Don't you just love when you get unwanted advice from everybody telling you exactly how to raise your baby? The thing I love is when someone tells me what MY baby needs. Oh, yes, you're right. I live with my kid 24/7, but you've seen my baby for five seconds, and obviously know all about them. And no, she's not hungry, she's just ready for bed. Doesn't it just drive you CRAZY?
Then, let's say you KNOW you're doing something the RIGHT way. Without a doubt, the way you've chosen to do something is the right way to do it, and you don't need to change it. But you still get told you're doing it wrong? My aunt said to me, "oh, you always demand-feed a baby." I looked at her and said, "While that may work for some, tell any twin mama that and let me know what she says." Demand-feeding twins? No thanks.
Some advice is just a little cray-cray.
That being said, hopefully you're reading this because you actually WANTED some advice, and aren't reading it thinking, "what is this crazy woman trying to tell me about MY baby?!" ;)
So what about all of those people? What are you to do?
When my twins were first born, we lived with my parents while looking for a place to live. My mom would watch the way I took care of my twins; when I fed them, when I put them down for naps, etc, and was always in constant awe of how "put-together" I was with TWO babies. She just let me do my thing, and that was that. Right around the time the girls were 4-months-old, my husband and I took a trip to Hawaii, sans children, with a few friends. We received these airline tickets we could use to go anywhere the airline flew, as long as we did it by the end of the year. So, off we went, leaving our three children with my mom and sister.
I explained exactly how I did what I do with the twins. I wrote out instruction sheets, and tried to make it as easy on her as possible. When I came back, my mom was singing my praises, and explaining to everybody she met that what I do actually works. She went so far to give her own reasons for WHY it works. I was so proud of my mom for sticking to my plans for my kids, even though she didn't have to at all. And I loved that she knew the reasons behind my madness.
Now, this is MY mom; someone I can tell anything to, and someone I can be this OCD and crazy around, and she doesn't really judge me (on the outside at least)! And, most of the time, she thinks I'm pretty dang smart and right.
But total strangers, or even friends, OR even some family members? They probably think you are crazy for whatever schedule you've put your child on. So what do you do with these know-it-alls?
Thank them for the advice, and move on. If this is happening with the same person over and over, tell them that their advice may work for some people, but what you're doing works for YOU and YOUR baby. How do you argue with that?
Also, don't ever feel like you have to explain yourself. If you have some good explanations up front that you want to share, go for it. But, don't ever feel like you HAVE to tell someone your reasons. Most likely, if they are firm in their beliefs on how YOU should raise your child, they aren't going to change their mind. So gauge the situation but don't waste your breath on someone who is just there to tell you what works for them.
And, remember that you are the mom. You honestly know that kid better than anybody else. So trust those mama instincts!
Sometimes advice can be good, and you may even store it in your advice bank for later. Other times, wash it off, and continue being the good mama you know you are!
*Sleep is essential. We need sleep to function, to take care of our children, to keep up on every single task life throws at us, to keep our sanity. Are you getting your eight hours or do you have a baby who is keeping you up? Let’s remedy that! In the “Rested Mamas are Happy Mamas” series of our blog, sleep expert Jackie calms all of your sleep woes. Have a question or problem that needs fixing? Comment on the series, and a blog will be published just for you!*