When I was pregnant I was given a lot of advice from other parents. Everything from “make sure you do this…” to “make sure you buy…”. If I had followed all the advice I received, I would have one seriously mixed up baby, a lot of unnecessary purchases, and I would probably be miserable.
I’m not saying I didn’t appreciate any of the advice I was given. A few gems have resulted in me being a better mother and having a happier baby. I truly appreciate that when I posed a question and specifically asked for advice many people stepped forward with words of wisdom and stories of what helped them.
A few weeks ago I found myself giving advice to a friend who is expecting her first baby next month and I saw a confused overwhelmed look cross her face – the same one I’m sure crossed mine when I was still the pregnant one receiving the advice. I felt bad and immediately told her I knew how she felt and to just ask if she wanted any advice or had questions I could answer. I felt good about that….until today when I started offering up unsolicited advice again. Whoops.
Parenting is a club of sorts and other parents are rooting for you to succeed. We want you to know you are not alone when your baby cries for hours, the diaper leaks, or you just can’t stand the sleep deprivation. The well being of your children is important to us and if we can offer something that even possibly, might, kind of help then we’re happy to do that.
My cousin gave me a card at my baby shower where she wrote “If there was ONE way to parent there would be ONE book, instead there are thousands”. That about sums it up. So my last piece of advice to new parents is: listen to advice with open ears knowing it comes from a helpful place, take what works for you and your baby, and leave the rest behind.