When I moved to New York City with a baby I knew it was going to be tough. I was a first time mom who had absolutely no idea what I was doing. To make things even more exciting, I was thrown into a brand new city nine months into it. My biggest fears were how I was going to get around using public transportation and without a car. I worried if I was going to make new friends and if this place would ever truly feel like home.
There is one thing that I was never worried about when moving here, but was completely blindsided on. To this day I think it’s probably the one and only thing I dislike about this city.Getting unsolicited parenting advice every single day. Yep you read that correctly. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not stopped on the street or in the grocery store or even in a public restroom (apparently my oldest wasn’t washing her hands long enough,) that someone isn’t telling me what I’m doing wrong as a mother and what I could do better.
Just yesterday I was stopped on the street because I didn’t have a blanket over the stroller to cover Avery completely from the sun. I wanted to respond telling her that she isn’t a vampire and believe it or not a little vitamin D is good for her. But I just kept my mouth shut and kept walking.
It used to bother me when people said things. I mean really bother me. When I had my first daughter, I was already insecure on my parenting ability, their advice just made things so much worse. I would go home and cry questioning whether their way was really better.
But the more and more it happened, the less it bothered me and the more angry it made me. I got into an argument with a lady on the bus once because she told me I wasn’t holding onto my daughter tight enough and that she could fall. After letting her know that I was holding her correctly and going back and forth, I finally told her that I was her mother and ultimately know I know what’s best.
Now I’ve gone from being angry to just not caring at all. If someone tells me something regarding my parenting, I just walk away. I’ve learned it’s just not worth my time or effort to respond.
So if you do see me on the street and don’t like the way I’m doing things with my kids, tell your friend about it, but don’t tell me. Because bottom line is, I know how to be a mom, I don’t need you telling me how to do it “better.”
How do you deal with unsolicited parenting advice?
More from Lauren on Baby’s First Year:
Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook and Twitter! Check out more of Lauren’s Babble posts at Being Pregnant and Baby’s First Year.