Being a parent is the best: from the great feeling of constant fatigue to the awesome experience of educating someone whose face shows constant boredom and disagreement. However, the greatest fun of this story called parenthood is receiving advice… that nobody’s asked for.
While new parents really should know not to feed their newborn cat food, there’s some advice that is actually really not needed. Especially when it’s not wanted!
We can witness a strange phenomenon. Parenthood unleashes unlimited wisdom: people around you, mainly non-parents, your own parents and complete strangers start sharing all the knowledge they have with you. There will always be people who will make you feel wrong: you are being pregnant in an unhealthy way (whatever that means), you feed the baby incorrectly, you choose bad educational toys and many more things you are mistaken about.
Although psychologists claim that children make people more compassionate, you might wonder why nobody is considerate towards you. Unwanted advice can make you feel angry, upset or weak - something that can be even worsened by your own unwanted hormonal imbalance. However, it seems that nobody cares. There will be always “wise” people who will wipe out your insecurity… that physical aggression is a crime.
But before you raise your hand – with a heavy bag of diapers in it - against a talkative “advisor”, let’s see some other ways to balance unwanted advice while dealing with unbalanced hormones.
True, I’m giving you advice!
15 Talk To My Hand
This is a bit more explicit way to show people that actually you’re not listening… in case they haven’t noticed the earplugs stuck in your ears. People might find this gesture rude, but trust me - they’ll appreciate it (too late, too late!) when you become verbally or physically aggressive.
So next time someone is too “open” about all the mistakes you constantly make while looking after a new life, just show them your palm. There’s even no need to wash it if there’s something left from the dirty diapers.
However, there’ll be people who will be so hypnotized by their own talking that they won’t even notice you, poor you standing there with your hand. So instead of trying to make a point, make a point. And shove this fist of yours into their mouth!
14 Three Wise Monkeys
Be like the three monkeys: deaf, blind and mute. That’s the best you can do in the scary jungle of annoying advice. Just ignore people. Usually nobody listens to you, so being a bit more silent won’t be noticed. Well, nobody heard you when you wanted some quiet time, when you asked your guests to take their shoes off or when you mentioned that you’d heard THAT joke a million times before. You know the penguins from the movie Madagascar: just nod and smile.
There’s a tricky part when you try to ignore people: you might be asked to answer a question that you haven’t heard. No worries, the English language is full of polite ways to say a simple “What?” People think you are dump anyway because you can’t make soy milk for your own family, so asking someone to repeat won’t change their beliefs… about how low your IQ is.
In order to keep your inner peace and avoid all the irritating noises around you, I’d suggest earplugs. It’s true that you might feel a bit isolated from the outside world, but do you really need to be around predators that bite with unwanted advice?
13 Thank You
There’s one socially accepted response. Just listen to all the advice – from how to “milk” yourself to how to potty train your newborn. Listen, try to balance your hormones, hormones that tell you to strangle the talkative companion in front of you, and say “Thank you”. If you say it through your teeth, don’t worry. People have so much to say about you and the things you don’t do right (for example, putting baby lotion, instead of baby oil), that they py attention to your tone of voice.
Be careful though: one “Thanks” can encourage people to explain more about proper scheduling, cooking and schooling. If that’s the case, apologize that you need to go – you just can’t wait to try all the new things you’ve just learned. How can you wait to put onion in your baby’s stuffy nose?
12 Irony and Humor
If things escalate and you’ve reached the point in someone’s monologue when they tell you how to clean the tiles in your own house, use irony. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work for some people. They just don’t get sarcasm. Their mind is too occupied with parenting advice on how to blend – no chopping! – carrots.
Then use openly humor. You’re hormones can make you not only a crying monster, but a witty hater. So tell a dirty joke, mention Adoption Services or say you’re not sure who the father is: all those stigmatized topics that “good” people avoid.
However, if you make a joke or interrupt someone, you can make things worse (don’t be surprised - things can always get worse). You’ll be not only ignorant in their eyes, but arrogant and inconsiderate parent. So let’s hope that this will make them stop talking to you!
11 Release Your Mrs. Hide
If silence or humor is not enough, use your crazy side. People usually blame everything on your hormones. You’re tired because the pain in your expanding belly didn’t let you sleep? It must be your hormones. You’re happy to see someone just because you usually don’t have time for anything around the baby? It must be your hormones.
It must be your hormones. That’s my favorite sentence. It seems that everyone somehow has changed career and now is a hormone expert, repeating with a stupid smile: “It must be your hormones!” Let me tell you one thing: if next time I slap you when you say that, I take the whole responsibility. Leave my hormones alone!
