Wanting advice and wanting sympathy are two different things.
If I want advice you'll know. I'll be using words like 'help', 'what would you do?', 'what do you think?'
If I ask then knock yourself out, go for your life, give me all the educated/uneducated/responsible/irresponsible advice you can muster. I'm all ears and I'll listen if I like it and let it wash over if I don't. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I know everything or have all the answers. I've asked for plenty of advice from plenty of different people and sources.
Giving unsolicited advice is one of the most annoying things any mother (or even worse non-mother) can do. I'm saying 'mother' not 'parent' because I've never heard a dad do it...maybe they do, but I haven't come across one. Giving me advice when I'm not asking for it just makes me feel ten times worse. You may say I'm too sensitive. Well guess what? I am, I admit that, and it took me 40 years to know that for sure. But giving unsolicited advice can be completely insensitive! That means you are not listening and you think you know better...that's what I hear anyhow.
If I'm telling a sad story about how something went terribly wrong, or whinging about something that's not working out, or whatever, I'm just wanting you to lend an ear and maybe shoulder to cry on. Don't tell me what I SHOULD have done, or SHOULD be doing!!
Oh, and don't start with that, "I'm just trying to help" rubbish! How about helping with your ears instead of your mouth.
It doesn't matter how old or young we are or our children are, or whether we are parenting with a partner or we are a single parent...most of us are just doing the best we can for our kids, and most of us do a damn good job!
Right, that's it...rant over!
PS This rant was prompted by reading comments on Felicity Moore's blog. I love reading her blog and commented myself...it was the comments before and after my second comment that got my blood boiling. Read it here if you like....