So, when I told my friends about how I was trying my hands at writing, one asked- “Writing what?” I said I am blogging about parenting, and they laughed at me. “What do you know about parenting, anyway?” one friend asked out loud. And the other laughed it off saying- “Having a baby doesn’t make you an expert at parenting.”
But, anyway... I am only hoping that those people who ever and at all doubted my parenting skills might get it someday that it was never easy dealing with them. It’s fine that you have been curious or experienced, however, that doesn’t quite mean that you would sit there and watch me change my baby’s diaper or swaddle the little one to sleep while you judged me all along. You didn’t have rights to pass comments on my parenting skills.
But then, you did.
So, mommies - here's how I finally decided to break away from naysaying MIL’s friends, doubting SILs, and hassling cousins.
1. Ask for help
Keep them busy so that they get so engrossed in the task assigned to them that they really don’t get any time to sit and analyse your parenting skills. Give them something to do. For instance- "Could you help me find the baby's blanket?"
2. Reduce all the hassle
Minimize all the fuss and make them feel like they don’t quite belong with you and the baby (but do it in a subtle way). Like they shouldn’t be there telling you all that. For instance, if the baby has been crying and they have assumed that its because the baby is hungry, reply by saying: "It doesn't seem to be a problem, but if I need any help, I'll ask you."
3. Answer a bold question with a direct one of your own
If you are irritated to a point that you don’t give much damn about how they might feel, then go on and throw a bold question of your own at them. If they have been dying to know if the baby is being exclusively breastfed or has been on formula, ask them brusquely: "Why do you want to know?"
4. Be honest
If a topic makes you uncomfortable, say so. "Oh, no, that's too personal! I can't discuss that with you here!"
5. Pretend to be busy
If 1, 2, 3 and 4 fails, then here is something that is sure to save you. Pretend to be busy. Pick up your baby for a diaper change/nap/or feeding and retreat to a quiet room. Don’t forget to add a bit of a drama: Tell that that there needs to be pin-drop silence now because the baby is about to fall asleep.