I am the mother of a newborn, a toddler, and a preschooler. When my friends who are first time moms tell me about their parenting challenges, two words try to creep to the tip of my tongue: “Just wait.”
When a friend says, “I just can’t take the baby to the grocery store, it’s too stressful!” What I want to say is, “Just wait. Try taking THREE kids to the grocery store! Taking just the baby feels like a vacation.” But I try to hold my tongue. Because I really, really don’t want to be that mom, the “just wait” mom.
When I was heavily pregnant with our second baby, our 2 year old, who had been sleeping in til 6:30am, started waking at 5am again every morning. It was toward the end of the pregnancy and I was just so tired from the third trimester insomnia, chasing a toddler all day, and trying to wrap my mind around what it would be like to become a mother of two. So, I told someone about how Benjamin was waking up so early and how I was just at the end of my rope. And she said, “Just wait! Just wait til that baby’s born. You’ll never sleep again. I can’t even remember the last time I slept past 5am!”
I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to snap at her or just burst into tears at her dismissal of my frustration and exhaustion. Because what she essentially communicated was, “You may think what you’re going through is hard. But it’s not. It’s not as hard as what I do.” Instead, what my discouraged little heart needed to hear was, “I’ve been there! That’s so hard. I’ll be praying for you.”
Sometimes, I forget what that felt like and I find myself becoming the “just wait” mom. But lately when those two little words try to escape from my mouth, I’ve been trying my very best to hold them in and give that first time mama what I wish I had been given: some encouragement, some sympathy, and some validation that yes! What you’re doing is really hard! I know what it feels like. Hang in there, mama!
Because the truth of it is, that transition from having no kids at all, to being a mother and having a little person need you every second of the day is beautiful, but brutal. Going from sleeping whenever you want to finding yourself at the mercy of a howling, hungry, tiny human at all hours of the night is painful.
And when you’re struggling to stay sane through all of it, the last thing you need is someone telling you that you’re strolling down Easy Street compared to what they’re doing.
When you’re in the midst of the most trying season of motherhood you’ve experienced and someone tells you it’s just going to get harder, what could be more disheartening? And I have to remember that my first pregnancy was the hardest thing I’d ever undertaken. Then when my colicky precious newborn arrived, the exhaustion was the hardest thing I’d ever lived through. And then being pregnant while caring for a toddler, learning to mother two children, trudging through months of unbearable morning sickness with my third pregnancy while caring for two little ones….in each season I am pushed to my absolute limits.
It is all the hardest. And it is all the best. And I never want to invalidate the parenting struggles of another woman who is also tackling the most difficult thing she has ever experienced with the insinuation that my lot is harder. And mamas, I think this motherhood thing gets a little bit easier each day that goes by. Not because the circumstances are easier, but because motherhood transforms me. It makes me capable of things I never thought I could do.
So bring it on. You mamas deserve a sympathetic ear and a word of encouragement. This motherhood thing is hard. But just wait, it will get easier. You got this, mama.
Thank you for this! It gets right to the heart of how we can be the Kingdom on earth through our vocation as mothers. The struggle to holiness, no matter what the form, is equally hard for every person just as the devil’s desire for their damnation is the same. While the form may be objectively lesser or greater, the impact on the person is the same: the strength of the purge is equally strongly felt. But once the heart is transformed, you arrive at a new level of happiness and harmony and you praise the Lord that you are no longer where you once were.
Love this! I got a lot of “just waits” and – even worse – some “well, if you can’t handle it now, how will you ever handle two??” comments when I was pregnant with Rosie. I was huge, uncomfortable, sick, and scared out of my mind! All I really wanted was a hug. And maybe a pan of brownies. 😉
Paige Kellerman says
Exactly, a pan of brownies! Just “Shhhh” and go bake me something delicious.
Oooooh so my parents!!! I get that all the time–you had them. You deal with them.
Boo… this is why I have brownies on hand at all times 😉 nail on head!
Anybody want to bring me a pan of brownies right now? ; )
I was reminded of this while doing a postpartum visit with a client recently. Having that first can be SO HARD and I had sort of forgotten that in the throes of having four. It’s a complete lifestyle change. New moms need lots of support, too!
