“Just you wait mama.” If I could pick one of the things I’m most tired of hearing as a mother, it would be that phrase. Since the day I announced I was pregnant, it’s been flung at me almost constantly.
Oh, you have morning sickness? Just you wait, in the third trimester, you’ll be a bloated, swollen uncomfortable mess. Just you wait, mama.
Oh, the baby is kicking you and feeling all his movements is the best thing ever? Just you wait, he will be keeping you up all night with those karate chops soon. Just you wait, mama.
Oh, you’re ready to give birth and meet your new baby? Just you wait, you’ll be covered in spit-up and poop, and you’ll never sleep again. Just you wait, mama.
Oh, you love cuddling and nursing your newborn? Just you wait, you’re gonna have a toddler on your hands soon, your house will never be clean, you will never sit down and everything you love will be destroyed, and don’t forget the tantrums! Just you wait, mama.
And so on and so forth until the end of time, apparently.
But really, I’ve heard the “just you wait” phrase uttered for things as far out as next babies I haven’t had and teenagehood that is at least 11 more years in the future. Usually, it’s from an older female relative or friend on a social media platform where I’ve posted a picture of my son and how happy we are, but sometimes it’s in person as well. If I were to believe all these well-meaning, but oh-so-negative comments, I might think motherhood was the most awful thing to ever happen to me.
The truth is, I adore being a mom. I enjoy it. I love it. But I feel like I’m not supposed to.
I feel like I’m supposed to complain about every difficulty and bump in the road, like I’m supposed to lament every new phase my son goes through.
I haven’t been doing this mom thing for very long—my son is going on a year and a half. We are just hitting the age of tantrums and screaming and not wanting to eat veggies. But I did go through a very rough pregnancy and delivery, endless nights of nursing and rocking a newborn and begging him to sleep, blown-out diapers, last-minute Target runs during what should have been nap time (oh the horror), childproofing things I never even imagined a child would think of (like the heating duct grate in the floor), and so many more weird and difficult experiences along the way.
Difficulties aside though, I always found something I loved about whatever new stage my son was in. I’m not trying to minimize how tough motherhood is because my goodness, it’s hard, SO HARD, but let’s not forget how beautiful it is, too. And most of all, let’s stop telling new moms all the negatives and not sharing how incredible this whole thing is. So to all the new mamas, here are a few of my just you waits.
Just you wait, when you think you can’t take another moment of morning sickness (really all-day sickness), you feel that first flutter in your womb and you KNOW it’s so worth it. Just you wait, mama.
Just you wait, that little foot you felt on the inside? You’re going to hold it in your hand and look at every little toe and crinkle on it and marvel at what you made. Just you wait, mama.
Just you wait, the nights will be long, but you will realize all that time you spent rocking and shushing and nursing and singing, those are your moments, and they will mean everything to you. Just you wait, mama.
Just you wait, one day that little voice will say mama for the first time and your heart will swell to a million times bigger. Just you wait, mama.
Just you wait, that little body you snuggled and cuddled and held for endless hours will be able to reach for you and wrap his little arms around your neck. Just you wait, mama.
Just you wait, that little baby will go from crawling to walking to running just because you opened your arms for a hug. Just you wait, mama.
Just you wait, mama.
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