“A thank you note for your unwanted parenting advice,” by E.J. Batiste

Mar 29th, 2023 | By | Category: Nonfiction, Prose

Dear all-knowing, self-proclaimed “best parent ever” that must give your thoughts,

Thank you so much for your unsolicited parenting advice! I know you heard me say that I had no interest in hearing anyone’s advice unless I specifically asked for it. I am so glad that you decided that you were excluded from this comment and that I really really needed to hear how gross you think breastfeeding is and that you never did it for any of your kids, but they all turned out just fine. I know that all of my parenting decisions should mirror yours exactly.

I’m so glad that you told me about your very scientific thoughts that breastfeeding will make me less sexy. I was really worried about my sex appeal in your eye. So really, thank you!

Also, thanks for telling me how fat I’m getting and how big my face looks. Because again, yes, I was worrying about what you thought of my body and looks.

Thanks for pointing out, in a seemingly envious manner, how long and shiny my hair is getting and letting me know that it’s ONLY because I’m pregnant, otherwise my hair my could never grow to such lengths.

Thanks for informing me that you may buy something from my registry, or you might just buy your own thing but either way it will not be anything related to my boobs. I’m so sorry that my need for breastfeeding items has made you feel the need to let me know that you absolutely will not purchase these items, because “babies and boobs shouldn’t mix”. I was unaware that placing these things on my registry meant that I wanted YOU, out of all the other people given my registry information, to buy the “booby stuff”.

And yes, thank you for trying to shame me for using modern-day baby items. I know I’m supposed to have the exact same pregnancy and childcare experience as you did like forty years ago, but I literally couldn’t find a lead-painted crib anywhere! I know the world was supposed to stand still and no baby items should have been improved upon since your time of new parenthood, but I guess the world didn’t get your memo.

Oh, and lastly! How could I almost forget, much gratitude for laughing at the books that I have listed on my registry!! I appreciate you laughing in my “poor, misguided” face. I know that you find it hilarious that I talk to my baby while they are in utero and that knowing I’m buying books to read to my infant just takes the cake for you. So laughable, I know!

And the parenting books— I am so glad that you don’t understand the idea of educating oneself on different concepts/methods and that you equate buying parenting books with meaning that I will mindlessly follow every single thing I read. I’m so happy that you thought that I, a previous preschool teacher and developmental therapist with 15 years of babysitting experience would have no clue how to care for a child and that I truly needed your wisdom. Clearly, I would have been lost without you! Thanks so much!

An OBVIOUSLY Clueless New Mom


E.J. Batiste is a writer, screenwriter, poet, and artist originally from Raeford, North Carolina. She holds an MFA degree in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. E.J.’s creative work has appeared in various literary publications in North America and Europe. Find more of her work at ericajasmin.com or on Twitter and Instagram: @TheEricaJasmin.

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