Totally! That first baby was by far the hardest for me to get used to.
Laura June says
I love this post! I try and practice this in my life as well. Everyone has different limits at different times in their lives, so who I am to judge how hard it truly is for them at that moment? Being a mama is a tough job, regardless of if you have one or eleven children. The more we can support each other, the more each of us can feel encouraged when we’re in the throes of motherhood overload.
Yes, yes! Love this, Laura June.
Kendra Tierney says
Awesome Haley. This is so true. The only thing I usually get now is the “just wait until they’re teenagers” and the frustrating thing is she’s right: I don’t know what it’s like because I’ve never done it. So I’m not even really allowed to have a response. It’s a real conversation killer.
But just for the record, I’m pretty sure we’re going to be fine, or great.
I just heard that about teenagers yesterday and again today, haha. Loving your blog lately, by the way Kendra!
Michelle M. says
This is such a great post! I know I am guilty of this or, at least, something similar to this. I had my first four in five years and am now due with our fifth (our oldest is 7). So, it is incredibly easy for me to compare and fall into this way of thinking. Thanks for the encouragement!
Thanks, Michelle! <3
Thank you for this! This has happened to me more times than I can count. And the truth is, for me, very few people understood what I went through when my second came along (he had a heart condition and has survived 3 surgeries…is well now thank the G-d). I try to actively practice encouraging new moms because the truth is, I don’t know what their going through, and their road, due to their experiences, is completely different than mine. So to all the momma’s out there…Good Job!! Keep up the hard work!!! They grow up so fast!!!
Amen 🙂 Our first is a heart kid too! It is certainly a crazy road. Glad he’s doing well.
So wise, Nicole. We can never know what another mother is going through! So glad your son is well.
April L. says
Oh man…I hated the “just wait” mom when I was pregnant with my first, and now that I’m pregnant with #2, I find myself starting to say those things to the first time moms! Thanks for the reminder. 🙂
It’s so easy to fall into, isn’t it?
The proper response to anyone telling you about their struggles as a parent, whether they seem bigger or smaller, I have found, is always something like, “I know it’s so hard” or “I’m sorry it’s so hard for you right now.” I wrote a similar article at http://mymommymentor.com/sameteam/. Great job!
Yes! And thank you!
Maria Bowles says
I try to keep reminding myself that God gives me what I need when I need it. Each new phase is can be daunting and exciting at the same time, but it drives me to my knees and helps guide my relationship with our Lord. Because I need him and his mother desperately to love my children as I ought, to endure and perserveer. It amazes me the things I get done in a day as compared to when it was just me. But it’s proof that God gives me what I need only when I need it… And I have to keep trusting that He will!
I love this Maria. Thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts.
Kathleen | Becoming Peculiar says
Oh wow. So good. Thanks for this, Haley.
This is great! It is hard having one child. I have 3 kids (6, 3,2) and would rather be the mom that I am now than go back to when my first child was just born. That was the hardest time of my life. I am very much transformed like you said. I also have a ton more confidence in myself now. If I can handle these past 6 years, I can do anything!
I agree! 1 kid was the hardest for me by FAR.
Great post…I’m a few months behind you in that I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old and am 7 months pregnant, and I know the craziness is just going to increase. I would also add that the “just wait” attitude is easy to slip into (and equally damaging) when talking to single friends who are pining and longing to be married. I think it is important to remember how crushing the loneliness of singleness can be instead of brushing it aside with a, “Yeah, you’re lonely now, but just wait until your husband is part of your life and you can’t make any decisions without thinking of how it will affect both of you and you can’t do anything spontaneous just for yourself. Right now you have so much freedom.” I remember hearing a lot like that and thinking, “Phooey, I’d trade all that freedom away in a heartbeat to be married!”
Oh, that’s such a good point, Jenny! And honestly, having a third baby for me has been far easier than having two kids and being pregnant. Hang in there!
