10 Obvious Pieces of Unsolicited Parenting Advice

Parenting Advice

You’ll wish you’d thought of it (except you DID)…

1. Don’t let the baby touch that cactus. You know I was thinking that, but she’s so damn persuasive. Thanks to you, concerned citizen, for commenting and strengthening my resolve. (Context: Sitting in a restaurant with a 1 month old Lena asleep in her carrier.)

2. Sleep when the baby sleeps. So my baby sleeps well when riding around in the car. Other suggestions? (Context: Everyone who has ever had a baby will tell you this. Try to excuse them. They don’t want to say it. It’s completely involuntary.)

3. Don’t carry the baby everywhere because they will get spoiled. Hi! This is Lena she’s the human equivalent of a larva, how do you suggest we move her? (Context: Holding my sleeping 2 month old at a baby shower.)

4. Breast milk is literally liquid gold. You’re right! Thank you, kind stranger, that doesn’t sound like an overstatement at all. How could “liquid gold” ever be used to embellish anything? I should definitely feed my baby a molten metallic liquid, because that’s what literally means. But seeing as neither my friend or myself are King Midas our poor children will have to settle for Similac. Which, alas, is comparable to “liquid gold” only in price. (Context: Approached by a stranger while giving support to a non-breastfeeding mama over coffee who was feeling insecure about her inability to produce enough milk for premature twins.)

5. Does the baby have a jacket? In case it gets cold? No, this suitcase of a diaper bag I’m carrying is filled to the brim with only my parenting insecurities and tissue paper. Also you’ll note said jacket-less baby is wearing a sweater and has a blanket covering the lower half of her body. She’s also tucked into carrier better insulated than a Yeti cooler and her father and I practically have to use hot mitts to get her out this thing. But thank you, itinerant person, for inquiring about the safety and wellbeing of my child while also solving the age old mystery of the jacket’s true purpose. We’d been using all the child-sized jackets we’ve been gifted to wash our cars. Speaking of cars, ours has been turned into a mobile nursery in which we keep an always practical baby rain coat – in case it rains, a fleece lined parka – in case it snows, and a full metal jacket in case she has a Vietnam flashback. (Context: A balmy November afternoon in New Braunfels Texas. Or as locals call it the North Pole of the South.)

6. I just let my baby tell me when they were hungry. Great, so you didn’t feed them until they were 18 months old. Smart. A real money saver. (Context: Trying to pacify my 8 month old in Target who suddenly discovered her ability to yodel.)

7. If she’s a girl, she should be wearing a bow. May I shake your hand? I’d like to thank you, authorized gender expert, for simultaneously criticizing my choice of a neutral (NOT PINK) outfit for my daughter, while also questioning her sex because as a new parent I sometimes feel overconfident. (Context: This was told to me after a woman called my daughter handsome multiple times. She was wearing a gray DRESS.)

8. That baby sounds hungry. Hi! I’m Liza. How exactly did you meet my daughter? Do you guys know each other from work? The golf course, maybe? Or perhaps you can interpret all animal sounds without ever previously spending time with said creature. If so, I’d really like to introduce you to my dog. If you could explain what he and the neighbor dog are constantly discussing at 5:30 am I’d be grateful. I think they may just need a mediator and it’s all just a big misunderstanding, but what would I know I’m no expert like yourself. (Context: At a softball game with my teething 6 month old.)

9. When I was a kid our parents locked us out of the house until the sun went down. Splendid, and look how well you turned out! Giving out advice to random new parents in the grocery store. Her father and I were thinking of letting her turn 2 before sending her out to make her own fortune. Fingers crossed she ends up as a parenting expert in a small town H-E-B. (Context: Told to me in a grocery store while my 14 month old sat in our shopping cart quietly.)

10. That baby is either hungry, tired or wet. Oh thank you, Great Sage of Hobby Lobby. I bet you’re right. My guess was the recent economic downturn, but I guess that wouldn’t necessarily be age appropriate for a 5 month old. Please do go on to solve the worlds problems by suggesting every likely possibility. We’re going to wait here and purchase these Easter basket fixins but before we go to sleep tonight we’ll make sure to flip over to the news and see all that you have accomplished in your quest. (Context: A much needed Hobby Lobby trip for mom with a 5 month old Lena.)

Parenting Advice
Obviously, I have things under control.

Note: A version of this post appeared on SCARY MOMMY.

Read more about Liza Dora here. Or here. (<-This one’s funnier.)

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