I respect other parents when they offer me parenting advice. You’re never too experienced in the field to not accept other opinions. It just remains my choice to either use the advice or lose it..
However, I find it deeply offending and a slap in the face when older parents undermine what I know about parenting.
For example, we went to visit a neighbour at the hospital after she gave birth to her baby. The little one had a a trapped wind which she wasn’t aware of and I gave her some pointers on how to look if there’s a trapped wind. While I was still talking, an older woman started talking over me and giving her own advice, with another lady also chipping in. I stood there like an idiot with my mouth half open in dismay.
Now I know I haven’t been a parent for a very long time, but I am a parent. I have also gone through the stage of newborns and the struggles that accompany that. The advice I offered was legitimate and confirmed by a few websites that I visited when I needed help.
I don’t understand why people don’t take others seriously. Sure, the first woman has three kids. Sure, she has more experience than me, but that’s not to say I don’t know anything on the subject. Just like no parenting style is perfect, no parent is perfect. By acting like you know more than I do doesn’t benefit anyone and makes you look like a tool.
I was a little upset when we left the hospital because it reminded me of another stage I had to go through with rough judgement. I’m the youngest one in my group of friends with a child, and a lot of them said I would be a bad mother because I was having a child at the age of 21. You know, how could I possibly be a good mother if I was still so young?
You know what, these are the “friends” today that tell me when they have kids, they will ask me for advice. And I think to myself, people are quick to judge and they aren’t even close to having children. Kind of like the guy who tried to give me relationship advice but has been single for over seven years and is 31. Irony?
I wish the older generation parents would stop shoving their ideas under everyone’s noses. I mean, my mom for instance, gives me advice . Every second day. Some of it I use, some I don’t. My mom and I have different parenting styles. I don’t entirely agree with hers. Meaning I don’t agree with how in was brought up but that was all she knew then and she is parenting the same style with my brother. I just chose to use a different approach. Heck, there are some things I’ve learned with Monster that I won’t do with Gremlin. It’s always a trial run of errors and mistakes.
That doesn’t make her a bad mom and me a better one. That doesn’t mean her parenting was crap and mine is great. No, we all have our strengths and weaknesses in parenting, but at the end of the day, we’re the best parents we can be to our children and that what matters.
Standing together and supporting each other matters too!