Caitlin Mallery says
People saying, “Just wait!” really discourages my husband. We have to focus on the challenges of our life now, with hope and a vision for the future. I try to remind him this is a stage, and then we will move on to the next one when it comes. I do get tired of people telling me it goes so fast. In retrospect it may, but I am in the middle of it, trying to savor good moments and not loose it in the insane moments. Christ has told us no to be anxious for the future. Those who ominously proclaim “just wait” are not encouraging trust in God’s faithfulness. Faithful parents must encourage other parents that they are doing a holy task. Thank you, Hayley, for being an encouraging mother.
This is really great Haley! I’m so guilty of this…so often! Try having 5 babies in under 6 years and then we can talk about whos got it hard-I always want to say! But its all hard. And encouragement goes so much farther than negativity especially to a mom just starting out!
But I must say Christy, you are a mom rock star in my book.
Amen! Thanks so much for this. I only have 1 little one and I often feel bad talking about struggles I’m having with other moms, especially other moms with kids. And God willing we will have more babies and it will get harder, but it is so true that the time any mama is in is where she is being pushed to her limit.
In my experience having 1 is the hardest and there are lots of moms that share my view!
Stacey D says
I, too, have been one of those ‘just wait’ moms, but I’m pleased to say that I’m reformed. I do still say, ‘just wait,’ but instead of pointing out all the negatives that lie ahead, I try to be positive.
“Just wait, until the first time you walk in on your oldest feeding the baby so that you could finish your shower, help your toddler to the bathroom, etc. WITHOUT being asked to help.”
“Just wait, until you see your son sticking up for his sister because someone was mean to her.”
“Just wait, until your son gets his heartbroken and instead of running to his friends, he comes to YOU for comfort and advice.”
There are so many positive things ahead, why would we lament on the negative just to make someone else feel worse and make ourselves feel better? And to be honest, having a teenager now, I don’t really remember the difficulty of my pregnancy or those trying baby and toddler days. I look back with a completely different perspective and see the blessings that I once thought were trying moments, so it doesn’t just get easier, it’s blessed!
I love this, Stacey!
I’m 17 weeks pregnant with our first baby; we tried for this blessing for a long time and God granted us the desire of our hearts. We couldn’t be more thrilled and terrified! I had a horrid first trimester and once I started to feel better the last thing I needed to hear was that anything could “get worse”. Sometimes I shake my head and think, “I never knew so many people would be so discouraging at one of the happiest times in my life”.
As a first time pregnant Mama, I was taken back as to how truly hard it was in the early months. Each of our personal experiences through out life have shaped how we think and react to pleaseant and not so pleaseant situations- we are not all the same. So to all the first time moms and seasoned moms; remember we all need a lot of encouragement and support!! Thank you Haley for this uplifting article!
Congratulations on your pregnancy, Monika! So happy for you 🙂
“Just wait” until a teeny way down the road where they go to school, sleep 8 hours every night, and can pour their own Cheerios and juice! It gets easier eventually, for everyone!
Thank you for this article! “Not because the circumstances are easier, but because motherhood transforms me. It makes me capable of things I never thought I could do.” I am currently pregnant with my third baby and this definitely spoke to me. This is exactly what I have been discovering since becoming a mom. I love your blogs! Thank you!
Aw, thanks, Erin! Congrats on your third little one!
I am only 17 weeks with my first so I have no relevant comment to make. I just wanted to say Lucy’s pig tails are adorable.
Haha! Thanks so much. They slay me!
My parents had eight kids, and my mom swears that after the first several, it does get noticeably easier. (Ie, the big kids can help with the littles.) She’s also pretty convinced that having teenagers is the best thing ever–they can pay for things, drive, run the homefront, and you can leave them over night with the little ones.
I must admit that I’m really excited about the day when I’ll have helpers around 🙂 4-year-old Benjamin can help with a few things but…he’s still rather…ahem…challenging 🙂
Haley, I am amazed at your strength and wisdom at such a young age. You are a gem to share this blog with others who need your guidance, that action surely is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Mine are long adults, but I used to say to young mothers, just wait until the baby starts laughing. Just wait until they can tell you how much they love you. Just wait to hear their thoughts on the world around them. Just wait, you will begin to clearly see their gifts. All that struggle is rewarded with these fabulous little spirits. Your ancestors lived to pass life on to them, these precious children. What an incredible blessing to proudly bear the struggles.
