On motherhood and unsolicited advice

Hello, everyone! Today's post is a bit different, and I know it won't be everyone's cup of tea. But I want to talk about something close to my heart: dealing with unsolicited advice as a mother. It might seem helpful at first, but it's annoying, and quite frankly, rude.

When I got pregnant, everybody wanted to chip in with an idea: you need to do this, you need to buy that, etc. I didn't mind that, and I was open to the suggestions. I looked up those recommendations and quickly decided what might work and whatnot. I was convinced that until I had my baby, I shouldn't have preconceived opinions.

Then last year, I gave birth to my little munchkin, Adelina. Obviously, everyone had to share their thoughts on how you should raise a baby. And in the first weeks, I've listened, cause I thought that those with kids know more than new parents. But months went by, and I still get unsolicited advice on how to raise my baby. And it's starting to piss me off.

Like I mentioned above, new parents might need some advice at first. But you quickly realise that every kid is different, and what worked for one, might not work for the other. Not only that but as you're becoming more confident in your role as a parent, you learn to trust your gut. For instance, I opted for co-sleeping from the start, even though some think it's dangerous. If you do your research, you'll see that it's dangerous if you've had alcohol or not feeling well, which didn't apply to me. For us, it felt like a natural thing, and I am glad I've trusted my instinct.

Whilst most people mean well, unsolicited advice starts to feel like a personal jab after a while. It's disrespectful, and it makes me think that you're not respecting me as a parent. When you're constantly correcting a parent, it feels condescending, and it implies that you might do better. I know that's not the intention, but that's what it looks like to an exhausted parent. 

"You're spoiling your baby", "he/she needs that", "this always worked for me", etc. First of all, you don't know what I've tried and not with my baby. Second of all, they're all different, and I don't know why so many people fail to see that. It's something I often go through with older family members, that like to remind me that this method worked with my generation. For instance, some were shocked when I told them that you shouldn't start weaning before 4 months unless advised by a paediatrician. Glad if you've done it successfully before, but I decided not to start it before 6 months. It's my baby, I know what's best.

I want to point out that I am not trying to be mean with this post. It's just that maybe some people could try a different approach. If you see a parent going through something difficult with their child, instead of advice, offer support. Rather than saying "try this", choose "you'll be fine, don't worry". It will make me feel so much better. I won't feel like I am failing, just that I haven't found the right approach.

At the end of the day, kids will have tantrums. I am bracing myself for that period, even though Adelina is the calmest baby so far. But I have seen my fair share of tantrums during my retail years. And the embarrassed mums that feel judged by everyone. You can't assess how good of a parent someone is just by an episode. Moreover, it's not your place. Everyone has their own standards of good parenting. 

In conclusion, stop judging and compliment struggling parents. Yes, it's a life we chose, but it's not always easy. And encouragement from outside always makes us feel better. 

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