Friday, August 28, 2009

Advice From Every Angle

I was watching a rerun of Oprah today all about how rude people are these days. I totally agree, but I think that sometimes we are rude unintentionally. Especially as mothers. I mean, as a mother it's hard not to try to force your ideas on someone else. There is a difference between giving advice, and making the other mom feel like a failure. I have had a few of these recently.

1) Potty training. I already know that my son is almost 3 and isn't potty trained, but for some reason people remind me of this constantly. I will see someone I haven't seen in a while, and they say "did you get Byron all potty trained now?" And I of course reply with "not yet, I've tried everything." "BUT HE'S ALMOST 3, " they say. Really?! I had no idea my son has a birthday coming up. I labored 36hrs to push that kid out of my loins, but can't remember what day it was on. Thanks for reminding me! Besides, it's not for lack of trying! Some children are just stubborn. Mine is one of those stubborn kids. Probably one day he will just walk up to me and say "mother I'm ready to use the lavatory" and we will never look back. In the meantime, I have to hear "BUT HE'S ALMOST 3" every time I see someone who asks me this question.

2) Sleeping through the night. Honestly, like I want my child to wake up every 2 hours to nurse. Again I hear "she's old enough to be sleeping through the night now." Okaaaay, but she's not. What do you want me to do? I'm not going to drug a 6 month old. I don't have the nerves at that hour of night to let her cry for 30 min. I can handle 5 or maybe 10, but I'm too soft to go much longer. "Feed her rice cereal before bed," they say. Sure, if I could get her to swallow it that might help. Which leads me to...

3) Solid foods. At 4 months people started asking me if I was feeding her solids yet. Which I wasn't for 3 reasons. 1) I didn't feed them to my son until 6 months 2) I don't see the necessity in feeding them pulverized rice 3) Nursing is easier. Now that she has reached 6 months I've tried every 1st food without success, until yesterday she wouldn't swallow any of it. Which goes to show that my kids will not be pushed. They will do things in their own time.

I think the same is true for many things about motherhood and family life in general. I have my own little system of things. I only put my kids on a loose schedule. I don't feed solids until 6 months. I think breastfeeding is the bees knees. I put my kids to bed before 8pm if possible. I use a bullpen full of discipline techniques. But, these things don't work well for everyone. So when I give advice I TRY to be nonchalant about it. I don't want to sound like a know-it-all, because I'm not.

This is not to say that if I hear a good suggestion I don't try it out. I do! Some work and some don't, but I think delivery of the advice is important.


The Smiths said...

I'm right there with you...but I hear "BUT HE'S ALMOST 4"!!!

Anonymous said...

your right about that. And, well I'm told, that I have a slick mouth... whatever that means. I guess sometimes I say things and it comes out ...wrong?? IDK, anyway, loved the post