Thursday, November 16, 2006

Need to Vent

What is with people who dole out advice unabashedly? What makes them think that the other person wants to hear them anyway? Or is it that they think they know everything and can't wait to share with the world what they think they know? I have the misfortune of knowing this one person, talking with whom makes me want to scream! Tell her something as mundane as "Oh, I ran out of rice when we had someone over" and she immediately responds "You know, you should make more rice the next time!". Gee thanks, my dear. If it had not been for you stating the obvious, there was no way I'd figure that out by myself! But I digress. I really wanted to write about how annoying it has been with a few people, after my baby was born. Most people are nice and want to share their experiences, which I love and always welcome. But these other people's attitude is more like "I know better than you so let me tell you!". They have one or two kids and think they are better than pediatricians! It is "you should do this", "you shouldn't do that" all the time. Enough already! If I want advice about anything, I'll ASK for it. The other thing about them is commenting on how I take care of my baby - "oh, she feeds too often", "she feeds too less","she should massage more often" etc. What makes people think it's alright to comment or discuss my way of handling things? It is after all my baby and I know her needs the best! Don't they remember how annoying it was when they had a baby and had people who kept giving advice? My baby and how I bring her up is not for anyone to discuss. I really want to tell them "Don't make my baby your business. Not now, not EVER!" but until I marshal enough nastiness to be as rude as they are, I guess I'll just continue to grin and bear it for a while longer.

40 comments:

Mythreyee said...

Dear Vani, I had the same feeling when I had a baby 2 1/2 years ago and I still hear unwanted advise on how to raise a child. There is a lot of difference between our Parent's advise and any third person. I am a mom of a 2 1/2 year old girl and I fully understand your feelings. I know it is time to vent out. Good you brought it out.

Vaibhav said...

Hey Vani, Take it easy dear, it happens with everyone, Just keep both the ears open and do what u feel right, with a broad smile on ur face.
Just give it a pass and relax.
Cheers

Nee said...

Oh dear - I can certainly empathize on the unsolicited-advice bit. Somehow, whether you start a new job, get married, move to a new country, visit a new place, or have a baby, there are always some people who just nag, nag and nag and try to show you that they've been there, done that. Just tune them out (easier said than done, I know), and come here and vent as often as you want!

Now go back to playing with M, you super-mom you ;-)

*Hugs*
Nee

Mythreyee said...

thats right vibhav, relax and do what you feel is right with a broad smile.

Sia's corner said...

u know vani... u should..... he he he... nope i'm not gonna advise u girl;) he he he... but what u said is really true:)
cheers
supriya

Praveena said...

I can understand what you are going through. A good saying is let it come in one ear and out the other. You are right it is your baby and you know best. People just nag all the time. It's their way of coping with the lack of control in their own lives. Just smile and walkaway (I know easier said than done). You are better than them.

Dilip UK said...

Vani..hey..what do i know!!...so i will just give you a hug instead...~warm hugs~....

Take care my friend..~smile~

viji said...

Hi Vani, as long as you react to others comments they will keep going. Just answer them with a big smile. I used to keep away from any relationship which drains my energy. Enjoy parenting and have a good day. Viji

Vani said...

Mythreyee- That's true. When it's your parents giving advice, it is different. Because they genuinely want to help and you WANT to hear them out. I was hoping that the "others" will stop soon but at 2 1/2 years, if you're still having to listen to that, I guess I'll have to be prepared for a longer wait! Thank you for your comment, M. Makes me feel better already! :)

Vani said...

Vaibhav- thank you for your kind words. You're right. I should try to relax and let it just pass.

Nee- thanks, sweetheart! It's true that anything you do, there WILL be someone who wants to let you know they've been there already! And have you noticed that they are usually desis? Hmm.. I wonder why. It's almost like a competition to them and they probably feel like they won just coz they've done that already.
Ok, back to playing with M! :)
Super mom? Not yet! :)

Vani said...

Supriya - haa! you almost got me with the "u know vani, u should'! :)

Praveena- **It's their way of coping with the lack of control in their own lives.**
That's an insightful thought, Praveena. I think that's true. They probably suffer from low self-esteem and this is their way of feeling better about themselves. Thank you for your comment, dear.

Vani said...

Thank you, Dilipji. You are such a warm hearted person and it shows in all your comments.

Viji- thank you. Oprah always says to stay away from negative or "poisonous" relationships too. But sometimes you are kinda stuck with some people. But yes, it is good to avoid interacting with them as much a possible and believe me, I do try!

Vani said...

Sunila- thanks for empathizing, hon! I guess everybody knows someone who's like that. The problem is that they don't realize how it's affecting the other person.
About having a baby, I went through it too. People asking sly questions like "have u checked with a doctor?" even though they knew that I had a miscarriage a few months before & so I must be able to concieve again.
Even if it is just one such person, it is one more than you need!

