So what if I'm young, why doesn't my opinion count??

Erica - posted on 05/19/2011 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Hi, I'm 22 and expecting my first child. I'm friends with a lot of moms(most a good 5-7 years older than me) and everytime they ask a question related to children to a group of people and I answer them I always get the "Why are you answering me??" look. I've even had women tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about because I'm too young and not a mother yet. What does my age have to do with anything????? Yeah I don't have the personal experience of raising a child 24/7 just yet, but I do know how I want to raise my children and am set in my beliefs of whats right and wrong just like any other mom.

Example: One of my friends asked a group of moms what they thought was a good bed time for her 4 year old son. Most of them answered that their kids around the same age usually stay up past 10pm. This answer kinda shocked me. I didn't argue with any of them, but politely said, "Well you may want to start putting him to bed earlier, maybe 8:30 to 9pm, so he can get use to waking up earlier, which he will have to do when he starts Kindergarden next August." Everyone just looked at me weird. Some even rolled their eyes. Then the next person went on talking as if I hadn't said anything.

I don't get it!!! That seemed like a reasonable suggestion to me.....

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Nikki - posted on 05/20/2011

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I will admit however that at times no matter how good your suggestions are, the fact that you are not yet a mother is going to impact the reaction you get. Although I completely agree with the suggestion you gave, there are some parenting issues you simply cannot understand until you have experienced being a mother for yourself. I have had non mothers offer me ridiculous advice before, advice that sounds good in theory but in reality when your sleep deprived, have a sick teething child, a screaming monster attached to your leg 24/7 and you haven't showered in days..... well you can't imagine this type of mind frame until you have been there and sometimes theory doesn't work. Although when I am given impractical advice from my non mum friends I would never be rude to them. Sometimes mums do want to vent, discuss and look for advice from people that have been through the same struggles as them. Try not to be too offended, it's nothing personal and before too long when you have your own baby you will probably go through the same thing. (but you will understand what it's like on the other side, so you most likely wont make the pregnant lady feel worthless!) Good luck with your baby!

Heather - posted on 05/23/2011

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I'm not saying they're justified in being rude to you, but they are correct in the point that you don't have experience yet. We all said things pre-kids that changed post-kids, and they know that. That's likely more of what they were thinking, they just expressed it all wrong. I know before I had kids I swore my kids would never watch TV, never eat fast food, go to bed at a decent time, etc etc etc. But then reality hits and things change.
I'm not saying you shouldn't have an opinion/belief, I'm just saying you can't be TOO set in it until you've actually walked the road.

Nikki - posted on 05/20/2011

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It's not your age, it's mums, if you want to be part of a mothers group you need to understand that "some" mothers just want their opinions validated. They don't want to be scrutinised by someone who may have a better idea than them. I agree with you about the bedtime thing, my daughter won't be staying up to 10 until she is in high school!

Stifler's - posted on 05/22/2011

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It's not because you're young, it's because you're not a mum yet. No one knows what it's like to have a child before they actually have one. Your advice was good though, but people who have kids tend to just think "wait until you have a kid".

Vicki - posted on 05/21/2011

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Some mothers are just like that hun but from their point of view the way you replied ""Well you may want to start putting him to bed earlier, maybe 8:30 to 9pm, so he can get use..." might sound like you're telling them what is best for their child.

Maybe an answer such as, ''Well personally at 4 yrs old my child will be in bed by..." sounds better as it sounds less bossy if you get me?

I don't know hun but that's what I would think x

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Mirie - posted on 05/25/2011

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I got that as well in the past. I hate it too!!! We were kids once, so in a way you know what you're talking about.

You can learn through other peoples mistakes, why make your own & live through the same consequences?

Besides I think it's people that doesn't have any common sense that's got that stupid attitude!

Katie - posted on 05/24/2011

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I wholeheartedly agree with Heather! Although I think that 10:00 is too late for a 4 year old to be going to bed, life totally changes once that kid pops out. And then every once in a while you will catch yourself doing something you SWORE you would never do. Today my 17 month old found a chocolate chip that I had dropped on the floor while making cookies this morning. I let him eat it...I swore no eating off the ground and no chocolate...Now I am letting him actually eat chocolate off of the ground. If they were trying to be condescending and rude then they are acting kinda bitchy, but my guess would be that they are getting defensive because no one wants to do the things they swore they wouldn't, let alone have someone who doesn't really know just how draining kids can be sometimes pointing it out to them.

