April 07, 2016

Advice Wipes


I am grateful to have parents and parents-in-law who never dictated/instructed us how to raise our children. They let us learn this all on our own and trust our instincts, and only gave us advice when we asked.

I have long since stopped giving advice to any one in any thing, especially anything about parenting, unless they asked me. These are some of my experiences of a wake-up call:

1) Back some years ago, a mom with a second adopted baby cried out on Facebook that she is having a tough time. Having had a second baby myself, having known how dreadful postpartum depression is, having BEEN THERE and thinking that she doesn't even have to deal with the pains of recovering from birthing or engorgement, I eagerly jumped up and commented it will be okay and it will pass. A mutual friend commented that whoever says that don't really know what they are talking about ... how the heck should they know what they are talking about because they do not know what you are going through. Of course it offended me because I have had PPD, I have had a hard time recovering emotionally and physically, and I felt totally qualified to say IT WILL PASS, it will be okay. But then I realized it was not my place to say such things. It was not what that mom needed to hear from me.

2) In no way bragging, my kids were always good travelers when we used to live in Las Vegas. Our drive to my in-laws usually took 6 hours, and we have survived it without iPads or iPhones in the car (except for me, haha!). One day one of my close friends got a van with those built-in DVD players and she posted on Facebook how happy she was that her kids now can watch movies while they drive. I arrogantly commented, "I'd rather talk to my kids" and she casually responded, "ouch." I felt like slapping my face for hurting her and I immediately apologized.

3) If any of you remember my post some months ago about an "On This Day" post I made when my first child was a toddler, you will recall that I said the AAP suggests no more than 1 hr (or something) of watching tv for toddlers 2 and up and none at all for babies younger than that. I bragged, saying we have survived our days without TV, etc. On my "On This Day" repost, I said I was laughing at my past self (because ever since J was born, that parenting style went outside the window even though I only let C watch nursery things like the alphabet, colors, shapes, etc). I saw that younger version of me as an arrogant, pompous parent, and I was laughing at my her thinking "Oooh, you're in so much trouble."

So, yes, I have stopped (and still trying to stop) giving unsolicited advice to parents on how to raise their kids unless I was asked how I did certain things. The only thing that matters is that they love them and that they are doing the best they can in the best way they know how while dealing with their own weaknesses and shortcomings.

 Elder M. Russell Ballard has said, "There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."  (Daughters of God, Apr. 2008)

1 comment:

  1. Great post and I love the M. Russell Ballard quote!

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