Sunday, March 6, 2011

"Just Wait..."

When I picked my daughter up from the church nursery today, this was the conversation:

Nursery worker #1: “She is such a sweetheart. She didn’t make a peep. Is this your first?”
Me: “Yes! She is a very good girl.”
Nursery worker #1: “Well, our first was good too, and then we had our second. Be prepared.”
Nursery worker #2:  “Oh yes. Our daughter was wonderful until she reached 14 months. Then she stopped sleeping and cried all the time.”
Nursery worker #3: “Did you say this was your first? Oh yes. We experienced the same thing with our first. We used to think it was us until we had our 2nd.”

Are they serious??? What is it about people who want to give you the “just wait” advice. I walked away saying to my husband, “Why do people say stuff like that?”

What do people expect you to respond with when they give you the doom and gloom advice? If you have siblings, particularly older siblings, you know what I mean!! Siblings always seem to want to be the ones who know best!! (I’m the #4 of 5) For example, when my husband and I were looking at buying our first house, we were given so much “advice” we wanted to scream. If we heard one more time, “Just wait until you have to pay a mortgage” we were going to explode. Was the expected response, “Wait, what’s a mortgage?” Seriously!?! Did they think we hadn’t planned or prepared for buying a house??

If it’s not the “just wait”, it’s the “that’s what we thought” statement when asked a question about what you’ll do about this or that!!

However, it’s not only siblings that give the “just wait” or “that’s what we thought” advice, but anybody who wants you to know that they’ve been there and your expectations are misplaced! When I was pregnant, people wanted to consistently give the horror stories of parenthood.

Some example conversations of what we experienced:
Random person: “How far along are you?”
Me: “_________weeks.”
Random person: “Oh, just wait. Get your sleep now. You won’t sleep for the next few years.”

Random person: “How far along are you?”
Me: “_________weeks.”
Random person: “Just wait. You’re life is going to change. Gone are the days of being alone. Babies make life more difficult.”

Random person: “How far along are you?”
Me: “________weeks.”
Random person: “Have you purchased_____________yet?”
Me: “Yes. It’s wonderful.”
Random person: “Oh, well that’s what we thought. It’s horrible. I used it with our son/daughter and it wasn’t worth it.”

While pregnant, my husband and I attended a marriage seminar at our church. During the seminar they showed a graph depicting marital satisfaction before and after children….there was a huge dip! At the bottom of the graph in small letters the disclaimer “applies to two-thirds of marriages” was written. WHAT?

In all honesty, my husband and I would say, “Do people expect us to be joyful about becoming parents with all the negative information they want to give us?” We began saying that the next time somebody informed us of the “dark side” of parenthood, we would respond, “WHAT? Oh crap. Do you want our baby then? If only we had known!”

Whether it’s the “just wait” or “that’s what we thought” advice, it is annoying! We are eight months in and we have had ups and downs, adjustments to make, and lot’s of tears; however, we know that our daughter was born at God’s appointed time. We never expected our lives wouldn’t change. In fact, prior to having children we knew how drastically our lives would change and contemplated not having children!! Boy, are we glad God had different plans! The joy of parenthood is beyond words…the first tooth, the first time they eat solid foods, the first time you see your spouse as a parent….wow! What an amazing journey. If you’re a parent, talk more to those expecting a child about the delight of parenthood. My husband and I make it a point to use the “just wait” for explaining the moments that are true bliss!! Parents will experience and adjust to the not so blissful times without your advice!!

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to tell you that my second was BETTER than my first. Much easier. Because I didn't spend all this time worried that I was going to break her.

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