Its really common to find when you are pregnant or in early parenting that people (even complete strangers) feel it is within their right to tell you their personal stories, opinions and advise about what you should or should not do.
That might be fine if they ask first and get the nod to go on…but often this doesn’t happen. And you are left feeling bombarded with information and emotions that you then have to do something with.
The well intentioned story teller can come triggered with a reference from their own experiences of being a child or being a parent. It can activate some pretty powerful responses from within them that they believe would be helpful for others to learn from. Or it could be that their response comes from a place of wanting some process around their experience so they can make better sense of it. Unconsciously the person may be seeking healing and change for the better.
This knowing can help you understand their motivation and their well meaning intention. But its still up to you whether or not you actually want to listen, take it on or involve yourself in the discussion.
The closer you get to birthing the more protective you are likely to become of your physical and emotional space. This is very important to respect. Trust your gut instinct as to whether you stay engaged in a conversation you didn’t ask to have.
So what could you do if you are in this situation:
You can excuse yourself from the conversation….I just have to duck off to the toilet. Say “thank you I will keep that in mind”.
You can ask a question back in order to get more information or reflect the question back on them.
eg – Whats important about that for you?
Where did that thought/feeling come from?
What have you learned from this about yourself?
What would you do differently?
There are so many open questions you could ask if you really want to involve yourself in their process and their reality. But check in with yourself first and work out if this is in your best interest at this time or not.
How have you managed this in your experience?