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Shay is a married momma of three kiddos. She writes at Wonderfully Chaotic about her life, motherhood, marriage, homeschooling, geekery, faith & more.
Moms have a lot of choices these days and it seems like everyone has an opinion for you. Whether you have a baby, toddler, or teen – you’re going to hear advice…oftentimes whether you like it or not.
I think it generally starts out when you’re pregnant…or wait, maybe before that – after you get married. “When are you two going to have a baby?!” I never had that problem (as I was knocked up when I got married) but others have told me about people putting the pressure on them to get busy. When you do blissfully conceive, people then begin giving you their “expert” opinions on everything from bellies, babies and beyond:
“You really should breastfeed. It makes babies smarter and stronger, and you’ll have a closer bond. Plus formula is disgusting. People should be jailed for feeding their kids that crap.”
“You’re having a homebirth? That’s ridiculous. Totally unsafe. Hopefully your baby doesn’t die.”
“I sincerely hope you’re not planning to have another baby already. You have enough kids. Use some common sense, for crying out loud. ”
“Three boys and you’re having another boy? Oh, how sad. It’s just too bad you didn’t get a little girl. What a shame.”
“My goodness you’re huge. You must be having twins. You’re not? Oh, I don’t believe it. It’s definitely twins. Or triplets. You’re as big as a whale!”
Ok, so these are extreme examples…but they are ALL statements from others that I or my friends were told at one point in time! Aren’t people ridiculous?! I think that oftentimes they do mean well or just want to be involved in your life so they share their opinion, informed or otherwise. And most of the time they don’t generally mean to bring you ill will or to cause discord. Other times people may feel guilty because of a choice they made or experience they had (such as a bad breastfeeding experience) or are jealous of your choices (maybe they were never able to have children) and then react accordingly. And of course sometimes people are just jerk faces, plain and simple.
So what can you do with all these gems of wisdom? Sometimes you can find a kernel of truth in them or something to inspire you. Or maybe they will help you to do research on an issue you’re unsure of. But you also know what’s best for you and yours – so glean what you can from them – if anything – and then move along.
If all else fails, just smile and nod. Or you can take a cue from my Ellie and stick out your tongue at them.