I’m in my last weeks of bun in the oven. To date, I’ve been blessed with an ease-ful, joyful, and healthy pregnancy.
Being preggars has been an incredible journey where I’m continually exposed to new and fascinating things. In particular, the various discussions I’ve had with others about the whole baby process has been eye-opening.
When talking babies, I’ve identified 3 categories of people: (1) People who don’t have kids and who are not that interested, (2) people who don’t have kids and are interested, (3) and people who have kids.
I can relate to the first category because that was me for most of my adult life. I don’t take offense to one’s indifference to my baby belly, and I’m more than happy to speak about other things happening in and around the world.
The second category has been the most fun as a first time pregnant person. These are people who actively listen when I talk about what’s happening to my body and are genuinely interested in the metamorphosis taking place.
Then, there’s the third and most complicated category….people with kids. On the one hand, it’s wonderful and comforting to connect to people who have been there before. Speaking to veteran parents can be reassuring and fill me with the essential knowledge I’ve been wanting to learn.
On the other hand, many seasoned parents have a tendency to use 3 words that aren’t helpful to anyone.
I’ve been warned many times that once you’re parent, you get bombarded with random advice about the best way to raise kids. So I was ready for that.
What I wasn’t prepared for were these three unpleasant words: “Just wait until…”
I’ve heard the words several times when speaking about how joyous my pregnancy has been and how much I look forward to the little bundle’s arrival. The responses go something like this:
“Just wait until the third trimester and your back is about to crack in two.”
“Just wait until the baby is born, and you’re so sleep deprived that you’re seeing double.”
“Just wait until you and your husband forget what it’s like to have sex.” etc…
All of those “just wait until” thoughts may be true, but why rain on my baby parade?
I appreciate that there are an endless number of challenges that parents grapple with. And most parents are well-intentioned in dispensing their thoughts and perspectives. But if there are tough times ahead, I’ll cross those sleepless, sexless bridges if and when they come.
What mamas-to-be need more than the “just wait until” reminders of the ominous things to come is love and support.
Instead of just wait until, how about: “It’s wonderful that you’re experiencing a joyous pregnancy.”
This concept, of course, extends beyond pregnancy and parenting to all aspects of life.
Maybe you started a new job that you’re loving, and a snarky co-worker says, “Just wait until September. It’s our busiest month and this place turns into a nightmare.”
Or maybe you’re the one thinking someone is being too positive or naive, so you decided to offer them a, “Just wait until this awful thing happens.”
Ultimately, everyone has their own path to walk and their own lessons to learn. Your experiences – both good and bad – is how you grow. So if challenges await in the future, you’ll address them if and when the time comes.
So don’t live in the anxiety of that “just wait until” future. Rather, stay grounded in the present moment and the magic it’s offering you now.
If you’re hearing the words, “Just wait until [negative experience]” from someone else, I challenge you to acknowledge the thought and IGNORE IT.
If you find yourself wanting to say “Just wait until [negative experience]” to someone else, try to stop yourself. Allow that person to have their joyful experience no matter how naive or inexperienced they sound. If they want advice from you or your perspective, they will ask.
Instead, connect to that person on a deeper level by simply listening to what they have to say and responding with: “Wow, I’m so happy you’re happy.”
I’ll be on maternity leave until early 2017, but I’ll be posting occasional baby updates (and other thought-provoking reflections) on Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to like or follow me to get the news: Facebook and Twitter
If you’re interested in working with me in the future, add your name to the coaching interest list to be the first to know when I’m accepting clients again: Coaching Interest List.