A is for Advice

I’m a little too late to formally participate in the Blog A-Z  event, but after reading some of my friends post I decided I really liked the idea! There’s no way I’ll finish these out by the end of April, but I think I’ll do them at my own pace all the same. 

I see them all the time. You see them, too, I’m sure. They’re everywhere, these lists of advice handed down from invisible so-called experts with no room for nuance. You must not marry young, you must only breastfeed your babies, you must only make these moves in your career . . . and here are the reasons why.

I’ve made plenty a numbered list during my time as a blogger, and I don’t think the format is a bad idea, but I cringe when a piece like this moves from suggestion to decree. The writers of such lists seems to assume that everyone in the world has the same ambitions, desires, dreams, goals, and situations.

Perhaps this evolves from  our desire to have one size fits all solutions to our most common problems. I can understand that. It’s a nice thought, isn’t it? But unfortunately, this approach often ends up working just as well as those “one size fits all” shirts no one ever buys, because when it comes to most things, it just isn’t possible.

So here is my advice to you, dear readers:

Marry young. Marry later in life. Don’t marry at all.

Have lots of children. Have only one or two. Don’t have any.

Breastfeed. Bottle feed. Use formula.

Focus on your career. Be a full-time parent. Find a way to do both. 

Travel the world. Travel domestically. Never travel at all.

Send your kids to public school. Private school. Homeschool. 

Etcetera, etcetera.

I  can’t make your decisions for you, and neither can anyone else. Listen to the experiences of others, evaluate your own situation, and figure out what works for you. Ignore the rest. Life is too short to let other people try to control your major life decisions.


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