How to deal with unsolicited advice in motherhood.
After I gave birth, I found that everyone suddenly becomes interested in how I live my life. Initially, I felt it was nice for people to express their concerns about how I should mother my baby.
But as time goes by, I couldn’t handle the endless and unsolicited stream of advice.
If you are going through something similar, please read on as this I wrote this article for you.
It’s fascinating how being mum can make our decision-making much more complicated.
It doesn’t help that the people in our lives (and random people, occasionally) wants to have a say in the matter. My extended families never fail to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do so I feel your pain.
But the challenge doesn’t stop there.
Everyone blames you for being a human being that you are because you made some terrible mistakes. Everyone expects you to be a perfect being as you are now a mother and that, you should know what to do (your husband included). If you know what to do, don’t you think you need their help in the first place?
As you hit rock-bottom, you don’t get the emotional comforting and a pat on the back like what everyone else gets. Like it or not, this is the environment that we are living in.
But as we get more comfortable in our role as mothers, we will learn how to tune out these noises.
(I recommend you read this book to help you tune into your mother instinct. Note, at no extra cost to you, I will receive a small commission should you make a purchase using the link I provided. Thank you for your support)
For now, I have tools to help you get through so please continue to read on.
Those noises are like your old clothes that you never wear but want to hold on to for emotional reasons. The more hoarding you do, the more untidy and overflowing your closet will become. So here are some questions you can ask yourself to help with the clearing process:
- Is the item still fits you and your situations? ‘Unrealistic expectations diminish our confidence as mother’ (Lyn McPherson). So if something doesn’t fit your situation, try letting go. I learned to let go of my fear of the unknown because constant change is part of being a mother. Holding on to my thirst for control will only make me miserable.
- Will you be happy holding on to it? I realized that being a perfectionist makes me who I am because it is the driving force in my life. As a result, I have learnt to manage the perfectionist in me so that I can utilize it to my advantage. Did you know that starting a blog was the outcome of this process?
- Does it feel right? What’s your gut feeling about this item? Hold on to it if you feel like it is the right thing for you and your baby. My baby is never good at sleeping so sometimes I am tempted to let my baby cry it out loud. But in doing so, I feel so uncomfortable because my instinct is telling me that it is not right for me and my baby. Lyn McPherson was right to say: ‘our instincts guide us, only when we let them’.
If you ever felt in doubt, you can always put the item in your ‘maybe’ basket and re-evaluate it later. But, remember that there’s no right or wrong answer so don’t be afraid to give it a go. The main point of the exercise is to help you find your own identity in motherhood. Finding the mother in you, not being the mother that you or others expect you to be.
To finish, I want to leave you with a quote from a book called ‘Intuitive Mothering’ which I am currently reading:
Rejecting delusions and expectations brings connection to truth and self.