I’ve always heard moms talk about the massive amounts of unsolicited advice you get when you’re pregnant, but H O L Y M O L Y, they weren’t lying.
It’s like the second we announced our pregnancy on social media, people I barely knew decided to give me their input on how I should _____________.
For real, y’all. *insert ginormous eye roll here*
Now before I get too far, I will also add a sweet little disclaimer here because I don’t want anybody getting the wrong idea… The goal of this post is to help other new mamas know how to bypass unsolicited advice, but also how to seek wise counsel. Which implies that I have been given advice from some very wise and seasoned mamas out there, for which I am very thankful.
So how do you know the difference between wise counsel and unsolicited advice?
I’ll give you a hint, wise counsel usually has to be sought out. It rarely comes without you asking for it.
Unsolicited advice is given freely, whether you want it or not. Obviously, considering it is unsolicited.
How to avoid unsolicited advice:
Unfortunately, I think it’s impossible to completely avoid it, but there are a couple of things you can do to curve it a bit.
- Never ever ever ever ever post on social media. Ever.
- Become a hermit.
What to do when unsolicited advice is given to you:
- Ignore it. – I’ll admit, this one is extremely hard for me to do with most people. But if you’re a better person than I am, this is probably your best option. I’ll pray for you.
- Fire back with a witty/sarcastic comment. – I am not naturally a sarcastic person, but I admire those fortunate souls who are quick-witted enough to fire back without even blinking. Personally, I have to mentally tuck some witty comebacks in my pocket for those particularly common tidbits like, “Was it planned?” My favorite response… “Was what planned…..?” #awkward
- Be blunt. – In the same respect, you could also just be super blunt and make the person feel stupid, because they likely deserve it. “Are you going to have an epidural/breastfeed/co-sleep/etc?” Like… “Umm, excuse me, but I really don’t think that’s any of your business.”
- Be passive aggressive. – Ahhhh, passive aggressiveness. My favorite. There has been a couple of times where someone on Facebook (you know, those people you’re friends with, but have never actually had a conversation with before?) have messaged me or commented on something pregnancy/birth related to tell me what I should do. Just a little background info, I never post anything asking for advice on social media, so this advice is always 100% unsolicited. However, I am usually somewhat nice, but passive aggressively slip in something snarky like, “well thank you, but I’ve made up my mind to do _______ this way. You should research it a bit!”
- Be nice. – If you’re a really really good person, you’ll just be nice. “Thanks! I’ll look into it!” **never looks into it**
Try to keep in mind that,
“unsolicited advice is usually more about the needs of the giver than the receiver.” – Charles F. Glassman
Knowing who to seek wise counsel from:
Let’s face it though, if you’re a first time mom, you’re definitely going to need some advice along the way. But you want to make sure you’re seeking advice from the right kinds of parents. Here are 3 ways to help you decide whether you should seek wise counsel from someone or not:
- Does this parent have the same (or similar) lifestyle, beliefs, core values, and parenting philosophies as you?
- Do you look at their children and think “man, that’s a job well done”?
- Are they someone you aspire to be as a parent?
If you can’t answer “yes” to at least one of these questions, then you probably shouldn’t be taking this person’s advice to heart.
If you can, then I am SO happy you’ve found a good parenting mentor to seek wise counsel from!
Whether it be birthing, diapering, doctoring, feeding, or any of the other ‘-ing’s’ associated with becoming a parent, I’m sure this person will be more than happy to share their experiences with you.
Just remember, you’ll probably have to ask 😉
I’ll be honest with ya, folks…
I’m scared to death to bring a child into this world! There’s seems to be so many things that can go wrong… but like I’ve said before, I have surrendered this child to the One who holds the whole world in the palm of his hands, and that’s all I can really do.
With Him on your side, it doesn’t matter if you
have a natural birth or medicated birth,
use cloth diapers or disposable diapers,
breastfeed or formula feed,
co-sleep or not,
etc. etc. etc.
You’ll be a great mama no matter what.
Bypass unsolicited advice, seek wise counsel, trust your gut, and your baby will be just fine ♥