Back off, Grandma! Unwanted Advice from Old People

Back off, Grandma!  Unwanted Advice from Old People

What is it with unwanted advice from old people?? Or at least some of them.

Why can’t they resist unleashing their pearls of ‘wisdom’ on you at every opportunity?

I should point out that no actual family members are included in this particular rant.  They’re probably someone else’s Grandma though!  Today I was reminded about the unwanted advice from old people you get when you have a baby.

Unwanted Advice from Old People - Unsolicited Pregnancy Advice Unsolicited Parenting Advice Unsolicited Advice

Today, I was out with my baby son and encountered some older ladies.  Grandma 1 came over to coo in his face.

He started to cry.

Grandma 2 came over and announced HE MUST BE HUNGRY.


I told them loudly that he’d just been fed and he was crying because sometimes he cries.  I am far too polite to have said that Grandma 1 had scared the bejesus out of him and he was crying in fear.

At that point, Grandmas 3 and 4 scuttled over to see what was happened.

Grandma 3 shoved her head into the pram, retracted and then proudly announced to all that he was crying because HE WAS HUNGRY.  Grandma 4 agreed and told me I should FEED HIM.

Despite wanting to bang G3 and G4’s blue-rinsed heads together, I calmly told them that he’d just fed and that, you know, sometimes babies cry for no real reason.  What a revelation that must have been to them.

But seriously, why do the old women of the world feel the need to constantly educate me on how to address my baby’s needs?

“Is he hungry?”  The clear winner.

“Is he cold?”  Because I dared take my baby into the Freezer section at the supermarket.

“He needs a hat on!”  On a very normal, 20 degree day.

They really can’t help but dispense their titbits at every chance they get.  Which would be fine if it was legitimate advice and in some way helpful.

But it’s the undercurrent of ‘I know better than you’ that gets me.  Just because you’re older, that does not make you any wiser than me about MY baby.

So my advice to the ‘Grandmas’ of the world is this – if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything.  Simple as that.

In return, I will continue to ‘respect my elders’ and not tell you to shut up and remove your judgmental head from my baby’s pram.

That’s fair, isn’t it?

Turns out though, Grandma 1 isn’t even a Grandma.  She told me on the way out that she never wanted any kids of her own. Grr.

Read next:

Unwanted Advice from Old People - Unsolicited Pregnancy Advice Unsolicited Parenting Advice Unsolicited Advice

Linked to Honest Mum


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  1. 16th November 2015 / 8:26 pm

    It’s so easy for strangers to dish this advice out isn’t it? What makes them think the know your baby better anyway? I’ve had to bite my tongue many-a-time to this too! Let’s just hope that when we’re in our 80s in our blue rinses we don’t do the same eh? #ParentingPicks

    • 20th November 2015 / 11:25 am

      Ha ha I know – I need to remind myself never to do it! x

  2. Kayla
    14th November 2015 / 2:35 am

    That last little tidbit about Grandma 1 made me laugh! Some people can be so intrusive and unhelpful. Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world where it wouldn’t be rude to ask people to stay away from our babies? #parentingpicks

    • 14th November 2015 / 10:55 am

      Ha ha I would have loved to do that in the early days! x

  3. Sandra
    13th November 2015 / 8:29 pm

    Very interesting reading! I’m 66 and I remember an occasion when my son as a toddler demanding sweets and was advised ‘oh mum buy him some’. I was at the checkout. My late mil was a nightmare and knew best.

    Even now I get unasked for advice on a variety of subjects but no practical help. It seems someone always knows better.

