How to Handle All That Unsolicted Parenting Advice You’re Getting

Best intentions are behind these actions.

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If you’ve ever let an insensitive comment about your pregnancy or your parenting style instantly throw you into a bad mood, you’re definitely not alone. During both of my pregnancies, I’d say that was probably a daily event. Yep; it seems that just about anyone who’s either visibly pregnant or toting a baby around is fair game for loads of unsolicited advice – from friends, relatives, and even total strangers. But no matter who’s doling it out or why, it’s always tough to acknowledge someone’s good intentions while mentally rejecting his or her suggestion in the back of your mind.

So how do you deal? For me, I always try to remember that however frustrating, most of this advice is well-intentioned. Caring people generally want to “regift” their own parenting stories into a nugget of advice as a solution to your current situation (fussy infant, pregnancy heartburn, dream feed… you name it.).

But trust me, I didn’t get here all on my own. My BFF, Whitney, had to teach me to listen to the good and ignore the rest. And since the classic “I am rubber and you are glue, that bounces off me and sticks to you” playground taunts didn’t do the trick, she also gave me several tried-and-true comebacks that I’ve found work for most advice-giving scenarios.

Sure, you can always say, “That’s interesting; maybe I’ll try it out,” there are a few other options that involve even less commitment to their ideas:

“Really? That sounds cool!”

“I’m glad that’s working for you.”

“I’ve never thought about it that way.”

Simply say, “Hey, I’ve got it.”

My oldest baby child just turned ten so I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and soul-searching on my rookie mom experiences. Like many new mothers, I had a very thin skin with regards to criticism and even well-meaning feedback on my parenting skillz. Getting a little more experience under my belt has also gone a long way toward building up my protective (candy coated) outer shell.

Got any fool-proof comebacks of your own? Share them below!

Find our book, Stuff Every Mom Should Know, at Amazon.com. Illustration from the book by Kate Francis.