Unwanted advice

Posted 12-7-2012 at 10:55 AM by whitneywalters

I know I am not alone when it comes to dealing with unwanted advice and parenting. There were days I just want to scream and tell people, “I did not ask for your advice, please back off.” Don’t get me wrong, I am all for asking for advice when it is needed. I love getting help from other parents but I hate it when someone basically forces their advice on you. If I do not ask for your advice, that means I do not need it.

I know that happened a lot when I was a first time mom. I was nineteen when my son was born and many people looked down on me for being so young. I had advice being thrown at me from all angles and it got even worse when my son ended up needing surgery. He had craniosynitosis and had to have major surgery when he was about five months old. It was devastating to me and it was made worse by people who assumed my age meant I did not know how to handle it. I am very grateful that my mom stepped in and told people they needed to back off.

While that event was the hardest to deal with for me, I had several other cases of unwanted advice. Several people freaked out when they found out we do not vaccinate and that we co-slept.  They always had to tell us why it was a bad idea, I had people telling me to stop breastfeeding when I got pregnant with my second, Alex was only six months old at the time and there was no way I was going to wean him. I nursed him all the way through my pregnancy and 3 months afterwards. My second was a very demanding baby and I all kinds of suggestions given to me about what to do with her. I had people offer their advice when I started using cloth diapers and lots of it when they found out we planned on home schooling.

I am twenty five now and a mother of four. While I wish I could say that all the unwanted advice stopped, it hasn’t. I do not seem to get as much of it anymore but there are still a few people that are determined to prove they are right and I am wrong.

Overall I have learned to deal with it better and I am letting it slide. It used to upset me when I was younger but I came to a point that I knew the only thing I could do was let them talk and then just keep doing what I thought was right for my kids. They can give all the advice they want but I am the one that knows what to do for my family.

Filed Under: General


8 Responses to “Unwanted advice”

  1. AnnaMurnane on December 7th, 2012 4:31 pm

    I know exactly what you mean. I was 22 when I had my first, even after 5 years I still receive a lot of unwanted advice.

  2. Jenn135 on December 7th, 2012 4:39 pm

    Grrrr…..I feel your pain and I agree to pick the battles. I usually let them talk while mentally telling myself to “calm down, you will do what you want”. A neighbor once told me that at the end of the day you have to do what you are comfortable with and works for you. <best advice ever. I've had a few occasions where I didn't want to listen to people and simply (with a smile) repeated what she (neighbor) said. Works like a charm.

  3. auntkerri on December 7th, 2012 5:30 pm

    Yes my mother in law (and I am 41) made no butts about telling me that I would suffocate my child if we co-slept. Then this week when I went out and bought a minicrib because I am sick and do not want her to get sick I told her thinking she would be happy but before telling her I said, “I was joking with my husband that we never want her to be away from us until she goes to college” I meant away like overnight not away meaning in our bed and she told me I was sick. I said what do you mean, and she said to have her in your bed, the lady is obsessed.

  4. Huxley on December 7th, 2012 5:34 pm

    I get soo much advice. I’m 22 and a single mother. I just let it slide and do whatever I feel s best.

  5. Angel894 on December 8th, 2012 9:40 pm

    I had my first at 22 and my second at 26. Somewhere along the line, I have learned to test the waters before I open my mouth. I have also learned to just avoid it with certain people. I just don’t want to hear it anymore.

  6. Donthaveaclue on December 9th, 2012 7:18 am

    When I had my first everyone thought they knew what was best for him. I breatfed for 22mo and after 6mo people acted like it was gross and criminal to breastfeed. I had planned to breastfeed til 12mo but my son was allergic to cows milk and even if I drank milk he would get really sick and his doctor said I should continue to breastfeed because it was still beneficial to him. The funniest thing thoug is the biggest complaint people had about my parenting though was that I refused to allow my son to sit in a pee diaper even for a minute. SERIOUSLY??? This to me was rediculous. I mean of all the things in the world to complain about taking care of my child is somehow wrong? I see people who change their kids diapers so infrequently that their bottoms bleed but my child who was potty trained at 18mo and night trained himself because he was so used to being dry is the one people complain about? I remind myself daily that people are CRAZY and no matter how good you do someone is going to complain.

  7. unfadingcolors on December 9th, 2012 11:51 am

    That is so awesome you made the informed choice to not vaccinate. Many young mothers listen to what everyone says to do or are bullied into changing their mind. So nice to see a mama stand up for herself and her babies

  8. amb2j on December 10th, 2012 7:58 am

    Im the youngest in my cohort at work and used to get tons of well intentioned advice from coworkers who were grandmothers or similar aged coworkers who had “friends who have kids.” This got even worse once my son got RSV and started to struggle with reactive airway. Now that Im pregnant with my second, and my similar aged peers are having children themselves, they are the ones coming to me for advice lol!

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