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“You’re only 12 weeks along?! Girl, you gon’ have a BIIIGGGGG baby!!!”
“Did she really just comment on my size and weight?!” I said to my friend. “Who even IS that lady???”
This is one just of the many bits of rude, funny, bizarre and totally unsolicited pregnancy advice or input I received while pregnant. And I’m not alone! Women around the world receive similar comments throughout pregnancy and parenthood.
For the record, my baby was born weighing 6 lbs 4 oz and has always been below the 50th percentile. In case you were wondering. 🙄😏
So how do you handle it when you are the recipient of this all-too-common pregnancy and parenting advice?
Simply smile, say thanks, and move on
This is really the easiest and most non-confrontational way to get through all those awkward comments and unwelcome advice. There’s really no need to add to an already unpleasant situation if it makes you uncomfortable. Just remember, you don’t have to adhere to every piece of advice you get.
Come up with a clever response
Maybe you’re the type that gets a little joy from seeing the look of confusion, shock, or disgust on someone’s face when you reply with a snappy comeback!
-Yep! I’m hoping he’ll be the next football star.
-Don’t you know what causes that?
-Yep. It appears we’re pretty good at it!!
-Was it planned?
-Planned by God!
Just beware, these types of responses may solicit unexpected consequences. 😉
Learn to laugh
Sometimes the best thing you can do when someone says something completely out of line or ridiculous to you is just laugh. Laughing may stop you from punching them square in the face. Plus, laughing is good exercise.
Decide which unsolicited pregnancy advice is actually good and write it down.
In all seriousness, though, some people do actually give good advice. When you hear a nugget of wisdom in the midst of all the nonsense, make sure you write it down as soon as possible. Mom brain is a real thing, and that nugget may come in handy when you’re trying to figure out why your newborn is awake for the 15th time at 2 in the morning even after they’ve been fed and have a clean diaper.
Just don’t dismiss everything you hear. There’s no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater…figuratively speaking, of course.
Not every bit of good advice will be good for you
Even some of the best advice (yes, even the kind that comes from doctors and other experts) won’t work for your particular baby and situation. Of course, you don’t know unless you try. But don’t stress yourself out if all the sleep recommendations, feeding suggestions, and “tricks” you’ve been told don’t work for your child. Take a breath, count to 10 and try something different. There is no one perfect method that works every single time in every situation.
As long as your babes are safe and loved, the rest doesn’t really matter all that much.
There’s not a whole lot you can do about what other people think or how freely they share their unsolicited pregnancy advice. All you can do is learn to take what’s helpful and let the rest go. Us moms have enough to worry about without adding the stress of trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations. Just do what works best for your family and let everything else fall away!
We all are just doing the best we can, after all.