Thursday, May 29, 2014

When Others Tell You How To Parent



And we are back with week 4 of the One Year and Beyond Link Up!  The last three weeks have been great! We have covered: Taming The Tantrums, Weaning Your Baby, and Mommy Guilt. If you missed them, make sure you back track and check them out!

This week we are talking about how to deal with unsolicited opinions and advice from...well...everyone! 

From the moment we all saw those fuzzy pink lines blur into existence, it was there: the advice. People telling us moms what we should and shouldn't be eating, what exercises we should be doing, how much sleep we should be getting, and so on! All of a sudden everyone everywhere has an opinion on our lives.

It is overwhelming! 
People generally let you live your life how you want to...until you decide to make a little person. Then  all of a sudden, everyone has an opinion on how you should be caring for your child!
Frustrating, right?

Often the reason advice rubs us the wrong way is because the way we mother is so important to us. It's our job, and more than anything in this world we pray we are doing it right. When in a moment, a comment shatters that illusion of perfection, it does everything but make us want to nod and smile.
 It's like our parenting is on trial and we are ready to defend!

 Not only do we have to have an enormous amount of patience in order to feed, diaper, bath, rock, and love on our kiddos, but we also have to have patience for the stranger who has the nerve to tell us we are doing it all wrong!
I think unsolicited advice is just one of the ways God matures us as parents. Maybe he is preparing us for when our kids are teenagers! Scary thought there.

I will admit, people criticizing my parenting hits a nerve.
A nerve that instantly makes me want to defend myself with every possible excuse for why I'm right and they're wrong.
But I am learning to hold my peace.

Over time I have come to realize that often people are genuinely concerned and think they know best! I try not to let my pride get in the way of actually considering their opinion/advice!

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.


If it is legitimate, their advice may have saved me from some future heartache. And if it is an opinion I di
sagree with, I thank them kindly for their suggestion and move on from there. There's no point in arguing with someone who is confident enough in their opinion to share it! I just need to be informed and confident enough in the decisions I make to not allow someone else's opinion to shake me. That way, I don't take their comments as an attack because I know I'm already doing what I believe is best for my daughter regardless of what they think!

Even though we know first hand how annoying unsolicited opinions are, often we moms can be that person without even realizing it. We subtly hint that we are doing this parenting thing better because we only give our child whole wheat bread and teach them sign language. I quickly learned as a mom that just because another mother isn't doing it the same way I am, it doesn't mean they are a bad mom. God gives moms a special intuition to know what their kids need, not their friend's kids!


We can all encourage each other and offer friendly advice, but let's be careful that we don't come across the same way as that stranger on the street and make our mama friends feel like they are doing it all wrong. And when your old high school friend makes a comment about your toddler still having a pacifier, just smile and go on your merry way, knowing that you are much better equipped to care for your child than your friend is. Lord knows they wouldn't have taken the pacifier away yet either!

What are your thoughts on unsolicited opinions and advice, and how do you handle it? I can't wait to read your posts this week!

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From Here to EternityWords About Waverly
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My Delicious Adventure                  The Life Of Faith
Running From The LawThe Olive Tree
         

May 8:          Taming the Temper Tantrums
May 15:        Weaning from Breastfeeding or From Formula to Cow’s Milk 
May 22:        Dealing with Mommy Guilt
May 29:        When People Share Their Opinions and How to Lovingly Handle it
June 5:         Traveling with your Toddler
June 12:       How to get your toddler to eat their veggies…or their food at all
June 19:       How to make time to blog in the busyness of motherhood
June 26:       Bedtime Battles (nap or bedtime)


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Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

4 comments:

  1. Love this! I totally agree, just smile and nod. Let's keep this kid train a movin :)

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  2. I never thought of it that way... but you're so right! It rubs me wrong because being a mom is the most important thing I can do! And I believe I'm a GOOD mom to Mia, so when someone tries to correct me or tell me their way is the only way... I smile and nod then go home crying, ha!

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