Apologies. This post is way too obvious but I need reminding. I started it whilst trying to distract myself from the fact that my sister was giving birth – how do people cope when their daughter is giving birth? I was going out of my mind as it was!
I am basically giving myself a good talking to about being all “when I had my first baby…..” with my sis. Which will be HARD – I want my sister to have as easy a time as possible. I found having a baby for the first time SUPER HARD but I need to remember that having an easy time is not built on people bombarding you with what they did, it’s about a confidence in your own choices. Finding your own right way.
Ultimately what works for you might not work for them anyway; sure it’s great to read books, blogs and talk to people but its not great to be told what is best. I know I get a bit bossy in this blog sometimes but I do it in the mind that it’s easy to ignore the ramblings of a woman on the internet should you so choose (especially since my blog has only had one visitor as I write this!). But its SO tough if it’s a friend or relative in your face, your all time most exhausted ever face.
An early memory of unwanted interference for me is my running in and out to the car with a grizzly baby in my baby bjorn – he was basically in need of a nap. Our well meaning (?) neighbour offered to hold him; fine to offer obviously, but fine to follow up (to what was my best polite, friendly thanks but no thanks) with “when I had my baby I let everybody hold her all the time, it was good for her to be with lots of different people”?? A bit of a body blow when you are a few weeks into parenting and don’t know what you’re doing. Challenging do-gooders (I’m joking….a bit)! Just what you need with all those hormones and insecurities.
I could go on but I don’t want to offend or upset people that have probably meant me well when my blog becomes really famous (lollllll) plus I KNOW I have said some really stupid things myself and just not noticed. Basically everyone wants to say something or offer something. Because everyone finds it hard with a new baby and they want to share and help make it better.
So with this in mind I will try and stop ranting…..but….no….must stop…..because these memories aren’t really important or helpful as it is not really about other people; it is about you. So whilst I need to control myself if I don’t want to be that person to other people; I also need to control myself to not let other people be that person to me. Nod, smile, say “thanks for the tip” (and mean it) but go your own way. Maybe you will take the tip when you get chance to think, maybe you won’t. If advice is pressed explain your point if you think it beneficial, discuss if you think it is appropriate and interesting or simply tell them firmly.
And if the boot is on the other foot try and jump into their shoes and ask if they want to know what you did.
Having this confidence and strength to go your own way is tough after bringing a new person into the world. But remember what people do is rarely rooted in their perception of your strengths and weaknesses, it’s about them wanting to help with their experiences and knowledge. With parenting it is often about everyone wanting to believe that what they did or are doing was or is the right thing for their children (and thus believing it’s worth sharing). And we are all exactly the same; it really does take one to know one (even when I think I’m not doing it I probably am!).
So back to my sister’s new baby…..I plan to (hopefully) be forever reigning myself in from interfering as I become that person who has ‘been there before’ in particular for my sister and hopefully future grandchildren. I want to share in their joy, be there for them but keep a bit mum….unless I think it’s a real golden nugget…..or a health and safety thing……or too good not to share…..sorry everyone!