A mom has been receiving a lot of unsolicited, passive-aggressive, and ultimately unwanted advice from her younger sister, who had a baby first. What’s the best way for her to resolve this issue?
Over on the Mamas Uncut Facebook page, our robust community of moms is always having a conversation about topics that matter. We like to highlight those conversations from time to time. Important mom questions. Thoughtful mom answers. Let’s hear from the community!
A member of the Mamas Uncut Facebook community asks:
“I need some advice. My younger sister had a baby before I did. I recently had my first, and now every time I see her, she gives me advice I didn’t ask for. Knowing her as I do (for my whole life lol), I know that the “advice” is coming from a passive-aggressive place. I can see the smirk in her eyes. It’s really frustrating! So my question is: How do you deal with receiving unsolicited advice, especially when it’s kind of rude? From anyone, not just sisters. I want to be respectful, but it’s getting out of control.”– Mamas Uncut Community Member
The Mamas Uncut community swooped in with some great words of wisdom.
Ignore Advice You Don’t Want
“Ignore it. You don’t actually have to take other people’s parenting suggestions and implement them. It’s ok to do your own thing.”
“I always accept it when it’s from my mom or sister, and then do what I want when they leave. I tried explaining that it’s my kid and I will do what i want, but it does not work.”
“Just nod and smile.”
Honesty Is the Best Policy
“I tell people to shut up constantly. Why be respectful of someone who is (from what I took from your commentary about said sister) being a jerk? Let her have it, I say.”
“I never give e advice unless someone asks for it. I hate someone doing it to me when I never asked and I feel it is rude and disrespectful to do so. Tell her while you appreciate her trying to give input you rather her not do it unless you specifically ask her for it. Have to put your foot down”
Just tell her “ every baby is different and I’m perfectly capable of figuring out how to care for my own child.”
A Polite Way to Shut Things Down
“I always say, ‘Thanks but I already know. When I need advice I’ll ask.'”
“When she starts in, interrupt her. Don’t worry if it’s rude, change the subject-to ANYthing, and she will get the hint.”
Know That You Will Always Get Advice You Didn’t Ask For
“Girl, you’re gonna get unwanted advice forever!!! My daughter is 17 months, and it takes the strength of everything in me not to tell people to STFU and let me raise my own child!!!! You just have to come to a place where it goes in one ear and out the other.”
“Unwanted advice is normal when you’re a mom. Just say thank you and smile and do your own thing, momma.”
Consider Making a Fashion Statement
“I found a shirt that says ‘My mommy doesn’t want your advice!’ I showed it to people who always gave unsolicited advice and said I’d put it on my baby every time we were with them. It stopped. Hahaha!”
As always, the community came through with a lot of great advice. It seems we can break things down into a couple of potential solutions:
- Learn to ignore unwanted advice (in one ear and out the other, nod and smile, etc.)
- Be honest and ask people giving you advice to stop
In the end, it boils down to your relationship with the person giving advice. In this case, with sisters, either solution could work. If you are close sisters, honesty might be the most effective way to really put a stop to the issue. It also would curb resentments from building up.
If you are not that close, or if your relationship is maintained by being selectively honest, learning to ignore the advice might be helpful. We’re all used to nodding and smiling at things we don’t want to hear. As long as you can actually let go of the advice and do your own thing without shame, this will help pull you through.
We wish you the best of luck in figuring things out, Mama!
Do you have a question you’d like answered? Submit it to the Mamas Uncut Facebook page, and we may feature it along with some of the best answers on this site! You can remain completely anonymous while still getting the information and support you need from other moms who know what it’s like.
Matt is a writer, editor, and content strategist currently based in Washington state. He has worked as a managing editor for the iconic I Can Has Cheezburger, Celebuzz (a SpinMedia site), and now Mamas Uncut. He also acted as the Social Media Director for CafeMom.
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