Vani said...

Viji- I'm unable to access your profile. Did u just switch to beta?

Vcuisine said...

Hi Vani, Many complained about it. Just give a try again, if you cannot let me know. I will check it out. Tks. Have a good weekend. Viji

Foodie's Hope said...

Vent awayyyyy Mrs.!!:D:D

I know exactly what you mean.When Tushar was born, a nurse said to me 'he might have a underdeveloped nervous system?!'This is after the Peadiatrician gave him a clean bill, my own husband is a Internist!! I wanted to slap her her face off:D
I just had given birth without any problems,she told me this when he was in the nursery.Some people should do just their job and try not to be a doctor instead of being nurse.I still remember this incident after 11 yrs and now Tushar is a gifted student, he started reading at 4 1/2 yrs old:))
So much for "under development"?!

Just enjoy your baby,I am also very possessive abt child rearing,can't stand when people say how I should bring up kids including my parents!

Happy Thanksgiving.

Vee said...

Hey Vani,

First time commenting on your blog, but this rant hits a spot. Its just not the raising of kids that people think they have the right to comment on. I have 2 kids within 17 months of each other, a concious decision on our part for various reasons. All through out my second pregnancy, I had a few folks come up to me and say, "you know, you should have been more careful". And I smiled through it with a angelic smile and "everything is good" line when all I wanted to say was ....
Well, that might be too graphic to be printed here. and, yes they still continue with the kids. But, they have toned down things a lot after I blatantly "ignored" their advice and lo and behold, my kids are still Normal!!!!

It was my experience that people backed off when I confidently told them that what I am doing is right for my kids though it may not be for theirs.

Pooja said...

Hi Vani,
I can understand your feeling, and what you thought you will do , is perfectly o.k. This kinda things happen in life ,and i think will that will never end, be it a matter of a child or anything else, people will be around to show how smart they are, and ofcourse they will let us feel that we are not smart enough. the best way is to just ignore them ,and do not stress our mind with that. Keep an attitude of Who cares ! let them speak and do what ever you like to do. I am a kind of person who will usually say "Vent away " , but i think thats not gonna solve problem, if not that person, someone else will be there. I think what Nee, Vaibhav and Praveena has already said is perfectly ok for such situations. ...
Take care dear friend!
-Pooja

Jayashree said...

I hear ya Vani...I'd written a post pretty much along the same lines some time back on my baby blog. Like you I too am not yet rude enough to these people. I just smile, listen and then proceed to gloriously ignore :-))

Vani said...

Asha-that must have been really annoying for you, to have the nurse say something like that. Glad to hear that Tushar is doing so well and all is good.

Vee- thank you for your comment. Why do some people make others' lives their business? It must have been very aggravating for you.
**It was my experience that people backed off when I confidently told them that what I am doing is right for my kids though it may not be for theirs. **
I think that's a great way of getting people to back off. I will be sure to use it as often as necessary! Thanks, Vee!

Vani said...

Pooja- thank you sweetheart! Though it is just one or two people right now, it is one or two more than I need. I'm sure I'll come across more of those when I visit India. But you're right-it's better to ignore them than be irritated by their comments.

J-I remember your post. I hope this blatant interference in other people's lives will stop soon. But that is just wishful thinking. There will always be someone who is rude or insecure or plain ignorant, who will get your goat.

Puspha said...

I have had the experience more than 2 years ago. As a new parent, I learnt everything on my own. I did not want others to interfere in anything. So, I just ignored them.

Shankari said...

Vani, Here are a few of my experiences.. I got married a little late (indian standards), so I had married friends trying their matchmaking skills :), then when I still dont have a child, I have to listen each and every time about how I should not stress out and learn to relax more..and I wonder what they are thinking

Ashwini said...

Oooh you seem to have struck a chord with everyone around. I have had similar experiences but wont get into that now.
I honestly think its an Indian thing...we are collectivistic as a society (as opposed to western indisvidualism) AND we take it too far. Things have to be done in a certain manner and if they arent then its everybody;s business to set it right is the general assumption.
Where the person is concerned believe me unless you state it out loud and clear its not going to stop.

Shree said...

ohhh.. I can understand but never thought it would be this bad even after the kid.. after 6 yrs of marriage we are still trying to conceive.. and god! what all you have to hear :((((

Tune it out dear (I know I know easier said than done.. ) My hubby is very good in tuning it out (can;t understand how he does it thou!!!) but I will tell you what I do most of the times
1. Start thinking of some very nice and special moment and you will find it easier to tune out the droning voice.
2. What works out better is I start thinking about tom and jeery. We as the big bull dog and the other person as Tom.. and he he he and you know how every one of these stories ends

Vidya said...

