Monday, May 23, 2011

Dealing With Advice

The instant you announce your pregnancy you will be inundated with advice, most of it unsolicited.  I am guilty, I've done it myself, hell I'm doing it here.  Do yourself a favor - ignore ALL OF IT.  You will drive yourself absolutely insane giving any of that jabber a moment's thought.

It's okay to seek out advice, but even then, take it all with a grain of salt.  Pick and choose what you want out of the information and leave the rest behind - including what you read here.  It is simply impossible to process all of the data being thrown at you and to follow all of those different directions.  Much of what is offered doesn't even begin to apply to your situation or your personality or your belief system.

I remember being stunned by the amount of advice that flew in during my first pregnancy.  Something clicked in me and I almost got angry when people started in on their opinions and stories about pregnancy, delivery and infant care.  Once I released myself from following all of that different advice I suddenly felt lighter.  I would nod and thank people for their input and then plunder forward with a path agreed upon between me, my husband, and my medical team.

Worse yet, the same volume flooded in with my second and third pregnancies.  REALLY?  I think I've got it down now, you can move on.

Please give us a break - we can't help it.  We remember being lost, first-time parents.  It's hard and we made so many mistakes.  We are trying to help you and save you even a little bit of pain.  Ultimately, however, those mistakes are what made us good parents.  When you learned to ride a bicycle you had to wobble and fall, sometimes a lot, before you got a good handle on keeping your balance.  All of the verbal advice in the world cannot make you a good bicyclist - you have to figure it out on your own.

But advice does exist and it's here for your taking.  It's easiest to take it by bits and pieces - focus on your current situation and the next stage of development barreling down on you.  Find one or two sources you feel comfortable with and possibly a friend or family member you trust.  Rely on their information, but even they won't be perfect.  Follow what in your heart feels right. 

OH!  And you!  Even as an inexperienced first-timer you have a pretty strong base of experiences.  Once the mechanics of baby care are established - how to diaper and mix a bottle, you really can do this on your own without anyone else's input. 

Trust yourself.  You're going to be awesome at this.

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