I am a people pleaser by nature. I am learning that the more one tries to please others, the less others are pleased, and all you have to show for their disdain is emptiness. So it is with advice giving and taking. I have so often allowed mysef to be pushed around from one idea of thought to another, and allowed others to convince me to do all sorts of things, because I just wanted them to be happy with me.
In short, I am wealthly with experience in taking and experimenting with BAD ADVICE! If you want to wade through bad advice you've taken, please feel free to join in! I hope I can save someone from taking the same advice iI did.
Take this afternoon for example. I tried to eat a hotdog. I pulled one out and heated it up. My daughter insisted on having it. Even though I knew she'd had breakfast and mid-morning snack already. I gave it to her and pulled out another one. The baby squalled until I gave it to him. Then I pulled out a third one, and Peter insisted on having it. After that, I had to peel the baby's hotdog, cut up the kids' hotdogs, and get them ketchup. (One of the few High Fructose Corn Syrup foods we still keep in the house.) By the time I finished helping them, I'd lost my appetite, and guess what? Not one of them was actually hungry. None of them ate their hotdogs. If I had denied my daughter when she'd first asked, the whole pointess ordeal would have been avoided, and I would have been full and satisfied. She would've been a tad disappointed, but would have gotten over it. The children spent the rest of the morning asking for things every few minutes until finally I said NO. It was like a test to see how many times they could get me to jump. A test that I failed early on today.
One bit that I was desperate enough to follow for a little while: "Hit your kids. No, don't beat them, but slap the hand that offends, the mouth that offends, etc." Bad, Bad advice. If you want your kids hitting you, their siblings, grandparents, friends, go ahead. It only took a few days for me to see that one blow up in my face, and weeks to repair it.
The BEST advice: Listen to your heart!
There were precious few times in my life that I refused to listen to anyone. Each time I was glad. The advice: "Get an Epidural" was one of those. I didn't make a big deal about it, but I just turned inward instead of listening to others. "Go back to work so you'll be happier and feel more like your own person." I didn't do that either, and I know it would only have stressed me out more, and let me hide from problems that needed addressing in my family.
Wrong Advice: "You can only get pregnant 2 days out of the month." WRONG WRONG WRONG!! We have three children that prove otherwise!! I will leave it at that.
Bad Advice: "Let your house go after you have a baby. Don't do anything but nurse the baby and yourself back to health." The time I followed that one I suffered from the worst post-partum depression I ever had! I couldn't get caught up with the housework, and I kept sinking deeper into despair. I never really did get caught up until I weaned Peter at 16 months!
Dangerously Bad Advice: "Get ANGRY!! Don't let yourself get pushed around by being docile and quiet. Get mad, stomp your feet,; assert yourself by being scary!" Wrong. Calm is assertive, getting angry IS getting pushed around. Following this advice hurt me and everyone I love, especially my little ones.
Dumb Advice that is very tempting: "Every time your husband spends money, you should too! It's not fair that he gets to have all the fun. Just use the credit card, and let HIM figure out how to pay it." Doesn't that sound good to us SAHMs? It's so annoying when our husbands go and spend our money on themselves, but debt will just make things worse.
Advice that just makes more probems: "Sleep when the baby sleeps." Especially when you have other children, get ready for crayons and permanent marker all over EVERYTHING, and to live in filth. That is exactly what that advice leads to.