I am a new mother, and of course I appreciate “helpful advice” from both my mother and mother-in-law, but at every corner I feel like I am getting a lecture on what to do or even what I am doing wrong. This “advice” is putting a strain on my relationships. Do you have any suggestions what I can do to end the constant advice without damaging the relationship?
Well you’ve heard the saying that “mother knows best,” and now that truism also pertains to YOU! You are new to the club, though, as a first-time mommy, and so the two most influential women in your life are sharing through their experiences in an effort to help you. I remember quite well receiving unsolicited advice about everything from breastfeeding to spankings. In fact, I am still receiving “helpful hints” from my mother-in- law, and I’ve been parenting for almost 20 years! It will not end, because instinctively, we as mothers want to ease the stress of the biggest job on earth. If you feel that these little tidbits are attempts to control you, then I would very nicely say “Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind.” After repeating this response a few times, they will get the hint without your having jeopardized the relationship.
Alisa Murray, aka “Auntie A,” is an a-winning columnist and fine-art photographer.
She holds a BS in Psychology.