unwarranted mom advice
Every newly pregnant woman will very quickly realize that every person under the sun who has had a child, whether it was 30 years ago or a year ago will give you unwarranted advice with everything and anything associated with the baby. First, it starts off with what to do when you are pregnant. You will hear things like don’t have a bath, don’t drink peppermint tea, listen to classical music so your fetus is smart. You sit there while people rub your belly like a Buddha, digging into you about your birth plan, baby names, and if you will be breastfeeding or not. You can’t even so much as look at foods pregnant people can’t have and don’t even think to walk past a wine bottle. People scold you because you have cats that you aren’t willing to get rid of because “what if they scratch the baby… why would you keep it?” or the fact that your dog is part pit bull because they will 100% bite the baby (spoiler alert, she’s obsessed with him). Because this is your first baby and to be quite honest your second or third baby, an amateur if you will, you will never be right when it comes to the methods of the season vets in the mom world.
This then builds to how you should deliver. This person needs to be in the delivery room, omg why isn’t your mom going to be there? Are you using drugs? It just goes on and on. I get it, you have been through it before, but in all honesty, if I wanted your advice, I would ask for it.
Once Baby arrives, you will discover that everything — how baby sleeps, what baby eats, why they are crying — is now open for public debate.
It never stops, some days I can ignore it, other days not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I have a few mommy friends who I go to all the time, looking for their advice on things because they have the same morals and parenting outlooks as I do. They are incredibly helpful and a lot of times they have saved me on more than one occasion. It isn’t those people I am concerned about… it is the ones that pull you in every direction with the understanding that you are doing everything wrong and their ideas will make you into the perfect mother, just as they were.
On more than one occasion I have been told that multiple things I do as a mom are wrong and they are the reason why my son is “mommy dependant” “spoilt” “not sleeping through the night” and anything else you could imagine. I can’t even begin to explain to you the number of times I have left those encounters in tears (and sometimes hysterically crying). To me, I am trying my absolute hardest as a mom and everything I do is the way I think works for my son, so to hear those things in moments of weakness or vulnerability makes you re-question your entire look on parenting. Have I ruined my son? Have I failed him in some way? The short answer is no. People preach for the sake of preaching or "helping".
Let me point out that I don’t cry every time… the person I am directly talking about (yes, generally is the same person) reiterates the same things over and over again, like beating me over the head with a bat trying to drill it into my brain. I try to avoid this person, but it’s not always possible. It is also extremely apparent in the online mom world. The mom groups if you will. Yes they are incredibly helpful at times, with a vast array of knowledge, BUT they can also be extremely toxic. There will always be someone who doesn't believe in your style of parenting, and that's ok. Just know people will say anything behind a keyboard.
I have had amazing new moms who told me when I was pregnant to try taking the unsolicited mom advice with a grain of salt, smile sweetly and say “thank you, I will look into that”. I thought to myself, surely it can’t be that bad…but SHIT WAS I EVER WRONG. Good advice, but almost nearly impossible to do when you are being beaten with words that you are a bad parent, ESPECIALLY when you are a brand new parent and already half questioning yourself. No, I have never once been told I am a bad parent, but it feels that way when you are constantly told your son is such and such a way because of what you are doing. It hurts. I hate it. JUST STOP.
Please for the love of god if you are an older adult, who has grown children, please please please take a step back and think twice before you say something to a new mom about how they should be parenting. It is incredibly overwhelming, hurtful, and almost always more confusing then you even realize. Wait for the questions, wait to solicit the advice. Figuring out parenting styles and what kind of mom you are is already hard enough, we don’t need you trying to persuade us to your way of parenting on top of it all. Let’s get real here, we get, we know you think you are right, we also know you think your parenting methods are the only ways that work but also guess what? We don’t care. We don’t want it and we don’t need it.
Please butt out, please let me parent how I want. Yes, I will make mistakes along the way but let me try. I am doing what I think works best for my baby and my family and I would like to kindly tell you to BACK THE F**K OFF, thank you (*smiles sweetly as she turns on her heels and walks out).