Just wait until

by Lesley on February 11, 2013 · 19 comments

in Anna,motherhood

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One of the hardest phrases for me to hear as a mother is “Just wait until…”

Get your sleep now because just wait until those first few weeks when you turn into a walking zombie.

If you think breastfeeding is hard, just wait until she starts eating solid food. It’s so much work!

You think getting up in the night is tough? Just wait until she starts walking…then you’re REALLY going to be tired.

Oh boy, just wait until she turns two. TWO is really going to test your patience with all the disciplining.

You think traveling with one is tough? Just wait until you attempt to fly with both kids!

The toddler stage is easy peasy. Just wait until they’re in elementary school and they have tons of homework every night!

TEENAGERS! Just wait until she turns 13 and has an opinion about every outfit you try to buy her.

The phrase “just wait until” is damaging because

it implies that our current season, and current struggles, are not valid

It implies the future only gets more challenging

It implies all children, and all families, go through the same trials

As I continue to grow as a mom, I’ve decided two things:

1.  I will ignore any and all advice that comes from someone who says, “Just wait until…negative negative negative”

2.  The phrase “just wait until” will not be part of my vocabulary unless it’s used in this context:

…Just wait until they lay her on your chest for the first time…Just wait until that first smile…Just wait until instead of screaming in the night, you hear her say, “MOMMY?”…Just wait until the first morning you get 8 hours of straight sleep and feel like a new woman (because it will happen!)…Just wait until she open mouth kisses you with a look of complete glee and love…Just wait until the pitter patter of her little feet make the house feel right for the first time…Just wait until you realize that even though it’s hard work being a parent, you want to do it all over again. 

In parenting, there are plenty of ages and stages we can fear. Even better? There are plenty of ages and stages to look forward to.

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18 comments
Jamee
Jamee

Thank you soooo much for writing this blog. It really spoke to my heart. I am 26 weeks pregnant and am just about fed up with hearing those three words...Just wait until. Don't people realize this is my journey and I want to enjoy THIS moment and not think about a moment 2 years away. Again, thank you for reminding me I am not crazy! :)

Ashlee
Ashlee

I read this on my phone and forgot to come back and comment, but I just wanted to say, AMEN. I agree wholeheartedly with every word of this. If you ever catch me saying "just wait until" to another mom, you have permission to slap me. (okay, not really....a stern look will suffice)

PC
PC

Thaaaaank you!!

Christina
Christina

I LOVE this post! And funny enough, it's something I have thought a lot about today. I found MYSELF thinking "I can't wait until he drops his 3 a.m. feeding", "I can't wait until he can sit up on his own", "I can't wait until we're past the obsessive drooling phase", etc. I then realized I'm missing it. And it wasn't until I was talking about this with some of my mom friends in our weekly get together and hearing their perspective about how much they miss the phase I'm currently in, because their children are older. I need to be present, and enjoy what's happening NOW, and not worry so much or wish for new milestones.

Kat
Kat

Amen!!! I am SO tired of those seemingly neverending "Just wait until...." unsolicited comments now that we're expecting. Dave & I have already vowed to do our best to only speak positively about the season of parenting we're in or to others who ask for advice. This couldn't have been written better. Thanks for sucha timely post articulated so eloquently! xoxo

Lesley
Lesley

Thanks for all the wonderful thoughts, everyone! There seems to be several of you who are currently pregnant, and I have to admit, the "just you waits" while pregnant were the hardest for me. Similar to Kristin, I remember attending someone's baby shower while I was pregnant and all the advice made me fearful of birth and the newborn months. Anna and Stacey, I think what's key is still being vulnerable with friends and family, and expecting the same in return. We can't pretend like all is fine and dandy! And Anna, I agree, the toddler stage (for me) has been a lot more challenging than the baby stage, but two of my good friends up here would say the opposite! I had a lot of people tell me "enjoy the baby stage" and I didn't really like that because it implied that if I ever expressed frustration I must not be enjoying my child. I guess what I need from older and wiser moms (and what I want to offer) is validating the hard moments while provide encouragement about the future even amidst the hard realities it might hold.

