the one about all that advice

There are certain events in life that just bring out the unsolicited advice from people:  graduations, weddings, and of course…expecting a baby.

It seems that everyone wants to share what worked for them and what absolutely didn’t work–whether you want to hear it or not.

When I graduated from high school and college and grad school, I hated people’s advice.  Hated it.  No one in my family was in education, yet they all seemed to think their job-finding skills applied to my career choice area.

Oh and then there is just the career of a teacher.  Do you know how many people start their sentences with “well I hope you never teach….” or “you should for sure do ….. in your classes.”

Sigh.

Then Cort and I got engaged and we got so much unwanted marriage warnings advice that we both just wanted to scream.  And most of it was totally negative.  It was almost as if people didn’t want anyone else to get married.  I heard so many, “oh that will end once you are married…” statements.  And most of those things they claimed would end?  Totally didn’t.  So there.

With my first pregnancy though, I ate up ALL the advice.  I loved it…well, most of it.  I was not sure of myself at ALL in the baby department and I wanted to know about every experience.

I read all the books.   I polled every mother I know.  I subscribed by email to all the “your pregnancy” updates.

And then my birthing and new mom experience was NOTHING like ANYTHING that I had been told about.

Thank goodness I found the blogging world shortly after.

My point is, here I am, pregnant again and I am still getting a boatload of advice I didn’t ask for.  And this time it’s a little offensive.  I mean, this here is not my first rodeo.  I’ve done this being pregnant and having a baby thing.

So because it’s Monday, here are the comments/pieces of advice that make my Top Ten in terms of annoying the crap out of me:

  1. “Don’t find out what the gender of the baby is.”  I respect the crap out of  people who like to be surprised.  I do.  I just don’t like to wait.  I need to prepare.  I need to think of the baby as an actual person and not just a fetus preying on growing inside of me.  It is how I start my bonding process.  So maybe waiting was your big motivation to push or the wonderful surprise at the end of 10 months…but not for me.
  2. “Don’t decide on a name when you find out the gender!” Again, this is part of the bonding process for Cort and me.  We have our boy name and our girl name already and in two weeks when we find out?  We will announce the name too.  We feel like our baby  is officially a person that way.   I think some of it stems back from losing two babies before we knew anything about them.  This is our way of announcing that they are part of our family.
  3. “You’re going to eat that?” Yes.  shut up.
  4. “You know you can totally eat that.” Probably, yes.  But I’m not going to.  It’s what I am comfortable with.
  5. “Go ahead and have a glass of wine…”  no.
  6. …”But don’t EVER drink a diet coke!  Ack!  The poisons!”  whatever (said as I slug down a can of diet coke).
  7. “You should really be exercising more.”  Yup, you are right.  But I have work, a toddler, a husband, cooking, cleaning, and growing a baby to do.  Not much time (or energy) left for exercise.  And no, I don’t want to think about where I can squeeze it in.
  8. “I can’t believe you are considering another C-Section.” Not considering, planning on it.  Maybe I will do a post on this someday.  Maybe not.  But it’s my choice.  And my very adamantly pro-VBAC OB agrees.  As does  my therapist.  So there’s that.
  9. “You’re going to try breastfeeding this time, right?” Nope.  And I really don’t want to talk about it.  Thanks.
  10. “You really need to get Eddie in a big boy bed/ get him in his own room/ take away his pacifier/ get him potty trained/ other random things…” Right now we are doing none of these things.  We are letting Eddie develop at his own pace and not speeding or slowing anything along because of a baby.  And it’s working for our family.

**Updated to add an 11th: “Are you sure it’s safe for you to be on antidepressants while pregnant?” Well since my OB and therapist would like me to NOT be a psycho, yes.

Some day I will share my birthing “plan” with you all.  Some day I will share our choices about infant care.  For now know this:  I got this.  And if I don’t, I’ll ask.

What are some of the most annoying “tips” people gave you when you were pregnant?  Share with me.  It’s Monday, so it’s Ok to gripe.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Don’t you kind of wish you could print out little cards with your list and just hand them out to people as you walk away from their advice?

    When I was pregnant with Abbey, the teacher across the hall from me insisted, every time we were in the hall together (so between every class, every day, from approximately October – February) that I was having a boy. Despite two ultrasounds to the contrary. OMG.

