You’ll get advice from everyone. Whether you want it or not. You’ll also give advice.
Advice is great, it can be very useful. But it can also be unwanted.
Give advice if it is asked. That’s the rule.
But not everyone follows that.
You’ll get some people that will disagree with what you are doing and instead of just disagreeing in their head, they will let you know that they don’t agree. But they won’t tell you right out that they don’t agree. Instead they think it is better to ‘disguise’ it in the form of advice. They will say ‘well why don’t you’ ‘have you tried’ ‘You should do/try’. What works for one family will not automatically work for another and that is what people forget. Putting a baby to bed and leaving him alone in a dark room with no noise at 7pm on the dot doesn’t work when you all live together in one room in someone else’s house. Not co-sleeping may not work if you are breastfeeding and wish to actually get some sleep. Baby carriers can be useful for some people. Baby led weaning can work for some people. I know I’m not finding breastfeeding a walk in the park but yes I would like to continue. Yes I have already got the expensive items even though I’ve got a couple of months left, spreading out the cost works better for us.
Why can’t people just wait until I ask for their advice? It would go down a lot better if you did. Until then I’m just going to fix a smile onto my face, nod politely and probably carry on with how I was doing things.
Every baby is different and we are all bringing them up in different circumstances. You will find some things more difficult than others. You may already have ideas on how to parent based on how you were brought up. You may have spent your pregnancy planning how to do certain things the way you want. When someone offers their advice when you don’t want nor need it, it makes you feel like they are judging how you are raising your family. It makes you feel like people think what you are doing is wrong. It’s disheartening for anyone, especially a first time parent, when everything you are doing is based on trial and error and you are not confident in your choices but you know it feels right, well it feels better than doing it someone else’s way anyway.
So next time you see someone doing something that makes you want to give them a little bit of advice think.
- Are they doing something unsafe?
- Did they ask for advice?
If you answered no to both of these then think twice before you say anything.
If you really can’t keep your advice to yourself at least phrase it in a way that makes them feel like they aren’t being judged. ‘Oh I never thought of doing it that way, we tried this with our little one’ may go down a little better than ‘You should do this, it’ll work’, because it might not work for them.