Unsolicited advice...and how we dont want it!
Let us take it back in time for a bit. When I was pregnant with my kids, people would tell me what I needed to do or how I needed to raise them. Like “hey just make sure you don’t go sleep with the baby that’s really bad”, or “hey remember breast is best”… and I would accept the advice even though I never asked for it but in the back of my mind be thinking “who are you to tell me how to raise my child?“
Like I get it a lot of advice is given you know with good intentions but do you not realize that when you’re pregnant you have so many emotions in your head and the last thing you need to do is deal with what society thinks you need to do as a mother. It’s super annoying when people tell you how to raise your child or make it seem like you’re a bad mother for doing something that society typically doesn’t approve of but they’re not the ones who have to deal with the child, you do.
I am not going to lie, I co-slept with both of my kids. Why? Because I breast-fed and it is easier for me to roll over and pull my boob out in the middle of the night then it is to get up out the bed and sit there and hold them. Also, I was so used to being pregnant with them and feeling their movement in my belly having them not next to me the first few months felt super weird. Now granted I got a lot better sleep when they slept on their own but for those few months having both kids next to me, I felt better knowing that they were safe.
The main reason I breast-fed was because I am too cheap to buy formula. But let us keep it all the way real, sometimes breast-feeding sucks. Having to have your boobs readily available 24-7 for this tiny human and not having your body back fully is annoying. Like I wish I could just take my boobs off, give it to my husband and have him feed the kids but that is not how this works. And at one point we did switch to formula because I was not producing enough milk to fit their demand and I felt like certain women [mainly the ones in those judgy mom groups] shamed me for not trying hard enough. Does that make me a bad mother? No. It makes me human. My kids were fed regardless if it was from my boob or from a bottle and that is all that matters.
The one piece of advice that I hated that I got that I actually took to heart with my daughter was “don’t hold her too much she’ll get used to it “. I wish I would have held her more as a child because at some point they will not want you to hold them and you are going to miss those moments of those cuddles. Do you know how hard it is to snuggle up with a 3-year-old? I will tell you; it is hard. Especially my son! He hates being held. It is like wrestling with him. JUST LET ME LOVE YOU DEAR GOD!!!!!
Again, not all unsolicited advice is negative and some of it can be good but if you are the advice giver, unless the mother asks for your opinion do not offer it up. And this goes for every situation not just motherhood. It goes for when you are getting married, do not offer the bride advice on how she needs to have her wedding remember it is her wedding. Or when someone is starting a new business, do not offer up advice on how they need to run their business because it is their business. There is a pattern here and I am hoping you picked up on it. People who offer up advice when it is not asked are just putting additional stress and pressure on someone when they are not needing it. Now if you are my friend personally, I do not want you to read this and be like ‘oh my gosh Jen that piece of advice I gave you back in 2012 I’m so sorry’. Come on, clearly it’s fine but just be mindful going forward that even though your heart is in the right place, you don’t know how what you say to someone can change their whole mentality or how they may take it negatively.
But again if they ask for the advice…. spill all your tea! They asked for it <3