If you are a parent and you have never been given unsolicited advice, you are a rare commodity. Family, friends, neighbors, complete strangers have taken it upon themselves to tell me how to raise my children. I know I am not alone in this situation.
The first time a stranger gave me unsolicited advice, I was floored. My daughters were released from the NICU just before Christmas. We were living in northern Michigan and it is cold, cold cold during that time of year. To keep them warm and to prevent looky-loos from touching my daughters with germ-infested hands, I made the decision to use a product called Bundle Me. It's a cover that goes over infant car seats. It was wonderful. It kept my daughters warm when we had to venture out and I could simply pull the cover over their faces to keep them hidden if people so much as thought about sneezing in our direction. Then it happend. I was sitting at a medical appointment with Cakes, minding my own business. Truly, we only ventured out that winter for appointments, but with four preemies we had plenty of appointments to go to. As I sat waiting for our name to be called, a woman came over, sat down next to me and started lecturing me on the dangers of my Bundle Me. She said she was a NICU nurse and has seen children suffocate in these things. (Oh really? Then why is the product still on the market? Yes, you have to be careful when covering an infant with a blanket, but PUH-LEEZ). I let her blab for awhile. Then I looked at her with an amused expression and asked her if she was a NICU nurse at the local hosptial. No, she replied, a bit confused, she worked in a different state, why? So I proceeded to politely tell her that if she was from northern Michigan she might recognize me (you know, TV anchor and all) and would know that all four of my newborn daughters had just spent a significant amount of time in the NICU. During that time, I explained, I had many lessons on the special care preemies need and had gone through infant First Aid and CPR training as well. I showed her that Cakes was in fact breathing, picked up the infant carrier and moved to a different seat.
I'm sure some would argue that if you think a child is in danger you should speak up. I don't disagree, but to this day I do not appreciate the way that woman handled the situation. Essentially, she spoke to me like I had no idea what I was doing as a parent. Parenthood isn't easy. It's a lot of learning on the fly. There are dozens of proper ways to do the same thing. I don't have my daughters nap any more. It doesn't work for us. But I don't judge parents of other kids who aren't willing to budge on nap time. I let my daughters watch TV, other parents think TV is corrupting our kids. I could go on and on about the things I do that you may do differently.
I'm curious how many other parents have found themselves on the receiving end of awkward, inappropriate, unsolicited advice.
My Twinsane Life Featured Twin Blogger
3 days ago