The one thing that’s guaranteed to come along with being a new parent, the death and taxes of parenthood, is advice from everybody. And 9 out of 10, it’s advice that you’re not necessarily seeking. They say it takes a village to raise a baby, but what they don’t say is that oftentimes you’re ready to move out of that village because of frustration.

It’s a catch 22, because more often than not, you’re getting advice from people who have raised children, as well as parents who raised you. I mean, it’s not like your friends without kids are offering up advice on how to you raise your kids. Hell, they’re impressed you can actually hold your baby without dropping it.

It’s the people who are experts in child rearing. Your parents easily forget that they haven’t raised kids in 20+ years (unless you’re one of these dummy’s who have kids at 16), and things may have changed a bit since then. For example, I saw a picture from when I was a baby. I was in my crib, and in the photo I saw everything from stuffed animals, to blankets, to scissors to a tub of water next to a plugged in hairdryer all inside of crib. Now, thanks to SIDS, Dibs and I subscribe to having nothing but the baby inside of the crib. This is lost on my parents, and rightfully so. After all, I survived despite having loaded guns and knives in my crib (I hope you all get my exaggeration here).

The biggest problem is handling the advice that’s obviously coming from a sincere place. Your reaction can be set off a firestorm, so you have to tread lightly. Before Gray was born, we tried to set the precedent that we were going to raise Gray the way we saw fit. Naturally, that precedent was tossed out the window. We have to remind those around us of it often.

The best way to handle unwarranted advice is to nod and say things like, “I’ve never thought of it that way, I’ll look into it.” Does it always work? No. But, it’s a lot better than, “I’m going to raise my child the way I want. If you don’t like it, you can suck it!”

Granted, that’s an option, too.