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Let me make my own mistakes

Yesterday, Alex and I were having lunch with the boys at our friends’ restaurant. A group of older ladies at the table next to us were admiring our babies while having a little luncheon. When they finished their meal, each of the ladies came over to get a peek of the babies.

Lady to baby Cole: “You’re Pretty!”

Will, who is obviously jealous of all the attention the babies are getting, blurts out, “I’m Will!”.

I thought it was pretty cute.

Another admiring lady stopped by our table on the way up to the register and felt that she had some insightful wisdom that she needed to bestow upon me. She came over and whispered in my ear, “These babies can wait if they need something, but if he wants milk or anything, you stop and get it, they can cry…” I just kinda shrugged off and said, “yeah, I know”.

But in the inside, I felt terrible. How on earth did she think that would be a helpful comment? I wanted to cry. It’s hard enough dealing with the guilt that I can’t give the twins the same individual attention that their brother had when we was a baby. I wish I could give all of my kids my undivided attention, but that’s just not possible, unless I only had one child.

I usually don’t mind curious people’s comments about how we’ve got our hands full and the like, but this particular comment really got to me. I never anticipated that someone would have the balls to say something like that to me. Sure, I realize that she is probably dealing with guilt or feelings from her own past experiences bringing up children. But there has to be a better way to “help” people not make the same mistakes.

People of the world, comment on my family all you want. In fact, ask me a million questions about them if you’d like. But let me make my own mistakes, that’s all I am asking. If  I need help, I will ask people who know and care about me and my family how to handle it.

What comments have really eaten away at you in your parenting experiences? How do you offer your wisdom in a way that will not be damaging to a mother’s emotional state?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a creative-techie mom, raising three boys under three (twins!) with her husband in Pennsylvania. Jamie now writes at The Red Robinson,


  1. Some people criticise me for how strict I am with my son. How if he wanders a few steps away from us at a time, I get on him. What they fail to realize and what I know about my son is that he is fiercely independant and fearless. At any second, he has been known to dart off somewhere and if Im not on him, it’s a chase that none of us want to have. The thing is, I parent my son, because I know who he is and how he functions inside his little mind. I see traits in him that I see in my husband and know how to relate to them. Basically, if you aren’t in my family, don’t force yourself there.
    When I give advice, I often tell people, this is what we did, take it for what it’s worth. I don’t ever want anyone to feel like they’re a horrid parent if they don’t do it my way.

  2. Whether it is about parenting or not I have recieved a lot of rude comments from people. My favorite was some elderly man telling me I needed to get my tubes tide now that I already have two kids. I politely disagreed, but inside, I was so hurt and insulted. I’ll never understand why some people have the gall to say such things, but I had to really pray for God to grant me mercy and forgiveness b/c it only eats away at you not them. I think people of that generation are from a time where there was no “political correctness” and it was very common to put your nose in other’s business espcecially when it comes to child rearing. Most of their advice is out of date anyway. haha. When offended I always try to remember that it is Satan who wants me to be hurt and he is the author of all offense.

  3. Aww, I TOTALLY get how that could feel cruel, but as someone who is terrified of going from one baby to two in a few months, that is actually the one piece of advice that actually seems useful. If the baby is okay, the toddler will appreciate the time and attention more; this makes me feel a little bit better about “managing” two. It’s funny, I NEVER offer unsolicited advice, because you never know how it will make the listener feel. PS, just keeping three ALIVE is impressive to me, so you are kicking mom-butt as far as I’m concerned 🙂