We women sat crammed together on sofas and chairs as we watched the bride-to-be happily pull advice cards from the little basket that had sat next to the front door. Each of us had given this sweet young thing our best marriage advice. Someone had put the ubiquitous, “Don’t go to bed angry at each other”. I had heard this same advice when I got married and I have since come to realize it’s one of the worst bits of advice I ever got. When my husband and I had our first knock-down-drag-out, I insisted we keep going until we reached a compromise. At 3 am we were still going strong, with tears and frustration increasing by the minute. We finally fell asleep and when we woke up the next day, with fresh sunny spirits and a good breakfast inside of us, we quickly came to a solution. I realized that day that often a disagreement works out better once we’ve had a chance to cool down and reboot.
A few days before I had my first child a coworker gave me her best piece of advice which I thought was rather odd at the time, “Don’t worry if you don’t love your baby right away.” I filed that in my brain under the category of, ‘weird random things that people tell me’. Fast forward one month; between exhaustion and hormone overload I felt ambivalent toward my little daughter. I felt protective of her but the crazy love that parents always talk about took several weeks to arrive. I would have panicked and wondered what was wrong with me but I recalled my coworker’s words and knew I was normal. To this day I’m thankful she threw out that little phrase that let me know I wasn’t a monster of a woman for not falling in love with my baby immediately.
When I hear advice poured onto someone at a bridal or baby shower it’s hard not to roll my eyes. What’s right for one person might be a complete fiasco for someone else. What was the best or worst advice you ever got? Do you think advice depends on the person or are there some universal things that are good for everyone to follow?