  2. You know, you should really…buy some earplugs…just to tune out all the random advice everyone feels they must say to you. Time to perfect the “smile and nod.” Good luck.

  3. The comments that stick out for me were more things like “You know what keeps causing that, right?” b/c mine are all close together in age or “Are you going to try again for a girl?” after finding out I have all boys… um, yes, all our kids were planned, so we knew what caused that and REALLY? Asking me if I’m going to try for another while I was still pregnant just b/c I didn’t have a girl? Ugh.

    So, I went on a bit of a tangent… but still the crappy things people say to pregnant women.

    • people are ALREADY asking me if we will try again for a girl if this is a boy and we don’t even KNOW the gender yet! That is such an annoying one too! Good call.

      And yes, my cousin has three close in age and is pg with her fourth and people are like, “there are ways to prevent that, you know.” so stupid to say.

      • Seriously? I have one of each and people are like, “Are you done now that you have a boy and a girl.” And I’m like, uh…yeah, but I would have been done if I had two girls too. SIGH.

        • And I get the opposite…I have a boy and a girl, when we tell people that we plan to have a third, they’re like “Why would you do that?!?!?!?! You already have one of each.”

          I guess you can’t win no matter what you do.

  4. You’re having twins, right? No, I’m just this FAT, thanks.

  5. I totally know how you feel about unwanted advice, except mine comes with deployment advice instead of baby advice. Like, keep your self busy when he is deployed…ummm duh I work full time, go to school full time, sing in a choir, do community theater, and volunteer when he is home; what on Earth else do you think I could do? Or that stupid question, do you miss him? or is deployment hard. I sometimes wish I could answer these people with exactly what I feel…

  6. Yeah, I got asked if I was having twins a lot, and it made me so mad. I also got told by my doctor’s receptionist that because I ate Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast I was going to have a huge baby. I did have one person ask if my pregnancy was planned.

    I think for me the most annoying advice has probably been AFTER he was born, everything from rice cereal in the bottle to letting him sleep on his stomach from the get-go to giving him Karo syrup to help him poop. And it just keeps on coming.

    • Oh mah lawd don’t even get me started on the barrage of crap people said to me during the infant months. people are so clueless.

  7. Generally I agree with your list, especially #s 8,9, and 10. There are a ton of things I should be doing for myself or for my older daughter, but I just CAN NOT stack anything else on my plate right now. I’m 38 weeks pregnant, there isn’t anything you can tell me that I’ll decide can’t wait another month until daughter #2 is born and I’m well on my way to recovering from my planned (2nd) c-section.

    Even though this is my second time around, and I’m pretty good about reading reliable sources for parenting and pregnancy information, I try to keep an open mind when people give me advice. It might not seem useful now, but you never know what the situation might be in a few months and you’ll go so-and-so said something about this…

  8. Wow! Your list could be my list, except I’m not pregnant. I especially love not putting Eddie in a big boy bed unless he is ready. My daughter was born on a Monday. That Friday night, my son learned to bounce out of his crib. We had to shop for a crib tent that Saturday cause he definitely wasn’t ready for a big boy bed even then! And my goodness, my son wasn’t potty trained for another 2 years after his sister was born. (Yes, he was 3.5 and I don’t care. He did it in a weekend because he was finally ready.) Good luck staying sane.

  9. i LOVE LOVE lOVE you for this post.

  10. I love your list, but what bugs me is people who go “Oh, I just don’t think I could…” in regards to everything. And they say it in this patronizing “you don’t have to be a martyr” kind of way. It’s mostly one co-worker, like she thinks that being “crunchy” means I’m going to stop shaving my pits and only eat granola and yogurt from now on. And I know she means well and doesn’t mean to sound…judgy? but she does.

    • I get the opposite. People here telling me how easy it would be to do cloth diapers, breastfeeding, baby wearing, making baby food, co-sleeping, blah blah blah. And you are right…they say it very judgy…even if they don’t mean it that way. As if my choices are somehow sub par care for my new baby.

  11. Louise Edington says

    I’m going to give you the only good piece of advise I ever got – whether you want it or niot hehehe. Follow your instincts and ignore all un asked for advise. I hate it when people tell me what I should do in all areas of life. I now follow my gut and ask if I need to.