I fully sympathize with you, dear.... been there, done that... Actually, you're lucky you are in the US and its probably way lesser than what it would have been if you'd been in India... Just do what makes you comfortable... and if it gets too much, would you like to try my instant destress-tonic?? just boil some potatoes and mash them.. or take some cream and churn butter out of it... you can take out a lot of frustration that way!!! i remember making ghee almost every week when my little one was born. churned that much butter each week!! just chin up and try to ignore it as much as you can...

Vidya said...

was reading through your earlier entries...
I'm from Mysore too... did all my schooling there, right up to PG in good old Gangotri..
your parents look very familiar.. especially your mother... any chance we knew each other in Mysore?? was in Nirmala's, Marimallappa's JC, Mahajana college and Gangotri....

Vani said...

Pushpa- Good that you were able to ignore people. I'm impressed that you managed on your own. I don't know how I'd have done without my mom, esp in the early days!

Shankari-I hear you! We made a conscious decision to wait a few years before having a baby and were constantly asked when we'd have one. None of their business!

Vani said...

Ashwini- I never thought of it that way but you're right. It is our collectivistic culture that while providing strong family values and emotional support when needed also takes it too far and interferes when not required. It's a matter of people knowing limits & making sure they don't cross it. But that is not likely to happen anytime soon!

Vani said...

Shree- Ha ha! Tom & Jerry! That would definitely make some people more bearable! :) My hubby is good at tuning it out too though he is rather selective. With some people, he seems to be able to take a lot of their crap and with some others, he gets annoyed soon!

Regarding conceiving, I can understand what you must be going through. I wish you the best!

Vani said...

Vidya- that's true. Being in the US, I am lucky. I know it would have been a lot worse in India with all the nosey do-gooders. I love your instant de-stressing solutions, Vidya! I may use some of them soon! :)
Hey, you're a Mysorean thru and thru! I didn't study in any of the schools you went to. So couldn't have known you from there. My mom was active in Hoysala Karnataka Sangha and Makala Koota. Maybe from there? Where did you live in Mysore?

Little Miss Kylie said...

Thanks for popping by my blog.

I love your writings too and hope you won't mind if I link you.

I know exactly what you mean with the whole "advice" thing. Sometimes there is no other answer - you need to be rude so they pull their heads in.

Of course, in my case, my baby was in the ICU for the first twelve months, so after hearing me say "... and you're such an authority because you've been in this situation have you?" eight or nine times - they learned to shut up.

Will be dropping in again and again to have a look at your latest offerings.

Thanks for the recipes.

Kye

Vani said...

Kye- thanks for dropping by! Of course, you can link me and I'll do the same too, if that's alright.

Your baby was in the ICU for 12 months?! I can't imagine how difficult that time must have been for you. I hope everything is fine now.

Yeah, mainly Indian recipes, Kye. Most people are discouraged by the number of ingredients that go into our dishes (and I used to be one of them!). I hope some are interesting enough for you to try them sometime! :)

Twisted said...

You shouldn't let them advice you ;) OK, kidding.

I so know what you are talking about. Especially about the kid. The moment you have a kid, it doesn't matter how knowledgeable you are, how accomplished you are and how well-read you are, EVERY freaking person who ever held a kid starts doling out advice! It used to drive me nuts!

I was laughing out through out your post :)

Vani said...

TDNA- I think EVERYBODY knows at least one person who's one of those interfering busybodies. Sad but true :(
Hey, I hope you're having a blast in India- eating all the good grub and oh, the wedding khana too! (envy, envy) I'm waiting for you post-sherwani post! :)

Linda said...

Hi Vani, came in from your nice comment on my blog. Am bookmarking you for more to read... perhaps you have a pic of your kitty here too? Hang in there with the unsolicited advice :)

Vani said...

Hey Linda!Thanks & Welcome! No, kitty pix yet. I'm gonna remedy that soon!

rv said...

hi vani, can empathize with ur situation (especially abt the rice comment), i get advices through internet even if we r in US, the advices just dont stop, and i used to went in yahoo answers for sometime abt it,this advise things just irritates the hell out of me.....sometimes its easy to ignore, sometimes, it just hits the wrong spot and then my reaction is just not predictable, i hate such people , i have no escape from one of them who is an extreme in micromanagement! i dont have kids till now, but still its hell with this person, can imagine wat will happen after having kids....

hey by the way loved ur recipes:) and ur blog :) ur kid looks so adorable, hugs to her:)

Vani said...

RV- my sympathies! thanks for stopping by! will leave a bigger comment on your blog. hang in there!

Suhas said...

Oh dear! My wife & I went through this with our child too. Most annoying to have people preach you about what you "should" do. Word of warning - it will not stop! Such people interfere at every stage & every age and usually about everything else too! Hang in there!