Just Wait

There’s a phrase all too often said to new mothers, and that’s “just wait.”

“Oh you think morning sickness is hard? Just wait until the baby is here, you’ll be so much more exhausted.”

“Oh you think having a newborn is hard? Just wait until they start teething.”

“Oh your teething baby kept you up? Just wait, you don’t even know tired until you’ve had two.”

Seasoned mothers use this “just wait” at every stage. Not only is it rude and unsympathetic to a mom who is struggling, but it completely invalidates their feelings. And also, it isn’t true.

Pregnancy is hard. Newborn stage is hard. Teething is hard. Every stage of motherhood, from trying to conceive to dropping your baby off at college, has its challenges and difficult moments. And if you really want to, you can look at parenting as a series of hurdles to be overcome, from one challenging stage to the next. But what a negative approach to take, when in reality eighteen years is going to go by in the blink of an eye.

So what should we say to new moms that are struggling? Maybe we really should say “just wait.”

“I’m sorry you’re having a hard time, morning sickness is awful, but just wait until you hold your baby for the first time- it will feel like your heart is overflowing.”

“Just wait until you hear your baby giggle for the first time, you’ve never heard anything so beautiful. Just wait until they give you sloppy open mouth kisses on the cheek, or take their first steps and toddle towards you for a hug, or say your name for the first time. Just wait for all the amazing, beautiful moments to come, they will make this difficult stage all worth it.”

Because every stage of parenting is hard, and we as mothers should support each other through the challenging parts. But when the pay off is getting those preciously short eighteen years with your baby, isn’t it all worth it?


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