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Unwanted Advice

Photograph by Getty Images

After we broke the news of our pregnancy, everyone’s first word was, “Congratulations!” And then, nearly every person said, “Get ready for the advice!”

Ugh. Yeah. I figured that.

I’ve never been pregnant before, but I’m definitely no stranger to the “advice” everyone feels the need to share with a parent. And, while I’m being honest, I think that being a stepparent makes the advice I’ve received even harder to stomach some days.

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But I was prepared. I knew that people would have their opinions on breastfeeding, on cloth diapering, on vaccines and epidurals. I knew they would want to tell me all about their experiences and their personal stories. I knew this.

What I did not know was how sensitive I would be to their “advice.”

I mention not wanting an epidural? Eighteen people have to tell me that I have no idea what that pain is like and then they say, “Trust me, you’ll be happy to have one.”

I tell someone that I’m thinking about cloth diapering, especially since I work from home, and I have to hear dozens of people telling me that I’m crazy and naïve. “There is absolutely no way you will have time for all of that. You’re going to be so exhausted, you won’t know which way is up. Trust me.”

It makes me feel like they don’t think I can handle it.

I do some research and decide that, unless there is a major health problem with me and/or the baby, I do not want to be induced and what does everyone tell me? “You have no idea what it’s like to be overdue. You’re going to be so ready to pop that you’ll be begging someone to break your water and get the baby out, no matter what it takes.”

I get that people have their opinions and thoughts on childbirth, I do. I understand that some people really did feel the way everyone is telling me I will feel, but I can’t help but get a little miffed every time I receive some “advice.” It makes me feel like they don’t think I can handle it. It makes me feel like they’re trying to cut me down by telling me I have no idea what I’m doing and that I “just don’t know” what I’m in for with this pregnancy.

But so far? I’m doing OK. The debilitating morning sickness everyone told me I would experience? No nausea here. In fact, the more people told me about how miserable I should be feeling these first few weeks, the more nervous I got that something was wrong. And then I had to remember that, despite the, “Trust me, you’ll be so sick, you won’t be able to stand,” declarations, it doesn’t mean it’s true.

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I know I have a long few months ahead of me with more “advice,” but man if I’m not already feeling irritated about all of it. I have a feeling that with my “raging hormones” (TRUST ME), it won’t get any better.

Also, now I’m terrified that if I do decide to have an epidural or I buy a box of disposable diapers? The first thing I’m going to hear is, “I told you so.”

That won’t end well.

When you were pregnant, did you receive a lot of unsolicited advice? Did people tell you that some of your ideas were ridiculous or that you had no idea?

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