There’s a little mantra I try to live by: “To each his own.” When I’m about ready to pass judgement on someone’s actions or push unsolicited advice onto another, I try to remember that mantra, breathe deeply, and let it go. After all, at the end of the day, I ultimately only know what’s best for me.
At the same time, only I know what’s ultimately best for me. So these are a few things I’m currently wondering… directed at some well-meaning people who insist on telling me what to do.
If I tell you that I’m a total lightweight and that one drink will prohibit me from driving home(let alone breastfeeding) for at least five hours, why would you insist that I need an alcoholic beverage? I assure you – when I need an alcoholic beverage, I will request one myself. I will not need prodding.
I don’t tell you how to raise your child. I’ve been able to offer, “Here’s what my sister did” and “here’s what I’m doing” stories, but I have nothing more to offer than an attentive ear. With that in mind, why do you insist on telling me that my 3-month old son is teething, should be sleeping through the night, ought to have some rice cereal mixed in with his milk at night so that he’ll grow faster (as if he’s not growing enough), or any of those other things that worked for your child? You know who knows what’s best for my son for as long as Baby C is still unable to speak for himself? His doctor. And you know what? That’s not you.
I don’t like scary movies. If I tell you I don’t want to watch a scary movie, why do you insist that my anxiety is irrational – and that I ought to just “deal with it”? There is only one person with whom I will watch a scary movie, and that is my husband. And since we’re not taking Baby C to the movies just yet, I get to watch said scary movies in the privacy of my own home, where I am free to flee if I choose. Oh, and where it won’t cost me $10 plus the cost of snacks. If I have the option of watching a scary movie or staying at work and, well, working, I would choose to work. Why does this have to be such an issue?
So, generally speaking, why do you insist that your unsolicited advice must be heeded?
It’s not like I asked for it in the first place.