For the last eight years I’ve received my share of unsolicited and unwanted parenting advice. When I was pregnant with our first child, my amazing friend’s mother Julie warned me, “From the moment you share you are pregnant or you start showing you will receive a lot of advice. Some advice will be good. Some advice will be nonsense. You’ll quickly learned to turn a deaf ear and blind ear. Other unwanted advice you’ll learn to be polite and ignore and maybe even be polite and treat with sarcasm.” Upon this last part she chuckled. Julie’s thoughts on unsolicited advice have stuck with me throughout my parenting years.
My daughter was throwing up last night and this morning. I called housekeeping to get new towels and blankets. After telling the maid who spoke excellent English that C had been sick and throwing up last night and this morning, she gave us new towels and blankets and took away the soiled ones I had bagged up. C was crying on and off during this exchange. Then, the maid steps in and tells me ” She is probably upset because she needs to go outside with friends, she must be bored.” We’ve been out a lot every day exploring and running errands since we arrived here in Japan. Baffled I politely say, “She just puked five minutes ago. She needs to cuddle and take a nap.” To which the maid says, “Just take her outside to play with friends. She won’t cry then.”
To which I say with a bit of sarcasm, “Great idea. We’ll take C’s cookies and water bottle and make sure we share both with her toddler pals at the playground.” The maid smiles and says, “Yes, I bet she’ll feel better then.”
To which I’m thinking, “You’ve got to be kidding!”
Instead, I politely say, “Thanks for the new towels and blankets. Have a great day!”
While I usually follow Julie’s main response, to just turn a blind eye and deaf ear to unsolicited and nonsense parenting advice, today a bit of sarcasm came through in my response. Clearly in the last eight years impromptu, yet polite, sarcasm has become easier for me. I’ll admit there have been times where nonsense and unsolicited advice has made me angry. When unwanted silly advice evokes this type of mama emotion I just avoid the person until I’ve simmered and can deal with the individual with sincere grace and kindness. This is a great topic for another post.
For now I am
at home at the hotel room cuddling and C’s asleep on my chest. We are not going out to play today to share our germs.
In fact, a mom and her toddler son who we recently met in the hotel just stopped by to see if we could play in the playroom for kids downstairs. I thanked her for the invite but declined as I told her about C throwing up last night and this morning. The sweet mom replied, “I’m sorry to hear she’s sick. Can we try Saturday?” To which I replied, “Thank you. Saturday would be wonderful.” Play on Saturday? Exactly!
Note: I have a handful of parents and friends whom I can call on for quality solicited advice. I am greatly thankful for them. They would also suggest staying home and would bring me coffee if they were on this beautiful island with me.
For now I’m enjoying my snuggles with Miss C as she naps on me.
I hope you’re able to react to unwanted and ridiculous parenting advice with a bit of grace and polite sarcasm when needed.
Dear readers, please tell me any funny ways you’ve responded to unsolicited parenting advice?
P.S. I’m certain I’m sitting on some of C’s Cheerios. 🙂 Napping babies are not worth waking for such trivial food crumbles.