Joy, or “Just Wait?”

As I wait at Target, a young couple pushes a stroller in the line behind me. The stroller, brand new, appears to be on its maiden voyage. I  peer at the tiny sleeping newborn, his fingers curled up near his ruddy face.

“You guys do good work!” I comment. The parents beam with pride, but the weariness in their eyes lets me know that they are all still in the process of getting to know each other. The lady behind the couple glances at the stroller as well, and asks. “Is this your first?” They nod proudly.  “Just wait…” she snorts, and then follows with a comment about unruly teenagers.

Inwardly, I wince. We seem to live in a country overrun by a great lot of negative naysayers when it comes to parenting. I remember hearing comments like that when I was a new (and overwhelmed!) mom.  It seemed that many parents were suffering from a chronic case of disappointment and dissatisfaction called “Just-Wait-itis,” characterized by the inflammation of impending doom in parenthood….I felt trapped in a swirl of know-it-alls who were warning me that the worst was yet to come.

Of course, now that my kids are teenagers, I know the truth. Parenting is complicated; it’s wonderful and challenging. Exhausting and gut wrenching. Heart warming and heart breaking.

And, at the outset, parenting can be utterly daunting. It just doesn’t help when others douse young parents with stories leading to doubt and despair.

Instead, we seasoned moms could infuse joy into our “just waits…” As I regard this weary pair, I think of so many things I could say…

Just wait until your preschool son sees you in the hallway at pick up time and covertly grins and waves to you. (It’s the best flirting in the world.)

Just wait until you watch your kindergartener jump off the bus after that first day, triumphant and tired, melting into your arms.

Just wait until your son is up to bat, and strikes out, holding it together despite disappointment. And just wait until the crack of the bat meeting the ball surprises him and he races to first base…safe.

Just wait until your daughter stands up for a classmate who is struggling, and her peers, humbled, apologize.

Just wait until your child, painfully tethered to tubes and machines in the hospital, whispers, “I just want my mommy.” (and you are suddenly aware that your presence is more powerful than any prescription.)

Just wait until your son gets his very first summer job and he is, unmistakably, walking taller and more confidently as a result.

Just wait until your child’s quick sense of humor makes you double over with laughter.

Just wait until you hear your son invite a friend to church.

Just wait until your daughter receives her first college acceptance and you find yourself overcome with tears…not because she’s leaving, but because she’s ready.

The baby in the stroller whimpers, breaking my reverie.

I smile at the couple and look them straight in the eye.

“You have so much joy ahead of you…” I remark…

“Just wait.”

Wishing you joy today~
Katie

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388 thoughts on “Joy, or “Just Wait?”

      • Completely agree!! All new parents who leave the hospital should have this tucked into their papers of “things to know”!!!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts so beautifully!

    • Such a wonderful post –
      When Jon and Jeff were born – I cannot tell you how many people called them double trouble. To me there were – and still are – my double blessings. And you of all people would know I would be lying if I said they never gave me trouble – and at this I am smiling! – but last week Jeff and Jon were coming home in Jeff’s car when it caught fire. His car is gutted and gone – but the joy and relief of having my sons safe and whole and unharmed is priceless. Oh yes, it is trouble with insurance and warranties and title and registration. But I still have my double blessings! Joy – joy – joy!!!

      • Dear Dava, It sounds like you have double dipping delight! Just wait until you have grandchildren! We have 4 children and now 11 grands!. Love it, love it, love it!

      • I get the “double trouble” comment a lot, mine are 4.5 and my retort always is double the pleasure double the fun!
        Katie Thank you Thank you Thank you for writing this!! I get so tired of the negative/cynical comments made about parenting especially for me parenting twins. My girls are the best thing that have ever happened to me and each new stage I say is my favorite stage and I don’t ever want it to end!!!

      • Dava: So glad your boys are all right! I’m a hospital chaplain, and in my training in a hospital with a level one trauma unit, nothing was better than being able to go tell a parent whose child had been in a horrible accident that he/she was awake, alert, and asking for Mom and/or Dad!