So cry, shout or laugh hysterically. You’ll see how people will get that there’s something wrong with you and they’ll start keeping more distance. What can be better? More space for your belly and no more unwanted advice.
All these reactions can be applied to the usual groups of “advisors”:
10 This Strange Species “Non-parents”
The best people you can find that can give you advice on parenthood are non-parents. There are wonderful in so many ways and their knowledge is so deep because it comes from sitcoms. They can make you feel boring. Come on, admit it: you can’t talk about your life the way they talk about their pets.
There is some magic in verbal presentation when non-parents describe their pets - the most intelligent and entertaining creatures, with stories that can take hours and hours of your time. Oh, that fluffy ball can recognize a command?! So who cares about your baby that just said her or his first word?!
Non-parents are really good at not only boring you (making you feel boring yourself), but at making you feel useless. Surprisingly, even though you don’t talk about your diarrhea or constipated stomach caused by your pregnancy – at least not all the time, they think they should involve you in their similarly “great” work life.
Maybe because they think that you looking after a growing human is not responsible enough. And like proper public speakers they can invest their enthusiasm in convincing you that their 9 to 5 office job is the most important thing in the world. Of course, sitting on a chair can’t compare to you multitasking, having different unfamiliar situations every day and balancing all that with a job and hormones. So just listen to… their narcissism.
Another thing that non-parents are good at is… being childish. You love having fun and going out, of course, but now fun is more about drawing with crayons and teaching your little one to recognize tree leaves. You outgrew the period when being sick after one beer is a story that can keep you entertained for a week.
It’s unclear, statistics say, if non-parents parents know it, but you spend more nights being awake than them going out. Well, monsters under the bed are a problem! But Shh!, let’s hear more about how you should go out without neglecting your kids: they, for example, leave enough food for their pets in their bowls.
9 Real Danger: Parents
Non-parents might be annoying but what’s really dangerous for your ears is parents (friends or strangers). They talk a lot… and they think they are always right!
Parents can be also a great target for your angry hormones. Simply because you realize that you can’t compare to them and their little geniuses. They can underestimate all you physical discomfort with a simple “I know, I felt much worse when I was pregnant” or “Poor you, you’ll see that it will go.”
Yep, I know I won’t be sick for the rest of my life, but thanks for your support; I’m glad to know how many times you used to go to the toilet two years ago (actually I’m impressed you remember it).
Some parents revolve everything around their reality. You go to yoga, “Great, but I found such a wonderful work-out on the Internet 5 years ago”; your child go shopping without you, “Oh no, it’s so dangerous out there, I and my child…”; you’ve taught your toddler to read, “Hmm, that’s nothing, mine is so clever – got a B at school” (well done to that difficult Emo teen that always says “Whatever”, which makes you worry about teen vocabulary in general).
All-knowing parents can show you also albums of their family from a decade ago, so pay attention and stop rocking the hungry one in your hands. Who’s more important in the end?
8 Your Own Parents
You can cry, shout or ignore them, but here the battle is lost. Sorry! You can’t make your own parents stop talking and you can’t even avoid seeing them for years. Parents should be loved, respected and looked after, but sometimes you wish you could be far from them. No, no, another country won’t do: I’m talking about another universe.
Simply because you’ll always be a child for them. You can have five children, but you’ll always be their little pumpkin that can’t tie her shoelaces and they’ll always remind you in front of your partner how you peed yourself that day at school.
The situation is even more terrifying for first time parents because your own parents have gone through it all, as they say. They kind of resemble elephants when it comes to memory because they remember exactly how many times a baby should be fed and how to knit baby socks.
It doesn’t matter that all that happened more than 20 years ago and things we know about parenthood and developmental psychology have dramatically changed. Parents know it all. So, wrap these tiny legs in a cloth to keep them straight and listen to your parents.
In the end you’ll become the same with your kids because grandparents are adorable.
7 Armchair Philosophers
Why are you not wrapping those feet, as parents demanded you to do? Ah, you read something online, something that says that your baby’s legs and arms actually should move freely. Is the information controversial? I told you that you are dump.
There’ll be always armchair philosophers. That type of people that know all the secrets of the Big Bang (and Big Ben respectively), the solution of global warming (no, recycling is not a concern) and of course, the truth behind parenthood (here non-parents are preferred).
They can be found everywhere: online, telling you what to do with a preemie, on TV, showing expensive clothes for newborns, in the park, looking at you breastfeeding. etc. And we thought that philosophy is not cool anymore?
Dealing with that is easy, because armchair philosophers only talk. So next time your toddler throws up, just show them all… and be sure you’ll never see them again.