    I take no notice

    • 14th November 2015 / 4:58 pm

      Ah I’ve had similar experiences like yours at the checkout too! :)

  4. 13th November 2015 / 12:02 am

    How infuriating! I live in a small town mainly populated with old dears, I have never had any unsolicited advice (or maybe I have but I wasn’t paying attention), but I can’t leave the house without some pensioner saying “Oh, you’ve got your hands full.” OAPS – keeping cliches alive! #ParentingPicks

    • 13th November 2015 / 11:42 am

      Ha ha they really are!! x

  5. 12th November 2015 / 10:35 pm

    Grrr indeedy. Especially to the granny that had no kids herself! #parentingpicks

    • 13th November 2015 / 11:44 am

      Ha ha I know – couldn’t help herself! x

  6. 12th November 2015 / 7:16 pm

    Just you wait – you’ll have a scary hairy face one day and then you’ll regret being so mean to the lovely old people!! #parentingpicks

    • 13th November 2015 / 11:45 am

      Ha haaa I will – and I’ll me passing my pearls of wisdom to everyone who DIDN’T ask! x

  7. Robyn
    12th November 2015 / 6:59 pm

    Very funny, I can just imagine what all those blue-rinsed old crones must have looked like from your baby’s perspective, peering into his pram! I don’t know whether I haven’t struck much of this yet, or if I’m just too distracted to notice when people do it!! #parentingpicks

    • 13th November 2015 / 11:46 am

      Baha he did look a bit concerned!! x

    • 13th November 2015 / 11:46 am

      Yes it is – I try my best not to do it myself, I think I fail though! x

  8. 12th November 2015 / 2:11 pm

    I’ve had this too. A lot! They just can’t help themselves. Yesterday though I had a lovely conversation with a grandma in the fruit shop and she didn’t make a single comment when DS started mucking around :) She was just lovely.

    • 13th November 2015 / 11:48 am

      Aww there are such lovely lovely ones too! x

  9. 12th November 2015 / 12:31 pm

    Yes, I am not a fan of people assuming they know better and unsolicited advice. Though I have always been less bothered by random strangers, which I tend to just shrug off as them trying to make conversation, and more bothered by people you know. I have particularly never liked people playing the I know more because I had more children/you’re new to it cards. I have never really got what relevance that has: obviously at some point they were new to it too, and their experience – however many kids they have – is only really relevant to their children. My children are different children, they don’t all behave alike! I mean, I can see that practical things like nappy changing are universal, but I can’t honestly say it was difficult to pick that stuff up without help! #parentingpicks

    • 13th November 2015 / 11:48 am

      I totally get that – the ones who assume they know better because they have 1 more child than you or they’ve done it for 1 year longer! x

  10. 12th November 2015 / 9:55 am

    And it always happens at the supermarket….or half way down the street when you’re trying to drag tired kids to the car!! So very true. Of course, then you meet that lovely dear who can make your day out of nowhere when she stops you to say your kids are beautiful…awwww….warm heart moment… Thanks #parentingpicks

    • 12th November 2015 / 10:12 am

      Oh yes I love those ones, they’re the best ever and you’re right, it really goes make your day! x

  11. 12th November 2015 / 9:47 am

    Agh I’ve had this! Definitely had to bite my tongue on more than one occasion!

    • 13th November 2015 / 11:49 am

      Glad it isn’t just me ha! x

  12. 12th November 2015 / 9:21 am

    Brilliant post and so so so true! I had concerned Public Grandmas who used to tell me that I was “ruining” my baby’s legs because I was carrying him in a Babybjorn or a sling…Thanks for hosting #parentingpicks

    • 13th November 2015 / 11:51 am

      Oh my word ha ha, what are they thinking! x

  13. 12th November 2015 / 8:39 am

    Ha! Brilliant. Why are there so many old women at WW meetings anyway. When I am old, I’m just going to eat what I want, get fat and leave my nose out of other people’s business…bless them though!! #parentingpicks

    • 12th November 2015 / 8:59 am

      I think they like the socialising!! They were lovely really, just couldn’t help themselves with the ádvice’!

  14. 12th November 2015 / 8:32 am

    Totally relatable! I had someone approach and touch my son in the supermarket freezer section one day to tell me he was cold. It was a hot day and he was practically sweating! I had a great retort… it was just a shame it came an hour after I left the supermarket. Next time… I’ll be ready!

