It’s an epidemic and there’s no cure. New moms seem to be the main target. It’s Mom advice, and there’s no way to avoid it.
It hits you from all angles. Doctors, nurses, pediatricians, family, seasoned moms, other new moms, friends without kids, colleagues, strangers in the supermarket, internet moms. It typically shows up unprovoked, not requested, and when you are busy just trying to stay afloat. It happens when you are just trying to make a joke or are looking for commiseration.
It’s about breastfeeding and bottle-feeding, and sleeping, and clothing and diaper changing, and baby-proofing. It’s about letting your child explore. It’s about not letting your child explore. It’s about the “right” car seat and baby wearing. It’s about daycare and tracking this on that sheet and that on this sheet. It’s about scheduling and controlling.
Its overwhelming, all of it. Parenting is overwhelming without the advice but sometimes the advice actually sets you over the edge. Sometimes it makes you feel like you are doing everything wrong. While there are times when it’s helpful, times when it’s requested, more often than not it’s someone else observing your personal situation, making judgment, and sharing their opinion whether you asked for it or not.
And I know everyone just wants to help. Everyone wants to offer solutions. But sometimes advice is just not helpful. Sometimes it just adds to the pile. Sometimes it’s paralyzing. As a new mom, you try harder than you have ever tried before to do what’s right by your child. And you do need help and advice sometimes, and sometimes you just need someone to take the baby for a minute so you can collect yourself. Sometimes you are so busy working on the big picture, you just can’t get to the immediate small things.
But you can’t stop the advice that easily. It’s always going to be there, ready to kick you in the back of the knees when you’re holding groceries and a car seat and a diaper bag. All you can do is take it with a grain of salt and know that at the end of the day you are doing your best, that your child is well fed and cared for, and most of all, loved.