Tuesday, September 18, 2012

on stranger advice

One of the things about being a new mom that I've discovered really bugs me is when strangers offer me unsolicited advice when I'm in public and Elden is crying. Typically, the go-to response when someone I don't know sees me trying to comfort my screaming baby is "he's probably just hungry." I usually just politely respond with a 'maybe' and continue tending to little man. What I really want to say is, "Oh, why thank you person I don't know who happens to know nothing about my child. I just fed him before I came out into public for thirty minutes. But I'm sure you're right because I couldn't possibly know what my baby needs." I also love it when Jon is with me and Elden is crying so Jon takes him outside. There has been more than one occasion where I hear people remark about the "very young baby" that someone dare take out into public. Oh, you're right, we should just stay home, forget about groceries (and our sanity) and just wait it out until he is at an acceptable age to be introduced to the world.

Elden is just a baby who happens to get gas and cry at typically inopportune times. When he is like this, there is literally nothing we can do to make him stop crying. We just have to wait it out until he is able to burp, fart or poop. It's tough. The last thing I really care to hear at these moments is some random guy at Giant Eagle telling me he simply must be hungry because "boys are always hungry."

I TOTALLY welcome the advice of family, friends and even acquaintances, especially those who are parents themselves. Maybe it's because I know they're coming from a genuinely helpful place and not judging me for having a screaming baby in public. Either way, if you ever see someone struggling with a crying baby in public, please don't offer advice. Just tell them they're doing a great job (you know, unless they're screaming profanities at their crying baby... then tell them they suck at life) because odds are, they are. You don't know their story, you don't know if that baby has colic or a medical issue or some other underlying issue that simply can't be fixed with the snap of your fingers. So just stop it.

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In other news, the first day of daycare went okay. I cried more than Elden, as expected. I was also the helicopter parent who called before lunch and was so. tempted. to call again after lunch. He didn't eat much - 1.5 ounces in the morning, 2.5 ounces at noon and 2 at 3. From what I had read online this is to be expected when a breastfed baby is away from his mama all day, but it still troubles me since he normally eats 3-4 ounces in a sitting. He also cried a bit and had a hard time sleeping--again, not a surprise. As soon as Jon had him in his carseat he fell asleep. Breaks my heart to picture him alone (or at least away from familiar faces) in an unfamiliar environment. The first day of work was also okay. Spare the 38 new voicemails (and thankfully <100 inbox messages as I had kept up on emails while I was on leave) and insanity of new projects, it was an uneventful day that went by pretty quickly.

2 comments:

  1. I love you. You and Jon are teriffic parents and are doing a great job with Elden.

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  2. Girlfran I COMPLETELY understand about the unnecessary and unwelcome comments and suggestions from complete strangers. You put it perfectly when you said "What I really want to say is, "Oh, why thank you person I don't know who happens to know nothing about my child. I just fed him before I came out into public for thirty minutes. But I'm sure you're right because I couldn't possibly know what my baby needs."

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