Mother knows best


I’m not one to give parenting advice to anyone because a) it’s not my chosen specialised subject and b) I believe what works for one child may not work for another. What I do know is that the phrase “mother knows best” works for me. As a mother of 3 children I’ve worked out what does work and what doesn’t, I’ll listen to advice and maybe try some form of it but I’ve never subscribed to any parenting manuals, being more of a suck it and see mum.

One health professional suggested our eldest had a speech delay and made it clear that it was that and not her constant ear infections that was affecting her speech, I knew it was ears and when I pushed for an ENT appointment and the hearing loss was 70% I felt relief and annoyance. We moved her from the fee paying school because they really didn’t get the whole glue ear, hearing loss and lack of concentration issues and when I had a meeting, before the move, with an independent SENCO I asked her if I should get the hearing checked she said to me (and I can still picture her smug face now) “if it makes you feel better” stressing the you. With a comment like that I admit to feeling crushed so we duly arranged a hearing test and guess what? Well her hearing had dipped again and I held my head up high as I knew her hearing had reduced, simply because mother knows best.

Yesterday a friend who is struggling with a non sleeper said she was getting frustrated at people suggesting this, that or the other. Of course she has tried this, the other and that. She’s also probably tried a whole load of different things and is possibly feeling patronised. It struck a chord. I can remember the advice best ignored began with “you should do this”. As parents you really do give a lot of consideration to working out what works and what doesn’t, you’ve probably tried a variety of remedies and solutions but all to no avail.

My lot have all been bad sleepers. One of them wouldn’t settle unless she had company (party animal and raving wasn’t a topic covered in any ante-natal appointments), the solutions flowed – someone suggested ignoring it, one friend suggested controlled crying and one health care professional asked me “is the solution bigger than the problem?”, well yes. The constant going in and settling her was unsettling so we took her in with us. Instead of having broken sleep we had sleep albeit shorter.

One of our girls would sleepwalk and this was terrifying. To wake up and find a small child by the side of the bed seemingly wide awake but in a semi sleep state was hideous. We did research and sought advice. Someone just suggested turning her round and guiding her back to her room, someone else suggested talking to her and someone mentioned that just telling her to go back to bed would do the trick. We tried them all and the one that worked was telling her to go back to her bed. It was all trial and error.

Our youngest was never a disruptive sleeper as a baby but she’s somehow not been booted out of our room if she wanders in – at least being warm and cosy means she will sleep and believe you me for a child who is high volume, unending energy and on the go all day she needs her sleep. We do too!

It took time to work out what would work and to be honest no amount of helpful suggestions in a patronising tone were going to be considered, because you know what? Mother knows best and when something works it will!

Of course they grow out of things and grow into teenagers. Which is fun. Said no one ever. Teenagers are a different ball game and no mother of teens has given me any advice. Only wine.


5 responses »

  1. Ha! I love that last line, so true. And yes, lots of different suggestions can be helpful to give you choices, but they aren’t necessarily the answer. I like that comment about the solution being bigger than the problem.

  2. This is a GREAT post Nell and I agree with you wholeheartedly. Why is it that as mothers we somehow feel the need to give other people advice….for me it’s because I don’t like to see people struggling and am a one for ‘fixing’ things. But some things have to be fixed by the person themselves and as you say – mother always knows best!

  3. Pingback: Counting to teen | PeacockPomPoms

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