Unsolicited Advise: Why do we give it?

When I was pregnant with our first child I was surprised just how quick the conversation shifted from me to my belly, in fact most people just jumped to wow your belly is so big or you are a shade darker. I made peace with it and told myself people are just excited and they were expressing this, by giving me advice; from what I should wear, eat and even when I should sleep. I didn’t think it could get worse, then I had the baby 🙆🏾. Being a first time mom you already have enough doubts and  you take whatever advice you get, until the advise starts being contradictory, then you realise what works for one mom won’t necessarily work for another.

From the beginning I decided I was going to exclusively breastfeed my baby for as long as I can. My mom didn’t think it would work since I was already complaining about milk supply, but she encouraged me anyway because she knew how important it was to me. 

Until my grandmother came and convinced her the baby was not sleeping well because he was hungry, and at the time I was trying to get the right supply and my other mom”google” told me the baby had to feed for supply to build up. I remember calling Sweet-One in tears because my breasts were tender, supply was slow and I was feeling the pressure to give the baby a substitute. Being the calm person that he is, he came over and when ma told him the whole story he simply said “it was just one night, let’s give him another chance and see”. Am I glad they listened to him, my milk supply improved and the baby started sleeping better.

Both my mom and gran meant well and they were both doing what was done to them. That is give the baby soft porridge or put rice cereal in their milk, they didn’t mind dealing with constipation and other issues that came with giving a 3 day old baby soft porridge. I do however understand why they did it; one:they are the generation that never asks why(do as you are told), two: you have have never been this exhausted in your whole life and you would do anything to get at least 3 to 4 hours of sleep and lastly if they dared to ask they were simply reminded that have never raised a child before. They called my baby “google baby” but I didn’t mind, if the advice made sense I used it and if it didn’t i simply ignored them.

 We have been blessed with our second child and guess what we are still getting advice but it’s better this time around. It’s easy to think if you have a baby you know all there is to know about babies. Your experience will not be another mom’s experience. My baby boy had silent reflux so I had to make sure I burp him and he stays upright for a few minutes before putting him down, but I was told to get colic medication and host of other things that worked for other people. I didn’t do that , I was covered in milk for the first six months of his life and i was never without a burping cloth . Some nights I even fell asleep with him in my arms because putting him down was just going to wake him up, but we survived the , at the time it felt like it was not going to end and my grandmother was convinced I needed to try out some medication which they used on me and my mother but I wouldn’t have it.

Granted there is some advice that I got and that was useful, but you must be very careful who you take your advice from and also trust your instincts. God has given you all that you need to be a great mom.

The best advice I received since becoming a mother was from my neighbour an old lady called Ray. When she found out we were back from my mother’s place, she brought us a chicken dish and said to me, “I don’t think you should worry about cooking on your first day back “. She noticed I was nervous about not having my mom around and this is what she said “I am not going to tell you what to do and what not to do, your baby is 6 weeks old he is healthy and growing, you are doing a good job and always remember no one knows your baby better than you do”. She did not tell me what she did with her kids but she just gave me the reassurance I needed at the time and I am still grateful Ray came to visit that Saturday 😀 

So this post is not about telling the people who give advice  to stop but to tell the new mom  that it is okay, choose not to take offence. Whether or not you take the advice is still up to you. It is not as bad as they make it out to be…And eating lemon won’t give your baby jaundice lol

And people generally give advise based on their own needs, it is either something they wish someone said to them or what they have heard others say. If I had to give someone advice today based on my experience I would tell them that the long nights come to an end and that you have got this mommy  😉 ”When a child is born so is a mother “unknown

What was the best advise you received when you had your first child?

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Nelia Temba
28th Jun 2019 05:09