Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Well Meaning Advice?

What do you do with well meaning advice? So innocently spoke, but like a knife to the heart? I got some a while ago, and it still bothers me. The lady who said it was well meaning and trying to be somewhat empathic I think; I know she would never say anything to intentionally hurt me. The thing is, we also don't know each other THAT well, so it's not like I could really go back and tell her how it made me feel. Plus she probably forgot she even said it to me. Situation: church was over and I had just picked up TJ from nursury and trying to coral him out to get his jacket on and go. He didn't want to listen to me that day and just wanted to run around, while I was carrying his sister, trying to convince him it was time to go. On the way through the hall, the lady mentioned pointedly, "Why doesn't your husband help you more?" Ouch!!

Hurt and anger and frustration all flew into my mind... I mumbled a yeah and continued on my quest to capture my son. Yes it would be wonderful if my husband could help me more, but the reality is that his job is demanding and when he works, he works, 24/7 (well not literally 24 hours a day, but long days for sure). Especially now, when things are slowing down in his industry, he needs to work whenever he is called!! How many times I have wished that we had a "normal" life like everyone else - mind you there are some perks that I would miss if he had a "normal" job. But you know what? Right now, this is what my husband does and I will support him in it!! It pays the bills that need to be paid, he enjoys it (except for the politics of it) and it's what he does... I have learned to deal with it, besides a pity party for myself every now and again, we do what needs to be done. So many women say, oh I don't know how you do it, it must be so difficult! In reality, you get used to it, just like going grocery shopping with two kids... you learn how to deal with the one that wants to eat the bulk candy off the floor while the other one is climbing out of the cart.. it's hard, frustrating at times, and someone could get hurt.. but in the end everything turns out just fine and we still have groceries for another week :)

Anyway, back to my original question... how do you deal with 'well meaning advice'? And what are some of the best/worst comments you've ever received :)

*sorry about the sideways picture, my computer was being stubborn, but I just had to show off my first attempt and pigtails on my daughter :)


Allie said...

Geez, I have had so much "well meaning" words said to me that I could vomit. Much like yourself, I receive many comments about my husband and people pointing out to me that I am often alone and doing everything on my own. It is so hard not to feel offended or go on the offensive defending my husband and our lifestyle. Now I won't lie that there haven't been the moments of my weakness that I whine to myself about how I feel like I do it all by myself most days, but that is for me to feel only.

I don't even know where to suggest on how to deal with advice as such. Say thank you and what nice shoes you have?

I feel that we are constantly judged and the recipients of doled out advice due to my husband's job and the demands that come along with it. It gets tiring, but after a while, you become numb to it and learn how to filter. Or, in my case, learn to quip back with a well intentioned rebuttal. :)

Good luck and I am very interested to see what others have to say about this.

Stacey said...

As far as THAT bad advice, you could just say that you knew what you were getting into, marrying your husband. You knew he would be working a lot, and wouldn't be around, and that's what works for you two. But really, you don't need to say anything. That was just really rude of her!

Otherwise, I'm not so good with those situations either, and honestly, I'm probably a bit outspoken and I'm sure I give good advice.

Susanna said...

When my son was younger people would make comments to me about how big and chubby he was and say things like, "What are you feeding that guy?! He's one hunk of meat" like I was stuffing him full of sweets or something. Once when Addison was in the hospital after an asthma attack, one of the doctors "suggested" to me that I should put Addison on a feeding schedule....that one really got me upset because he WAS on a very good schedule! Yes, I agree, he was a fat baby, but so far both of my kids have been big and I think that's just the way we make them :) I could go on and on! So much for well-meaning advice. Good reminder to not do that myself!

Ellen said...

Allie - I am right there along with you in lifestyle, and I love your response about the shoes :) lol
Stacey, you're right we knew how things were going to be and we made the choice anyways.
Susanna, my SIL got the same type of comments about her daughter all the time too. It's like people wouldn't believe you unless they saw what you were doing at home - that would be frustrating, hearing Dr's say basically that you aren't doing a good job at mothering, when, like you said, your babies are just built like that. I think the biggest thing is that everyone needs to know the whole situation first before they begin to tell us how to do things. So I will try and take my own advice too, next time I make a suggestion to someone. :)