The second you announce to the world (or to your parents who inevitably tell the world) that you are pregnant, the advice starts flowing and IT. NEVER. STOPS.
I don't know what's quite worse...those dishing out advice when they haven't had kids themselves, or those who had kids 48 years ago and think everything is still as is was then. Because you know... things were MUCH better then anyhow. Right.
Now, I'll admit that I have failed my close friends and partaken in this ghastly activity... and I'm ashamed. I do however, feel remotely better convincing myself that the unsolicited advice I provided was quite bluntly truthful and relate-able comments to ease their mind or comfort their pain/frustration such as "sorry, it doesn't get better" or "if the fever isn't over 103, you're okay."
So here it goes... My personal most irritating tips/comments/advice/opinions/actions I've been lucky enough to receive.
Top Ten Most Irritating and Least Helpful Pieces of Advice
Don't tell me what I can and can't eat while pregnant. Furthermore, why are my eating habits any of your concern at all? I'll feed this baby 4 pounds of chocolate a day if I prefer. Although you had kids 20+ years ago, every DOCTOR I've spoken with tells me not to eat LUNCH MEAT. As much as I may be craving a Jimmy Johns sub -- the listeria risk now a days is far too great for me to ignore their request to abstain for a Turkey Tom.
2) "Get as much sleep as you can before that baby comes."
Of course, why didn't I think of that?! It makes perfect sense now that I am part gorilla that if I get all this "extra" sleep now, I'll never need it again! Genius!
Are you kidding me? Apparently you're great memory full of "helpful" tips has lapsed over your memories of what it was like trying to get a continual 20 minutes of sleep while carrying around the extra 4 bowling balls doing Jazzercize at night.
3) "You won't need that. Cousin Sally said it's a waste of money."
Great, thanks for the update on cousin Sally -- I didn't even know cousin Sally still lived in this hemisphere but I'm so glad you two have been able to re-connected while discussing my baby's needs. It stinks that baby Herbie doesn't like his swing and that mashed bananas cause him constipation but If I want to buy the god damn baby rocker, my kid will have the god damn baby rocker.
4) "Sleep when the baby sleeps."
Really? This is just a cruel joke. Does that mean the baby will do the dishes when I do the dishes? Life still goes on and things still have to get done people!!
5) "Aren't you going to put some shoes or a sweater on her?"
No, I'm not. It's only a nippy 86 degrees outside, I don't know what I'm thinking taking my child out of the house without a full blown snow-suit on! Listen lady...my child is just fine and if she happens to come down with a sniffle in this environment, it's likely not due to the weather.
6) "You know, we never had the option of disposable diapers. Isn't it cheaper for you to use cloth diapers?"
Why yes, yes it is and thank you yet again for looking out for my family's bottom line. I'll be sure to check with our financial adviser to make sure we have appropriate amounts of cash socked away for a rainy day in case the disposable diapers break us.
I've cracked the code on this one. It's jealousy. Just because they HAD to use them, doesn't mean they ENJOYED it and surely doesn't mean I'm going to give it a whirl myself! Let's move on...
7) "Acid Reflux??? In a baby? I've never heard of that. She's just colic-y. I'd get a second opinion"
Second opinion this! What USE to be called colic, is now diagnosed as acid reflux -- to which there is something I can medicate my child with to help her feel better. Furthermore, don't judge me when I use the medication the doctor suggests because she's too young for medication. Acid reflux is painful to babies and they wouldn't cry if they weren't in pain.
8) "Let her cry. Don't go pick her up yet."
This was always my favorite. In hindsight, I completely agree with this advice. However, when it's your first child that you've waited so long to gaze at, snuggle with, tend to and shower with love... it's just not that easy.
*Note: I kick myself in the ass daily now for not taking accepting this advice because it still bites me in the ass at bedtime today*
9) "Oh honey, she's old enough to feed herself. You don't want to spoil her all the time, do you?"
Okay, a COMPLETE STRANGER said this to me while walking through Target with my daughter in the front of the cart while she was nibbling on MY pizza. I was two seconds away from whipping my cart around and telling her where to stick this unsolicited advice while also informing her that this pizza WASN'T FOR MY DAUGHTER IN THE FIRST PLACE! Excuse me for trying to hoard my own pizza and enjoy it for myself while sneaking her a little bite here and there. Butt out lady!
10) "Can I make a suggestion?"
No. No you may not. In fact, I'd prefer that we now end this interaction on the premise that you are about to say something that will completely offend me and my parenting skills, or lack there-of. I know I likely do not do things "as good as" or "quite like you did", but I'm doing the best I can. There are plenty days I wake up feeling inadequate as a parent already -- so please, I beg of you, let me learn this one on my own.