The thing about "assvice"…

8 June 2012

It is the human way to help others. Or is it? Because if it was, surely we would all be spending our time in soup kitchens or nursing the war wounded?

So what is it about becoming A Mother or even Pregnant that makes us all experts? A new mom pops on Twitter and in 140 characters manages to sum up the horror that we have all faced down when, with our rock-hard boobs and soft emotions, we are finally realising the life-changing foreverness of motherhood.

In seconds about a zillion responses have been tweeted back. Anything from the "all-knowing, been there, done that, got breastmilk stains on the T-shirt" tweets to the "go stand on your head and suck on geranium root outside at midnight it really works" tweets.

Don’t get me wrong: I am as guilty of tweeting assvice as the next person. Why is that? I think it’s because we have gone through this trial of fire, come through the other side and are still processing quite how we managed it. We have spent many lonely nights feeling like we are never going to be okay again and then we are but there isn’t any sort of come-down counselling.

So we turn to helping others. I get daily requests from moms who have survived to read the books they have penned with their invaluable advice. I just turned down a freelancer’s A to Z guide of her advice for new moms. I understand why we feel the need to do it but does it make it the right advice?

At the end of the day what worked for my baby may not work for yours. So it’s a case of try this, it worked for me but it may not work for you. Essentially what we are really saying is this: "I have been where you are now. It’s a tough rite of passage but one you will get through and then you can join us on the other side feeling battered but triumphant. We want to help you across so holler if you are drowning."

I end off with the best advice I ever got which was from my mom: don’t wish it away, she said, they are so little for such a short space of time. At the time I wanted to throw my cold tea on her head and scream because all I was doing was wishing it away. But she was right.

So what was the best advice you ever got?

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