8.17.2012

ADVICE

You know what they say about advice...everyone's got some.

All it takes is a big life event--graduation, marriage, pregnancy, parenthood--and you can bet that someone will have some tidbit of wisdom to share with you about their own experience (or their friend's experience, or their co-workers, sister's, cousin's, friend's experience...) Often you don't even have to ask. People are usually more than eager to spill it all!
Having gone through graduations and, most recently, a wedding I have gotten my fair share of advice from others. Most of it was the usual "it goes by so fast, make sure you take a moment to stop and really enjoy it" or "make sure you actually eat at your own wedding reception!" All of which are great suggestions that I have, no doubt, shared with numerous others since my own wedding. Having entered in to that next life-event, pregnancy, the advice and anecdotes have started trickling in once again. Especially now that I am past the "is she or isn't she" phase and have a full blown baby bump that screams to all that I am with child.  

I am not going to write a post about how advice during pregnancy is all horrible and unwanted. I have received my fair share of both very helpful advice, and some not so much. There are always going to be those few comments that come out of left-field that really make you want to respond with some sarcastic comment. At the end of the day, though, I like to think that all of it--the good, the bad, and the down-right crazy--comes from a place of just wanting to help.

Still, as someone who prefers to go it on my own, do my own research (which sometimes does include seeking advice from those who have been through it all before), and learn from the successes and failures that go with this process, I find myself struggling with how to deal with and respond to all of the advice that is thrown at me. Good or bad. Part of the problem with unsolicited advice when it comes to pregnancy and parenthood, as opposed to those other life changes, is that it is such a personal and often vulnerable time in our lives. Whether we are newly pregnant with our first child or a veteran parent of three, our number one concern is doing what's best for our child. And, when someone offers up advice that wasn't asked for, it can often be taken personally. It can feel like this particular person is judging the decisions we have made and that all of the research, time, and worry that has gotten you to this point has been for naught. Or, it can feel like this particular person is assuming that we haven't spent countless hours reading the baby books and going over the pros and cons of everything pregnancy or baby related. Again, people aren't usually giving advice in order to say that you are doing something wrong, but it is sometimes hard to get past that feeling. I know that I am still working on getting past it, myself. It is inevitable that the amount of advice will increase once this little one is born, and I don't know when I ever will be at the point of being fully okay with it. Until that day comes, though, I will give a smile and a thanks for the advice and go on with my day.

*This topic has been on my mind a lot lately, and it was reading this hilarious post shared by AP at I.L.Y.M.T.C that really made me sit and write it all down. Hopefully you get a good laugh out of it as I did!

2 comments:

  1. BAHAHA! Thanks for linking that post... it was hilarious and so true. I once had a boyfriend who said that his general rule of thumb was to never ever give advice unless it was asked for. That's the only way people will listen to it anyway. Interesting and so true. I've tried to live by that rule from now on. Just found your blog and have loved getting to know you better. I'm excited to follow along!

    new follower :)
    bonnie
    bonnielouisa.blogspot.com

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  2. Yes!!!! I've had people blatantly ask me if I will be breast feeding. Ummm...I'm not sure when that personal decision became everyone's business. I've had someone say, "Well you aren't going to let the baby sleep in the same room as you, are you?" Why yes, yes I am...at least for the first few weeks until we move to our new home and I have a separate room for the baby. The list goes on... like you said, it's all from a place of caring I think (sometimes I don't think it is though), but it gets out of control. We should be enjoying our pregnancies and not having to worry about everyone's dumb comments!

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