Having my first child last year you learn that once you are pregnant everyone and their mom has some advice, comment or comparison to tell you about your baby or pregnancy; literally, everyone and their mom! I learned to take most with a grain of salt and just nod my head politely. But there is one thing that bugs me the most… “Just wait until..”
Forgive me for my rant. I know many of you have heard this. I know many of you have said this. It’s that one moment where I am sharing my sheer delight that my daughter has smiled at me for the first time and some mom has to say, “Just wait until she says I love you, then your heart will really melt.” Or I just expressed how tired I am because the baby kept me up all night and then this is said, “Just wait until they are a teenager, then you will really be up all night.” Or I say how busy I am with my newborn and then this is said, “Just wait until you have two kids then you’ll really be busy!” Really?! Basically you just stated that my milestone, joy, or frustration really means nothing in comparison to something you’ve already experienced.
I get that we all try to relate to each other, but can’t we just listen and let the other person enjoy or express their moment without comparing ours? Now, I am just as bad. I’ve caught myself doing the very thing I hate to a mom who had her baby only a few months after mine. In that moment I asked myself, “Why do I feel the need to compare my experience to hers?” Well, for me I wanted her to know I was a good mom. I wanted her to know that I took care of my baby and this is how. I wanted her to validate me. And a slight part of me was also bragging,'been there done that' type of attitude. I don't think people really put much thought into what they say sometimes. They don't realize how a "Just wait until.." statement will make the receiving party feel. To be honest the only reason I thought about it was because when the words left my lips, I heard all the other moms saying it to me. I remembered how much I hate when I'm compared to them.
So how do we fix this problem? Unfortunately, for many of us who are told the dreaded "Just wait until.." we suck it up and paste on a fake smile; all the while screaming at the person in our heads.
And although we may not be able to confront them in the moment, we can take a stand to not do it ourselves. If we as mothers agree to unite and encourage each other instead of compare, we can stop this epidemic of "Just wait until.." syndrome! We must learn to listen to our fellow mothers and bite our tongue when we feel the urge to tell them how their experience isn't really as good/bad as they think. We must stand together and encourage one another in the moment that they feel overwhelmed rather then degrade it! Ok, I'll settle down now, considering I'm standing on my chair, fist pumping to my own speech.
In all seriousness, learning to be a little less self-centered when in conversation and honoring the other mother can really change things. We all know women have a tendency to compare to each other, but what if women were known for their ability to honor each other? Because that's ultimately what it comes down to. How much do we honor each other? Can we honor what that mother is going through? Can we honor what that mother is experiencing without comparing to our own experiences? I think this is something that we can and should do! So let's stop saying, "Just wait until.." and instead lend a listening ear and honor that mother for her knew found experience!