      • praise the Lord,, I too have twins ,tho mine are 34 now, , i also have a 39 year old invalid ,daughter from the DPT shot, i remember when i discovered i was Pregnant with twins i said Um God you know i have renea she is just liek a new born, and God spoke to be and said I know and one day you will need help with her,,, and i am blessed and have been blessed all the way,My Choice was to pray and ask God to give me my baby back, when she died, , my choice was to get pregnant, to have anothe child, God’s Choice was to bless me with Twin daughters, who have been a real blessing even, as my eyes looked sunken in the back of my head from lack of sleep, and haveing been born with an inner ear infection, so yes my work was hard but they were so much fun ,i have a older son as well, and God in heaven knows he has always been a blessing because he helped me when i had no help at all, ,but i recall when folks would say to be, ah twins? oh double trouble,, i said well or double the fun and would smile, but yep it was NOooooooooo easy Job BUT with od’s blessings like i said they are 34 renea was 4 when they were born, but she has severe brain damage so she is between 0 to 10 months of age, and my son, was my YOUNG man he was 10 when the twins were born so he walked ever inch of the way with me and , the help he gave me,. came in handy as he raised his 4 kinds and the wins have one each, GOD Is GREAT!! I survioved , sorry didn’t aim to say so much but it just poured out,. God bless you and yes i know he already did when yioru boys were not hurt, in the wreck,
        Another mom of twins,<smi;-}ling

    • thank you for making me cry today. That was beautiful. As a mother, there is nothing worse than the “just wait”s. And there is nothing better than the good just waits. thank you.

    • Thank you for this…as a mother of one (who is 5), and an early childhood teacher, this post made me beam: “Bravo!”. What an honor it is to be such an impression on these little people. What reward it must be to see your hard work in action. Thank you for shining a light on the positives! All the hard work is so worth it.

    • Thank you for this lovely message of encouragement to young parents. My children are grown and now have young children of their own. I’m thinking of making my own “Joy and Just Wait” list to give to them.

      Sue

    • That was beautiful…thanks. I have 5 teenagers at home (and an 11 year old)…I really needed to hear that today and be reminded of all the great times.

  1. Bill turned out remarkably well, in spite of the clothing selections made by his parents when he was young. Hoping for tears of joy when the acceptance letter from Ohio State arrives in the mail three years from now.

  2. Oh, Katie! I have told so many pregnant friends, “When people feel obligated to tell you all of their horror stories about birth and child-rearing, put your fingers in your ears and sing ‘La-la-la-la-la-la’!” I always knew i wanted to be a mother, but I had no idea of what to expect or what I was in for. It is the best hard work I could ever hope to do! Thanks for reminding everyone of that fact.

  3. Oh wow, wow, wow….Miss Katie I am overwhelmed with your beautiful words. I needed to read this today. Thank you Jesus for Katie Wetherbeeeeeeeee!

  4. As I sit here weepy, I wonder if you have found a publisher yet? You are such an introspective writer, thank you for sharing your talent.

  5. This is going around facebook, and is something I really needed to read lately. We have three young girls, and are expecting baby #4 in the summer, and the comments we get about how we are going to be miserable when they are all teenagers have gotten under my skin more than I realized I guess. Hearing this side of it made me excited to see who they (and I) become.

    • that was a good article and allot of teenagers need to read it and stop and think about a new born and how they will be going thro allot in thier lives and being young a gift from god

    • Ivory, people did that to me when mine were 1, 2, and 3 years old. Now they are 13, 14, and 16 (with a 10 year old just for kicks). Yes I will have four teens at the same time. Not easy but nothing as rewarding as this is ever easy. I love parenting teens.

  6. If only everyone could read and practice what you say. I have a 4 year old, 3 year old, and 4 month old and cannot go anywhere without someone commenting that my “hands are full.”. The frustrating part is, it’s most often said when all three are behaving really well! A friend said she heard this a lot too and usually responded with “Better full than empty!”. Granted some days can be tough, but they’re never without laughs, hugs, and JOY. I hope to keep your words in mind as my friends and family starting their families continue to look to me for my seasoned advice (in their minds at least!).

