Advice is hard. Sometimes you’re asked for it and the person doesn’t take it. Sometimes you need it, but don’t necessarily like the person’s suggestion. It’s all very tricky. You know, it usually begins with:
- You must . . .
- You should . . .
- I'd advise you to . . .
- I think you should . . .
- You could . . .
- You know what you should do…
- If I were you, I’d…
Not to mention, we have concerns when we’re on the giving and receiving end of advice:
· The person giving advice will suggest something that worked for them. That doesn’t mean it will work for you.
· If the advice comes from someone close to you, how do you respond if the recommendation is awful?
· If you ask for advice, you are not obligated to follow it.
- What if your child does something wrong (I mean really embarrassing) and you need advice? How do you ask for help and not have others think badly of your child or you as their parent?
Should I keep going?
Even the great advice columnists, Dear Abby and Ann Landers (who were twin sisters by the way) did not speak for many years. Yet, they gave out advice to strangers on resolving conflicts.
Not to give you any advice, the bottom line is that advice should do three things:
1. Validate your feelings, without making you feel bad
2. Help you see a different perspective
3. Offer a potential solution
Because so many moms are hungry for advice throughout this life-long job, here are my top 10 favorites:
1. It’s ok to ask for help, even if it’s just so you can take a shower.
2. You are going to make (many) mistakes, but your children are rooting for you to be a good parent. Kids are smart that way.
3. Because you work outside the home, it doesn’t mean someone else is raising your kids. You are doing that.
4. You will always love your children, but they will do things to make you not like them at times. It passes.
5. Enjoy the little moments because when they grow up, that’s what you’ll talk about around the holiday table. That is especially true if the moments include making epic parenting fails. #waitingformykidstowritethebookaboutme
6. Don’t compete with other parents or measure your kids against other kids the same age. Even if they’re not talking or walking the same time as their toddler friends, they’ll all end up potty trained when heading to college.
7. Celebrity moms have advantages that you don’t – time for workouts, trainers, chefs and photo shop. Worry less about your body and instead focus on being a healthy, happy person as an example for your kids.
8. Many times, a helping hand is better than dispensing advice. Think of the toddler meltdown on the checkout line in Target. It happens to all of us. Instead of a judgmental glare, offer to watch her cart when she takes her kid outside to cool off a bit.
9. Don’t lose who you are when playing the lifelong role of mom. Being a mom is important, but you are still so many more things!
10.As the great Dr. Spock said, “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”
“It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.” -Erma Bombeck
Tina Nocera, Founder