Monday, July 6, 2009

Giving Advice by Invitation Only

In the past year or so I've had several friends get pregnant and have babies for the first time. I've noticed a trend when people come across pregnant women: word vomit. You know, the uncontrollable urge to spew out every birthing experience/story and piece of advice about parenting and babies you've ever heard?

I know, I have that urge too. Whenever there is a pregnant woman among a group of women, un-solicited advice is bound to be thrust upon the unsuspecting prego. This sort of situation is a natural occurance, because women love to talk about their own experiences, as they should. However, this can easily become very annoying and overwhelming if you're constantly getting random (and not always correct or helpful) information. Not to mention confusing and misleading. Of course, this is not always the case and you may have some very helpful and welcome advice. But in my opinion, it should be shared by invitation only.

My suggestion is that when you feel the 'word vomit' urge, take a moment to think about what you're about to say. You could be the 9th person to offer her advice that day. Did she ask you for that information? Is it relevant to her (no need to tell horror stories about painful labors when she tells you she wants a birth without medication)? Are you sure that your information is correct? If so, then feel free to share your story, advice, or resource. I will be the first to admit that I am guilty of giving un-solicited advice. That's why I have this great blog so I can write all of my advice in this non-threatening environment and you all can take it or leave it:-) People will seek out your help if they need or want it. I'm not saying "butt out", but I am encouraging everyone to be mindful and aware of what you are offering.

Did this ever happen to you when you were pregnant? Please feel free to share your experience here.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully said. Why do so many of us think that we have it all figured out and that everyone else's experience has to be the same. That is the first thing that parenting should teach you...that you may not have control of everything and you may not be able to predict a thing from that day forward;)