    • I could not agree more! I have 3 beautiful boys, 12, 10 and 8, and as uncertain as I am to enter the teen years (as a result of comments, etc…) they have never stopped amazing and impressing me. They are gifts like no other and I will relish in every minute of it!

    • Recently I read about a mom who had lots of little ones and when someone remarked about her “hands being full,” she responded with “yes, with good things!” What a lovely way to put it! Children are difficult at times, yes, but each one is an undeserved blessing from God!

    • I am another mom of three who likes to reply, “Yes, full of love!” I have to admit that I do sometimes make small talk with other mothers in checkout lines about being busy or having their hands full. I try to be careful with my words and not suggest there is something they need to dread, but I think there can be helpful camraderie in recognizing the important, challenging–and infinitely fulfilling–work of parenting.

    • Your hands are full and people say that because they miss those days when their hands we also full; treasure them and pity the person that says that to you;)

    • Laura, I’m sure I’ve said that about full hands and not meant to be negative. I’ll try to be careful how it comes out. Maybe some others are in the same boat. Please, always enjoy your full hands and full heart!

      • I, too, have made the “hands full” remark after raising three of my own and now having 4 grandchildren. My intent was not negativity at all, but to remark that parenting is a very important full time job that is just as legitimate as any paid position and has eternal rewards according to God’s Word.

  7. Someone posted this of Facebook and I felt the need to read it. I am not a mother at this point in life, but it makes me so excited to be! Thank you for sharing this beautiful view on being a mom. I know my mom certainly feels that way about her girls.

  8. What a beautiful post! Brought moisture (not quite tears) of joy to my eyes as I read. I love the pics of your children as they’ve grown up! What sweet smiles they have. (a friend of mine posted this on FB)

  9. A facebook friend posted this today, and I found it that way. How great! I get really burnt out \ on all the negativity. I have really intense kids with sensory issues who wake up all. night. long, and have frequent meltdowns in inconvenient public places, and I can’t tell you how many people say, “just you wait until their older, then they’ll have REAL problems.” Yikes!!! Are they TRYING to make me depressed? I love, love, love my children despite their craziness and its hardship on me, but I need support, not negativity. What “Debbie Downers” people can be. I think I’m going to start making that “wha, wha, wha” sound when they do it! (Just kidding… maybe.. I know for most this come from a place of venting their own frustrating stuff)

    Adding to this, why do so many women share HORROR stories of birth and breastfeeding with pregnant women? It’s the strangest phenomenon. I do not get it!

    • Kendra, Your post made me smile…I totally know what you mean about the birthing horror stories! Gracious! Keep me posted on your kids…I would love to hear more about them! Have a wonderful day!

    • Tired Momma-
      I loved this post, and I totally agree that there needs to be more “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all”. I too am a mom of 3 intense kiddos with sensory issues. It does get better, the sensory issues that is. It’s hard work but in the end you will look back on these tougher days and find the happy times and laugh about the idiosyncrysies your children had as little ones. ALSO totally agree about the fear perpetuated by American women about childbirth and breastfeeding. Europeans and Asians are so much more confident in their abilities as women to rear children. Fear is 90% of the pain involved with childbirth, we all need to learn to relax a bit, give up ultimate control! I enjoyed your honest post!

  10. A friend of mine shared this on Facebook and I so thankful she did. As a mom of six (18,18,17,15,14 &10) there are days that I do get bogged down by the negative things that happen as a result of so many personalities but I love being a mom and cherish every moment that I have gotten with my children. They are a JOY!!!!!!!!!!! I will definitely make sure that I pass on the joy not the “just wait” to new and expecting parents.

  11. Every time my little girl masters some new ability or gets a bit more independent, I am sad. I keep having to remind myself that there are lots more adventures for us to share together & *I* get to be a part of that. She is amazing – because of and despite my parenting abilities – and I’ve become a better person for having her in my life.

    That’s another thing young parents should be told. Having a child changes you in so many ways, and it is a HUGE challenge at times, but if you try, you’ll learn and grow along with them …. and hopefully become a better person through the experience.

