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Who Knows More, You or Mother-in-law?

Well, I use the term mother-in-law a bit loosely here. For the purposes of this blog, it can refer to your own mom, friend or anyone who just seems to think that they may have a better idea about caring for your baby. I suspect almost every mom can relate to this, being given unsolicited advice, often contradicting what you plan to do. Mothers-in-law and moms are probably most guilty, but I am talking off the top of my head here, I have no hard figures.

From the moment you reveal that you are pregnant, but it gets worst once you given birth to your little bundle of joy, you are inundated with advice. The question is, how do you wade through it all and how do you avoid saying? enough is enough.? Maybe the trick is not to take it personally. If the person is a family member, you probably know them well enough to understand that they only have the child?s best interests at heart.

It is important though to hold your ground when you feel you are right or the advice I totally against what you want to do. Compromise when you feel you have to, and of course, your partner should hopefully back you up. I can remember having some minor battles with my mother-in-law, mostly about my son?s diet. Eventually I felt it was best to just let her think she had won, and do my own thing anyway. This won?t get me a seat at the next United Nations summit, but it will keep peace in my household.

In these situations, it is best to not lose sight of one of the most important lessons your mother taught you; be polite. Remember, extended family relationships are good for the baby too. There is no need to let something like this (I won?t say it?s trivial) disturb the harmony your baby needs. Plus, some of the advice received will be useful and does make sense, but learning how to sift through is difficult.

So how do you handle unwanted advice, especially when it comes as a criticism of your parenting skills no matter how it is worded?

7 years 8 months ago
After months of ‘discussing’ with either my mother or mother in law, various bits of advice they are so quick to give (how to get the babies to sleep, what to feed them, what they should be wearing, are they too cold/too hot, nap schedules, calls to their doctor don’t let them do that etc etc et), I finally reached a point where I just not my head in agreement with whoever is giving the unsolicited advice. I smile and nod as if I am in agreement, when ultimately I will end up doing it my way! Passive agressive? Absolutely,… Read more »
7 years 8 months ago
Advice can often be good to receive. But of course many people lack proper communication skills, (send em to therapy for a month) and do not know that giving advice is okay as opposed to forcing their views on someone and telling them they must do it. That’s when it gets irritating. As you stated in your question, sometimes people do criticise regardless of how they say it. I personally have no problem with being assertive and/or stern with people when neccesary. But my wife struggles, so we have worked out that when she looks at me or gives me… Read more »
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