Best Response To Unsolicited Advice? Shut Up!



Too bad you can't say it out loud.

From the day we are born we are bombarded with unsolicited advice. You know, the kind of advice that you never asked for but people are compelled to give you anyway.

Most of it is good and today it is called parenting. By the time we become parents ourselves you'd think we'd outgrown being told how to do stuff, especially if we didn't ask for guidance in the first place. There appears to be a latency period for most of us, between graduating from college and getting married. But then, especially when we get pregnant and have kids the season opens all over again on 'who asked you?' advice.

I will never forget this. Thirteen years ago I was in Wegman's with my five month old daughter. For a mother of an infant, going to the supermarket is the highlight of the week, like going to Disneyland, the Taj Mahal and Vegas all at once. I was enjoying my expedition with the baby swaddled in her baby seat strapped onto the shopping cart. We were strolling down the exotic crackers aisle like it was the Champs Elysees, when a complete stranger sidled up to me and poked a finger at Vanessa. She said, "That baby should not be out in public! She'll get pneumonia!"

It was May.

This is what I couldn't do:

  • Slap her.
  • Tell her to shut up and mind her own bees wax.
  • Say, "Yeah? Well, you're ugly and you smell bad."

What I could do:

  • Graciously (through gritted teeth) thank her for her advice.
  • Assure her that even though she was tiny, this baby was hearty and fine.
  • Get away from her as quickly as possible.
  • After getting away, roll eyes in sockets & mutter hind-sight zingers.
  • Ask God for patience and forgiveness, for the old crone & for me.
  • Let it roll of my back & get back to enjoying the day with my baby.

A lot of new Moms and Dads get this business. The Moms on Momversation had a funny and 'oh so true' take on this topic. Check it out.

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