully, they didn’t tell me off.
Now that I have my own little guy I’m calling Lynette at least once a week with questions. Her youngest is going to be two years old this month, so everything is still fresh in her brain. I call her about everything from what solids Jacob should try to what diapers worked for her girls, etc.
Now that I’m in her shoes, I feel so bad for all the times I’d gave my unsolicited advice. Lynette’s so good though, she never told me to shut up like I would have. I never offered my two cents with that undertone I was talking about, I was genuinely trying to be helpful. But now that I’m a mom, when I get advice from someone who doesn’t have kids, I have to remember that I did the same thing and with only the best of intentions.
Advice/Comments from Strangers
Jacob doesn’t like shoes. I’ll put them on and he’ll kick them off in about 45 seconds. So when we go shopping I don’t bother. I make sure he’s got warm socks on though. He’s only 6 months old, so it’s not like he’s walking around without shoes.
While strolling through an aisle an older woman saw him shoeless she stated “Oh my! Somebody must have cold feet!” I responded with “Oh he’s fine. He just doesn’t like shoes.” I thought it was done at this point, but she was starring at Jacob and saying in a baby voice that “Mommy’s the boss, so she should make you keep your shoes on or you’ll never learn, will you sweet heart?”
I got a little warm at this point. That usually happens when my blood starts to boil. The fact that she was talking to Jacob in baby voice about me really ticked me off. So I said “What do you suggest I do? I hear duct tape can fix a lot of things.” I wanted to add “like sealing that mouth of yours shut”, but I didn’t.
I forced a giggle to let her know I was being sarcastic. Her face lit up a little. She continued to coo over Jacob until I thought playtime was over and strolled away.
What would you do in the situation? Is this something I need to get used to? Cause if it is, I need to stock up on some anger management books!
Wrapping it Up
Like I said at the beginning of this post, I’m not against advice. I just don’t like when it’s forced down my throat. Or like the lady above, offered in a rude, undermining way. And now that I think about it, she wasn’t even offering advice, just making a remark about my shoeless six-month old.
Being a mom is hard. So naturally when you see a new mother struggling you want to help. I might be the mom one day who’s itching to give another new mom a tip I know of. I just have to remember what I felt like at this stage. And maybe hold my tongue until she asks for my advice.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mipsyretro/5593568015/