Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Know-It-All Preemie Parent

You know that person? The one who knows-it-all, even when someone else at the table is the real expert? The person who can't keep quiet, no matter if others, even the expert, tries to weigh in? The person continues to talk. They dominate the conversation and drown everyone else out.

I have been this person. Maybe you have, too.

The know-it-all is a passionate individual. They have things to say! Others need to listen! They are excited. They really don't have the patience to listen to others. They are too busy thinking about the next thing they are going to say.

A couple years ago, I realized I was being the know-it-all preemie parent. Jack had been through pretty much every single thing a preemie could encounter (besides NEC), so I felt my voice was needed. I weighed in on message boards, gave advice liberally and freely, wrote extensively, as if I was the preemie expert, as if all our kids are the same.

Where many of us fail in this whole preemie thing is that we act as if we are the expert, when really, we are only the expert on our kid. I am an expert on Jack. I can only come to the table with my own experiences, with my own life lessons.

That is why I continue to tell Jack's story. I tell you things I've learned, but it may or may not be applicable to your own situation. I can give pointers or ideas or things that have helped or hindered, but I am not the expert. There are times where I will be quiet. I want to listen more. I don't want to be the one at the table that drowns everyone else out.

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8 comments:

catchupdaphne.com said...

I couldn't agree more. Every child is an individual. Yet, we can certainly learn from each other's stories and experiences. The pitfall is to expect that one child's development will follow another child's, because that is not the case even for typical children. Preemie development tends to be even less linear.

Christa aka The BabbyMama said...

I think this is a great post even for non-preemie parents! Sometimes we feel like experts and yes, drown out others who have just as much to offer. Listening is something I try hard to do. And I don't always succeed! But better that we all try, all give each other the floor, and all learn :)

Little Miss Moneybags said...

Ha! I kind of needed to read this today. I get so irritated by people with "normal" kids telling me what to do with my preemie that I forget that my experience doesn't make the expert on anything except my kid.

Jennifer Degl said...

Well said. I find myself being that mom too! My daughter is an ex 23 weeker and I wrote a book about my pregnancy and her birth and NICU time. I need to talk less now and listen more! Thanks for this!
www.micropreemie.net

Jessi said...

Yes, exactly!

Jessi said...

I agree. I want to learn more in every area of my life!

Jessi said...

You're welcome!

Jessi said...

Well, that is annoying - preemie parents or non-preemie parent :)