    • 12th November 2015 / 8:59 am

      Ha ha I think that too – I come up with so many good ones and then I’m almost annoyed that I don’t have the opportunity to use them again :)

  15. 12th November 2015 / 8:16 am

    Spot on!!
    I had a friend who’s daughter refused to have a blanket on her in the pram despite it snowing. As my friend walked down the road, she would pre-emt any granny comments by loudly announcing “I really wish you would have a blanket, you must be cold!” whenever she spotted one coming!

    • 12th November 2015 / 8:18 am

      Ha ha that’s right – you start to get really defensive before they’ve even opened their mouths sometimes! x

  16. 12th November 2015 / 8:13 am

    Brilliant and so very very true! I hope I’m not like those ‘Grandma’s’ when I’m their age! I’ve luckily met a lot of lovely older ladies that tend to smile and nod when they see you having a rough time as though they’ve been there and know how you feel. #parentingpicks

    • 12th November 2015 / 8:19 am

      Oh me too – and yes, I’ve met some lovely ones too who are nothing but complimentary and build up your confidence :) x

  17. 19th July 2015 / 11:09 pm

    I find backseat parenting from anyone, elderly or not so frustrating, why do others think they have the right. we know our kids best. Thanks for linking up x

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:26 pm

      That’s very true – it certainly isn’t limited to the older generation and YES, we do know them best :) :)

  18. Victoria
    19th July 2015 / 7:37 pm

    This is so true. Old people really don’t have a filter once they reach a certain age. A member of family told me not to cross my legs while pregnant as the umbilical cord could wrap around the baby’s neck. erhm, thanks?

    • 19th July 2015 / 8:30 pm

      Ha ha I haven’t heard that one – I’ve heard the one about not raising your arms over your head when you’re pregnant for the same reason. Um, oookay! :)

  19. 19th July 2015 / 9:31 am

    I get this a lot. It doesn’t help that my 4 year constantly asks for snacks. She’s always been like that and people who overhear think I’m being cruel and tell me to give her some food! I don’t think they believe me when I tell them she has had THREE lunches already that day and she is only asking for food out of habit, boredom or just because she know it winds me up! I get the hat one too, my Mam would keep telling me to put a hat on the newborn when we were inside, despite the midwives saying that it can cause them to overheat. #brilliantblogposts

    • 19th July 2015 / 7:08 pm

      Ha ha oh it’s exhausting isn’t it – they can’t help themselves grr! :)

  20. 16th July 2015 / 9:31 pm

    Oh yes, the unwanted advice! I also got a few grandmas who came up to me and said how much they’d longed for kids and it had never happened for them and my mum was so lucky. They looked so sad, it was heartbreaking #brilliantblogoosts

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:25 pm

      Oh that’s really really sad :( Aww!

  21. 16th July 2015 / 9:23 pm

    Oh old people….
    People of any age seem to interact with me much less than it appears they interact with other people. Old people don’t bother me as much as younger people. I sort of think old people are supposed to say crazy things and I think “oh bless your heart, you’re old”
    It’s fun to laugh at them later for being crazy. #BrilliantBlogPosts

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:24 pm

      That’s very very true – some of them are certainly entertaining! :)

  22. 16th July 2015 / 8:15 pm

    I am not a parent, so I cannot relate to this. For this reason, I could laugh at your and the commenters’ experiences. I don’t mean this to laugh it off, but your description was just quite hilarious. #brilliantblogposts

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:23 pm

      Ha ha thank you! You have to laugh or you’d cry sometimes :)

  23. 16th July 2015 / 7:42 pm

    He,he! Very funny! I always seem to bump into these grandma’s at the post office where they give me their pearls of wisdom!!! #brilliantblogposts

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:23 pm

      Ha ha that’s another prime location for them – I get it there too! :)

  24. 16th July 2015 / 7:28 pm

    What is it with old people and the whole he must be hungry thing? I’ve had it too. I know they mean well but it is so frustrating! #brilliantblogposts

