One of the hardest parts about being a mum of a newborn is all the opinions.
I suppose I ask for it, writing so openly and honestly here…
but seriously don’t be a jerk.
A jerk in my books is a person who offers all their opinions and their sure fire fixes to every problem in a persons life without them asking for it.
You know the cliches;
They start when you are pregnant.
You can’t do that…
You can’t do this…
Don’t forget to…
Have you read this…
The tirade of opinions and cliche remarks that are given to pregnant and novice mums is overwhelming.
Whether it be the quick way to loose that baby weight, whether it be the study that proves that baby carriers are unsafe and the list goes on and on.
I have been a jerk at times.
Those days when I give people my opinions about circumstances when they have not been asked for.
Those days that I give my friends advice when they just needed to be listened too.
Those days when I tell unsuspecting strangers how to get their child to sleep, when I know nothing about them, their style of parenting or even their house configuration.
We have all been there. A unsuspecting friend is about to get all oprah’d by our thoughts and opinions when all they need is a little love and encouragement.
So here are my Novice Mum thoughts on…
How to not be a jerk.
- Don’t give your opinions unless they are asked for.
- Celebrate the uniqueness and difference in all of our parenting/ lifestyle choices.
- Don’t judge, you have no idea what is going on underneath that outward expression.
- Be kind.
This week I read a post from a new blog that my friend has started called 30 something and single. 10 things single people don’t want to hear.
Her post shows another season in people’s lives that bring out the inner jerk in us all.
Don’t be that person who says one of these cliches to single friends, often to make yourself feel more comfortable in an awkward moment of conversation when sometimes there are just no answers.
Anais Nin says it perfectly
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
Sometimes our perspective is helpful, it is insightful, it is kind and it is very wanted.
Other times though, in fact in my life most times, unless I specifically ask someone for advice, mentoring or their wisdom, the opinions can actually be hurtful.
I was having a conversation with a new mum the other day who felt so overwhelmed at all the different advice she had been given about breast feeding and she was so confused. I said to her, ‘What does your instinct say? What does your gut say? What do you think?’
Most often I find people know the answers to their questions, they just need time to discover it by processing it through with someone.
I am committing to lessen the cliche quick answers, to increase my listening and point people inward to their inner voice and the answers found inside.
Don’t be that jerk.