We have all been there, walking through the store minding our own business when a stranger misunderstood our silence as a request for some parenting advice. You see, I know my child is screaming at the top of their lungs for the ding-dong I will not hand over, I know, because I hear him too. Nevertheless, this stranger decides to chime in with, “oh honey, it looks like he needs to nap a little longer during the day. You know children don’t get enough sleep at night.” OH….is that all it is?!?! I mean seriously, I didn’t ask, and even if it were true, you don’t know!
This happens all of the time. Whether you are pregnant or a mom with 3 kids, people like to share, judge & critique. They want YOU to know the “best” ways to discipline, the “best” things to feed your baby, the “best” new item for your newborn, blah, blah, blah! When you are pregnant, strangers open their mouths all of the time with unhealthy and sometimes insulting advice on pregnancy and labor/delivery. I cannot stand when a mom shares her crazy, horrifying day of delivery with an innocent pregnant mom. I remember a specific day when I was pregnant with my first little one. I woke up that day and got ready for work, as I checked out my butt in the mirror I thought to myself, “Thank God I am not carrying all of my weight back there!” Two different strangers that day proceeded to destroy the self-confidence I left the house with that morning. First I was told, “wow, I can definitely tell you are pregnant now, your face is getting rounder!” Followed by “Oh, you carry your babies like me, all in the butt!” Ummmmmmm…Thanks?!?
Every person is different. We look different, we carry our babies differently, we are able and not able to do a lot of things differently. We make own decisions about parenting, nutrition, discipline, schooling, etc…It is these differences that make our community so great! We can watch others and learn things to do and things not to do. I work with pregnant women and new moms and have heard hundreds of stories about pregnancy, labor & delivery, c-sections vs vaginal, natural vs epidural…every mom has different wants, needs, or special circumstances. If someone seeks your advice…share. You must, however, be good at reading verbal and nonverbal cues in order to know when to stop talking!
Unsolicited comments, advice, assumptions, etc should be kept to yourself! Here are some important things to remember…You should never ask a women when she is due unless she is in active labor. You should never tell a pregnant woman that she must be due any day now. You should never tell a tired mom with a screaming toddler ANY piece of parenting advice (she is not in the mood, nor listening). No man (other than their husband) should ever speak to a women about nursing or pumping and NEVER, oh NEVER, tell a mom she looks tired!
now I will stop talking 🙂