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What is the Best and Worst Advice You Ever Received?

Sharing true wisdom and laughs, mom to mom

As your belly begins to swell and you feel those first flutters of kicks, new moms-to-be can be overwhelmed with endless decisions. Many of us spend our first pregnancy reading lots of books like "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" in preparation and in search of answers.

Throughout a first pregnancy, hours are spent agonizing over baby registries and what color the room should be painted. You have endless visits to the doctor and non-stop conversations about baby names. Should we get the 3D ultrasound? You are careful about eating cold cuts and handling raw meat. When you meet up with friends, everyone has a glass of wine for you.  

Your body is blossoming and everything in life is changing. Finally, the reality sets in that all of this planning and reading is nice but what will life with a baby actually be like? Can we handle this?

Fortunately, new parents-to-be receive tons of advice. From the grandmother behind you in line at Kings to the guy delivering your pizza, if you have a baby in your belly people feel compelled to share their words of parenting wisdom.

Unfortunately, some of this advice is not very good and, at times, can be quite comical. Guidelines for pregnancy and caring for babies change so frequently that even the most well-meaning advice can be completely wrong. How can any mom-to-be make sense of all of this random information?

If you are a new mom or pregnant with your first baby, check with your doctor if you have any questions. Otherwise, Chatham and Madison are chock full of seasoned mothers with a deep well of experience. We have been through it all and plenty of us have heard it all.

Chatham and Madison Moms: We have all been there and we can help our fellow new moms with some truly useful guidance. Tell us, what is the best and worst parenting advice you have ever received?

Colleen Bohensky May 18, 2011 at 03:13 PM
It may seem like silly advice... but I stuck with it. We were told (by I don't know who) not to share our name choice with ANYONE until the baby was born. Before birth everyone will have an opinion about why they don't like your chioce. Once you introduce your baby with their name... 99% of people will just ooohhh and ahhhh and tell you how cute. (Except your Grandma... she'll still ask you "where they heck did you get that name???" then she'll ooh and ahh.)
Elizabeth McConnell May 18, 2011 at 04:00 PM
The best, most practical advice I got was from a mom who knew I was going to have a c-section and had just had one. She said to stay on a liquid diet for a few days after. Three c-sections later it is the top advice I give other moms. We don't need to go into details. Just do it! On the more abstract side, my own mother once gave me the greatest advice ever, which applies to pregnancy, parenting and just about everything else in life "Don't telescope!" Meaning don't bring everything in the world into focus at once. Deal with one thing at a time and you won't be overwhelmed. Even though she told me this when I was 13, I still regularly find myself in a panic about something and say to myself "Don't telescope" and then just move foreward, calmly dealing with one thing at a time.
Elizabeth McConnell May 18, 2011 at 04:01 PM
Also don't say a name even after baby is born that you haven't really decided on. We told my mom what we were thinking about soon after my son was born, but she hated Enzo and now we have Nicolas. She still claims I was too medicated to think straight and the boy is clearly a Charlie.
Colleen Bohensky May 18, 2011 at 05:12 PM
Advice I wasn't given... but I think is important... I'm sure some people have luck with the whole "birth plan" thing. I think it's a waste. *I planned for a vaginal delivery with Zoe. She ended up unexpectedly breech (they swore she was head down for MONTHS). At 7cm they realized they felt a head... so off to c-section I went. *With Ana... I planned for a repeat c-section. I went into labor a week before I was scheduled. Because I had eaten a little bit the anesthesiologist refused my c-section. (grrr) Unplanned vbac. The MOST important thing to do is remember... it may not go as planned... and all that REALLY matters is that the end result is a baby. Doesn't REALLY matter how that baby gets out. Try to remain calm and go with the flow.
Colleen Bohensky May 18, 2011 at 05:14 PM
Elizabeth... I'm still convinced it was the morphine that chose Zoe's name. haha. I do like it... but it wasn't even on our list of possibles.
Karin Swenson Szotak May 18, 2011 at 08:01 PM
The best advice is to take as much time now to relax while your pregnant. Then be sure to take a little time each day for yourself after baby arrives. It is so important!
Melissa Bartoli May 19, 2011 at 01:21 PM
The best advice I have ever received as a mom was to remember that everything is a passing phase. Whether it's a challenging phase like the "terrible twos" or getting up in the wee hours with a newborn to how fast they grow and change, it's important to remember that "this too shall pass". You WILL get through the tough times. On the other hand, enjoy the wonderful times because you will blink and it's over.

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