This is a beautiful comment, Katherine. And thank you for your sweet words!
Jessica Fox-Wilson says
like so many here I was also one of those “just wait” moms. I found that when I say just wait, it’s because there have been times that I have felt not seen and not heard in my own challenges as a mother. There’s so much pressure to say everything’s just fine and to suppress the need to talk about challenges, that it comes out of me in those conversations in which I should be loving.
The solution,of course, as you pointed out is to reach out to the other mothers in love and acknowledge the place that they are so that someday they can reach out to someone else in that same way.
This is really insightful, Jessica. Thanks for sharing.
I nearly hugged a clerk at the city office a few weeks ago for telling me “Little boys are so much, but just wait – it gets so much better. I have a 10 and 12 year old and they’re great!” It was the first time in a long time I had heard someone actually admit to enjoying their old kids and it was great and just what I need to hear that day.
Yes! I’m really excited about having kids that age someday.
I have an agreement with my friends we don’t compare problems. We all struggle with different things. Everyone has a hard time somewhere and loving each other through the awful makes it better for everyone. One friend had a terrible time healing a tear after her birth, I’m sick all nine months of my pregnancies, one friend can’t seem to get breastfeeding to work no matter how hard she tries. Everyone struggles and everyone needs to be loved and understood through it. When its really bad we bake lasagna and casseroles. Only when its unbearable do we break out the brownies and ice cream, or the cheese curds and beer (we are in Wisconsin after all).
That is very wise, Adele. I’m so glad you have mama friends encouraging you!
I needed to hear this so much. I have gotten many “just wait”s and it really is one of the most frustrating things to hear while pregnant, stressed, and tired. Maybe now when I hear that I will mentally add, “It gets easier.” Thanks for your wisdom and thoughtfulness of how much of a difference words can make!
Hey Summer! Actually I do find it’s easier for me after the baby comes than when I’m pregnant. I know that’s not true for everyone, but bumping my belly into everything and aching all the time in “joyful wait” makes me so miserable. When baby’s here you get to gush over all that cuteness and can even set him down for a minute–sometimes 😉
I agree with Jeni, Summer! For me, at least, a newborn is easier than a pregnancy. Love you!
Mary D says
It’s so important to remember, but so easy to forget, that the grace of a mom of many is not the same as the grace of the mom of one. And no matter how easy another mom seems to have it, we’re all mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
“the grace of a mom of many is not the same as the grace of the mom of one.” I need to remember that. I’ve never really thought about that, but maybe that’s why we survive motherhood with each new child even when we thought we were pushed to our absolute limit before: more grace!
Lindsay (Young Married Mom) says
Amen! That second-to-last paragraph is spot on. Thank you!
Love it–yes I have been and sometimes am a “just wait” mama (only in my head, I think, thankfully). Though for me it is comparing healthy babies to having to tube feed & endure countless appointments through our first couple years as parents. But a tired, crushed soul is a tired, crushed soul in need of encouragement. Great words, my friend! 🙂
You are so right. A tired, crushed soul needs some lovin’ no matter what the circumstance.
Tsh Oxenreider says
I am sitting on my sister-in-law’s front porch, whom we came to visit and to meet our new nephew, our firstborn. And this reminder is SO TIMELY for me. Because I am holding my tongue, so very much, as she navigates the first-time mama stuff, to not only do the “just wait” thing, but to also let her figure out her own way of doing things. I want to encourage her to swaddle, to not worry about a sleeping schedule with a newborn, to remind her that tinies cry just because sometimes, yadda yadda… but I know I wouldn’t want Parenting 101 all the time at that stage. And she’ll be there soon enough. 😉
Great words of encouragement, here.
Thank you, Tsh! And congrats on your new nephew! 🙂
Angela McMahan says
Yay for this post!!! I sometimes wonder if some people are validated somehow by their “stressful” lives. I would have to agree with you in that it absolutely gets easier! Not easier as in cleaner house, quiet evenings, or constantly well behaved children. But easier in that you become capable of handling so much more than you thought possible. My Mom (mother of 5) says that it peaks out at 3 and is downhill from there because you finally have little helpers!
