If advice were a flock of seagulls, then a pregnant woman would be a hot chip at the beach.
Nothing attracts advice like a small child, or the potential of one.
I was driven distracted, pregnant with my first baby, with advice. Of course, all of it was well meaning, but none of it was helpful, particularly the unsought type.
And so, I swore I would never ever give a pregnant woman or a fellow mother any kind of advice. I was determined to be that one friend or acquaintance you could count on to just listen and nod. I did not want to add to the problem.
In fact when I was asked, “have you got any advice?” I would answer, “my only advice is don’t listen to any advice.”
I hope I have managed to keep this promise to myself. (And if you know me, and I haven’t, I am eternally sorry.)
But, now that I have finished having babies and as I slowly put the identity of new mother behind me, I find myself ever more silently shouting advice to women in my head while outwardly listening and nodding.
I am desperate to offer my wisdom to every new mother and mother-to-be I meet.
“Don’t listen to the midwives. Dummies are miraculous.”
“Have you thought about calmbirth? It’s really helpful.”
“If you’re after cloth nappies, I can totally recommend a brand.”
“No, you really should swaddle that baby. She’ll sleep much better if you do.”
“DO NOT ROCK THAT BABY TO SLEEP.”
I have become my own worst nightmare.