“Just wait,” they say.
Just wait until he has teeth. That’ll stop the nursing pretty fast.
Just wait until he’s crawling. He’ll get into everything.
Just wait until he’s walking. That’s when it’s all over.
Just wait until he starts school, just wait until he’s a teenager, until he’s driving, until he’s off to college…
I’ve heard similar phrases from friends, family, and oftentimes from strangers. The cashier at the grocery store, a mom at the pediatrician’s office, a social media “friend”.
The sentiment is the same—You think this is bad? Wait until it gets worse!
I’m not sure why we feel the need to give out these unsolicited warnings to new parents or pregnant women. Sadly, I’ve probably been guilty of saying a similar thing myself. And while the motivation behind each comment varies, they never seem to come from a place of support. Instead, it feels like judgement and condescension, especially when it’s surrounding a parenting choice that might be different or hard to understand.
Oh, you’re using cloth diapers? Just wait.
Oh, you’re still breastfeeding? Just wait.
You’re working from home? You’re quitting your job? You’re using a daycare? You want a big family? You want a small family?
Just wait. Just wait. Just wait.
Usually when it happens, I try to smile or nod and change the subject, but it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of negativity and doubt. When someone warns me about the future, my mind is quick to jump to worst case scenarios and desperation.
However, lately I’ve been feeling led to speak up against those warnings. Not to defend my parenting choices, but to spread a message of peace. I don’t pretend to know anything about parenting. Will is our first kid and he’s been a wonderful adventure since day one. A challenging adventure, sure, but I don’t want to wish away a minute of it.
Proverbs 4:24 tells us to guard our hearts.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
When I give into the fear and negativity these warnings prompt in my soul, I’m no longer able to give today the attention it deserves. I’m no longer able to pour my heart into the day-to-day simple tasks I’m called to commit for the glory of the Lord. When my heart is at peace, I’m able to mother gracefully. When my heart is full of doubt, I’m distracted, distraught, and defeated.
Of course I know there may be harder days ahead. I know there may come a reason to change our parenting plans, but that’s a worry for another day. Why would I waste a single second of the precious present to think about how hard tomorrow may be? We’re called to guard our hearts. We’re called to lean on God’s promises and trust in His faithfulness.
If anything, I should be looking forward to how wonderful the coming days, weeks, months and years will be with this sweet boy! I should be sharing my excitement in how God’s goodness is evident with every new experience and adventure we have as a family. I should be proclaiming to friends, family, and strangers alike that I can do all things in Christ who gives me strength, even when I was up all night with a sick kid and surviving on caffeine and cold pizza alone.
So the next time someone offers a passing “just wait” comment, I’m challenging myself, and you, to take a step of faith and tell that person exactly what we’re all waiting for as mommas: another wonderful day in this wonderful life.