I’m ready for helpers!
Marta Pisco says
Dear Haley, thank you for this great post. It goes straight to my heart. I just came back from a wedding in Belgium, five hours away. We spent two nights there, and we took our two kids (5 and 2). Though the location was amazing, the guests dear family, the bride and groom the sweetest, I was the GRUMPIEST person on hearth – my only wish was to get away from there asap, throw the heels in a bin, get back home, feed the kids properly, put them in bed earlier, rest… On my way back I just had to cry on how much I’ve changed, what happened to me??, the party animal, the limbo dancer, the one who stopped only for breakfast? It was really good to read your words – they give me room for my feelings.
A warm hug from warm Amsterdam!
Good to hear from you, Marta! Traveling with kids….it’s so hard! Good for you for making the trip. I feel like I’ve changed so much, too. <3
Another beautiful post that can help us encourage one another.
As a step Mum to 3 teens, I missed all the ‘just wait’ baby comments, but I got all the horror step children & ‘just wait’ teen stories thrown at me. People keep telling me how brave I was, as if step children are all horrendous. On the whole they are pretty good kids, it’s actuallu dealing with their mother that is the hardest part.
What has been a huge encouragment to me is having discussions at school (where I run costume workshops with Mums for our school productions) with other Mums who are going through/ have been through the same things I am being faced with. It doesn’t matter that I arrived halfway through their growing up process, it’s still a massive learning curve & so great to hear that I’m not doing it alone & my issues are not just because I’m a step Mum.
Sometimes it’s so easy to try & ‘out problem’ one another, but by sharing the burden & encouraging one another we can learn & become better parents, I hope.
Your compassion never ceases to amaze me! You have a wonderful gift of being able to put yourself in others’ shoes. Excellent post!
Bethe @ Texas Lovely says
Loved this post! I’m the proud mama of a 15-day-old baby girl, and while the past two weeks have brought me immeasurable joy, I have also found that motherhood magnifies every insecurity I’ve ever felt. I’ve been totally exhausted and had more tearful (probably hormonal) breakdowns than I knew was possible. One thing that has gotten me through is emails from friends encouraging me. One friend I haven’t seen since high school facebooked me to say that her biggest mistake with her first baby was not taking care if herself–not eating and drinking enough–and that I should be sure to do that and the days would get easier. She was right. If I heard a “just wait” at this point… well, I’m thankful folks have refrained! Can’t wait til I can encourage the next new mom (and watch her baby while she naps).
Absolutely! And no one told me the “just waits” would happen all over again when you are raising the grandchildren! Boy do I have some words for that!
Why aren’t you blogging about world youth day? It’s the biggest catholic thing happening right now….
If you’d like to read a great post about WYD, hop on over to Christy’s blog fountains of home:
I certainly don’t pretend to be a Catholic news site. But I’m super excited about WYD. Yay Pope Francis! 🙂
Beautiful blog. I’m about to have four under four and that was a great reminder of being on both sides of the “Just Wait”… I know what is to come and that doesn’t make it any easier, however surviving it 3 times already definately helps. We are strong women… we can do it through God’s grace.
This post exemplifies compassionate thinking! Thanks so much for sharing… I think this sort of example can apply to so many other times in life when our instinct is to put down someone else’s feelings rather than validating them… Difference being, putting someone down only makes one person feel good, and maybe only temporarily. Validation makes two people feel good and it’s longer-lasting!
This first-time mama really appreciates this post! Even during pregnancy I got a lot of “just wait.” I’m the type who needs encouragement about the positive things because I’m great at imagining all the hard, discouraging things myself. Thanks so much for this!
I’m thinking about this as we get ready for our fourth child any day now. I think it is hard being pregnant, feeling hot, tired and hungry all the time. But I remember nursing the baby and it is harder AND easier too. Harder because you are still JUST as hungry all the time, but easier because that baby is beautiful and nothing compares to having him or her in your arms. I can imagine as they grow older, it will be similar. More to enjoy, more energy to harness, more life to live, a bigger world for them, and an expanded world for us, too.
