I seriously have no idea if Maria can have caffeine or not. I'm not a doctor. I once became really addicted to this video game called Trauma Team but that does not make me a doctor and I usually ended up killing my patients in this video game! No one should listen to me ever! I can remember being pregnant 16 years ago with my eldest and having all sorts of women give me advice too, everyone from my mother to complete and total strangers on the street and how weird and annoying I found it and now I'm that weird and annoying person dispensing advice like samples of congealed pulled pork at Costco.
Just because I've had three kids, who are all healthy, who were born healthy, who all seem pretty happy (except my middle kid who is still pissy because I made him wear sweatpants under his Halloween costume last night), I suddenly think that I have the right to toss out my little nuggets of bad wisdom whether someone asks me or not. I'm two seconds away from stopping unsuspecting women in the Target parking lot and telling them that their baby really needs to have a sweater on. And announcing to pregnant women I see out in public that I know what the sex of their baby is just by how high or low they are carrying.
I don't mean any harm by my annoying new habit of giving out bad mom advice. I don't even know when or how I started doing this. I think this is a symptom of my own kids being almost grown coupled with my age coupled with the fact that I'm a raging know-it-all coupled with the fact I like telling people what to do. You have your own mom or sister or aunt to give you bad mom advice. You don't need it from me too. Especially when you never asked me for it in the first place! I'm really not trying to weird you out by this, but I really think having a glass of wine on occasion is okay when you are nursing. Or letting your baby sleep in your bed sometimes (as long as you are not smoking crack in the same bed.) Or letting your school age kids sometimes eat Cap'N Crunch for dinner. See? It's like I just can't stop.
I'm addicted to giving you bad mom advice. My only credentials are that I have three kids who put their dishes in the dishwasher and are not serial killers (yet) and the fact that I'm a professional writer who writes articles on a website for parents. Other than that I'm just as clueless as everyone else, except I have watched less Dr. Phil episodes and count owning a sweater with a kitten on it as one of my future ambitions.
Just because something has worked out well for me and my family or my doctor let me chug an occasional Diet Coke when I was pregnant doesn't mean that the same thing holds true for you. Just because I think I know what I am doing and am all too happy to give you my bad mom advice doesn't mean that you should follow it. Only you and your doctor can decide that. Unless, of course, I am telling you that you don't have to get back in your skinny jeans two days after giving birth. That's advice you should totally follow. But it's not my business or place to tell you anything about anything, unless you ask me. And even then I'm probably not the best person to ask, because the majority of my parenting expertise has come from the fact I own all the seasons of Malcolm In The Middle on DVD.
I'm not sure why women do this.And I'm not being sexist by saying women do this. You don't see men stopping other new fathers on the street to tell them that they need to shorten the straps on their Baby Bjorn. Men are too busy doing man stuff like figuring out how they can spend $800 on Stone's tickets and rumpling up the carefully art directed throw pillows on our living room sofas. Giving you bad mom advice is one of our favorite pastimes as moms. I come from a long line of bad mom advice givers. I can remember my grandmother telling everyone what to do at all time, even if they were asleep while she was telling them. If it was weird and annoying then it is just as weird and annoying now. Especially because now when I give you bad mom advice, you can just fire up the Google machine and tell me that no, most doctors don't also agree with me that eating 6 cupcakes for dinner while you are pregnant meets your daily requirement of folic acid.
This just doesn't happen when you are minding your own business, wrangling a 3-year-old and a new born baby while trying to buy a blueberry scone at your local Starbucks. Bad advice moms also wait until you post an unassuming status update on Facebook before they swoop in with their know-it-all colic cures and the best way to deal with a 4-year-old who has used your limited edition Deborah Lippmann nail polish to paint a unicorn on the bathroom wall. We are a nation of advice givers, and the majority of us have no idea what the hell we are talking about. It's STFU Parents Gone Wild, except instead of flashing our boobs, we are flashing our opinions on the best organic baby foods and bloviating about public breastfeeding.
So the only advice I have for you is this: If you see a woman coming towards you while you are trying to buy paper towels in the market and she is wearing a kitten sweater and she looks like she is about to tell you how you are too pregnant to be wearing shoes like that then simply back away slowly. She isn't dangerous, this bad advice mom. She just really, really, needs to find herself a new hobby.