Your friends mean well. Your family means well. Your in-laws, your milkman, your friendly acquaintances – they all mean well. But does that give them free reign to ‘expert’ you to death? Oh helllllllls no.
Of course, half the time, they don’t really process why their well-intended statement is received so poorly. Cue this morning, as I walked into my mother-in-law’s house. ‘YOUR CHILD IS CRANKY BECAUSE SHE IS NOT GETTING 11 HOURS OF SLEEP A NIGHT EVERYONE SAYS THAT THEY NEED TO GET ELEVEN HOURS OF SLEEP A NIGHT BLAH BLAH BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH’.
Of course, she didn’t bother taking into account that:
A. Our child still has slightly longer-than-average naps, and
B. She’s getting 10 hours a night, plus
C. I’ve been rolling this damned problem around in my head for over a month because I don’t see an eloquent solution, so
D. More suppressed profanity! Working on it already, ktnx!
Now, I don’t generally let people give me ‘friendly advice’ when it comes to parenting, or anything. It’s not that I don’t appreciate advice…. as long as I’m the one asking for it. As most people are aware, unsolicited advice is kind of dickish and pushy; there are totally places where it’s okay, but lifestyle choices? No, not really. And with parenting, it’s a bloody contentious thing, full of conflicting opinions and a myriad of things that can be used to basically prove any single opinion as not only correct, but as the only way! So when someone starts prating opinions at me out of the blue and with no prior discussion on the subject? Clash!
However, I admit that I’m sliiiightly less cagey-wary when it comes to a discussion. After all, a discussion is a sharing of ideas, of different opinions – it’s a great time to slip in ‘advice’. And for those of us that are wary of being beaten with YOU MUST and YOU HAVE TO, it’s a palatable way to receive it. After all, it’s not like I myself (or anyone I would willingly socialize) is so foolhardy as to have a full-out ‘my way or the highway’ attitude – is simply not healthy, that. A narrow world view might make one feel like they’re on a firmer foundation of understanding and living, but… *shakes head*
Although, I should admit, I probably have such strong opinions about this ’cause I probably give out oodles of unsolicited advice and not realize it, ha ha. <_< I don’t think that I have a problem doing this, and that I’m good at keeping it tucked away until it’s wanted, but I’m sure that I do it as much as anyone else, if less than others. As said – it’s well intentioned and an act of love in most cases, but still… still… still salt in the wound. 🙂
So there – something post-like for you nice people on this pretty Tuesday afternoon, blah blah reflections on my mind… har har.