Things I feel comfortable giving advice on: sitcoms, iced tea, how to convince your spouse you need take-out.
Things I do not feel comfortable giving advice on: plumbing, lawn care, how to prepare eggs, parenting.
Here’s the thing, I’m a giant screw up who says a lot of terrible things I shouldn’t say, but giving unsolicited parenting advice is such a black sin that I really try to keep my hands off of it. I believe it’s important for the morale of women. It is especially important to avoid if you don’t have children. If only I could go back and scold my former childless self for ever uttering the words, “Well when I have children!”
No. Shame on you.
Admittedly it is part apathy. I don’t care if you homeschool/co-sleep/let your children watch Spongebob.
But mostly it is a matter of ethics and the fear that people who spew parenting advice are the same people who yell at their kids at soccer games.
Of course there are times to give what I call non-advice, times when parents needs a little help or would benefit from hearing about your personal experience. If you are having trouble knowing when this time is, listen for the following words: “I need your advice.”
It’s pretty simple.
As my peers begin and continue to procreate, I notice an influx of advice seekers and advice givers. Every day there is a new plea on Facebook asking HOW DO I GET MY SON TO NAP or an article posted about how we should definitely not/definitely be vaccinating our children.
Here is the truth: we’re all trying to do what’s best for our kids. It’s why I will never be a co-sleeping or breastfeeding or organic milk crusader. Even though I believe in all those things, isn’t it better to be a mom crusader? An advocate for trying our best? A champion for parents keeping their kids alive and happy on a regular basis?
Every single time I’ve asked another mom for parenting advice, the best responses have always been the same: Parenting is hard. Give yourself grace. You’re doing a great job.
We are, after all, in this together.