At least once a week I get it– unsolicited advice from someone without kids about what I need to do with my kids. Usually the advice is trivial but last week I had a friend of mine come to my house and made the comment:
“Girl if I had as many kids as you I’d make sure they all cleaned the house.”
Immediately I could feel myself getting “hot” all over as I thought to myself:
“You don’t have one child! How can you tell me what to do with mine?” Still composed, I told her that until she has kids (let alone more than one kid) then her advice is not wanted. With that we went on about our business until she left later in the evening.
After she left my husband told me I had been a little rude but I didn’t care. What can someone without kids tell me about raising my three kids? Absolutely nothing. I blame this boldness on talk show hosts like Oprah Winfrey ( I love me some “O”) that feel like because they’ve observed kids in different situations that they know what it’s like being a parent. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard discussions on television about the 50 things you shouldn’t do with kids even though many of the “experts” don’t have kids of their own.
Let me give you an example. Just this morning I caught my 2 and 4 year old attempting to open their window in their room. Now under no circumstances could they reach the window to open it but just the thought of them falling out of a second floor window scared me to “death”. So I did what any “good” parent would do– I gave them a firm speech and then I tapped their hands and told them to NEVER touch the window again. Now several of my friends (without kids) are staunchly against the idea of spanking their children–no matter what. So when I told my best friend what I did her response was,
“You shouldn’t of spanked them.”
I calmly asked her would she rather me spank them or them be on the floor sprawled out hurt because they miraculously opened the window and got out. She was silent, so I knew what her answer would be.
My point is until you have kids then you have no idea what’s it like to raise them. Being a parent is a full time job. There are no breaks, no recesses and even on your “off days” you’re still at work.
So when I need advice I speak to someone who is in the “trenches” with me – other parents. When you’re at your “wits end” because your two year old flat out refuses to wear underwear, there’s something calming about talking to a parent who has been through it. Many times they give me ideas that I would never have thought about using.
In the end, before anyone can give me advice about my kids they better have some at home! Now MommyNoire family, do you solicit advice from people without kids?
Words By: Franchesca Lane Warren