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:22 pm

      I’m so glad it isn’t just me, it infuriates me – I feed him ALL THE TIME! :)

  25. 16th July 2015 / 5:44 pm

    WHY are people SO flipping rude?! I know the answer for the “older” generation, they just don’t care anymore do they?! One actually LIFTED my top and felt my naked pregnant belly when I was up the duff with my first! I was agog! Great post. #brilliantblogposts

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:22 pm

      OH MY GOD NO! I would have been ANGRY at that! :)

  26. 16th July 2015 / 1:51 pm

    I had a comment on a plane once with my first child. She was 10 months and already walking and did not want to sit in her seat. So when I strapped her down she screamed and screamed. The comments were all about how her ears must had hurt and had I done this, or this, as was it the first time she had flown – it wasn’t it was about the 21st! She just didn’t want mummy strapping her down! #brilliantblogposts

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:19 pm

      Oh I have that to look forward to soon – and the disapproving looks are as bad as the comments sometimes! :)

  27. 16th July 2015 / 10:59 am

    hahaha! This made me chuckle….Some old people really do think they know it all don’t they. I can’t wait to be old and act like this.

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:18 pm

      Me too – it sounds like it’s no holds barred for some! :)

  28. Melodie Cullen
    16th July 2015 / 9:37 am

    This is hilarious. I have the same problem with my mums family… Oh She’s Tired. Melodie I think she is tired.
    Doesn’t matter how many times I tell them she slept for the hour long journey to get there, in the end I say oh yes she is we best leave and off we trot back home where babies can make noise if they want to without being judged. Old people know best.

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:18 pm

      Ha ha some of them REALLY think they do! :)

  29. [email protected] Anxious Toddlers
    16th July 2015 / 2:43 pm

    This is so funny! I have this experience ALL the time. Especially when I am held prisoner watching my son in swim class with my young daughter. This elderly lady always has some words of …non-wisdom to share! #brilliantblogposts

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:21 pm

      Oh that’s horrible that you can’t escape her! I bet she looks forward to passing on her pearls of wisdom to you each week! :)

  30. 16th July 2015 / 5:35 am

    This made me laugh – I was laughing with you not at you. I recall one such incident so vividly when I was with my 4mo coming out of the airport. Now that I no longer have babies and have been through it 3 times and have plenty of advice of my own…. I know to take it all with a grain of salt.

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:17 pm

      Ha ha thank you! Yes, it’s best to brush it off – or vent and then brush it off! :)

  31. 16th July 2015 / 4:48 am

    Hahaha I get this all the time! Some people just seem to feel the need to tell you how to be a mother!

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:16 pm

      So so true – they just can’t help themselves! :)

  32. 16th July 2015 / 2:50 am

    I’m so glad someone has said this! People seem to reach a certain age and just not care who they offend anymore – great for them, not so much for the people on the receiving end :) #brillblogposts

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:16 pm

      It makes me look forward to old age if it means you can say ANYTHING! I never would though :)

  33. 16th July 2015 / 1:20 am

    Haha – I loved this title and I can hear your writing through gritted teeth in this post! This is something I’m sure we’ve all gone through, I know I have, and have (thru my gritted teeth) mumbled and moved on rather than really say what I feel. This post says it all!
    Love it and I wish I was slightly braver in ‘real life’ to let it all out like you in this post!

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:15 pm

      I really was writing through gritted teeth ha! I hope they don’t read it, I’m not that brave! :)

  34. 16th July 2015 / 12:58 am

    It’s like it’s in their blood or something. They feel the urgency to tell you what to do with your own children. Don’t worry, it happens everywhere around the world. Silly Grandmas!! #brilliantblogposts

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:14 pm

      Ha ha not limited to here then, lovely :)

  35. 15th July 2015 / 11:12 pm

    Oh I think we’ve all experienced this to a greater or lesser degree. As a guy, however, it’s more often than not “oh you cheeky dad you, you’ve no idea what you’re doing do you?” Well, yes, actually I do! #BrilliantBlogPosts

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:11 pm

      Ooh that would infuriate my husband too – you know JUST as much as the mums! :)

  36. 15th July 2015 / 11:12 pm

    They mean well, but sometimes I want to shove their advice where the sun doesn’t shine, but I’m trying to be polite, so I bite my tongue, nod and walk away.
    It’s the ones that insist on touching, why the hell they think that is okay is beyond me.