Lisandra - posted on 05/23/2011

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i think you said the right thing.. my boys aged 5 and 3 go to bed at 8:30 every night..i think 8:30 is a pretty fair time.. it gives them time to relax in their beds, and it gives me a little ''Me'' time..or time with my husband thats always nice. you will need that.

Tami - posted on 05/23/2011

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i have 2 kids and they are so different it is like night and day i have always tried since my daughter (who is now almost 5 ) was about 2 or 2 and a half to put her to bed between 8 and 9pm it was always a fight right up until my son was born and we would sometimes repeatedly put her back to bed until past midnight sometimes and that was starting at 8 pm or 9pm and my son has slept through the night and gone to bed at 830pm everynight since he was just under 4 months he is now almost 10 months so people should just not judge give suggestions to maybe help if the people seem to be having a hard time but you dont know how your kids will be they might be the worst little brats to get to bed after the age of 2 or they could be the easiest child to get to bed everychild is different .

Hannah - posted on 05/22/2011

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I have 1 son who is 2 next week, i had him when i was 18.
None of my friends have kids...one of them gives me lots of advice because she learnt it in school, i try and listen and take it in but its not always easy...not because shes even younger than me but because she doesnt have a child, she wants to have kids...but not for another 7 years. yes she has a plan (for everything)
Shes wonderful dont get me wrong, and i hope i never gave her the look you got but sometimes the things that are suggested just dont work for my son.
as for bed time, he still doesnt sleep through the night, so once you have had 2 years without more than 2 weeks of full one sleeps not in a row, then you will 110% understand where im coming from, i hope you little one sleeps well and goes to bed when you think is right but if it doesnt happen dont worry too much
I put jake into bed at 9 every night...it takes me 1 hour every night to get him to sleep. If i try to get him into bed before 9 it takes me longer to get him to sleep!!! I spent 2 full hours trying to get him to go to sleep the other night!
If i try and leave him to cry it out, he gets so worked up that he throws up and wont settle again for ages...he wont go to sleep for anyone but myself and sometimes my mum.
Good luck! I do think if you can get your baby to sleep by 9 you should do it but it doesnt always work, try not to judge them as bad mums for not being able to do it

Jenni - posted on 05/22/2011

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Time to get new friends?
Just kidding! Or maybe... hmmm.
Your example sounds like you were being reasonable enough to me. I have 3 kids and am 29. Their bedtime IS 8pm and I actually *thought* that was the norm for preschoolers? I cringe at the idea of letting a 4 year old stay up until 11pm. But to each their own, I guess.

I can sort of understand in a way... not really taking a future mom seriously. Depends though. So much changes in the first-second year of your child's life. Nothing prepares you for the hands on experience of being a mom. I thought I knew a lot about taking care of a baby while I was pregnant with my first. I did all my research... I'd never co sleep! I'd breastfeed until 2 years old. My child would never have a meltdown in a grocery store!
We sort of have high expectations beforehand. A lot will get thrown out the window. BUT.....
I'd never be rude enough to do the things you describe your friends doing!!!
At worst I'd say: "Oh wait and see. Things may change. They did for me."
But I wouldn't be all condescending about it. That's just plain rude.
Sorry, but your friends sound pretty tactless.

Cassandra - posted on 05/21/2011

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your rite staying up past ten is completely rediculous for a four year old. Im 22 and my daughter is one and a half. I use to get the same thing from people I know and you know I still get that treatment. you werent wrong its just other people like to feel like their way is the best way. which makes me wonder why they ask other peoples opinion if they dont want to hear it. you are validated and have a right to voice your opinion. (that never means that someone is going to listen). I just sit back and watch it bite them in the but, it usually works out that way. just keep ur head up and keep doing it your way.

Ashley - posted on 05/20/2011

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Yeah, I'm with Katrina on that one too.. I mean really, 10pm is my bedtime, haha. I can't imagine keeping my daughter up that late unless there is something pretty damn special going on!

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10pm?! My 9 year olds go to bed at 8:30ish. ;) My 3 year old goes to bed then or earlier (depending on if he napped or not and how long).

