So forgive me, for I'm going to indulge in a but of smugface for a second. I have seen others play that game and fail. If I had a pound for every time I heard someone say that their precious cargo would never touch sugar/ have a dummy/ watch TV only to visit and find the kid propped up in front of the complete works of Disney, dipping their dummy into a bowl of maple syrup, I'd have about £6 and I would really enjoy the chicken burrito I would buy with it.
Therefore when I fell pregnant I was careful not to make any public declarations, of course I hoped I would make choices that were generally healthy and positive but my main aims were get through it and wear clean knickers. I did make two promises to myself. The first was that I would not expect anyone to care about my child other then myself and my partner; the second was I would not care about the opinions of anyone except myself and my partner. With only two vows, I broke 50% because as much as I try I just can't stop myself from taking on the judgement of others.
I found having a baby like getting up one morning and accepting delivery of a dragon. You pretty much know all about drgaons, I mean you've heard all the stories - yeah, yeah scales; yeah, yeah fire but when you've suddenly got one in your back garden you realise you don't know anything about dragons! Are they nocturnal? Do they eat humans? So if someone, anyone, can offer you something, you bloody well listen.
I started taking to heart everything anyone said about my son, no matter how uninformed they might be. For example I have a friend, I'll call her Anna because that's her name. Anna's very caring but she's also not British so she does that thing of actually telling you what's on her mind rather than smiling wanely and then gossiping about it with their mates. Whenever I see her she offers me support or advice about my son. It's important to note that Anna has not had children. This doesn't diminsh her opinions in any way, in fact I find the child free to be far less subjective, but there are certain areas of life that you can't have full access to unless you've been there, done that and worn the tena lady.
In case Anna's reading and that's the kind of friend she is, she'd read this even though the subject is probably as interesting to her as a blog about tripe recipes, I don't want her to stop offering me advice. Sometimes it's been invaluable - like the time I left the buggy cover on him and it ended up steaming up like a Turkish sauna but sometimes I know it's just not right for me, or at least I should. Currently Roscoe is waking at 5AM. The combination of earlier dawns, recent travel and general excitement about life means he can't or won't lie in. When I was sharing (read whinging about) this with Anna she very logically suggested I put him to bed later. Here's the deal, that won't work. Not only will it not work but it would cut into valuable G&T time. Yet despite this knowledge, I took on her words. I let them rattle around my brain like a moth trapped in a porch and the next night, despite my better judgement, I put him to bed just that bit later; resulting only in less sleep for everyone.
Sadly it's not just Anna, it's the health visitor, it's a woman on the bus, it's my mother. Good gracious, it's my mother. Whilst this certainly isn't my only failing as a mother, it's the one that troubles me the most. I want to teach my son to be true to himself and to do that I really need to lead by example. So for now I have a three step plan for unneccessary advice:
Say Thank you
Sleep on it
Blame only yourself when it all goes wrong.
I'd love to hear what you do with the advice and opinions of others. I'll try not to take it to heart.
This question came from the wonderful Sarah that blogs over at Run, Jump, Scrap and runs the 'Best & Worst' linky that opens every Wednesday.
If you have a question for The Moderate Mum get in touch using the contact form on the left. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram to see what Roscoe and I get up to all day!