Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The worst parenting advice I ever heard

When you are pregnant, you become a magnate for unsolicited parenting advice. (This is one of those laws of nature like gravity or the inverse velocity equation of children and is unavoidable.)

Some advice is good, like:
  • Take a picture of your baby every day for the first year of his/her life.
  • Create your birthing plan and then remember that it will probably not go the way you want it to.
  • Speak up if you don't feel comfortable with handsy strangers who want to touch your baby bump.
Some advice is bad, like:
  • Get a bag that works as both a diaper bag and a purse. (What? Is Dad never taking baby anywhere by himself? New moms do not have the time to switch purse things around and most Dads don't want to carry anything purse-like.)
  • Make sure to keep baby's room quiet and dark. (Sure. You can do this if you plan on tiptoeing around your house like a burglar for the next five years.) 
And some seems downright unbelievable, like:
  • If you breastfeed, you will eventually feel like you are attached to the baby at all times. (This is completely true. You may also start to make unflattering comparisons between your body and a cow.)
  • The first year of your marriage after you have the baby is the hardest. And often, it's the unhappiest.
It is that last piece of advice that has been studied (and proven), yet again. It's true: Having a baby makes people unhappy. Of course it does. No person should really ever derive joy from the years of no sleep, cleaning up messes, wiping bottoms, sicknesses and frustrations that come from having a child.

But here's the thing: It gets better. And what those articles usually don't point out in their headlines is that parents are more happier overall in the long term.

And that is good advice for all parents-to-be to hear.

What's the best and worst parenting advice you've ever heard? Share with me in the comments.

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