In hindsight I can see that this post is actually just advice on how to take advice. hmmm…. advice about advice. Oh the irony. 🙂 But I’d still love to share some of the lessons I really learnt on my journey.
One of the numerous pregnancy joys is the incredible influx of advice that suddenly becomes warranted from absolutely everybody. A simple grocery run turns into a mammoth educational journey with colic warnings from the old lady by the pineapples, ‘breast is best!’ acclamations from someone pushing a trolley filled with kale (warning: stereotyping) and the overly helpful shop assistant filling your basket with prunes, mattress sized sanitary pads and castor oil.
When you add increased hormones to these scenarios it can quickly become very overwhelming! I personally became terrified of unknowingly doing something ‘wrong’ and embarrassingly being pulled up in public. I remember at one work function helping myself to some crackers and cheese when one colleague shouted across the room, grabbing everyone’s attention, ‘STOP! CAN YOU EAT THAT??!.’….. Me, stopping mid mouthful thinking, ‘do I spit it out?’.
At the end of the day, this colleague is a beautiful, caring woman who honestly had no ill intentions, and most baby/pregnancy/parenting advice that you’ll come across will be said with the best of intentions. But it is important to establish, for your own sake, how to handle all of this advice. I’ve outlined a couple of my tips below…
- Choose your mentors. Great business men and women are never without them, and all parents should surround themselves with other/older parents that they look up to. My hubby and I are ridiculously blessed with some great families that we both admire (and who’s brains we pick annoyingly frequently). Once you’ve singled out who’s opinions really matter to you it makes it so much easier to smile politely, nod and switch off from any unappreciated incessant advice.
- Decide with your partner what is right for your family and what you both value the most. Sit down and chat with them, you might be surprised on how strongly they might feel about feeding, sleeping preferences and labour choices. And have this chat waayyyyy before labour starts…
- Appreciate people’s interest and excitement. I’m not a fan of unnecessary ‘pregnancy entitlement’. Don’t excuse away being a b#@ch to a sweet old lady who might be a bit forthright. She probably just swears by her advice as it worked like a dream for her. You’ll soon learn the desire to shout from the roof tops absolutely anything that helps navigate the crazy days ahead of you.
- Be flexible. Regardless of how much easier it would make it, your little baby has not read all the books! For many people (myself included) preparing for parenthood is all about over education! ‘Read everything and talk to everyone!’ was my motto 🙂 But once my unique little Evie was born, the only one who knew everything about her was her! Thankfully we weren’t too set in our ways and quickly adapted.
- Don’t let people (or google) mess with your head. I know I said don’t be a b#@ch, but that doesn’t mean let people walk over you. If people are offensive, upsetting or rude… literally walk away… while visualising a baby vomiting all over them! And the same goes with Google, it is an incredible source but if you are vulnerable never ever ever be left alone with it. I do admit to googling a lot while pregnant, but generally things along the lines of, ‘is heartburn from the devil?’, ‘is out-farting my husband normal?’ and ‘how the hell do pregnant people shave their legs???’. Don’t turn to the internet for serious concerns or worries because regardless of your symptoms you will be soon convinced that death is imminent.
- And above all, you will learn what works for you. Absolutely everyone is different and each journey unique. What works for me might be your idea of a nightmare, don’t take anyone’s advice as the gospel truth.
I’d love to hear your thoughts as to how you handled advice…. we’re all a part of a great big community and it would be horrific to ever feel alone in it. Oh and thank you everyone for your visits to the blog, I hit 1000 views today and did a little happy jig 🙂