Older Mothers (or mothers of older children)

Isobel - posted on 06/29/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Are they fountains of useful information or bossy b****s?

I know a few times I've tried to give my advice (which usually entails some variation on don't sweat the small stuff) to new moms on COM only to be greeted with YOU DON"T KNOW... but I think I would have liked getting honest flat out advice when I was a new mom.

and for the older moms...how honest are you with new moms/moms to be....do you tell them the honest ugly stuff or just the happy wonderful stuff?

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Laura, I agree that I'm always shocked when new moms don't "allow" family members to see the baby. If the person is not causing physical or mental harm, just relax. There is no one right way to do things.

Last night I met up with two good friends who are both pregnant. We were talking about breast feeding. They were telling me about someone they knew who is breastfeeding a 3 month old every 2 hours around the clock. They asked me if she was doing something wrong and what could they do to ensure they didn't have to feed around the clock like that. (You know, because I'm obviously an expert at breastfeeding since I did it for 11 months...gqtm). I just had to say, there is no right or wrong way and every baby will be completely different. Just use your common sense and adjust to your individual baby. They looked at me as if I had two heads. They'll learn. =)

Krista - posted on 06/29/2010

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One thing to keep in mind as well is the fact that even though a more experienced mom might know babies better, she doesn't know MY baby better. I will sometimes bristle at well-meaning but unsolicited advice from people, mainly because, on a primal level, it threatens me to think that maybe someone else might be more capable at meeting his needs and making him happy.

Hey, nobody ever said motherhood was logical.

Jodi - posted on 06/29/2010

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Seriously though, I do think we can give some really valuable advice, and I just don't get why people will even bother asking for advice if they are only looking for some sort of validation. Not all our advice is going to be applicable to their situation, but I do think we have experiences to share that can be helpful. I would never assume that I know everything, because I don't. I mean, I've learned different things in raising my youngest as compared to my oldest, I think we are all on a continual learning journey, but I do think advice from someone who has had experience can be valuable.

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I am a Young mum and i love to hear other mums advice. I don't care if they are older or younger, Usually if i am asking i need help.
My parents don't do things the way i like them done but hey if they are willing to take my children for me to give me a break and as long as they come back safe and happy then i don't really care. My children usually come back from Nan and Pops filthy and bruised sometimes even a few scratches. My parents live on a farm so its whats expected. I wonder what soem of the mothers on here ( the type your talking about) would think of that?

Jodi - posted on 06/29/2010

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I agree Krista. And most of the time, unsolicited advice should be kept to yourself. On CoM, however, if someone asks the question, and puts their worries out there, they can't then get all huffy when they get advice they don't like :)



I have seen some older mothers giving advice, however, who are pretty much "my way or the highway", and I don't think that attitude is needed. After all, we all parent differently. Sharing experiences can help others with deciding things to try with their own child, but telling everyone else they are doing it wrong because you did it this way and that is what worked, to me, that's just ignorant and bossy. One particular person on CoM comes to mind on that right now (only because I have seen her display exactly this just in the last ocuple of days), and it annoys the CRAP out of me when she does this to people.



Even as older mums and mums of older children, we still have a lot to learn too.



I remember thinking, the day Chrissy turned 18 (just this month), wow, we embark on a NEW journey now, the journey of being the parents of an adult daughter. It is different, and I value the experience of others in understanding that journey too.

Shelley - posted on 06/29/2010

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hi i'm 26 with 2 girls aged 1 and 2 and i have found the advice from older mothers whether they be on com or my own mother so valuable. Their is so much truth in don't sweat the small stuff. As a new mum you stress and feel guilty and desperately want everyone to think your a wonderful mother when in fact you have no idea what your doing.Its when people say don't worry your doing fine that you finally relax and learn babies are all different and special in their own way.
Please keep giving your advice if not for the know it alls for the young mums who are comfortable enough to admit this is hard and i just don't know.

Lucy - posted on 06/29/2010

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I think it is easy to forget the feelings involved in being a first time Mum, and the sudden realisation that you are responsible for a little life can be scary to some. I think some Mums respond to that anxiety by grabbing on to a parenting book or stubbornly deciding that they know best, and refusing to consider uninvited advice. Having said that, if you post a question on COMs, the advice you get can hardly be considered uninvited!

Although my kids are quite young (4 and 2) and I like to think of myself as pretty young too (30 counts as young, right?!) I worked as a nanny, and in various child care settings for years before I had my own. I also come from a very large extended family where there are always new babies being happily passed around, so I think I was an unusually chilled out first time Mum. For the first 2 weeks after my daughter was born, every mid wife or health visitor I saw said "wow, you're very relaxed!" as if it was a problem. I even began to worry that I should be worrying more! But now lots of my friends are having babies, I realise that the anxiety is much more usual and a natural stage to go through.

Overall, I would say to the older Mums, keep on posting that invaluable advice, it will probably register later on even if it is rebuffed at the time!

Isobel - posted on 06/29/2010

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I was just amazed at how many new mothers advice was "my way or the highway....tell other family members they're not "allowed" to see the baby unless they do what you say"

Krista - posted on 06/29/2010

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Ah, that's a tough call, Laura. I remember how uptight and panicky I was when Sam was first born. You're so focused on doing everything "right" -- it can be really stressful.

I think the best thing to say to a nervous new mom is just "it's okay -- you're doing a great job. It won't always be perfect, but as long as your baby is healthy and happy, that's the most important thing."

Isobel - posted on 06/29/2010

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for instance, I was in a conversation earlier with a new mom who was LIVID that her MIL had bathed the baby and let her sleep on the bed with her...the premise was that it was a miracle that the baby had survived the deadly "immersion" in water and likely smothering in bed.

I think that by the time you have your 3rd kid you'd probably let the mailman bathe them and let them sleep in a laundry basket...I exaggerate obviously, but still...what do you think?

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