Sunday, March 14, 2010


People like to give advice. I have found, however, that a pregnant belly is a magnet for advice. Al of it unsolicited. There are different forms of advice of course depending on the giver.
The Professional
Of course, in my case, we are talking about the obstetrician, the GP, the midwives, the naturopath,the psychologist and later the paedeatrician. Most of this advice is good advice and, coming from a professional, you are more likely to apply it or atleast give it some serious thought.
The Husband
Also up there with the professional as he knows you well enough to pick when you need a gentle push or a dirty great shove in the right direction. He also knows (hopefully he has learnt) when to keep his trap shut, although, this is not a given.
Close Family
This is where the advice can become messy. Everyone has their own opinion and some are more vocal in expressing it than others. The ones that have done it before (our mothers) can be the main culprits here. This advice may come as a general hint or in some cases may just aswell have been written on a brick and it be thrown at your head. Some will try to shove the advice pill directly down your throat others will just leave it lying on the table so you have the choice. The other problem with Close Family advice is that times are always changing. What my mother/mother in law did many moons ago may be very different to what is done now. That is often a hard pill for them to swallow.
Not So Close Family
I am talking about the Uncles, Aunts, Cousins etc. Well, that advice you can mostly nod and smile at and then promptly forget it. Or you can make up an excuse to leave the coversation altogether.
This depends on the friend in question's background. Have they had children recently? Then you may want to listen. Are they single, never wanting to start a family and obsessed by their 12 cats? Then maybe nod a smile.
Other Expectant Mums
This advice can be brilliant! Two (or more) minds can be better than one right! We are all learning together and yes something may work for one and not another but we are all learning. We are all also getting a tonne of advice from every corner of the planet so we understand what each other is going through. This is the real sisterhood.
Yes, strangers. The lady you pass in the shopping centre who decides to unload her truckful of advice onto you as though she is the garbage truck and you are the tip. And although you may decide to avoid all contact with female strangers in the hopes that they won't talk to you, beware the men! They have also been known to get involved!
Work colleagues and associates are also known to dish out advice but they can often be grouped with the Not So Close Family category.
This advice that you get from all of the above can range from what sort of nappies you should buy to how to live your life after having a child including when you should go back to work. From the number of booties you should buy to how to express milk from your udders! (this was not advice from a professional either!). From which books you should read to how to bring up your child. Granted, some advice is good and can come from any one but most of it is down right rude or none of anyone's business.
I have always hated being told what to do and at 33 years of age I think that it is time that I was able to learn myself. I am actually looking forward to the joys and the challenges of being a Mum. I am enjoying the learning process along the way, but it is my learning process. I don't care if I make a mistake as long as I learn from it (and as long as it doesn't threaten the safety of my child).


JollyRgr said...

What a minefield....I'd rather you than me!!!

Odyssey said...

Advice tends to be worth what you pay for it. That's my -2 cents worth. :-)

Goose said...

You'll be a great Mum (in my humble opinion), and you'll find the way that works for you.

A quick story that may amuse you as an expectant mother: Some colleagues of my were at Starbucks when one was obviously pregnant. One of the staff took exception my pregnant colleague drinking coffee (it was actually a non-caffeinated beverage!!), and told her so. Before she could respond, the staff member turned to my male colleague and asked, "Are you her husband?" (No doubt hoping to lecture him as well.) In a moment of sheer genius, he replied "No, but I am the father of her unborn child!" Enjoy!

mouthfulofpancake said...

Goose: I love it, thank you. Odyssey: too true!! Jolly: yeah thanks! A minefield describes it perfectly! You never know where to step!
BTW, I spoke to my pregnant neighbour earlier and guess what she began whinging about..... I should have directed her to my blog.