Beautiful thoughts, Tacy!
Mrs. Gamgee says
I’m a stay at home mom of two (a 2.5 year old and a 14 month old). Because of our financial priorities, we only have one car, so that means that quite often we spend a lot of time at home. To the extent that last week, for the first time ever, I took both kids out by myself. My 2.5 year old had her first class/program/camp and it meant that we had to be really organized getting out on time to drive my husband to work, so that I could have the car. Getting both kids in and out of the car and in and out of our second floor walk up condo multiple times, was hard and when I said as much to my sister she just dismissed me and started going off on how it’s so much harder with tweens to get out of the house, etc. “Just wait” until they’re bigger, until they talk back, until they want to sleep all day. My feelings of the stress and strain were dismissed as nothing, and my ultimate feeling of victory at the end of the week when we had managed it all fairly well was squashed. I hope that I will always remember this feeling, so that I never use the “just wait” on another mom.
To all the moms just starting out with little ones I want to say, “Just wait–in a few years, you’ll be busier, but everything is easier and happier!!” There’s so much ahead–now I look back on the years with everyone under 5 (not that long ago–we have 5 now and my oldest is 10–but already it feels like another lifetime) and feel such nostalgia for those years with 3 in diapers :-). Right now you are building the foundation for your family. All the little ones to come will follow the example of the oldest ones.
Jennifer @ Little Silly Goose says
I’m behind on my blog reading, so I just saw this post. Love it, love it! So true! Becoming a mom for the first time is such a huge, crazy, life altering event. The only reason the baby phase and having just one seems so easy to us now is that we already did it, but without that experience it would be just as hard as it was the first time around (if that makes sense). Anyway, thanks for always being such an encouraging mom. Motherhood is challenging at all stages, and everyone needs a heavy dose of encouragement.
abc days of being a mom says
I enjoyed reading your blog, it made me search me if I’ve been hard on other first time moms like me. I always need the encouragement, I really hate to be told the negatives cos I’m learning on the job and I need all the help I can muster now. Its been a sweet motherhood journey yet challenging especially when I don’t have time to myself, when I have to do the cooking and also care for a grouchy baby. BUT its all GOOD!
I LOVE you *SO* much for writing this! I felt like that with my first one. I remember sitting tending to a fussy 1 month old, having postpartum, having had no sleep etc. and then “oh so knowing” moms told me “Just wait… ” Just wait till you have a 2 year old or a 3 year old, or a teenager. And I remember bawling sometimes. I felt like “If I can’t handle this *now* while it is “easy” and while I’m supposed to be “enjoying” them… how am I going to ever survive??
But it is like you said… there are good and bad; easy and challenging with EVERY age. My kidlets are just about 13 and one is 9, and yes I get attitude and mouth a LOT more than as young children; they are *much* more self-sufficient.
I promised myself after that incident that broke me with my first child- I will NEVER say that to a mom. I only have 2 pieces of advice for new moms (I can say what I did when… x, y, or z- but I mean advice) – 1) You know your child better than anyone- trust your gut. Take advice- but trust your gut. 2) don’t EVER let anyone EVER tell you “Just wait till” – because it is equally rewarding, challenging, exciting, tiring, and indescribable sometimes- for *every* age- just in different ways.
Great advice, Tricia! I totally remember thinking….if one kid is this hard, how will I ever manage TWO?! Haha.
A bit of randomness, but I just cannot get over how beautiful your children are, especially Gwen! I just want to take her out of that picture and love up on her. LOL. I have baby fever because I work with the elderly and live hours away from my nieces and nephews, and I just plum miss the babies! So it helps to look at your pictures, and you are so refreshing in your perspective of life. I love reading your stories, including the ones on motherhood, even though I am single. Guess that speaks well of you, right? 🙂
Jeanne G. says
I know I’m late to the party, but a friend just linked me to this post. I really appreciate it. I have been dealing with the “just wait” moms… I am 31 weeks pregnant, my first pregnancy, and I’m having twins, and I am super exhausted. People keep telling me it’s only going to get worse. I am glad to read you saying, it’s all hard, but I can grow from it. People don’t really know what’s going on in my body, or what will go on in my home after the babies are born. I have to keep learning from my experiences, and reach out to help rather than discouraging those who come after me. Thank you.