  12. I love this list! We haven’t told too many people about #2 just yet, but I’m bracing myself for the worst. I have a feeling I’ll hear a lot of “But they’ll be so close together!” (at two and a half years apart) from my side of the family. Um, we planned it that way and TOO LATE NOW!

  13. So, I have no children, but when my sister found out she was having twins when her other daughter was only two, she was asked if she was sure she could handle it. Um as opposed to…?

    • Ha! right? What in the world is she supposed to say to that? “Nope, I can’t. So we are going to give them away.” WHAT???

  14. Oh I had some really good ones just a few weeks ago –

    Are you REALLY planning on continuing doing yoga now that you’re pregnant???

    Yes, because without yoga I am a crazed hell beast on wheels. Add in hormones and I think that it’s in everyone’s best interest if I keep squeezing into the stretchy pants, kay?

  15. You know what’s completely hilarious about your #1? I had the EXACT opposite question when people found out we were keeping DG a surprise! EVERYONE felt the need to say, “Are you sure you don’t want to find out? Do you think that’s a good idea? Don’t you want to plan?” ACK!

    I’m pretty sure that we can’t win no matter which way we go! I had people razz me for every pregnancy/baby decision out there.

    My personal favorite was when my MIL suggested that if we chose to have a c-section (which we did seeing that DG was a complete breech baby) the baby would turn out mentally retarded. Yep. Seriously. Apparently c-sections do that in her world… :-/

  16. Emily @ Tales of Fruit and Cake says

    How do you feel about soft cheese?

    Deli meat?

    Crack?

    Be honest 😉

  17. The pregnancy advice is the worst! It’s almost as if, as soon as you sport a baby bump, you are public property. No advice here 😉 Just commiseration!

  18. I don’t understand the compulsion people have to discuss the SIZE of a pregnant woman and/or how she is carrying.

    Is there an woman out there who wants to hear “OH MY GOD YOU’RE HUGE!” or “Wow – you’re really carrying WIDE”? “Are you sure you’re ONLY six months along?”

    On the opposite side, I had a deficient placenta/umbilical cord with my second. It was an anomaly I had NO control over but as a result, I looked quite small while pregnant and my baby was only a little over four pounds at birth even though she was full term, not preemie.

    People asked if I’d smoked (really?) and made snarky comments suggesting I didn’t eat enough or dieted through my pregnancy. It was awful because I was so scared for my baby and tried SO hard to eat well and do the best I could to make her as healthy as possible under the circumstances.

    I understand that these people didn’t know any better. But it was terrible to have to justify myself and explain my situation. And that really is the whole point. They didn’t know because IT WASN’T THEIR BUSINESS!

    I realize people want to say something, anything, to express their interest and support.
    It’s just too bad that a lot of what comes out is wrong.

    In my opinion, the only thing a person should say to a pregnant lady is this:

    “When would you like me to send over the cleaning service?” 😉

  19. anything following the words. ‘just wait..’

  20. That’s a great list. We’ve been done with babies for a while but you have reminded me of all the annoying things they say. Nowadays my pregnant friends will talk about how they won’t touch this or that food or drink and other such things. I think to myself, gee, I ate bacon everyday for lunch and pretty much anything else I wanted. Worked out just fine.

    You gotta do what is right for you and everyone else should be quiet unless they are asked.

  21. I hate when they comment on how big you are for how far along you are and what they did to slow down the weight gain. Just because I’m pregnant does not mean I will not punch you smooth out.

  22. I hate unwanted advice too… especially that about Diet Coke and what to eat or not eat. I did drink wine in my last trimester. Just FYI. 🙂

    • my doc has said it’s fine too…I just choose not to because it’s hard for me to have just one glass. plus with my antidepressants it’s just not a great idea. but I do drink diet coke, so there’s that 🙂

  23. Not pregnancy advice but none the less, I HATE the “when are you going to have a baby?” question. Answer: “none of your damn business. you’ll hear the announcement when it happens and when we’re ready to share it and not a moment before.”

    • wait…when are you going to have a baby? Ha! Kidding! People ask ME that about YOU. I tell them it’s probably not their business. Stupid people.

    • Before we had DG, we had a zillion people who asked that question. We would tell them that our parents were already grandparents because we had two dogs and two cats. That shut them up right quick! It was awesome! 🙂

  24. My fave this time is the “make sure you keep that baby inside”..like I REALLY want another NICU/Preemie experience? Ummm duh!