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i have had that look many of times i had my 3rd child when i was 23 therefore "just a silly wee lassie that doesnt know anything" if i was u i would make a new circle of friends where your opioions will be taken into count but like everyone else has said 10pm is far to late my kids are 4,6 and 8 and they all goto bed at 7pm ( my son dont always settle but thats a diffrent convo lol) if my oldest is at cheerleading and she will goto bed at 8 children need their sleep so they can function so that they are fresh for the following day

Sara - posted on 05/20/2011

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Out of most of my friends around my age I'm the oldest, I only have one child, but am expecting my second, I have one really great friend, she has 3 kids and is younger than me, and for some reason, she asks me for opinions. I'm lucky to have her as a friend, cause she is the only one that I can really talk to without being looked down at cause I'm a young mother. I do have a lot of older friends, the problem is, they are in their 40's, so they are 20 years my elder, I can only talk to a couple of them about children only because they are open minded, the rest are all the same way you have described. It may change in time, but who knows, maybe it won't. As for the bedtime thing, my son is 2 and he is in his room by 8 and when I check on him between 8:30-9 he is sound asleep by himself. I think your priorities are right for what you want, and I would have respected that bedtime coming from you. I don't know anyone who lets children that young let their kids stay up til 10 or later.

Cheri - posted on 05/20/2011

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I am not sure why people think that as young moms we do not know anything! I do believe that every mom is entitled to their own opinion and about the bed time thing 830 9 is when i put my 4 year old son to bed. I believe that young moms know just as much if not more than older moms with experience because just because we havent been around as long doesn't mean we cant look things up and that we don't notice how other kids in our lives our being raised.

Firebird - posted on 05/20/2011

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You're opinion doesn't count, not because of your age and experience, it seems. It doesn't count because it's different from theirs. And better, judging from the example you gave. When a bunch of moms are putting their 4 year olds to bed at 10pm, it makes them look bad when you suggest an earlier, more age appropriate bedtime. Try not to let it bother you, it's their problem, not yours.

Ashley - posted on 05/20/2011

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Wow... totally rude of them. I mean if you are a group and people are asking questions, they shouldn't just dismiss what you have to say like that just because you are young and haven't experienced it yet. Some stuff is comman sense along with experience. I agree that 10 seems nuts for a 4 year old to be staying up until!
I was in the opposite boat though before I had my daughter. My friends with kids came to me for advice on their babies and kids because I worked at a preschool and I'm a nanny now, so I had a lot of experience taking care of kids, and many at a time, eventhough they aren't mine.
But people are very opinionated and think that just because you are young you don't know what you are talking about, and I had that problem working at the preschool because I was 18 at the time when I started, and had just turned 21 when I took over the infant room. Some of the mothers weren't always the nicest and assumed I didn't know what I was talking about when I would make suggestions. Others were great and valued what I had to say because I had things under control and everyone was taken care of and happy. But you will always have those people who think they are right all the time and no one else's opinion really matters. Good Luck though. Just remember just because you are young, doesn't mean you are clueless, and they will realize that after you have your child hopefully :)

Tara - posted on 05/20/2011

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I should add, the people I, personally, won't listen to, are the ones who don't want kids, but think they should give advice or those who are extremely pushy with their opinions or advice (ex. "I'm right and you're wrong and if you don't like my opinion you must be stupid").

Tara - posted on 05/20/2011

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I'm 28 (will be 29 in less than a month), have a 7 year old daughter, 5 year old son, and expecting another boy in July and I still get that kind of stuff from mom's who are older and think they are wiser (I was 20 when I got married and 21 when our daughter was born). The ones that constantly ask my opinion and such are the ones that are new to parenting and they are willing to listen to suggestions. I've noticed that any mom who is older than me or has been a parent longer, seems to think they know more and think my ideas are dumb.

Honestly, when I've gotten rude comments (my favorite is "things haven't changed when it comes to raising a child" type of comment basically saying my style is completely messed up), I've had to tell people that yes, in fact, things have changed a lot in raising children. Heck, even since my 7 year old was born, things have changed. I have even gone so far as to inform them of what my doctor has said about certain things because I would get so tired of hearing that I didn't know what I was talking about.

As for the bedtime, 10pm is ridiculous! The only time my kids ever went to bed at that time or even 11pm was when they were babies. Even now, they go to bed at 8pm, unless they are crabby, then it's even earlier. Kids need a lot of sleep. I see kids in the stores, at night, well passed a normal bedtime and it drives me nuts. When my husband and I will have date nights, I have seen little kids out with their parents passed 10pm and I just want to smack them..lol. I try not to judge, but when the kids are acting up and the parents can't figure out why, I just want to smack them and say "They need to go to bed, you idiot!". Sorry, that was kind of mean.

Anyway, I know how you feel and, unfortunately, there will always be those parents who think you are too young to know anything...no matter what your age or how many children you've raised. It's better to just brush it off, rather than get upset about it. You raise your children the way you believe they should be raised and be the best mommy you can be and forget all those other people :)

Sarah - posted on 05/20/2011

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I will say that sometimes moms tend to ignore peoples advice on parenting when they haven't experienced it yet... & I tend to think along the lines of "if you dont have kids, you have no idea what its like" but I also wouldn't be rude to a person trying to help. Being a mom is like joining an exclusive club sometimes lol it's silly really but if you meet 2 strangers & you find out one has kids & one doesnt, you tend to feel an instant connection with the mom because ashes been there & knows what it's like to lose sleep, breast feed, deal with temper tantrums, etc.

