Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Everyone has an opinion about how you should raise your child (#7)

Here is #7 from my list 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Giving Birth

Everyone knows how you should raise your baby.  Even strangers.  Once baby arrives, you will get unsolicited advice coming at you from all directions.  Most of it comes with nothing but the best intentions, some of it might even be useful.  Unfortunately there can be another side to this.  Sometimes people say some very hurtful things to new moms.  This can come from a person who genuinely cares about you, but who while trying to be helpful makes you feel like a terrible mom.  Or it can come from someone who is just plain mean and sticking their nose where it does not belong.  Most people have kids, and some people think that having a functioning child makes them a parenting expert.  It does not.  What worked for them may be terrible for you.  I had some people say some terrible things to me in the first weeks of my son's life.  I was extremely tired and hormonal and trust me - these people did not help.  In fact, it made things worse.  Looking back now, I know that under different circumstances I would have simply brushed off what they said but as a new mom I put way too much stock in the opinions of others.  If I could give one piece of advice to the friends and family of new moms I would say keep your mouth shut.  Unless you are asked your opinion mind your own business.  And even if you are asked, tread very carefully.  "Have you thought of this...." or "this worked for me...." is sometimes a way of saying "you useless idiot why aren't you doing this."

As I have said before, there is not one way to raise a child.  Trust your maternal instincts.  God gave this baby to you to raise (not your mom, mother in law, sister, friend, neighbour, the lady in the grocery store, etc.).

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