“No matter how you choose to handle unwanted advice, you might also want to get used to it. If there’s anyone who attracts a crowd of advice-givers faster than a woman with a belly, it’s a woman with a new baby.”
Those words stuck out in my mind as I vigorously read through the pages of “What to Expect When Your Expecting” when I was in my last months of pregnancy.Â It has been almost 10 months since I had my son, Shane, and I have to say…truer words have never been written.Â From the moment my son joyously entered the world I have had the fabulous women in my life “gently” telling me how to handle my new little man.Â Little did I know that the advice that was given was shaping me into the mother that I am becoming (and I will admit that in the beginning I took the advice with the occasional eye roll).
The advice from others in those early weeks and months helped me get through sleepless nights, the issues of co-sleeping (which I did for six months), the ups and downs of breastfeeding (eight months!), and that first fever…just to name a few.
Now that Shane is almost 10 months old, the advice has weaned off a bit and I find myself asking for the input of family members and girlfriends with babies more and more (not to mention the amount of research I find myself doing in my spare time).Â Most recently I spent hours on the computer looking up the symptoms of an ear infection, before finally taking Shane to the pediatrition.Â The doctor probably thinks I’m crazy because it turns out he is just cutting more teeth, and when I asked if there was anything I can do to ease the discomfort she looked at me and said “Try a cold teething ring.”
I am sure I’m not the first overly cautious new mom to enter the doctors office with really no cause for concern, but as I walked through the waiting room to leave with all of the truly sick kids, and Shane smiling and laughing away… I felt ridiculous.Â The lesson that was learned: if there is no fever, it’s probably not that serious.
Mother certainly knows best….but it most often comes with a little help from other mothers before her (and maybe an opinionated pediatrician too).
If you are a new mom struggling with the worries, concerns and mishaps of your first baby…Krystal Giannetto feels your pain (and is ready to share her own trials and tribulations too!) To submit your own questions, comments and suggestions, please contact Krystal at firstname.lastname@example.org.