Eight and a half years ago I began the journey of motherhood. I didn’t know what I was doing (heck, most of the time I still don’t), but my kids are still alive and thriving so I suppose (by the grace of God) we must be doing something right.
Over the years I have been fortunate enough to have friends who were at a similar life stage to me, both ahead of and behind. I learned so much from each of them. I observed the things that I really liked about their parenting styles (and sometimes didn’t like- and that was okay too). Everyone has their own personalities, their own beliefs, insecurities and doubts. So when I was looking for answers, I went to those around me.
I was also privileged enough to speak into other women’s lives, though I can tell you right now, I made mistakes. Either with my wording, my philosophy or my enthusiasm, I made comments or suggestions that weren’t solicited or helpful. There were other times when I should have spoken up, but I didn’t.
For this reason, I had a gal one time who was frustrated that I didn’t tell her how to get through a slump she was in with her child. Another time, I had gal who was frustrated with a suggestion I had made. You can’t win them all.
As I’ve gotten older and grown into my role as a mother and friend, I’ve discovered a few things.
- It’s better to hold your tongue. If someone asks for advice, that’s one thing. But offering unsolicited advice is like shooting a gun in the dark. You can’t see the entire situation. It might hit something, but it could be more painful than helpful.
- If someone does ask for advice, be humble, recognize that not everything works for everyone. Every family is unique to themselves. What works for me is not guaranteed to work for you.
- If you are the one receiving the advice, take what you want to from it, and leave the rest behind. It’s cool. I get it. Sometimes it feels like you have to follow 100% of the way through when you have asked for advice. Be polite, but find what works for you.
It’s okay not to know everything. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to ignore advice from well meaning people. It’s just as okay to take the advice, try it and make it work for you and your family. It’s also okay to figure things out on your own.
Share your heartache, joys and frustrations. It’s okay. If you just need someone to listen, its ok to make that clear. If you want to ask for advice, ask. Do what works for you.
At the end of the day, we are all in this crazy thing called motherhood together.
Sometimes people will rub you the wrong way, say something that makes you bristle and fires you up. That’s okay too. We aren’t all going to be best friends. But there are people out there who care about you and will offer their best if you ask. It’s up to you to decide if you want to take it or not.
One Humbled Momma