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:10 pm

      Tee hee I know what you mean!! :)

  37. 15th July 2015 / 11:07 pm

    Well…being a grandma myself, I have to say I rarely give advice unless I’m asked. But since I successfully raised four children of my own, I do often feel I know a thing or two!

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:10 pm

      Thanks Tami – and I must say, my own Mum is very knowledgeable! I love advice and listen to all of it – it’s the throwaway comments that get to me sometimes :)

  38. 15th July 2015 / 11:04 pm

    This made me laugh so much. Sadly I dare not put any of my own experiences in print for fear of offending, but your post bought back loads of memories!

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:09 pm

      Ha ha yes, I hope they don’t find out! x

  39. 15th July 2015 / 10:49 pm

    I can’t wait until I’m old and can get aware with saying whatever the F I want to people. It must be so liberating!

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:07 pm

      Haaa awesome – oh me too!! :)

  40. 15th July 2015 / 5:41 pm

    Oh my goodness. Imagine if you started telling them what was wrong in their lives and what they should do! Too much time on their hands lovely. This did make me chuckle though xx

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:08 pm

      Ha ha that’s a very good point – I should try that one day! x x

  41. Jessie, FlusteredMom
    16th July 2015 / 12:44 am

    That title made me giggle. I actually really love old people’s advice. I used to be a hospice nurse and one of the things I enjoyed most was the unsolicited advice my patients shared with me. Some was practical but much was completely entertaining. Of course I always nodded respectfully and offered my most gracious thanks. #BrilliantBlogPosts

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:14 pm

      Ha ha thank you – that’s my tiny attempt at controversy! Oh gosh you must have heard some corkers in that job! :) You need to post some of them :)

  42. zoe dunn
    15th July 2015 / 11:24 pm

    hahaha brilliant and so true. My dad refers to old people as social hand grenades sometimes just because they’re old they no longer care about offending people. After losing my first son I had an old lady tell me that if I couldn’t have children I may as well just kill myself (I lived in a pub at the time aka goldfish bowl. She was aware of my situation) For all she knew I might not have been able to have children (I’m really lucky I now have 3) how supportive of her to state her feelings on my personal life so delicately!! I am respectful of elders but I also think its great that someone is finally saying what we’re all thinking……..some times they’re just down right rude! #brilliantblogposts

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:13 pm

      Oh my word how awful of her, I’m so sorry you had to hear that rubbish! Advice is welcomed – rudeness is unacceptable, whatever your age :)

  43. Eimear
    15th July 2015 / 11:17 pm

    I’ve come to realise it seems to come with the territory these unwanted comments, it’s not just grandma’s either!! #brilliantblogposts

    • 21st July 2015 / 7:12 pm

      That’s very true – it certainly isn’t limited to grandmas! :)

  44. 15th July 2015 / 11:24 am

    I get this all the time with my youngest. He always takes his socks off when he’s in the buggy. The other day a ‘Grandma’ leaned in the buggy and told him he had a bad Mummy for leaving the house with no socks on his feet. It was in the middle of the heatwave, we were inside and I’m sure he fag breath did more harm than having no socks on his feet. Grrrrrr

    • 15th July 2015 / 11:35 am

      Oh grrr – they just can’t button it!!!! Yuck to her breath too :(

  45. 14th July 2015 / 3:14 pm

    Ha ha i love this! An elderley gent gave me a lecture the other day on the importance of giving babies sugar free cordial so it doesn’t rot their teeth.

    J wasnt event drinking juice, he had water.


    • 14th July 2015 / 3:58 pm

      Oh that’s so funny – they Cannot. Help. Themselves! :)

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