It usually comes along with a look of “you are so clueless about this baby in your belly” and it’s probably well intended. But… it rarely is received in that way. In talking with tons of moms I think that instead of those goofy shirts that say “baby” and have an arrow pointing to their belly, they might prefer a t-shirt that says “Who Asked You?”
Rude, I know but it’s how you start to feel after months of unsolicited advice. So, you have some choices here – drop kick the next person who goes on about how you’re singlehandedly setting the Earth into a death spiral toward Armageddon by not using cloth diapers OR respond with grace and tact.
Here’s more on the grace and tact approach. I’ll do this post in two parts, this one highlighting the more subtle approaches.
- I think you should at least give them the benefit of the doubt. They may really know the cure for hemorrhoids and that’s good info for any pregnant woman. Since that precious nugget may we waiting to come from their lips I recommend you listen first.
- Next, evaluate whether what they’ve shared has any relevance to you. If not, just say “that’s an interesting perspective that I hadn’t considered” and just walk away. If there are some points that you agree with, just say “I’ve thought some of the same things” and just walk away.
- Determine which fish you’re going to fry (aka pick your battles). So your mother-in-law thinks your infant son looks great in muscle shirts, big deal. You have control over what he wears 95% of the time, so one afternoon as a baby version of the Village People won’t hurt things.
- Just stay away from the subject matter. If your neighbor is a raging fan of co-sleeping and is determine to convert all infidels, just don’t bring it up.
- And finally, be vague. If someone asks if you’re doing baby signs yet (and your child still has their dried up umbilical cord attached) just say, “we’re looking into it” and move along.
See, wasn’t my unsolicited advice on unsolicited advice helpful?
Part 2 – the Assertive Mom” drops here on 1/2/2012 https://www.maternityleavecoach.com/?p=172