Who should you listen to – Your Mother, the Paediatrician or the Baby Book

Parenting is not a one man or one woman job! It is a job which needs to be done collectively by a hundred, a thousand people; or so you would think. What else can explain the “phenomenon” of so many people ready to give you or possibly smothering you with parenting advice whether you want it or not?

  • You have the doctor you go to, if you are sensible you have only one and not second and third references that you head to each time your child sneezes!
  • You have the baby book your friends so thoughtfully gave you for your baby shower or the one you picked up as a concerned mother-to-be who believed parenting was something you could learn off a book.
  • You have your mother who can’t stop worrying about you and the grandchild; who refuses to accept that you have grown up now and can manage a child and keep him alive and well (intentionally or accidentally!!)
  • You have your mother-in-law who let’s face it is just jealous that you handle the kid so well (which is with no help from her) or is keen to help but whom you refuse to trust because she is after all your mom “in-law”!
  • And then you have the friends – with baby or no-baby, the relatives – near and distant, the neighbours and even so much so as random people who walk by!!
  • To top it off you have the internet – you can either Google stuff up or I can write like this and use social media extensively to ensure it reaches you.

Overwhelmed?? I know how it feels!

Take a deep breath!! Relax!!

Having all that advice thrown at you does not mean you need to listen to it, let alone follow it. It really isn’t that bad if you have your advisors sorted. So whose advice must you take? Well this may help.

1. Google searches

Google is possibly one of the best things that happened to our generation! But have you heard about the surest way to convince yourself you are dying?? Google your symptoms! Seriously! Do not stress yourself by doing the same with your kid, there is enough stress already. Medical advice does not come off the internet; they have doctors for a reason. Move it and get your kid to a good one. For simpler stuff, like what solids you could give your 6month old – Google may well be the most convenient way to go.

2. Stick to one doctor

Okay so you are going to need a doctor. Children will fall sick and that is part of their growing up. But do yourself a favour and the kid one – stick to one doctor. Do not trot to multiple ones to analyze the very same symptoms unless it is something major. Even doctors will appreciate this.

3. Child handling experiences

Just because I have a kid, I do not become an expert at parenting; though my child would give you an idea of pretty much how good, my parenting style is. That said people who have children or handle children do have a better knowledge of what happens and maybe better equipped to handle queries and give you useful advice.

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4. Books a storehouse of knowledge

There are a lot of parenting books out there (way too many if you ask me!) Check up on reviews and the author before you want to take some advice they wrote down. The one big plus with books (well researched ones at least) they give you varied perspectives and discuss all possibilities. But do remember it is not “writ in stone” so do not over think anything written there.

5. You turned out fine

Sure parenting has undergone a lot of change and the way we bring up our kids is not how we were brought up, but hey we did turn out fine! So listening to suggestions from your mom or mom-in-law or any other elderly figure (you are comfortable with) is not really that bad. But you might want to zone out the superstitions.

6. I care too

Yes the baby is yours, but if I am pitching in to take care of her now I have a right to voice my thoughts and opinions. If people who look after your little one have something to say it is only fair to give them a fair hearing. And yes that does include your maid too. Time spent with the baby does gradually give you a better understanding!

7. Everyone has your best interests at heart

Or so you could keep telling yourself to stop yourself from losing it! I am sure you feel like it initially but seriously you don’t need everyone. Be polite and firm when refusing to accept advice or tips from friends and family. Just nodding your head to everything is going to encourage them to just give some more. Assure them that you will “ask for it, when you need it, if at all you need it!” Have a small but trusted set of people who will be your “go-to” for all to do with parenting!

Still not sure whose advice to take and whose not too? Trust your instincts. Mothers are known to have superb instincts when it comes to their kids.

What if it does not turn out to be the best decision? Well it is okay! There is no right or wrong way to be a parent, we all are learning and living each day as it comes!

And eventually in life (don’t worry really when) we all realise my mommy bestest!!

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