Unsolicited Advice

It seems that the moment you tell people you are pregnant they take it upon themselves to impart tons of unsolicited advice.

It isn't just limited to family and friends but even strangers on the street.  It seems that the pregnancy bump is an open invitation for people to tell you what/what not to do and of course share their pearls of motherly wisdom.  I especially loved it when non-mothers would share advice on breast-feeding, co-sleeping and the like.

I foolishly thought that being pregnant with my second baby, the advice would stop.  I mean I've had one baby and survived, so I guess I should know what I'm doing. I was wrong, people have an even stronger desire to share advice with me.

So, I promise to not impart any of my own advice on new mothers but I will tell you what advice is a complete joke.

Sleep when the baby sleeps
 This is a doozie - and most people's favorite.  Let me tell you that it is impossible to sleep when your baby sleeps.  When are you supposed to eat or heaven forbid shower if you spend the 2 glorious hours you have to yourself sleeping?  Who are they kidding?

Crying = hungry
Let me tell you that my newborn cried a lot!  Granted yes, some of those times he was hungry and other times I think he was just annoyed that I kept trying to feed him to get him to stop crying.  Crying does not equal hungry and every baby is different.

If you just let them cry they will learn to sleep through the night...
or other types of useless sleep advice.  Don't let them sleep in your room, let them sleep in your room, feed them formula at night etc. etc.  The list of sleep advice could go on for hours.  Just because something worked for one baby/mother doesn't mean it will work for another.  And while we are at it, if you see me completely sleep deprived - please don't tell that your kid was sleeping through the night since he was 2 days old.  All that is going to make me do is want to smack you - HARD.

While I could go on and on, I will tell new mothers that the time goes by too fast. Even though you feel like you will never sleep again and you cry each and every time your baby cries out of sheer exhaustion - it will get better.  Eventually.

What was the most useless piece of parenting advice you received either while pregnant or not?


Mama’s Losin’ It


Submitted as part of Mama Kat's writing workshop.
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17 comments:

mssharealot said...

So, so true! My girls both had colic and I was accused of "spoiling" them, as if that was why they cried! Ugh.

Diane said...

It was definitely that baloney about "sleeping when he sleeps". Bull crap! And my second one? NEVER slept!

Kiddothings said...

Yes, I've definitely heard these before - In one ear and out the other. You are so right about these times passing by too fast. It is comforting advice for a new mother.

Missy said...

Yes to all 3 being pretty useless. And a good reminder that Moms just needs to figure it out for she and her OWN baby!

Mark Himes said...

I sought out advice from anyone and everyone when I was a new "Mother". Can I call myself that here without 10,000 moms being mad at me?
Actually, I still get advice eventhough I now have four kids. I take it for what it is, people just trying to help out.
Your Friend, m.
p.s. My 11 year old just starting to sleep through the night last year. It was a rough decade.
m.

deborah quinn said...

colicky babies ... I still have nightmares: baby #2 cried regularly from 4-8pm. EVERY DAY. There was no advice on the planet I didn't try, and none of it worked. I could tolerate the advice people gave (sort of) but the unsolicited touching of my belly really got to me. In pregnancy #2 I was hot enough and 5 days overdue (in late august) and some woman touched my belly, said something like "gosh, that's a big one, eh?" Like I was some kind of damn melon. I actually said to her "would you mind if I touched your boobs?" She gave me a dirty look and stalked off in the opposite direction. It was INCREDIBLY satisfying.

Libertad said...

My favorite was put some whisky in his bottle, it will help him sleep. REALLY??
And yes, all three of those are useless and just annoy the crap out of any new, tired, sleep deprived Mom.

mannahattamamma.com said...

I had a colicky baby who cried every day from 4-8pm, like clockwork. At one point I seriously considered giving him away. And I consulted advice from any and all sources--if my mother's cat had been offering advice, I would've taken it. My favorite pregnant moment, however, was when I was 5 days overdue in late August, pregnant out to THERE, and some strange woman rubbed my belly and said "that's a big one, hmm?" I looked at her and said "could I touch your boobs right now?" She gave me a dirty look and stomped away. It was INCREDIBLY satisfying.

Jessica said...

I'm not a fan of parenting advice in general. Each kid is different. What works for your kid might not work for mine.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

We read all the books on sleep to try to learn how to get JDaniel to sleep. We discovered there wasn't a manual for JDaniel.

Cam - Bibs and Baubles said...

LOVE this post. I agree with every word. I heard each of these things at some point or another. And yes, when someone told me that their baby had been sleeping through the night from birth, I wanted to smack them - HARD!

Jen said...

Ha! Great "non-advice" ;) And yes, by the second kid, you'd think people would stop with the advice!!

Elena said...

Oh, I just love unsolicited advice. I thank people when they stop me to clue me in. ;) I agree on the sleep when your baby sleeps. I never, ever did that. I always felt like I had too much to get done in that time period.

Maria said...

Excellent take on the "advice" topic! And I agree 100% with your examples. I hardly slept while my newborn slept, he cried for many reasons other than hunger, and (thankfully) he started sleeping through the night with few tears. He was more of the escape artist kind (and the mommy's too tired to bring him back to bed type). ;)

Natalie said...

Oh I feel like I could have written this post. I had no idea how much "advice" people have for you once you are pregnant or have a baby. I seriously did not know that people even cared that much. Why are they so concerned with how my baby eat/sleeps? Shouldn't they just be happy that he is alive? Anyhow this is one of my pet peeves!

Hungrigyrl said...

Oh yes I remember all the unwanted advice. The things you mentioned, plus what products I MUST buy. Well some things that work for some moms may not work for me! Oh and it doesn't end. I hear it even still, and they are 5 and 2 about how I feed my kids, about how I put them to sleep at night, all stuff that works for me and I don't know if they don't agree. Hope your pregnancy is going well! No advice from me! LOL

Ashley - My Front Porch Swing said...

Ooh, the sleep when they sleep thing drives me crazy! And, I got the advice with both- you know, since you learn nothing the first time. Gotta love the advice :)

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