One of the hardest parts of becoming a mom is having to endure lecture upon lecture about what you should do, how you should do it, and when it should be done. Every other mom seems to think that they are allowed to tell you what to do, because it is what they did. While a little helpful advice here and there can do some good, everybody weighing in on how you raise your baby can become stressful for a new mom.
Most moms that offer up ‘advice’ on your new baby usually only have good intentions. They believe that because it worked for their child, it has to work for yours. This is really not true. Every child is completely different, and the same old method will not work for them. What may be a solution for one child, might be the completely wrong thing for your child. Not only does this complicate matters when someone offers up advice, but the knowledge and scientific research we have now far outweighs what our moms, and their moms, had when they were raising us. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) now recommends only introducing solids at 6 months. They recommend this be done slowly, and only when your baby shows signs of being ready. This greatly differs from our parents’ method of feeding us spoonful’s of rice cereal at 3 months old as an alternative to milk.
Breastfeeding, discipline, sleep routines, food, and play are all topics that are lectured on by other moms. And if you aren’t doing it their way, they think you’re doing it wrong. For a first time mom, this can be quite deflating as you start to actually doubt yourself and your decisions. Here are a few ways to handle some unwanted advice from other moms:
Be confident – You are the mom. You know why you have made the choices you have, and you need to be confident in your decision. How you raise your child is completely up to you, don’t let anyone bring down your choices and make you doubt your decisions.
Trust your instincts – Motherly instinct is a great bonus to becoming a mom. Trust your gut feeling. If you feel you are doing the right thing – you probably are! Another thing to remember is to trust your baby. They will let you know if something isn’t right. If they are happy, healthy and growing, keep on doing what you are doing.
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Decline respectfully – While you might be in the middle of a crazy, sleep-deprived spell, remember to always decline respectfully. Someone offering you advice is most probably just trying to help. Try and avoid being rude (as hard as it is sometimes), say no thank you and let them know that you have made up your own mind.
Stand up for yourself – Once again, be confident in your decision. If you have declined the advice and they keep pushing, stand up for yourself. Be forceful that you have made an informed decision and that is the route you will be taking.
Give yourself a break – Don’t be so hard on yourself. If your baby is happy and healthy, you are doing a great job. Don’t let others opinions of how you should be doing things bring you down.
There are many things that happen when you become a new mom. The changes both physically and emotionally can really throw you for a loop. Chuck in some baby blues and sleepless nights and you might feel like you are on an emotional roller-coaster. This can often cause a lot of self-doubts, and mom guilt when others try and tell you what to do. Always trust your instinct and know that you would only make the best decisions for your baby.
Enjoy your time as a mom, cherish each moment and don’t let other people bring you down. Brush it off your shoulder and keep your head high – it is the most rewarding feeling out there!