One more for the Annals of Unsolicited Advice
July 27, 2015
What is it with people who feel like their sole purpose is to educate on the Right Way to Mother? Not Parent, because I notice these folks don’t ever lecture PiC on parenting, just Mothering. I’ve asked him, he’s puzzled that this keeps happening.
Some people think that because I’m a first time mom, everything I do or worry about is because I’m a first time mom and scoff at my decisions as that of a rank amateur. My life experience, my values, and my ability to evaluate a situation and make a decision were evidently all switched off once a child passed through the birth canal. Nope, it’s all new-mom nerves now! I’m a trembling, jello-jiggly wreck of an excuse for an adult now. Be forewarned!
Other people think that just because they now have experience with their first child, everything that happened to them is absolutely canon and will happen to me.
The latest round was a first time father who thinks, nay, insists! that we must get our wee Bean into a daycare or professional care as soon as possible because, as he puts it, the “separation anxiety will only get worse”. He lectured me soundly on how he’s speaking from experience, and that what he hears from me about finding a suitable carer, it’s “already a problem” because “no one is good enough.”
Mind, he didn’t bother to listen to what constitutes a suitable care provider. He just assumed that because this is our first go-round, we’re incapable – or rather, I’m incapable – of allowing an experienced person take care of our progeny. It’s clearly because I’m a first time mom that I object to bad judgment and blatant negligence or unreliable people. If I had another, I wouldn’t be so foolish as to insist on someone who can care for LB safely and reliably.
Be proud of me for not rolling my eyes so hard they could have doubled for gyroscopes.
Instead of nodding and smiling, which might have shut him up but I doubt it, I mildly noted that I don’t, in fact, have issues with relying on people to help with LB. I could see that he was ratherput out by my inability to just take his well meaning but totally unwelcome and misplaced advice.
Certainly people and children have separation anxiety but I’ll not be railroaded into believing that we’re fated to endure weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth if I don’t give LB the boot now.
LB gets on well with new people, with or without me and PiC in the immediate vicinity. We make it a point to take hir and Seamus out to meet people so that ze can enjoy new faces and new voices. Ze loves the sound of new languages and enjoys a good “flying LB” no matter who administers it.
Sure, we’ll get some things wrong. But you know what? Every parent does. This is the first time we’re raising this child, and we’re doing our best for our child. People who think that we (I) don’t know what we’re doing because this is our first time at this rodeo can get stuffed.
As any parent worth their salt will tell you: every child is different. You learn more techniques that might work with each new one but that doesn’t mean you’ve unlocked the secrets to all children, forever.
If any parent shares their stories with me, I’m happy to hear them. I’m happy to extract useful techniques from those stories. Moralizing at me and outright telling me that my knowledge, skills, and life experience are worthless next to your one experience with your own child and family, though, that just gets my goat. It reminds me of that uncle who spent half my grandmother’s funeral lecturing me on the importance of getting into a good college. I was 24, graduated already, and had been supporting my family for oh, 5 -7 years by then. We don’t speak anymore.
Seems to me that people are all eager to proclaim their right to their own values, morals, or beliefs but completely fail to recognize that they ought to then respect the rights of others to think for themselves.
Though, if people quit annoying me, whatever would I write about? 😉
:: Surely, I’m not the only one blitzed with unsolicited fodder, am I?
:: EDIT: I should note, in both instances, the well-meaning father and the uncle, I wasn’t asking for help or advice or even talking about the subject they brought up. They cornered me, said hello, and then started lecturing. In the parenting case, he basically told me that I was doing it wrong (though he didn’t know how I was doing it) and that his way is the only way. That’s the thing that puts my back up.
When I post here, I welcome your thoughts and comments whether it be advice or something else!