Don't Tell Me What To Do!
Your mom, mother-in-law, grandma, fave aunt
Moms mean well, and, for the most part, they are simply trying to help sans judgment. But if their constant advice becomes overbearing, we mean overwhelming, you need to say something. Remind your mom what an amazing job she did raising her child – aka you – with the skills to be able to handle any situation, even new motherhood, on her own. That said, your mom is probably super-stoked to help you out and simply share in your journey of new motherhood. So after she’s backed off, extend the olive branch by asking her how she used to get you to sleep during a particularly restless night or which hold she used to nurse you.
Friends without kids
It took me a long time to fake my best smile and nod when my friends without kids decided to bestow upon me their very best parenting advice that usually started with “I will never let my kid... ”
I’ll fess up: Before I became a mom, I used to pass judgment on parents with crying babies on airplanes or squirmy kids in restaurants. But since becoming a parent I grew an empathy gene and the ability to understand that every mom raises her kid differently, and -- shy of physical or mental abuse, of course -- that’s okay.
Honestly, it’s not worth trying to justify your best parenting efforts to someone who just doesn’t understand yet. The truth is, you don’t know what you’d do in any situation until you’re in it. So unless you feel like unleashing on your childless friends, simply smile knowing secretly that someday she will likely eat her words.
You don’t have to be nice to strangers offering their parenting advice. I’ve had people tell me in the middle of the Phoenix summertime that I should put socks on my baby. I used to agree with whatever advice I’d heard just to be polite, but not anymore. I say something like, “I’m glad that worked for you and your baby.” That’s it. I don’t defend my choices -- I don’t need to. And neither do you.
The bottom line
You can’t make unwanted mom advice go away, but you can control the way you digest it and respond to it. Take the good advice, from loved ones or strangers, and simply ignore the rest. After all, moms know best, right? And now you are one of them.