The past few weeks I've been given lots of advice from friends who are mothers. Advice on birth, pain relief, breastfeeding, you name it. And whilst it has been mostly unsolicited (because I think if I ask too many questions they'll realise I have NO IDEA and call the authorities), it has all been welcome and genuinely helpful. Like one mother who told me if Tricky doesn't latch on properly, even though you're insanely tired and just want the feed over and done with, take him off and try again because your body will thank you for it the next day – awesome advice (thanks, Melissa).
So far the only unwanted advice has been from my own dad, who thinks he knows all there is to know about babies today because he had a hand in raising my sisters and I NEARLY THIRTY YEARS AGO, and because he watches a lot of TV. That's right, its my old nemesis Today Tonight coming to get me again! To start with I was very nice when he offered suggestions I would inform him that a lot has changed since he did this last - for instance, putting a baby to sleep on their tummy was still in vogue until the early 1990s (and even championed by the renowned Dr Benjamin Spock) because it was thought if the baby vomited it would get caught and they'd choke, whereas now there is a wealth of evidence to suggest a baby sleeping on their abdomen is at an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). But shooting out statistics at him is like talking to a brick wall because “the people on Today Tonight said...”
So last week I changed tactics - it was time to play hard ball. Instead of bombarding him with facts and information from the latest antenatal class I sat there and listened intently until he finished... then laughed so hard I nearly cried! He was more than a little taken aback and asked was I OK? I put it to him simply that the people he had watched had been paid for their opinion and that I'm sure I could find another, equally qualified person willing to spout their opposite opinion to camera for some dollars too. I think it did the job - so far, no new advice has been forthcoming.
At the moment I'm still all ears when it comes to advice, which is good because I'm told it going to be coming in thick and fast as soon as Tricky arrives on the scene. Even the midwives at the hospital have differing opinions to each other so how am I meant to work out what to do? And what will I do on that day when a complete stranger comes up and starts telling me I'm doing it all wrong? I've been reading a new blog called “That baby looks cold” and even though it makes me laugh, I'm frightened! If the moodiness of pregnancy lingers I'm likely to assault someone. "Tricky do you know what happened during your first Christmas?", "Yes, Mummy went to jail!"
Did you get any strangers offering unwanted advice? Or maybe you have a concerned (read: meddling) family member that watches your every move, telling you you're doing it wrong? Leave a comment below (go on, its like therapy but cheaper).