Unsolicited advice: You’re doing it all wrong

This post has been sitting in my drafts for ages. As Lana approaches her first birthday, I’ll be releasing a few posts about motherhood. At first I thought to do a monthly recap, but I decided let’s wait because I have other posts too. I want to showcase my hobbies and other things on my mind. Then this post quickly grew more into this very stream-of-consciousness post with various topics around motherhood. But now after reviewing, I broke them down and made several smaller posts around motherhood. This post is more focused on receiving unsolicited advice.

Admittedly, I became more cynical, especially in the first few weeks of parenthood. To me, it’s my coping mechanism to deal with the barrage of unsolicited advice. It’s how I tell myself I am doing just fine because I spend the most time with the baby and I am confident I know my baby best. I need to get by through the hard times with humor even if it comes off sarcastic and borderline mean-spirited.

Anyways here’s a few scenarios:

Sleep when the baby sleeps.

“Do I cook when the baby cooks? Do I do the laundry when the baby does laundry?” Honestly I felt the times when Lana was asleep was my most productive times. Note: She is much better. She sleeps for all of the night since 8 weeks old plus naps in between.

No to pacifiers.

This is from my mother-in-law. She was bragging how she never needed pacifiers for her kids — my husband included — and their teeth are perfect. My reply back, “If Khoi never needed a pacifier why was his teeth so f***ed up when I met him?” My husband wore braces for many years. My MIL should not take credit for work the orthodontist did.

Bath the baby between 10 to 11 am…not at the evening.

I assume the weather is really good between 10am to 11am? It’s not too hot, it’s not too cold? This was weird advice. Bathing Lana in the evening was most convenient and the most sustainable for me because I usually bathe in the evenings. I mean does one quit their 9-to-5 job to bathe the baby at 10am or 11am? Anyways the best time to bathe the baby is when you need to bathe the baby. I always tell myself “there are babies living in cold places and hot places. Do the parents there think about a 10am or 11am bath time?” Probably not.

I can’t believe at my age I still preach this like I am a 14 year old girl.

Then there are the scenarios where I am told to buy this, buy that for my kid’s development and safety. It goes on and on and on. I realize people like to actively ignore the good parts — she’s been walking at 10 months and we never bought a walker, she sleeps throughout the night, she knows how to climb down a bed or a couch, she’s expressive, and she’s taking an interest in reading (or looking) at book pages. I’m not trying for a medal in child development, but all I’m saying is that she’s doing just fine and people like to ignore how far she has come.

The other day my coworker asked me what time my kid goes to sleep. I replied, “I’m so embarrassed to share, but she goes to bed around 9 pm.” My coworker gives me a funny look, “why are you embarrassed?” I tell her “Because it’s apparently very late when I should be putting her to sleep at 7 or 8 pm.” Then she peps me up saying “you shouldn’t be embarrassed. You start work late in the day and drop her off at daycare and pick her up late. She takes naps at daycare and naps through the commute so a 9pm bedtime bed is appropriate for her.” My coworker had a great point. If my work day was earlier like 8am or before then a 7pm or 8pm bedtime makes sense. I felt relieved to not be embarrassed about her bed time. It felt so refreshing to hear that I’m not doing something wrong.

Has anyone shared you unsolicited parenting advice? Comment below!

One thought on “Unsolicited advice: You’re doing it all wrong”

  1. It’s been a while since we’ve received advice about parenting, solicited or otherwise, as our children are mostly adults now, but I hear you. Especially because we live in an Asian society, many feel it’s just fine to give all sort of advice. I think the one we struggled with the most was homeschooling our kids. It seemed like we heard no end to it.

    Like

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