Stop it with the advice already!

One of the most annoying things about becoming a new parent is the amount of advice you’ll get from all kinds of places. Family, friends, even strangers seem to want to interject their opinions on your parenting- regardless of whether you ask for it or not. And more than likely.. it will be the latter.

Of course, there is some advice that has been incredibly valuable and I very much appreciate- such as ‘the dishes and housework can wait, your child is more important’ (because who doesn’t start freaking out about the dishes piling up in their sink and the cat hair rolling like tumbleweeds across the floor from the lack of spare time to clean), or ‘get a new pediatrician’ (trust me, lifesaver there). Unfortunately, the majority of advice you get is not so valuable- and walks the line of completely ridiculous.. or it can be downright annoying- because you didn’t ask, don’t need it, don’t want it and it can sometimes be offensive.

I could just be a Negative Nancy, and maybe other people appreciate all the advice that’s thrown in their direction… but somehow I highly doubt that.

The worst offenders in my experience is family. Older family to be more specific. Since you’re younger, they seem to assume you know absolutely nothing about being a parent and feel the need to give you advice as much as humanly possible. Perhaps this wouldn’t be so bad if they had actually had a baby in the past decade.. or two..
And for me- my family just assumes that all babies are exactly the same.
Small things like… that Holden just has ‘an air bubble’ and certain ways to burp him, when in fact I knew for sure that it was his reflux bothering him- and burping him those specific ways would cause him to splatter me in baby-vomit.
The amount of advice spewing from my family in the form of verbal diarrhea was insurmountable. After a while I think they got the hint to just stop giving it unless it’s asked for.. probably due to the death darts shooting from my eyes, or the blank look coming from my face as soon as they start in with the best way to stop Holden from screaming.

The worst advice by far came from our first pediatrician. We made the mistake of not choosing one BEFORE actually giving birth to Holden.. and chose a name off of a list we were given. Bad bad bad idea.
She told me things like.. To let my 3 week old son cry for up to 30 minutes because he “isn’t really in pain”-
I don’t knock people who use the Cry-It-Out method.. ON 6 MONTHS OLD, preferrably older. A newborn does NOT know how to manipulate, they are crying because they want something- not just to be annoying.. and leaving them to cry for THAT long can cause brain damage (just an FYI).
She also told me I was “holding him too much” to “never let him fall asleep on you”
say what?? There’s such a thing as holding your own child too much? In other countries, they hardly put their children DOWN, and those children grow up intelligent and well-adjusted.
The one that takes the cake is when she told me Holden had “colic”- what a freaking cop out. He had INTENSE reflux, and wouldn’t even consider the idea until I brought it up, then wouldn’t switch his medication when it wasn’t helping him, but making him worse.
Thank GOD we ash-canned her.

More recent ridiculousness? A crazy old lady who lives down the street telling us to ‘cover Holden’s ears or the cold will spread to his chest’
wait… what? Is that even possible? How would covering his ears stop his cold from getting into his chest? That doesn’t even make any logical sense. Yes, covering a kid’s head is a smart idea because of all the heat they can lose from it (especially with hardly any hair to help keep it in)… but to assume it would rid him of a cold is just plain stupid.

Or how about a cashier at Food-Lion telling us to put cheerios in the toilet for target practice while potty training, as we were buying diapers?
That might work for a 2 year old.. but Holden is 1. I don’t think he knows that piss even comes from his penis, much less to hold it in his hands and aim it at cheerios floating in toilet water. He hasn’t even peed on the toilet yet- he just thinks it’s this horrible contraption I stick his naked butt on to torture him at this point.

The worst part is, most of the time you just kind of have to sit back and take the advice. Well, not TAKE it.. but pretend to actually be listening. You don’t want to hurt someones feelings by telling them that their advice is completely ridiculous and downright stupid, or snap back “I didn’t ask you!’ (ok, you might want to, but you don’t out of kindness). The best thing to do is just to smile and nod… Y’know, unless they’re telling you to beat your kid with wire hangers or to shake a baby because “they think it’s fun!!”- then they deserve a verbal assault and a swift kick to the head.

Oh, hey- and remember to vote tomorrow!

Posted on November 3, 2008 by Holdin' Holden 3 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • I completely agree. I mean, you don’t see the amount of things that I am told because I bring up Holden at work and things. People love… I mean LOVE to act like they know everything. I dutifully ignore it and continue on with my day.
    The lady at Food Lion wasn’t so bad with her advice (had I not heard it 20 times before, or known that I was going to do put Cheerios in the toilet when he was actually able to stand and piss), but it was the shear fact that I was literally buying diapers at the time that was really amazing.

    You do always get the “Old-Timers” who have been there and done that 8 times before, but as you made clear, NO BABIES ARE THE SAME. My kid cries, I know why (most of the time). I can tell what he is crying about. I’m not going to hold him a certain way, just because you said so (because it worked in the 20s). You know what also worked in the 20s? Shock-therapy. See how those people turned out?

  • You would think after a certain age, the advice would subside. You’ve gotten him to the age of 1, so I think you can make it the rest of the way with your own common sense and Google(and JM). 😛

  • hahaha sooo true about the google and JM.
    that is where I go for advice.. because neither place gives me advice unless I specifically ASK for it.

    no, I don’t wanna know how YOU think I should change my kid’s diaper! back off- perv!