Kelly - posted on 05/20/2011

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My 18mth old is in bed between 7:30 and 8pm everynight. because if he's not he's feral the next day. I get people telling me i dont know what i'm talking all the time. I also work in customer service and you would be AMAZED at the amount of people who just lack basic common sense. and then look at you stupid because you have it. :)

Brie - posted on 05/19/2011

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ok first off i'm not knocking anyone but i can't get my son to fal asleep before 10 unless i didn't give him a nap and then he is a cranky butt all day... he usually goes to sleep no later than 11 i know its bad but i can't figure out what to do and he is wide awake at 6am no matter what time he goes down... but anyway... i know how you feel with the you're too young thing... i have family (around my age no more than 10 years older) that say those same things first it was oh your not even a mom then it was well your too young and now its well maybe that works for your one child but i have two or three, etc... as a side note here i am the only cousin that has been around babies growing up and handled and took care of them all my life as well as taking care of the children belonging to the ones running their mouthes... but i don't know what i am talking about... god forbid i make them feel stupid... i would say 9/10 times they give that look because they feel stupid for not thinking of it themselves.. but honestly nobody ever got anywhere worrying about what others think... do what you feel is right you are already on the start to being a great mom!! congrats and good luck!

Bonnie - posted on 05/19/2011

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Erica, it sounds like you are in the right frame of mind. If anything, your child will have a good night sleep and be able to comfortably get up for school the next morning. Theirs, not so much. Oh well. Good luck with your baby:-)

Chrystal - posted on 05/19/2011

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It was a reasonable suggestion. They were probably just threatened by your response b/c they know they shouldn't put their kids at the age of 4 to bed at 10pm. You sound like you are going to be a great mom!

Carly - posted on 05/19/2011

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Ahhh, the snobby mommy stare. I'm 30 and I get it too. Apparently some people put out the question (with the answer already in hand) and when you don't give them back what they want to hear, you're the moron. I agree with you on the bedtime. Not just for our son's sake, but ours. We need our adult time, it keeps us sane.

I got into it with many a mom on different subjects like when I was breastfeeding and my son had colic soooo bad and they kept telling me to keep going! keep going! and in my gut, I knew I should just give formula a shot, it couldn't hurt being as he already cried all the time. Finally I did and voila! The colic was gone.

I don't think it's your age, I think you'll find some people will use that as an excuse to feel superior to you. I would say if your friends don't respect your opinion, then it's time for new friends!

Mechelle - posted on 05/19/2011

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Whether you have a child or not, if you are in their group, you are allowed to voice your opinion. Age has nothing to do with it. They are being rude and there is no excuse for that. And...I agree with you. Past 10pm is way to late for a child. My kids are in bed between 8 and 9, unless they are sick.

Medic - posted on 05/19/2011

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Tell them to shove it....my 4.5 year old goes to bed at 7 and my 16 month old at 630. They both sleep through the night and if left to sleep in they would sleep till 9 or 10.

Karen - posted on 05/19/2011

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I agree with you 100% that is crazy. My son is in Kindergarten and has complained to me that some of his friends don't go to bed until 11pm! He has been telling me some kids get mad and get in trouble a lot it's no wander why. There are a few kids who are mean to everyone. Small elem. kids need 9-11 or (12) hours of sleep. Unfortunatly some parents don't know or they have too much trouble getting them to bed earlier. When school roles around they might change. Or maybe school starts later. My kids have to get up at 5:30 if I make them breakfast. But I have been letting them get it at school because they aren't ready to eat at that time. So they get up at 6am to catch a 7:45am bus.

Dara - posted on 05/19/2011

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It was a very reasonable suggestion (in fact, my kids go to bed between 7:30 and 8:00 every night, and they are 19 months and 6 years old). Those moms probably like sleeping in, so they put their kids to bed late in order to get them to sleep later. I understand that it's frustrating, but don't feel devalued just because people discount your opinion. You set your own value - they have no say. If it were me, I'd take their comments and looks with a grain of salt. The fact of the matter is that you will be a mother soon, and it's a good thing that you are planning for motherhood actively. I know it's easier said than done, but try to remember that when others don't accept your opinion or its validity, they are probably just working out the same issue in themselves.

Good luck with baby # 1!

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