When you become a mother it seems like everyone wants to tell you how to look after your baby. Your mother is convinced that your baby needs to start eating solids at three months. Or your mother-in-law is driving you crazy talking about the importance of sticking to a strict feeding schedule. Or your sister is co-sleeping with her baby and wants you to try it as well..
And as your baby grows up, the unwanted advice just keeps coming. If your toddler throws a tantrum in the supermarket, aunties pop out from behind shelves to give you “helpful” advice about discipline.
It can feel like criticism when someone suggests a parenting method that is different to what you are doing – even if they mean to be nice.
Mothers, sisters and aunties do not usually mean to make you feel bad. They are just trying to be helpful because they love you and know how overwhelming parenting can be, at times. Try to keep this in mind as you listen to their advice. But listening does not mean you have to do what they say. Take it all in – and then decide what is right for you and your child.
It can be hard to stay calm – especially if you are having a bad day – but it can help to remember that you do not have to defend yourself. You do not have to explain your actions. It is your child and all families are different. You are the child’s mother, and that makes you the expert.
- manage conflict