We’ve all met them.
Those super duper helpful people that make you question why you are a pacifist.
An unsolicited adviser can be anyone who is insistent on sticking their nose in where it isn’t wanted or needed; that obnoxious sales assistant who informs you that they recently read that babies who are fed formula, which you are trying to buy, don’t develop so well… breast really is best you know. The opinionated friend who thinks that you really shouldn’t baby carry, it will hurt your back, and you should get a stroller like everyone else, junior won’t always cry when you put him in it. The mother or mother in law who simply knows that you should be spending more time with your children instead of going back to work, she didn’t go back to work, it’s a mother’s job to raise her children not leave them with other people. The list is endless, anyone with an opinion can fall into the trap of being an unsolicited adviser.
These are only a few examples, you might not have those people in your life, but everyone has come across this type of person. More often than not, their “advice” is meant to be helpful and useful, it comes from a place of love, however you, sleep deprived friend, think of it as anything but helpful. This last week I have met the unsolicited adviser a hand full of times and all along the way I have found them to be so frustrating. I won’t name names or point fingers, but the fact is their words hurt and often make you question the way you are doing things as a mother, but what to do? Everything from the fact that Toby isn’t having a full mensa worthy conversation with you yet and how my husband and I should do this and that to improve it, to how we should be sterner with Reuben because he doesn’t listen to anything (which is so hard to believe with him being three and all).
I have tried every tactic in the book to hint at repeat offenders of unsolicited advice too, snapping the phrase, ‘I didn’t ask you for your opinion or advice’, smiling and making a snide remark about the state of their children and so on and so forth… It doesn’t work. I think some people just don’t get it. So I would like you to join me in this. Write a list of all of the people who do this to you on a regular basis (obviously it’s impossible to include the local shop assistant, but that’s life, you will always encounter the odd moron), and then re read your list. Do these people do it because they want to help? Do they do it because it’s their personality? I’m pretty sure you will find most of them do… so you know what, I’ve got my list, and I’m letting it go. Anything they say has magically become solicited advise, I will take back that control and seriously consider any advice I have thrust at me… then dismiss it, because guess what, that is your right as a parent and mother, and that is your choice, suddenly you don’t have to be the offended party, these people are your own private wikipedia – full of crap that you can choose to believe or not.
Enjoy your knew freedom from that unsolicited adviser Mama!