Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"Just you wait."

I hate hearing this phrase.

Unfortunately, it's a favorite among the momly community. 

Everything I say about my baby seems to get an answer that starts with "just you wait." 

My baby sleeps through the night. "Just you wait until she's six months old! They always start waking up a lot then!" 

My child loves other people. "Just you wait! Pretty soon she'll get separation anxiety and hate everyone but Mom!" 

I get lots of time to read because my daughter loves to nap and she can entertain herself. "Just you wait until she starts crawling! Then you'll never have a moment's peace!" 

Life with a baby isn't as difficult as everyone made it seem. "Just you wait! Pretty soon your sweet little angel is going to be a back-talking, bad-mouthing, devil's-spawn teenager who hates your guts and wants to murder you in your sleep!" 

Guys. GUYS. I am perfectly aware that my baby is not going to remain exactly the same for the rest of her life. Can't I just be grateful for what I have right now? Do I really have to be living in dread of the future? (Oh, and by the way, most people don't say, "Just you wait for this really awesome thing that's ahead of you!" I wish they'd do that more often.) 

But I have to be honest. Recently, I've started being tempted to make "just you wait" comments, too. 


There's something wickedly satisfying about bursting another, newer mom's shiny little bubble. Ohhh, that pregnant woman is really in for it, the little devil on my shoulder will cackle. Isn't it hilarious how naive she is? She thinks everything is going to be rainbows and butterflies! Hah! YOU know better! 

In reality, said pregnant woman is probably just as realistic as anybody. It's not as though she doesn't realize that she'll have to change a hundred million poopy diapers, or that recovering from childbirth is going to take a while. But the more people talk about it, the more she might start to worry that the poopy diapers and the painful recovery are going to be a total nightmare that will eventually obliterate everything good from her life. So I should really shut up about it. 

I guess I just want to feel like I have some kind of handle on this whole mom thing. Saying "just you wait" makes me feel so much wiser and more experienced. 

But in reality, I'm still new to this gig and I have no idea what I'm doing.

Do people ever tell you to "just you wait"? 


  1. Yes, all the time when I was raising you kids. I tried to do something different when I had teenagers. When I talked to new moms, I told them I loved teenagers. That they were a lot of fun and made it all worth it. People were always surprised when I said this, but it was really true! (I never got murdered in my sleep, so I'm assuming you kids weren't just faking your love and wonderful personalities!) I tried to do the "just you wait" thing with something positive. I think I was following my mom's example. I remember when I was a teenager that she was always so positive when she talked to other people about her kids. It made me feel really good.

    1. I always appreciated you doing that when I was a teenager! It bugged me when people talked about how teenagers were such a blight on our society. I hope I remember that when I have teenagers...

  2. I haven't gotten a lot of "just you wait" comments, but I think it's because Summer was a more challenging baby than average. If I said to someone, "Summer screams all day and I don't know why," or, "I spend half the night in the rocking chair in my daughter's room because she won't sleep in her crib," nobody dared predict that it would get worse! I did hear "just you wait" during my second and third trimesters of pregnancy, because once the morning sickness passed I felt fantastic. "Just you wait" is one of the downsides of things being great!

    Everything is cyclical. All kids go through phases when they're easier to raise and then phases when it's harder. But kids also have their own temperaments, so some will just be generally easier. And some traits will make parenting easier sometimes and harder at other times (like Summer's perfectionism). I think the "just you wait" comments are based on the assumption that everything eventually cycles toward average, but they ignore the fact that every child is unusual in some way.

    I hope I haven't been too "just you wait"-ish to you. I try just to talk about my experience without assuming that it will be the same for you. I also hope that I haven't made my experience sound terrible. I like to complain about the hard things, but if I could change Summer's temperament, I wouldn't do it. I feel a great sense of bonding and accomplishment from being there for my daughter when things are difficult (although I would be delighted to have an easier experience with my next child)! I think maybe part of the motivation for "just you wait" is the sense of accomplishment that moms have from going through the tough times. We don't want other people to get the idea that we're just sitting at home watching TV and relaxing! And if you say that your baby is easy, you might think that everything is easy for me, too, and I won't get the proper credit!

    1. Hah! I think that's a better way to look at it!

      Actually, I think you (and Mom and Annette) have really steered clear of saying "just you wait" to me, which is really nice! If anything, you make me excited for the future! :)