Have you ever been given a bunch of unnecessary and unwanted advice from so-called well-meaning people? Here’s what happened to me.
I was excited when I discovered I was pregnant. I was also over-confident that I could manage all by myself. After all, I had experience helping my sister with both her children. I had changed dirty diapers and burped them. This whole pregnancy and new mother stuff seemed easy to me.
Or so I thought!
The initial unwanted advice!
Initially, I had to deal with people telling me how I should take extreme care of myself during this “delicate” phase. At the same time, I was supposed to exercise and get fit. Do I rest or do I exercise? And what, exactly, did they mean by exercise?
My mother-in-law explained to me how she used to sit on her haunches and do the household work. It was supposed to strengthen the pelvis and aid in childbirth. I wasn’t really sure if she was advising me or if she was indicating that I was not excused from doing the housework!
I used to get a lot of unnecessary and unwanted advice.
Some of the obvious pieces of advice were:
“Eat those bananas that are joined together, you’ll have twins.” How I was supposed to miraculously produce twins when there was only one heartbeat, I don’t know and I never found out!
I heard a lot of “eat this, don’t eat that” or “drink this, don’t drink that” throughout my pregnancy. One thing led to another and somehow, I survived those 9 months.
Reality sets in
I thought the worst was over after my baby was born. Little did I realize that it was just the beginning!
When it was time to feed my squalling, squirming little bundle, I didn’t know how to do it. And I had a roomful of helpful women, all ready to give me a hand, so to speak!
Over the course of the next few months, I discovered that everybody had an opinion. Be it about normal delivery or C-Sec. Breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Even the “right” way to burp the baby! It didn’t matter if their comments were helpful or not.
“Do you have enough milk?” How on earth was I supposed to know if I had enough milk?
“Don’t give the baby formula. Breastfeeding is best.” “Is the baby getting enough? She looks so weak.” Loosely translated, that meant she wasn’t as chubby or fat as her mother!
“Baby is gassy? You must have eaten cabbage. Or some other gas inducing food.” The fact that I tend to stay away from vegetables (gas inducing or not), didn’t make any difference!
“You’re not putting on enough weight. Remember, a healthy mum = a healthy baby. Eat food that will make you put on weight.”
“Don’t kiss your baby’s cheeks so much. They’ll lose their chubbiness.” Like, seriously?
It just never stops!
This went on and on. 3 years later, I still have people commenting on my style of parenting and giving me unwanted advice when I really didn’t need it.
Being a new mum, one should be stress-free and anxiety free. That, my dears, is a myth! How can one be stress-free and anxiety free when you’re constantly being bombarded with ridiculous pieces of advice?
My theory? Listen to your gut and to your pediatrician and observe your baby. Everything else should just fall on deaf ears.