Advice. We give it without thinking about it…unless it’s a touchy or emotionally charged subject, then every now and again we might stop for at least a moment and think about what advice we might dispense. Then there are some situations where advice is a given even if it isn’t wanted or needed.
Pregnancy for instance. We mothers have a way of using another’s pregnancy as our opportunity to open the door of nostalgia for our own experiences. Reliving each moment, describing emotions, pains, the fun and certainly not so fun part of pregnancy… and yes, for whatever reason, many of us find pregnancy / giving birth to be a subject when it’s okay – even obligatory – to throw caution to the wind and describe all the ‘gross’ things that can happen. Ahem.
As a pregnancy furthers, we change our talk to the first few weeks, the sleepless nights, midnight bottle feedings, the dreaded first BM and more. The advice is overflowing with how to handle a crying baby – let him cry, give him the countdown of your time, answer his every call. With a few around me who are nearing the end of their pregnancies, I’ve found myself in those conversations.
This go around though, I’ve found myself sitting back, laughing at the stories, nodding with acknowledgment and warming in the nostalgia of my own pregnancies. But when eyes turn to me for my appropriate response, my part in the gift giving of advice, I have found myself only willing to give the one piece of advice that has stuck with me.
I wonder if it’s the road we’ve been on, if I unknowingly have a perception that all the other stuff doesn’t matter because of the road we’ve been on has been so different than the norm, or if there are so many factors in the development of any child, any parent-child relationship that I’m left feeling as though all the dished advice has to be tossed aside and a new parent has to find their way?
Am I jaded? Am I realistic? Is it something else? I wonder what types of advice others give, if you give. So please, let me know your one piece of advice or where you stand on this…
Oh, and mine goes something like this: “It will work out. When your daughter’s 18 she probably isn’t going to be using a binkie no matter how you go about that. So, you’ll figure it out and it will be just fine.” … but of course I see the irony in that too.