  25. Oh I hated advice! I had google if I wanted to know something. Now what I hate is people asking us if we will try again after losing baby #4. Because I am all hell yes and hubs is not so sure. All this baby stuff is sometimes just not anyone’s business!

    And hey – I am with you on finding out sex and choosing names. I can name my little people whenever I want!

    Can’t wait to find out!

  26. The tips about having the first one “ready” – Potty trained, sleep trained, whatever…hated that, and it totally stressed me out. I have a very clear picture in my head…me 9 months pregnant, huge, swollen, crying on the bathroom floor because Ainsley had just pooped in her big girl underpants. All that kept running through my head – you’ll never have time to do this once the baby’s born.

    Advice is so annoying…hope you can ignore it better than I could 🙂

  27. Dude, I’m in such a shitty mood…want me to stab someone? I can make that happen. Bet you never heard that before when you were pregnant.
    Also…may I offer you this piece of advice?
    Shaving your legs is optional when you’re pregnant.
    You are welcome.
    Love me

  28. this is one I have no trouble commenting on, I loved telling people to keep their comments to themselves. They never saw it coming because I am generally a very mild, giving, listening person. Yet, i have waited 4 friggin years, done an IVF, was finally pregnant with twins. I didn’t care what the advice was, we decided earlier on that unlike dating, weddings etc , this WAS OURS.

    We found out, we had names ready(since we were dating) and called those babies Gio and Jaoob moments after that 20 week U/S, I wanted a C-section & scheduled it at my 15 week appt. When I went on bedrest I did nothing but worry and go to drs appts. I refused to talk about breastfeeding….I didn’t want to do it and I still don’t.

    My family really needs to stop telling me to do things with the boys, the more we pushed PTing the more they pushed back, when I decided I no longer cared (or gave a shit) they woke up and voila potty trained…never looked back. The nuk and Jacob….BEST FRIENDS…will not take away from him until HE’S Ready. I know they mean well, but I’m the parent. Right?

    I think you are amazing, truly….and you doing it all your way is the RIGHT way. I’m just glad you’re doing ok. that’s all.

  29. No one gave me a whole lot of advice, because I’d already raised three babies up. And I actually found myself wanting some advice. I knew a lot about loving and caring for and raising babies, but being pregnant and delivering and nursing and all that? Nada.

  30. Such an awesome post!

    I had a really bad delivery (yours will be great!), and I lost 80% of my blood and wound up in the ICU.

    My newborn son ended up in the NICU.

    My husband ran back and forth between these two rooms which were not located near each other.

    (Bad planning on the hospital’s part.)

    My husband once joked while I was pregnant and discussing my birth plan: “My only advice is try not to die.”

    I think I must be really rebellious or something. 😉

  31. I came across this article by Aunt Becky today and #10 immediately made me think of you. I think you should totally say that to people…

    http://thestir.cafemom.com/pregnancy/127251/20_things_i_wish_someone

  32. We lost our second child when he was 7 weeks old due to a congenital heart defect, so we wanted to make sure that this one was healthy baby before we started spreading the word. I had obviously put on different clothing, larger clothing, but once I told them I was pregnant, it seemed to be open to say “My you’re getting big.” “She’s really out there isn’t she?” It’s annoying. Does anyone have a response to that?

    Anyway, I’m surprised at how many people have commented on this health supplement that I drink, whether it was “ok” for me to drink, even though it’s all natural, and full of vitamins. But when I stop for at McD, they (still) comment with “well, you’re pregnant.” So, healthy is bad, and fast food is acceptable? Very strange.

    I have one boy that’s 7, and now I have a girl. I get the consistent commentary of “Oh, now you have a pair!” Last time I checked pairs aren’t seven years apart and I actually wanted all boys, still getting used to the idea of having a girl. I don’t know if we’re done, I don’t know if we’re going to try again, but having one of each is not a reason why we’re going to continue.

    Oh, I can go on and on… including the constant comments that “You look tired” No s**t! I’m seven months pregnant work a full-time job, active in church and have a family at home. I’m f-ing tired. I don’t need your constant reminder externally of how I feel internally. Thanks!

    Great post!

  33. Just thought I’d swing by and say hi. Hope all is well.

    Thankfully, as the dad, people aren’t asking me stupid questions. I would have no problem telling someone it isn’t their business and that they’re being insensitive, though. 😛