It seems the minute your pregnancy starts showing, strangers come out of the woodwork to give you advice you never knew you needed. For the most part, you can take these strangers’ words of advice, nod politely, and promptly forget them. After all, you’ll probably never see them again. But when it’s your family and friends who are offering up their words of wisdom (even if they aren’t so wise), it’s best to develop a strategy for dealing with the advice in a nice way unless you want to spend every future family gathering in uncomfortable silence. Your mother means well when she tells you that she laid her babies on their backs to sleep and they all turned out just fine. She’s just passing on the advice she was given when she was a new mother. However, as research is done and new discoveries are made, advice and attitudes change.
An easy way to deal with unwanted advice is to say, “Oh thanks Mom (Grandma, Aunt Sally) for your advice. I’ll mention it to my doctor at my next appointment.” Then when Mom (Grandma, Aunt Sally) questions why you aren’t taking their advice, you can simply blame it on your doctor and say that he advised against it.
Sometimes, pointing out the latest article on the topic, will help the friend who’s giving you advice see that maybe it’s outdated.
And still other times, you might find that even though the advice is coming from an older relative, it’s still relevant. Some things are tried and true and stand the test of time. So, when Grandma makes her special ginger tea for you and your stomach is settled enough that you finally make it through a whole day without throwing up, you can thank her for sharing her knowledge with you.
The scariest part about this is that you’re bound to turn into your mother and start giving unwanted advice one day. I’m telling you, it happens! We were at a family gathering when my pregnant sister said she was hungry. There were sandwiches on a table, but she refused to eat.
“Why don’t you have a sandwich?” I asked.
She looked at me like I was daft and said, “Because I’m pregnant (duh!).”
“I don’t get it. Have a sandwich.” “I can’t eat lunch meat!”
She said the words “lunch meat” the same way one might say “rat poison” or “arsenic” or “liver.” I stared at her, clueless as to what lunch meat had to do with anything. She explained that pregnant women were not supposed to eat lunch meat. That was a new one to me. I, of course, was totally understanding and supportive as I told her, “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. I ate lunch meat throughout my pregnancies and my kids turned out perfectly normal!” Right on cue, my son Clay passed us, wearing his pants on his arms, his shirt on his legs and walking backward. My sister cast a dubious look between me and my son.
You might as well get used to the unsolicited advice now because if you find all this daunting, just wait. It gets worse once you actually have the baby.
Author and award-winning mommy blogger Dawn Meehan is the creator of the popular and hilarious BecauseISaidSo.com. Laugh your way through your pregnancy with Meehan’s humorous new book: You’ll Lose the Baby Weight (and OTHER LIES about pregnancy and childbirth.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.