There is no easy way to handle unwanted baby advice, especially from a family member whom you simply cannot avoid. Unless I ask for advice on parenting, I do not want your opinions shoved in my face. I cannot tell you how many times someone has given me “the talk” about how to properly parent. Worst case is when they give me a lecture on how I don’t properly parent. Headphones in. Volume up. Ignore the world.
Well, I’m not ignoring my baby of course. It’s all of the unsolicited opinions from people who rub me the wrong way. Sometimes, strangers or former friends/acquaintances would walk up to me and comment on my daughter’s appearance in an ignorant manner as if I didn’t already know. Some days I rather not leave the house than be forced to interact with people. In a future blog post, I will talk about this in more detail.
Recently, I have been avoiding family members on the phone because every time they call, I get some kind of lecture. It has gotten to the point where I have the temptation to hang up on people. Lately, I would check caller display to see who is calling. Then I would debate whether or not I’m going to talk to them, and several times I ended up ignoring the call. Last time when I visited my grandmother, she proceeded to give me unwanted advice, and her negativity made me cry. I was an emotional wreck then and still am now, but that was my breaking point. After that visit, I proceeded to ignore her phone calls and attempted to write her a letter instead.
Thought I would share my letter with you like I did in Weeding Out Toxic Friends. Names I won’t disclose so we’ll just refer to her as grandmother*. I have yet to hear whether she received my letter in the mail. I am curious to know what you think of my actions in the comments section↓. Am I being extreme or were my actions necessary?
I am writing to you because I know that you don’t use email and I am not ready to talk on the phone yet. I’m not sure what my mother has been telling you, but take it from me rather than from her. Lately, I have been in a very confusing and difficult place, thus forcing me to leave social media and “cut” some toxic people out of my life. I had cut the toxic people, so that is one step forward. When people ask me how I am doing, I do not know how to answer that question.
Yes, on the surface I am a new mom and probably a naive one too. However, I am dealing with things that none of my friends or family is dealing with, so I ask that people keep their “thoughtful” opinions to themselves. As a new mom, I know what I am doing and I am getting some of the best guidance from an experienced guy who knows how to handle babies. He has taught me a lot and has made me confident enough to handle tasks on my own. Although you may be trying to give me advice, I do not want anyone’s advice unless I ask for it. Do not take it personally, but any negativity isn’t welcome nor do I want it. If I have questions, I ask my mother since she seems to enjoy keeping tabs on my life and current whereabouts. The stuff that I tell you and others is just a mere glimpse of my life, so any judgments based on these facts are inaccurate and bluntly speaking, seldom true. I do not need guidance, or advice on how to live my life. I also do not need people telling me what I should be doing or could be doing rather than what I am currently doing. As a resolution, I made a promise to myself to live in the present moment and do what I think is the right choice at this present time. It may not be the most logical choice however, but if it feels right to me then I am going to listen to what my heart wants.
I am here if you want to talk to me. There is no need to question our friendship. Truth is, you are my favorite grandmother and I feel closer to you than my own mother when it comes to personal issues. Lately, my mother has been trying to get closer to me because of the distance separating us, but we cannot live together long term. [rest of the letter has been omitted for personal reasons].
Love, Hilary ♥