Considering I am a non parent and have yet to have my own children, I 100% have experienced awkward situations when misunderstandings and misconceptions have happened between me and parents; especially with family and friends that already have kids.
First of all, as for me my intention is never to be ignorant and thoughtless. Thoughtless meaning saying anything to anyone, but I have to admit there have been times when I've said something and it's been taken the wrong way. As a non parent I have had many chances to observe parents near me and had time to understand their choices. My sister has a daughter, my cousin has a daughter and in the past 18 months quite a few of my friends have given birth and gotten pregnant.
Considering childbirth and pregnancy are some things I am infatuated by this doesn't mean I go around claiming to be an expert; just means I like to understand and inquire about everything and anything and sometimes like to throw some of the interesting things I've learnt into conversation. I think sometimes people think all non parents have absolutely no right to say anything regarding pregnancy and children and birth, which I agree with, to an extent. If your non parent friend is listening to you and just giving you some suggestions to possibly help you or give you an alternative I don't believe they are judging you or are demanding you do what they say.
It's different if what your non parent friend is saying is completely irrelevant and will not support you in anyway, then yes, those non parents are the ones that give us the bad rep. Personally, I never want to judge or seem above anybody, but I do like to say things like "I read that ......... is helpful for that, is that true? Have you tried it?" Sometimes I feel that I can be excluded or left out purely because I don't have a child, because people assume I wouldn't understand any of it. They are right in terms of feelings, I don't know the emotions of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. But what I do know is that I always try and learn more and ask and imagine those moments.
Also, I believe their is a huge difference between the non parents commenting on how parents parent and the non parents who give supportive advice and ideas in the best of interest of their friend/family member and maybe even the child. If you are a non parent mentioning how someone shouldn't be doing this or can't do that to THEIR child; then that is wrong in my opinion(unless someone is in danger). If you are the mother or father then I'm sure most of you will know what is best and most effective and suitable for your child. Not someone who is making remarks like it's their offspring. While as if you're a non parent making suggestions like "why don't you try bringing them out for a walk with me" or "maybe some calpol would work?" I feel like that's acceptable as you're not passing judgement, you're not forcing anyone to do anything and the way you say these things is much more respectful and kind.
I guess overall I'm just saying that as a non parent; SOME people automatically disregard me and me thoughts and ideas because they assume I am clueless. I would never try tell someone how to be a parent or how to do something, but I love speaking and understanding that aspect of their lives and sometimes that is not considered before making opinions of me and other non parents.
Mothers and Fathers, I fully respect you and your decisions; I just want to learn and see how it all works.
A non parent.
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