Calm, Cool and Committed

Three Moms and a Dude

A Few Words on Advice

I’ve finally figured out the deal with advice, and I figured I’d fill you in on the secret… you know, as a little free advice from me to you.

Here’s the deal.

  1. When people give advice, they’re not really giving YOU advice, they’re giving themselves advice.  When they tell you that the only way to get a baby to sleep is by putting the kid in a sling facing left while bopping right, they’re really telling themselves how to get their kid to sleep.  When they tell you the best time to study is in the morning before breakfast, they’re talking about when the best time for them to study is.  They are NOT taking into consideration that you’re not a morning person, or that your baby is allergic to bopping.
  2. Be wary of the people who give the most advice.  They’re usually the worst at what they’re advising about.  That teacher who knows how to control kids’ behavior?  Her class operates an underground drug cartel during 5th period.  That mom who has the best secrets for toddler tantrums?  Her 17 year old is still throwing fits because he can’t get another juice box.
  3. The best way to seek advice is the internet.  That way you can see ALL KINDS of advice (from carrying your baby around by the scruff of his neck to bathing cats in saltwater and vinegar), choose the ones that sound best to you, and avoid the irritating looks that come with in-person advice.
  4. Good advice is usually in the form of solicited advice.  In general, you should just throw out advice that you haven’t asked for.  When your baby is crying and someone says, “Oh, it’s reflux!” act like you didn’t hear them.  However, if you say, “My baby cries every time I set him down in the crib but has no problem in the car seat.  What do you think the problem is?” listen to the person who says, “Have you tried putting the mattress on an incline?  It sounds like reflux.”
  5. When you ask for advice, don’t half-heartedly try it and then complain it doesn’t work.  A few years ago a teacher asked me for advice on a problem he was having.  I observed the problem and immediately saw a way to fix it.  He took ¼ of my advice for about 2 minutes and then went around complaining, “I even tried what she said, and it didn’t work.”  Uh, no, you didn’t try what I said.
  6. Just because someone once asked you for advice doesn’t mean they were asking for the 5-year discount plan.  If I asked you which brand of potato chips to buy in 1995, it doesn’t mean I’m interested in your current thoughts on why I should switch out my Tampax Pearls for OB applicator-free ones (do they still make those?!).

And one final word of advice –

I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.
Oscar Wilde

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What does the world have against Night Owls?

No, seriously, what’s the issue?

As you know, I’m a teacher.  It’s summer break and I’m loving every minute.  Every single, freaking minute!  Those who are my intimates know that I’m much happier now than I am during the school year.  One of the main reasons is that I actually get enough sleep. During summer break I can follow my preferred sleep schedule.  That puts me to bed between 2 and 4am, waking up between 10:30 and noon.

Already some of you Early Birds are aghast.  Mentally you’re thinking, “What a lazy piece of poo!” (Or something similar.)

Huh.  Really.  Lazy.  How’s that happen?  Check out the times I just listed.  If you go by my later schedule – 4am – noon – you’ll see that I get 8 hours of sleep.  Don’t early birds keep schedules like 10pm – 6am?  That’s also 8 hours!

I am often the brunt of jesting (at least I hope they’re in jest…) comments about my preference to sleep in late.

  • “Oh, you won’t see her up and about while the sun’s out.”
  • “Why don’t you get outside and enjoy the day?”
  • “Must be nice to be able to be lazy.”
  • “You’re wasting so much time!”

No lie, these are real comments I get (ask my hubby, since he reminded me of some of them). 

Why is it a problem that I run my day on the late shift?  I know people who get up early to write or exercise.  People who rise at 5am to get an hour of exercise or writing in are seen as dedicated, hard-working individuals.  That they are.  But why am I seen as less hard working because I went out for a jog at 9:30pm and am doing my writing at 11:30pm?

It shouldn’t be hard for Early Birds to understand schedule preferences, right?  Unfortunately, many of them seem to think it’s easy for Night Owls to adapt to the EB life.  I’m expected to be chipper and chirpy when work starts at 7:30 am.  Do Early Birds not realize that they’re not chipper and chirpy at midnight when I’ve hit my stride? 

I get that by nature more people are Early Birds because our caveman ancestors actually needed to follow daylight hours, blah, blah, blah, but come on.  Show some love to the Night Owls.

Don’t you like me better when I can choose my sleep schedule and not be the miserable, grumpy wreck I am when you make me get up at 5:30 in the morning?

At least I can stay up late knowing that I never make fun of Early Birds and how annoyingly sunshiney and bubbly (and annoying) they are at the buttcrack of dawn.  Well, okay, I do.  But that’s just because Night Owls are smarter.

Just saying.

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