Stacey
Stacey

GREAT post! You're so right about how frustrating those "just wait until" comments are. I got them a lot when I was pregnant and still get them now. It's true that each baby/family is different and each child's stage will be different....no cookie cutters here! I love the challenge to start sharing more of the positives, too. Not in an unrealistic way, where people make it seem like you're doing something wrong because your baby still isn't sleeping through the night and, well, back in their day their baby was sleeping through the night straight out of the hospital. :) But being able to share the realities, both good and bad. Enjoying the moment, again, both good and bad, because both are precious.

Tim
Tim

Lesley, I like to tell parents that every single stage in parenthood is a blast. Not always easy, but they are all a blast. Tim

Anna
Anna

I agree that the "Just wait..." type of comments totally invalidate the challenges of the current stage; however, toddler-hood is 100% more challenging than I ever anticipated. I sort of wish that someone had said "Oh sweetie, enjoy this little baby now while he'll still let you hold him. He's going to run and jump and yell and play for 11 hours a day in about two seconds." I know everyone's experience is different, and my son wasn't an easy baby... but his babyhood was WAY easier than his toddlerhood has been. I do wish I'd slowed down and enjoyed that period of time more. Perhaps instead of "just wait" statements we should be making "enjoy it now" statements? Each stage has so much to enjoy - some are harder than others - but I'm working on enjoying where I am now, and I wish I'd done that more when my little guy was smaller.

Kristin Ritzau
Kristin Ritzau

Thank you Lesley. I was just talking about this after coming home from a baby shower (for someone else). All of the stories were filled with honesty, but absolutisms like "just wait until." I haven't even given birth yet and I am already feeling like I am in a losing game because my life doesn't look like others'. Your words were much needed for my soul today.

Natalie
Natalie

This is so spot on! I'm six months pregnant with my first and have entered long nights of restless sleep, which only earn a "just wait until they're here and keep you up...blahblahblah." It does invalidate the moments you're going through now and attempt to rush you in to dread for the future, in a way. Those comments never result in a good feeling, that's for sure. I'm choosing to focus on the blessings to come. Thanks for sharing this!

Rayni Peavy
Rayni Peavy

LOVE this post, and I don't even have kids! I find the "just wait until" phrase is annoyingly used for so many other life situations, too. It is so important to meet people where they are and show compassion for their situation rather than focus on a negative. Every family IS different and we don't all have the same experiences.

Kelly
Kelly

Love this friend. Shedding tears at my desk. We are so so so so blessed to have our wonderful babies.

Kristie
Kristie

Thanks so much for this! I'm pregnant with my first and have already experienced this. I haven't had an easy first trimester (nearing the end!). Recently we were at a friend's house who is pregnant with her fourth and when I explained how tired I was, I was laughed at. Now, the laughter was kind and the evening was such a blessing, but I left feeling like something was wrong with me (and may have shed a few tears, but THAT isn't anything new now that I'm pregnant haha!). I felt like being overwhelmed and tired was wrong because my life is so easy. Thanks for pointing this out. I need to remember with with my youth group kids, too... when I compare their "easy" lives to mine and find it tempting to say "just wait until you have a full-time job and bills to pay!"

Lindsay @ Little One Love
Lindsay @ Little One Love

Love this post! I got the "just wait until" ALL THE TIME when I was pregnant. Just wait until she gets here, you'll see how hard it is. I think you are 100% right that the only thing this phrase does is make our current situations seem like less than what they are. Such honestly- thank you for posting on this topic!

Angeline
Angeline

Funny - I have been thinking a lot that I hate this phrase as a child-free woman among mothers (especially in the workplace). I always assumed it would go away when I have kids (eventually), but I guess not.

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