There is no manual for motherhood; even if you have 10 kids. We are all trying our best to figure it out. Each day is completely different with new challenges, new obstacles, highs and lows, meltdowns, tears, laughs, etc. There are countless of articles, books, research, specialists, doctors, bloggers, teachers, etc. However, it doesn’t matter who you seek advice from because every child is different and ultimately, it’s your decision. But the most annoying thing about parenthood is receiving unsolicited advice from people that don’t have children.
We all have that childless aunt, relative, friend, neighbor, etc. that always seems to have an opinion on how to raise our children.
That person can do their own research and help out the mother, but she is not a mom and she is not the mother of our kids. They say it takes a village to raise a child. We truly appreciate those that help us raise our children. We love that our children have that fun aunt that becomes a second mom to our kids. Some of us even ask those special people to become legal guardians and take care of our kids if God forbid something happens to the parents. But sometimes it seems there are no boundaries and these people can overstep and cause problems. Sometimes they make rude, judgmental and hurtful comments.
I have two aunts that adore my son. It makes me happy to see them take the time to play, teach and care for my son. However, they always seem to make a comment that feels like a punch to the gut. These women are great people but they never got married and never had children. Their attitude always seems to be that they know better simply because they are older. But that doesn’t make them experts on kids.
So how do I deal with unsolicited advice from childless people?
Most of the time I let it go. I pick and choose my battles. However, I am very expressive so I do get caught rolling my eyes. It’s hard to bite your tongue but life is too short and some things are not worth the time nor effort. However, other times I bottle it up and one comment can throw me over the edge. I stand up for myself and let them know when they are wrong. I admit I can be passive aggressive, which is not the best way to approach a situation, but I get caught in the heat of the moment.
Motherhood is hard and no one has all the right answers.
No one knows your child like you do. I’m not saying to pick a fight or be defensive but do defend yourself. Always stand your ground when you firmly believe in something. Don’t allow other’s comments to bring you down. Sometimes we speak without thinking about the words that come out of our mouths. We don’t think about the repercussions of our actions and don’t realize the hurt we cause. There might be good intentions behind it but the delivery is wrong. So it’s best to talk about those issues.
To the people that don’t have children, please think before you speak. It doesn’t mean you don’t have a valid point or that you’re wrong just because you don’t have children. You can put yourself in that mother’s shoes, but they are not your children and you must learn when to back off and allow the mom to figure it out on her own. It’s her journey in motherhood