how to handle unwanted mommy advice

how to handle unwanted mommy adviceWe love our families. We really do.

…….Until they want to give us unwanted advice. You know what I’m talking, mommas. 

This is when your well-meaning Aunt or non-so-well-meaning Cousin decides to impart all of their “wisdom of experience” or sometimes, complete lack of experience, onto you. Some hot topics of advice: feeding, sleeping and discipling of YOUR children.

But here’s the inside scoop:  they usually just want to be heard. Sometimes they want to feel like they’ve helped us. We can affirm their “suggestions” and let them know we do appreciate their concern (unwanted advice) without leaving them feeling ignored or rejected. I promise.

Here’s where living as a Southerner most of my life comes in handy. Feel free to adopt these following responses and sprinkle liberally over relatives that decide to slap you upside the head with unwarranted advice:

“How nice!”  Yes, this will work — especially when repeated with a couple of different speech inflections. And a few, “Hmmm”s.”

“You don’t say?” “That’s interesting. Thanks for sharing that with me.” These loving folks in our lives need to feel heard. The worst thing you can do is ignore them or try to come back with a witty comeback. Just let it hang in the air after it’s shot out of your mouth……..then, it will fall to the ground. It won’t hurt anyone there.

“Indeed!” “Wow!” “Amazing!” It’s my personal favorite for people who just want to share their success in a place that you feel like you’re failing. The sister-in-law who bounced their newborn for exactly 22 times, swaddled the baby and played white noise and their child slept for 14 hours straight — that’s who gets this exclamatory affirmation. They may truly think it will work for you. So, tell them you’ll try it.

It might. It might not.

They just want to be heard, remember. And congratulated. Oh, and ask them to get you a white noise machine for Christmas.

What do you do when you know that whatever they are suggesting is just hogwash? “It’s just a little trip around the corner. I’ll just hold the baby in the back seat. Just drive slow.”

Or, “Well, I’m going to just do whatever I want with your kids when they’re at my house and you’re not here.”

Or, “You just need to lighten up, get a grip, relax about this.”

Believe it or not, politeness still reigns. We have to be careful not to confuse aggressiveness with assertiveness. The first one will get you nothing but an argument. The second will earn you respect.

Here’s one statement that works well as a vote to leave the conversation.

“I am his/her mother. Just so we are clear — I am his/her mother.”

If you think you’ll have a hard time saying that to certain people, practice saying it 10 times in the mirror at home. It will generally stop most folks in their tracks. Call a friend and get encouragement. Do whatever it takes to muster up enough courage to show your momma bear fangs….

without digging into anyone’s shoulder for lunch.

When have you received unsolicited advice from folks?

What has worked for you when you realize that they mean well, but you want stop the conversation?

When have you had to show your momma bear fangs?






Join the Launch Team for our New Book for Moms!

Mothering From ScratchIt’s almost time! Our new book, Mothering From Scratch: Finding the Best Parenting Style for You and Your Family is releasing from Bethany House Publishers in January!

We are excited about the message of our book — and we think you will be, too! Trying to follow someone else’s rules for mothering can take the joy right out of being a parent. But Mothering From Scratch shows moms how to develop their own style that helps them be the best mom for their kids.

Full of solid biblical truth, this book will help moms:

* explore their personality and examine their strengths and weaknesses in order to find what works for them

* tap into the resources surrounding them and get mentoring and support from other moms

* push past the fear of change or doing it wrong and allow room for grace in their mothering

Our book provides a flexible, customizable approach to help moms discover their optimal parenting style.

As a member of our Book Launch Team, we’ll make it worth your while in a number of ways:

* A close-knit private Facebook community where you’ll feel loved on and cared for

* Pre-made graphics to share and pre-made status updates for social media sites

* A free Advance Reader Copy and a Final Copy of the book to keep or use as giveaway

* The opportunity to network with and get to know other bloggers and authors

* All kinds of special exclusive perks and resources!

If you would like to be a part of the Book Launch Team, please click on and complete this brief questionnaire so we can follow-up and send you the appropriate information:

Mothering From Scratch Launch Team Application

We realize this is the holidays — the busiest time of the year! Please know that we will not require much of you at all until AFTER Christmas.

We look forward to seeing your applications!

4 ways to find happiness as a mom

4 ways to find happiness as a momWhat does happiness look like for a mom?

When do we need know it’s time to take stock in what makes us happy.

I’ve heard moms say, “I don’t know what makes me happy any more. I’m so busy taking care of everyone.”

Well, now’s the time, sister. We’re going to figure it out together.

We are going to discover where happiness lies for us as moms, maximize those experiences and adjust our lives to include more! 

Ready to go? Let’s jump in. 

1. When does your attention seem to just leap into action? These are times when we aren’t bored or distracted, when we can concentrate without any fog. For me, these times are few and far between, especially since having 4 kids. But I’ve noticed that when I am actively engaged in my surroundings, it involves social situations.

I like people. They are interesting and fascinating. So my attention has a less likely chance to wander when I am hanging out with folks I love or want to get to know. How can I get more of this focused concentration on people in my life? I have found that it won’t happen behind a computer screen or staying at my house to do everything that needs to get done.

Mothering From Scratch actually stems from the desire I have to reach out to moms on this social level. Sure, I blog here and have co-written a book, but I love talking to moms and encouraging them face-to-face. Nothing can replace that interaction.

2. When does time pass by like a fast moving train that you can’t stop? As you glance up at the clock, hours have gone by, not minutes. As a mom of little ones, time seemed to crawl……breakfast time……lunch time…..nap time, then bed time. I had to figure out how to make the time in between more enjoyable, not just moving from one activity to the next. I needed an objective for the time spent. There’s nothing better than seeing your day whiz by, full of activity you’ve enjoyed and ending it tired and satisfied. It takes intention, though.

3. When have others notice you seem the happiest and most fulfilled? “You were just born for this!” or “You seem like you are really enjoying this. Have you ever thought about __________?” Those are times to take notice. Perhaps you love to bake, like me. A morning full of baking yummy stuff that smells up the house makes me a content person for the rest of the day. So, I plan to do it, as often as I can. I scan and save recipes, make sure I have most ingredients handy and when the mood strikes, away I’ll go.

4. Practice “pie in the sky” day dreaming. If you could wave a magic wand, what would appear? What would disappear in your life? Those are good places to start when trying to discover how to incorporate more happiness into your life. Your dreams and ambitions will surface when the limits of time and space are lifted.

These principles are also the ones we teach our children every day, but sometimes we don’t take the opportunity to apply them to our own lives.

What’s good for the kid is also good for the momma!

So, get dreaming. Get moving. And enjoy life!

When have you realized that you have found something unexpected that really makes you happy?

How can you incorporate more activities into your life that you enjoy?

When was the last time time flew by and you realized