Hey again. Nope, I’m not dead, I just feel like it. Had a very fun, but very eventful Labor Day weekend and I kinda just wanna sleep for the rest of the week. But, seeing as that’s not really an option…I might as well blog about what’s on my mind right now. And what’s really chapping my hide at the moment is the age-old phenomenon of unsolicited parenting advice.
I know it might seem like I talk about it a lot, but, I don’t talk about it nearly as much as it happens. I mean, shit, if I had a nickel for every piece of unsolicited advice I’ve been given over the past two years, well, I’d retire now and move the family to the tropics. Seriously, we’d be billionaires.
I don’t know why it is, but, when it comes to child-rearing, everyone wants to weigh in with their ever-so-helpful advice. For the record, there have been times when I’ve sought that advice, and, in that case, well, bring it on, sister or brother, or whoever. But, if I’m not asking for your opinion on something, then, seriously, your job as a good human being is to shut the hell up. Especially when my toddler is throwing a fit or crying.
My favorite is: “Wow, she’s a handful!” which is almost always uttered when she is, indeed, being a handful. It’s like looking up into the pouring rain and saying: “Wow, it sure is raining!” No duh! I mean, seriously, if you ain’t helping me put out the fire, then step the fuck aside, because anything else you say or do at that moment is just more fuel for the flames.
And it’s not just tantrums that bring out people’s inner early-childhood-expert. Pick a topic, any topic, and we’ve been given advice on it, sometimes by total strangers. A woman at Von’s once corrected the way I was putting Greta into the shopping cart. Yep, she said I was doing it wrong. And random strangers are one thing, but when advice comes from someone you love and respect, it’s even worse.
I’m not naming names, but, earlier this summer I was almost reduced to tears by the harsh, totally judgmental parenting “advice” that flew out of the mouth of one of my favorite people. It just about killed me, and it was then that I realized that I was totally done listening to other people’s advice about how to raise my kid.
If my daughter is happy and healthy and bright and beautiful then we are obviously doing something right. So, whether you’ve had kids or your own or not — yep, even the childless singletons give free parenting advice these days, which is just insane to me — please, for the love of God, keep your unsolicited parenting advice to yourselves.
Until you’ve walked a mile in my Crocs, you don’t know my pain, baby. So, zip it!