It's an expression that fills my heart with dread. It usually means that someone is going to offload their opinion about what I'm doing wrong or how I should at least do it their way.
I much prefer advice that I've asked for than advice that's offered unsolicited. I don't take well to the tutting pensioner in the food isles offering wisdom whilst one of my offspring has a freakout over the lack of Peppa Pig shaped ham or some such.
A recent twitter thread highlighted the 'interesting' advice that was being given and how it was being received.
We all come to this adoption malarky on the back foot, our Social Workers are 'experts' and every suggestion or piece of advice is loaded. It's loaded with the bureaucratic authority they hold, the unspoken reality that they are gatekeepers to what we want and need. So we nod politely and take on board what is said, after all they're the 'experts'. In different circumstances we wouldn't feel so amenable to advice offered but in this case we are.
If we chose not to follow the advice then we perhaps 'hide' what we intend to do.
The experiences and knowledge of others is invaluable but we must weigh it and measure it against our lives, our knowledge of ourselves and our gut instincts. In social work parlance we are experts of ourselves and our own experience. The approval process should lead us to this understanding so we can use it effectively.
Advice and guidance can be life changing and at times has been essential to us as individuals and as a family. But the spirit that the advice was offered and received seemed to be the essential factor. And not just professionals, family friends and pensioners, the same applies to you.
If you want to listen to me, get to know me and have a conversation then you've got a chance of being asked for advice.
We've been given a truckload of advice but standard' advice trotted out from 'standard' professionals is for 'standard' families and 'standard' children.
I don't know about you but I'm many things but it's increasingly clear that I'm not 'standard'.
For the record:
If anyone ever advises me to 'relax' cos my child is 'picking up' on my anxiety, I will become the embodiment of the exact opposite of relaxed.
If you advise I use a 'star chart' to help her focus on not being 'angry', I might staple said star chart to your forehead.
If you advise that Flossy 'twangs' an elastic band around her wrist if she feels angry to distract her then I'll let her 'twang' it off your wrist to distract you.
And finally, if you advise Mrs C that she has 'control' issues, I WILL NOT restrain her. You were warned.