Monday, March 5, 2012

Unhelpful or Annoying Parenting Advice

     Oftentimes when you are pregnant or out with your young child, someone seems to have advice, or a story to share. Sometimes these are complete strangers that wish to pass on their wisdom to a new mom, who must be in need of it. Sometimes they are well-meaning relatives, particularly those of a previous generation.
     Sometimes the advice is truly helpful, but sometimes it is just annoying, or perhaps even frightening. Here are some of my favorites (and by favorites I mean most annoying or frustrating).
     1. Birth horror stories-- This has to be one of my least favorite things to hear about. If I'm eight months pregnant with my first child, I don't want to hear about how you "tore" or about the C-section that you weren't given proper anesthesia for. Childbirth is scary enough without thinking of all that "could" go wrong.
      2. Get your sleep now because you won't get any after the baby comes!--Ok, it might be nice if you could build up "sleep credits" before birth that you can use afterwards, but our bodies just don't work that way. If anything, get as much done ahead of time because you will will need some time to adjust to everyday life with a baby.
     3. Enjoy it while it last, because they grow up so fast!--I guess because we're new moms, we don't realize babies grow. I know this piece of advice is passed on by moms whose kids are much older than babies now and are wondering where the time went. So I can kinda let this one slide. But I still get tired of hearing it.
     4. You shouldn't eat "X" while breastfeeding because it will make the baby constipated/colicky--some babies may have adverse reactions to certain foods, but it doesn't mean all babies will be negatively affected by said food. I was told (not by the doctor) I couldn't eat chocolate while breastfeeding because it would make the baby constipated. Guess what? I ate chocolate anyway and didn't have any problems.
     5. Sleep while the baby sleeps--First of all, when your baby finally goes to sleep, if you are so exhausted your sleep takes precedence over anything else that needs to be done, you won't need to be told to go to sleep. And if you do have other things that need to be done (like tending to another child) you don't always get that option. 
     6. Don't toss the baby like that!"--This was what a certain relative told my husband when he was bouncing our daughter (who was one at the time) up in the air. Something he did quite frequently, and that she enjoyed, but this person thought was going to do some kind of permanent damage.
     7. I can't believe you let that baby have a sip of coke!--Okay, so if I'm at a restaurant I might let my daughter have a sip of my drink because she wants to try it. It's not like I'm filling her sippy cup/bottle with it.
     8. Are you just going to let her keep screaming like that/doing that? (in a tone that implies: what a spoiled, undisciplined brat!)--This one is especially nice when it comes from people who have been protesting whenever you attempt to discipline your child, so when you finally give up disciplining in their presence, your kid does what they want. 
     9. When my kids were that age, I fill in the blank--Okay, it's great to know that whatever-it-is worked for your kids, but what works for your family might not work for mine. And what works for one of my kids may not work for the other. Sometimes you gotta go by trial and error. 
     10. My (non-existent) children wouldn't be allowed to act like that --people who have never had children seem to know everything about how you should raise yours. Whether it's the single person who declares their children (when they have them) won't act like yours or the older person who never had any, somebody always seems to know what's best for your child. 
     So what can you do? Nothing, really, unless you enjoy confrontation. Just smile and nod and do whatever you need to do for your child. After all, you're the one with your child all the time, not them.

1 comment:

  1. oooh 1 aand 10 are the worst! We got some real (un)helpful advice this last year...from people who HAD NO KIDS or had one kid..we have 3, we're a little more up on what we're doing thankyousonotmuch.