You should totally check out Abbey’s blog: Surviving Our Blessings! She’s a mama of twin girls and I think she strikes a great balance of telling it like it is and focusing on the joys of motherhood. Whew! I know what it feels like to be pregnant but not pregnant with TWO. Hang in there! 🙂
So true! My second is 6 weeks. It now seems like caring for a baby is easy, it’s chasing a crazy toddler while caring for a baby that’s difficult. Then I think back to when my first was a newborn and I remember just how hard it was and how big of an adjustment and how insecure and worried I was all the time. You’re right: it’s all the hardest and it’s all the best.
Wow, this post really spoke to me (and to a lot of others, I see!). I recently started reading your blog after my husband recommended it (and we just ordered your book – woo!). We have two little ones now, and after our first child, we heard a lot of “just wait” from friends and others who were on their second child. We had talked about the fact that the phrase drove us a little crazy … and then the other day, I almost said it to a new mama as I was nursing my second! (How quickly we forget!)
I will say that in the positive sense, “just wait” can be a good thing for a new mom – for example one struggling with breastfeeding in the early weeks. I tell those exhausted new moms that they are doing awesome and “it gets better – just wait! hang in there, mama!” 🙂
Anyway, thanks for this important reminder to support rather than subconsciously compete with those who are struggling around us, and focus on the joy whenever possible. Now if I can just remember to focus on the joy when I’m trying to change a wailing/squirming baby’s diaper at 2 am, and I have to work the next day … 😉
Jamie Asper says
Thank you for re-posting this today! I have a one year old and another baby on the way. I’m super excited and a little bit scared all at once. This post was such an encouragement to me!! I’m only 8 weeks along and the morning sickness came a lot quicker with this pregnancy and I’ve already had a scare that I was possibly miscarrying. Thank the good Lord that everything is fine now though! I had zero complications the first time so I’m starting to get pretty nervous. Running after the one year old ready to vomit at any moment is very challenging so far… 🙂 Anyway, reading this was very helpful for the struggles of today! Thank you, ~ Jamie
I really needed this. We just found out we’re pregnant with our second and I had a left a full time 95% travel job to stay home with our daughter. Of course would never trade her, but it was hard. Our daughter will be 18 mths when the new baby comes and my mother has been nothing but negative and terrifying me about it, well maybe that’s the hormones 😛
YES! I really hated the “just wait”s with my first. It’s so, so hard that the last thing you need to hear is that it’s just going to get worse, and I swore there and then to never say that to ANYBODY. I feel that each child comes with the strength and grace you need to cope with the new challenges, and you just need to take a leap of faith sometimes – otherwise I doubt many people would have more than one child! I’m currently expecting my third and have a LOT of people telling me I must be mad… in a friendly way, but it does seem to demonstrate a slightly different approach to having children! Obviously, part of me thinks I must be mad too, but I kniow it will all be worth it in the end.
Thank you for this, it is so insightful. (I think you posted a recent link on Twitter, no? I know it’s an older post.) To me, this is akin to comparing crosses or comparing graces. We aren’t all dealt the same hand in life, but we are all given the grace we need for what we are dealing with then, not in the future (sometimes a fictional future scenario). If only we wouldn’t be comparing ourselves so much and just deeply listening and offering empathy for others, no matter what the stage in life. Such a good reminder.
Yes. Sometimes when new moms tell me about their problems they’ll try to excuse themselves because we have six kids… as if their own problems shouldn’t be a problem because I manage with six. I always assure them that for me the hardest transition was from 0-1, and that being a mom is just plain challenging. In fact, when I had two kids i really wanted a big family but thought I’d never be able to handle it because I was so overwhelmed.
I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but I do want them to know that a mom’s struggles are real and valid no matter how many kids she has.