Sunday, April 25, 2010

Words of wisdom

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).


  1. oh god, that link is disturbingly frustrating. It's like all those people turned into YOUR dad with their stupid, interfering know-it-all opinions...

  2. I remember all too well with my 1st I found myself doing things "Just because "aunt flora" said so or what "doris" insisted was better for the baby. And i'd do so because I would be worried about offending them or being labeled a bad mother. With my third Im now quite confident and know my baby well, (as I did with my 1st and 2nd...)and will thank people for advice and let them know firmly but politey that I have my own routine in place that works for me and bub. Having said that I still do need advice sometimes but I will ask!! It helps I think to be confident enough to know you are doing the absolute best you can and do what works to make you and bubby happy. If your happy doing what aunty magna says is a no no, then just tell her so with a smile and say "A happy healthy mum makes a happy healthy baby!" If she insists it will cause problems later on once again smile and say "ill deal with that when it comes" So heres my advice to you- Use peoples advice, professional or not, like a
    tool box. Take the advice or 'tool' you like the sound of and use it when you feel you need it. Other 'tools' that seem a bit shabby leave in the box!! Best of luck to you and hubby!

  3. When I was pregnant with Kass I was 33 weeks by the time I finished my final teaching prac. The teacher I was with kept telling me that it was bad for me to raise my arms above my head. LOL how was I meant to wash my hair????

  4. I just noticed your message. Thanks so much for reading and linking!

    I wish I could tell you that the unwanted advice goes away, but...


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