Feeling: thankful, not thankful…
So we’ve had another weekend of activity. Playdates and outings galore! To the point that the baby really has just been so excited, he hasn’t been napping.
That has led to extremely cranky baby and very on-the-edge parents – us.
Twitching and spasmic facial features aside, when you have a cranky baby who hasn’t napped the whole day, it’s not really a good idea to keep ploughing through social events unless you absolutely have to.
Don’t get us wrong though. We love hanging around with people and the food is definitely a good thing, seeing as how I’m still breastfeeding and I can literally eat 3 main courses every meal. (I don’t, but I wish I could!) So when there’s an opportunity like a home cooked party buffet and/or pot luck style, we are SO THERE.
However, the company is not as big a draw as we would think.
Because we are young, new parents, it’s inevitable that the older folk would want to lend their wisdom from their parenting days, because HEY! We’re new and probably don’t know what the hell we’re doing.
We probably are, but that really isn’t the point here.
Well, people tend to give advice because they think that they are helping. But let me assure you that while the sentiment is appreciated, it really isn’t the case 100% of the time.
Sometimes advice turns out to be good – like a lovely old aunt who recommended we use licorice root to help soothe teething babies.
It didn’t matter whether the advice was grounded in superstition or whether there is any truth the whole deal. It was how the advice was put across – she made it a point to show me a website and say to take my time to read it. She also offered a situation where one of her own relatives had tried the same method out recently, and neither once did she insist that I had to try it out.
Merely that I should check out the method for myself and decide on my own.
And that in itself is a wonderful parenting tip. Sometimes it’s our job to give our kids the information and let them figure out what to do with it.
Of course not to the point where we would let them stick a fork in an open socket because they don’t believe they can get die from electrical shock or to let them touch a boiling pot because they don’t believe they can get burnt – of course, there’s still a limit and prerogative to ensure your child is protected. But you get my drift.
But as is the case more often than not, people don’t really know how to tactfully give advice in a non-condescending way. Not that we don’t want advice, but because it comes out sounding like a chide, an admonishing, or even what we feared, but didn’t want to hear.
The last weekend was one such weekend where we were expecting a big gathering at the home where extended relatives like to entertain.
I was already expecting people to fawn over the bub and I knew what I was in for when it came to gatherings and “friendly advice” from aunties and uncles, so I steeled myself trying to prepare for the onslaught. I honestly wanted to be friendly because I know that it was just for one evening and whoever approached us was really done in all good intentions.
But for some reason, all the comments were really rubbing me the wrong way!
And like I said, things were made worse because the bub didn’t want to sleep.
And just to stress my point again, I’m pretty sure that any parent who has ever had a child who won’t take his nap, knows EXACTLY what I’m talking about here.
Take this video for example:
Hey, even the kid knows naps are good for you.
But truthfully, naps are like magic cures for all attitude problems your baby has. My bub in particular is the cutest most adorable and happy, chirpy, cheery, sociable baby when he’s had his nap!
And I’d like him to be like that more often in the day too! So we try and keep to a schedule every day – 1.5 hour naps at 11 am, and another 2 hour nap or so at 4 pm. And it’s been working pretty well for us! Happy baby almost all the time!
It’s the weekends that are the problem. Mummy and Papa just can’t help having so many engagements.
It wouldn’t really be a problem if baby could sleep anywhere and anywhere actually. But alas… If we aren’t in the familiarity of the house or room, then there’s just too much to see, too much to absorb and take in. And worse still, instead of eventually getting so tired that he knocks out, what happens is that the baby gets even more excited and alert and after that.. all hell breaks loose. tantrums. Crying. Hitting things, kicking legs.
Kill me now.
The bub was in a carrier strapped to my chest because I was desperately trying to get him to calm down and get settled – something that seemed like an impossible task. Can you say wide eyed and bushy tailed?
You would think that that would ward people off from disturbing you right? A stressed up mum trying to put her child to sleep. Stay clear right?
People were hovering. As if expecting me to take him out and parade him around in his over-stimulated state. Worse still that they were talking at volumes way above what would be acceptable in a calm environment.
One particular aunt kept waving a rattle in front of my son’s face and insisted that “No la! Why don’t you just let him do what he wants! He sure will sleep well later.”
I was like. Hello. Please don’t tell me how to raise my son.
And to add insult to injury, the aunty doesn’t have kids of her own.
BREATH JESSICA, BREATH.
I can’t help but feel defensive when people give me advice about my parenting. I mean. I want to be nice and all smiles and take their comments good-natured-ly, Lord knows that they mean well.
But at the back of my head, all I can think about is how their views clash with mine, their delivery insinuates how I’m not doing a good enough job, and please just back da helllll away from me, thankyouverymuch.
I know for a fact that I’m not good at hiding my emotions, and I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t conceal my displeasure and that feeling of how irked I was, in front of them. But honest to goodness, I swear I wasn’t meaning to offend anybody with my reactions.
I’m sorry I can’t control my emotions 😦
I know where my faults are and as much as I try to reconcile my shortfalls, it’s a tough climb. I know I need more divine power to be more accepting and less judgmental of comments from others for the sake of my bub – goodness knows how he’s going to react to me advising and telling him how to do things if he takes after me….
I really pray that I’m more tolerant to well meaning advice. That I’m able to smile and nod along even when I don’t agree because I don’t want to offend the other person’s feelings.
It takes a real skill to be able to understand, listen, and hold back a flood of arguments that are waiting to burst forth.
But most importantly, please God, don’t let me that nagging aunty or heaven forbid, mother-in-law to my future grand nieces, grand nephews and grand children!
That said, wish me luck. The Christmas season is coming and there’s a lot more parties coming up that I will have to practice my new found resolve!
Trying to be appreciative,