Advice… thank you.. but maybe no thank you?

Those who give out unsolicited advice to new moms are probably well intentioned, but damn, can a momma get a break?

As a new mom, people LOVE, I mean LOVEEEE to give you advice. It’s.. a nice gesture.. because Lord knows that trying to figure out the complexities of a newborn is hard, but sometimes it’s super overwhelming and frustrating. Thank you, Linda, I appreciate you sharing that the brand of diapers we chose was literally your least favorite and we should probably switch to cloth, pampers, or any other brand from the one we’re currently using, and Carol, it makes me feel really great that the formula (gasp, not breastfed?!) that we chose was mentioned on a hippie-dippie website found to have trace amounts of meteorite in it so we should switch IMMEDIATELY. I am literally giving every ounce of myself into keeping this sweet girl alive and well, and while I’m sure the advice comes from a place of love, sometimes it’s just too much. Listen, I actually had someone tell me I was burping my child incorrectly.. so you see, there isn’t much that people hold sacred when it comes to letting new parents find their own way on this exhausting journey.

Today, I took like 10 peoples’ insistent advice that I vacuum while the baby is sleeping. I was embarrassed to look at my own stairs, they’ve actually only been vacuumed once since we moved in… about a year ago.. SO I put sweet girl down to sleep, did a few (quiet) things around the house and said to myself “Amanda, ALL of those people cannot be wrong, just try it, vacuum the stairs, they look like hell.” I fired up the roomba downstairs (my favorite household robot, lovingly named Roomberto) and turned on the vacuum to rid my stairs of literally a year’s worth of yuck. (okay but can we just talk about how much work that is? anyone judging me right now should give it a go and then come back and agree, it’s way too much work). And let me tell you, she woke up immediately. I let her fuss while I finished, and my stairs. look. glorious. BUT I’m currently paying the consequences of waking a sleeping baby.

My point is that being a new mom is seriously hard, and yes, some advice is helpful, but take it where it’s coming from, if you need an hour of baby free time to get some stuff done and don’t want to risk it even though the umpteenth stranger at the grocery store just told you to make sure you vacuum while the baby is sleeping, then don’t! And don’t waste a minute of your life feeling guilty about it, because being a parent isn’t doing AB&C and getting it right. It’s probably true that for those parents out there, they can happily run the vacuum while baby sleeps and everything is A-okay, but for our family that isn’t the case. Every kid is different, every parent is different, and as long as that sweet baby is happy and fed, and you can close your eyes at the end of the day knowing that you loved that baby, then you’re golden in my book. And also, maybe try to refrain from giving too much unsolicited advice to your new mom friends out there, they’re trying just as hard as you, and maybe they just need to hear “wow, you’re really doing a great job, *baby* is gorgeous and you’re an amazing mom.”

Productivity today:

  • Coffee (duh, i’m functioning, so that’s a given)
  • Downstairs got a once over by Roomberto
  • 1 mile walk
  • a SHOWER!
  • my stairs look freaking gorgeous

But instead of enjoying my hour of peace while baby girl gets some much needed sleep, I gambled it on some iffy advice.. and I just put her pacifier back in her mouth for the 12th time while writing this.

I once reached out to a friend feeling awful that we weren’t breastfeeding and she responded in the most gracious way and told me that the most important thing was that our baby was eating.. that’s it. And I have absolute love for this friend and her encouragement in our journey even though it was different from hers.

To the new mommas out there, unless you’re actually not feeding your baby or something, you’re doing amazing. Keep your chin up and take what you need from advice and leave the rest behind.

Author: Trying to Keep it Together

Amanda is new graduate BSN, trying to figure out how to balance life as a new mom, a wife, and a nurse.

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