6 Partners in Crime
Sadly, this is your personal advisor you can’t avoid. In a heterosexual relationship, the man is the one who tries to calm down the woman while she is going through all the unwanted hormonal changes of her motherhood.
I won’t be bitchy here, because while I have to deal with a scared male who knows only “Breathe” (which is a bit useless when you get colostrum on your new bra), in his eyes, I guess, he has to deal with a gradually growing monster full of hormones, which on top of that has something moving in her belly – just like in the movie Alien.
Be patient and don’t stab him as you might need him to help you with the baby, or at least with shaving your legs when you can’t reach them anymore. I’ve realized that him asking if you are okay while you are vomiting is actually not a rhetorical question, but a concern about your well-being.
Asking what’s wrong when you unexpectedly start to cry is not a sign of stupidity, but just some banging thoughts in his empty head about the fact that a sweet kitten can make you so emotional. If you are horny but he just rubs your belly, call him names but realize that he cares about the two of you (maybe he even thinks that his male parts are so huge that can reach far inside).
The safest thing to do is to ask him politely to give you some space at night in your last trimester… unless he wants to feel the pillow touching (aggressively) his lips and blocking all the air to his lungs.
The types of orators above usually specialize in a specific field of advice:
5 Eat More, Eat Less, Don’t Eat This…
As there is so much to hear about food during pregnancy, the best reaction is to start throwing food at people, so they’ll stop talking.
Eat more. This is great advice in the beginning of your pregnancy. Especially when you feel sick all the time and all that goes through your mouth tries to leave your body through the same canal. Eat your words, chef!
Don’t eat… and the list is too long. Before you tell me what is healthy and what is not, try to stop your husband and kids shoving those deep fried chicken wings into their mouth. I can just drive through your advice.
Another great thing is to know what my own kid should eat. I realize that being a vegetarian artist is very trendy, but at least before you preach try to hide all those takeaway boxes from your own fridge.
4 “The Man In The Mirror”
Appearance is also something that random people know a lot about. It doesn’t matter that each body is different or that every pregnancy is a unique event: your belly is not too big, your belly is too big, and so on and on. Declare you're pregnant or have a baby and let the onslaught of commentary begin.
“I can see you’re pregnant” is another nice thing that is competing with “It must be your hormones.” People, I can see you’re proud that your eyes can spot something so obvious. But keep these comments for your eye doctor.
Actually keep your advice on how not too look tired, what to eat and all that stuff to yourself. If you want to talk, talk to your doctor… the mental health one. Or to your dentist. Because next time you giggle about my size, shoes or hair, I promise you one thing: you’ll need a doctor visit.
3 Gynecologists For Free
Birth and afterbirth are topics that everyone can give you a piece of advice about. Scary stories about birth that are accompanied with the stupid question “Are you scared?” Well, I wasn’t before your talking! Lectures on the beneficial aspects of natural birth. Yep, I’ll definitely listen to you even though my doctor has delivered thousands of babies.
Here non-parents are very knowledgeable about afterbirth and putting a baby on a schedule… even though they killed their last pet fish and still can’t prepare proper toast with jam without being late for work.
And if people ask you why you’re feeling down, don’t be bothered to mention anything about postpartum depression or stress… because “It must be your hormones.”
Escaping from this type of advice is easy as not many people can stick for too long around a hungry newborn and the look of your milk stains on your T-shirt.
2 Raising A Human
Another topic that family, friends, relatives, colleagues and strangers know a lot about. Usually nobody is around to help you. Where was everyone when you got your first period after birth and you needed someone to get you more pads? But they all, plus online philosophers on blogs and forums, are always there when you don’t want to listen about how to raise your human.
From choosing the right pacifier to deciding on a prestigious college degree, everyone has something to say. Don’t forget that usually you don’t have a say here. You just carry and look after the baby for nine months, and after you give birth you only feed, educate, play and love her or him. Who are you to talk? Why should your opinions matter?
To escape from that type of advice, be like Robinson Crusoe and run away from civilization.
1 Final Solution To Parental Advice
However, realistically speaking you are a social animal and you’ll be surrounded by people all the time, people who talk. And don’t be surprised that you’ll be the one who knows less.
You can try to ignore or confront annoying companions, you can be emotional or cold, but you’ll be the one who needs advice… all the time. Simply because people know more.
So if nothing from above works, just be more creative: throw vases, slash tires, post dirty diapers, etc. There’s also another great way to balance unwanted advice with unbalanced hormones and deal with "talkers": just listen to my advice!
Find a clean cloth, stick it in their mouth, find a soft rope, tied them up and drive them to the police station. There you can charge them for unwanted touching of your belly.