You made the mistake of venting to some other mom’s that your baby is not sleeping through the night. You don’t want a solution or a fix, you just want to feel heard for a moment. But then, an avalanche of advice comes rolling your way from the older moms, the seasoned moms, the “been there done that” moms. The moms who once felt the strung-out tired that you’re currently feeling: but that tired is now a distant memory for them.
Stop, please stop
For you, the strung-out tired is raw and real. Politely and almost completely zoned out you listen to the things that worked for that mom and her baby, the things you should and should not be doing for you and your baby and when you try to interject with how you are handling it all; you quickly discover that you are doing it all wrong. You’re a newbie after all, you’re just figuring things out while they tell you that they’ve already figured it out for you: Just do this, this and this and he’ll sleep like an angel and you won’t be tired anymore.
So you try out some of their tried and true tactics but none of them work for you and your baby. He still cries and cries and you are left feeling even worse than you did before their avalanche of unsolicited advice came rolling in. Then you start wondering if something is wrong because these tricks worked for their baby so why are they not working for yours? Is he okay?.is he sick? You are so tired you feel sick too.
Maybe you just wanted someone to listen, someone to empathize with your unwashed, zombie look. Someone to just say, “I get it, you’re doing your best.”
It just doesn’t work for my kid
You made the mistake of mentioning to a group of moms at the playground that your toddler will not eat anything except noodles. In fact, you’ve googled the health benefits of noodles and you’re concerned he may actually turn into a noodle. You contemplate never buying another package of noodles: out of sight out of mind.
Then lunch time rolls around and an avalanche of advice comes rolling in: you see the other Mom’s with their sorted trays of fruits and veggies, healthy this and that and their kids gobble it all up while your kid happily indulges in his dish of noodles. They even have proof to go along with their unsolicited advice, just look at those kids eat!
So on your next outdoor adventure with your toddler you pack his lunch just like those moms did. It’s nearly noon and he’s starving after sliding, climbing and burning so much energy. When you pull his exciting new lunch out our your bag he goes ballistic. Throws it all over the grass and screams the entire car ride home.
The avalanche of advice keeps rolling
Your teenage daughter is talking back again, you have tried everything you can think of. To connect with her and calm her down. On a coffee date with a friend whose kids are grown and gone you make the mistake of mentioning your teens new found attitude.
You don’t really want a solution or a fix, you just want to feel heard for a moment, because since you have had teens in your house you feel like no one cares to listen to what you have to say. But then an avalanche of advice comes rolling your way:
“This worked for my daughter and I…try this three step approach my husband and I used on all our kids. In fact we think everyone should use this method with their teens….Don’t let her disrespect you like that.”
So you return home and you try the steps that worked for your friend and her daughter, but not one single shred of the avalanche of advice you received works for you and your daughter. In fact, it causes an even bigger argument, your daughter hates you now you wish you had left the advice back in that coffee shop where it belonged.
Learning the lesson
Your adult daughter calls you in tears because she has been up all night for months with her first baby. Your mind begins to race with a plethora of advice you could give her but instead you ask her how she is feeling, if you can help her with anything or if she just needs to vent.
After getting her frustrations out you ask if you can come over a few times through the week and snuggle the baby so she can at least catch a nap during the day and maybe start to feel a bit more human. She is so grateful at the thought of an uninterrupted nap she practically hugs you through the phone and tells you that you are the best mom.
A few years later your adult daughter mentions while you are out shopping that her toddler won’t eat anything except noodles. She’s worried about his health and nutrition. Your mind begins to race with a plethora of advice you could give her but instead you ask her how she is feeling, if you can help her with anything or if she just needs to vent.
After getting her frustrations out, you ask if you can come over a few times through the week and pick up your sweet little grandson for lunch to give her a break from the chaos and stress of meal time. She is so grateful at the thought of an uninterrupted meal she drops her shopping bags, hugs you tight and tells you that you are the best mom.
Time passes and your adult daughter mentions over tea that her teenage daughter is talking back again. Your mind begins to race with a plethora of advice you could give her but instead you ask her how she is feeling, if you can help her with anything or if she just needs to vent.
After getting her frustrations out you ask if you can pick up your granddaughter for the weekend and take her shopping and to some of her favorite places. Your daughter says perhaps adult conversation with someone other than mom might be a good thing for her teen. She is so grateful at the thought of a quiet weekend that she pays for the tea and kisses you on the cheek before getting back into her car and whispers in you’re ear that you’re the best mom.
You’re the best mom
To the Mom who is tired of unsolicited advice:
How are you feeling?
You’re the best Mom!