This guest post is brought to you by Shari from The Knit Wit
As soon as I started showing that I was pregnant with my oldest son, I started getting all kinds of advice. Some was funny, some was useful, some was just out-of-date, and some was just plain rude or not useful (like telling me I should've had a girl when I mentioned I was pregnant with a boy).
On the way to my shower, which was a 1 hr drive, with my friend, I was going on about how people kept giving me advice. Everyone from family, to strangers in Walmart. My friend hadn't given me any advice up until that point. She says to me, can I give you a piece of advice? I look at her with a glare, and said "Have you been listening at all???? Ok go ahead".
She told me this is the advice a friend had given to her, and it really helped. Here is the nugget:
Whenever someone gets you unsolicited advice, look at them, let them talk, smile, and nod politely. When they are finished talking, turn around, walk away, and then go about your business like you normally would.
The idea is, some advice is good, some is not. People are going to give it whether you want it or not. I have had 3 boys since then, and I have my own ideas of how I want to raise my boys.
I always told myself and others that I would never let my boys sleep with me, and planned on it. I had others telling me, never, ever let them sleep with you. Ever. Or they will be 10 still sleeping with you. Then I had others tell me, let them sleep with you, they must or they won't be properly developed, and our kids are 10 and 12, and still crawl in our bed at night. I would smile and nod, and they all went away thinking they had convinced me of their way of thinking. Well I had my oldest, and that kid didn't sleep. After about 2 weeks, of not sleeping, I laid down with him on my chest for 1 minute, and I woke up 6 hours later! That kid hadn't slept more than 2 hours at a time at that point, trust me that kid slept with us until about 6 months when it stopped working for us.
Over the years that piece of advice is the only one that has worked in all circumstances. LOL The thing is, some people forget that every child is different. What has worked 100% on my oldest didn't work at all, or only partially on the other 2. So when you are mentioning a particular situation, they tell you "Do this, it will work". Well maybe yes, and maybe no.
I have learned over the years to take the advice (if it is not just flat out bad, or impossible), and file it away. Do what I think I should, and if that fails then pull up a tip I heard/read somewhere else.
I have also learned when giving advice (people ask me a lot since I have 3 boys: 5, 3, and 1 and that somehow seems to make me an expert in their minds, however I don't feel like I am at all!!), just to say here is what I tried, maybe it will work. Sometimes the look on their face falls, and they say, oh I tried that and it didn't work, and I say ok, well here are some other tips that worked with the others. That usually helps make them feel better. I don't think as a Mom we can be a 1 trick pony, but we also don't have to accept everyone else's advice either.
When we got to my baby shower, I used that advice over and over, and it really worked for me. That's when I realized it's real beauty. I went up to her, and said "Thanks so much!!! That advice is gold!!!" I have shared with everyone over the years, and everyone always laughs and says that is the best advice I ever heard. Even ladies who are more confrontational, have realized, sometimes it isn't worth arguing with the crazy lady at the Walmart who is sure you are crippling your child forever because they slept hunched over in their car seat for a few minutes.
So try this advice, and see if it works for you, if not just smile, nod, and disregard, I'm ok with that!