  12. Dear Katie,

    My sister posted this on FB…I was so blessed by what you wrote. My husband and I have 2 children, our daughter is 6 and in Kindergarten and our son is 3 and will be starting preschool next year. We really don’t know where the time has gone. Our babies are getting so big so fast. We have to admit that it is not easy being parents, there are guaranteed hard times in raising children, but the blessings are so abundant in being a parent that they totally out weigh any hard times. My husband and I were talking the other night and after a busy evening with our kids, home work, baths, the kids squabbling, not listening and various other situations we all as parents might find ourselves in with our children, looked at each other and after our kids crawled onto our laps and said “I Love You!” we both just smiled and said to each other, “It doesn’t get any better than this, at the end of the day, no matter how tough it has been, this is what it is all about and it is so worth being parents!” So to any new parents or parents to be or to anyone reading this that one day hopes to be a parent, our advice to you is this… Every child is different and Every ones view on parenting is different, so don’t listen to anyone else’s negative experiences and expect that to pave your way as a parent. Make your own experiences. Raising children is as wonderful as you make it, and if you choose to be a parent then choose to make it JOYFUL!! Our children bring us promised blessings every day…and we thank God everyday that He chose us to be their parents!!
    It doesn’t get any better than this!!

  13. I don’t know you, but thank you for that article. Children are precious and we definently should “just wait” for them to grow up. Savor the moments.

  14. This is so beautiful it almost brought me to tears. You describe parenting beautifully. I can’t wait to share some of these precious moments with my children. Thank you for focusing on the positive and reminding me how wonderful parenting is.

  15. Thank you, I needed to hear this today. My sister-in-law follows your blog and shared this post on facebook today. I am struggling to hold it together and your post brought a lot of tears and a little peace to my heart.
    A Mom to 2 young super special kids.

  16. Simply Amazing!!! Tears running down my face…thank you for sharing! As a older mother of 16 month old twins I can so relate to hearing all the negative comments….we get them everywhere we go! Sometimes I just wonder if people really know what they are saying! We tried for many years to have children, my husband and I feel very blessed to have twins no matter what people say….

    If you have a moment look at my blog…..www.vintagemommaandhertwins.blogspot.com

  17. Thank you for writing this. It is all so true! I have 6 children and i cannot tell you the times that people have said negative things to me…..do you know how this happens??? When i was preg with my 3rd..(also a girl) people would ask me what we were having…i would answer a girl :) They would respond “oOH i am so sorry!!!! That happened repeatedly! Even from people from the church! What happened to children are a blessing?? I did not tell anyone (except close family) the sex of our 4th who happened to be a girl. I just did not want to hear all the negative comments! After my 4th daughter was born, people would comment “oh your poor husband!!!” I would say, my poor husband was hopping for a girl thank you very much!! We got pregnant with our 5th and we knew it would be our last (i was almost 40). It happened to be a boy. Now people, even church people will comment IN FRONT of my children, “oh you had to try 4 times to get a boy!!” Ohh it makes me so angry!! i don’t want any of my children to feel unwanted because we had to “keep trying until we got a boy”! There is such joy in parenting. Children are a blessing! We all know it is difficult! None of us need to be reminded of it!!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Momof6
    PS My 6th child came to us as an 8 year old. :)

  18. My niece shared this on Facebook, and I reshared it – such a beautiful, and true!, sentiment. I have a 19 year old son, and while we have had our share of battles, I still feel utterly blessed to have such a wonderful young man. I often thank God for helping us raise a son that we not only love, but that we *like*.

    Patty

  19. Wow. That’s a beautiful post. Ever since my baby girl was born, six whole months ago, people have been telling me… “Oh just wait until she can crawl… just wait until she starts teething… just wait until she gets reflux…” Well yeah, it’s been hard. But I didn’t think before I had her that being responsible for another human’s life would be anything less.
    What I wasn’t told to “just wait” for was the joy I would experience, or the excitement I would feel to wake up at whatever hour of the morning she decides to wake up, just to see her looking up at me from her crib, kicking her legs a mile a minute, unable to contain the excitement of seeing her mama. No one ever told me to just wait until she learned how to hold her arms out to be held, or to just wait until she had to get shots and would only be consoled as long as I was holding her. Nobody ever told me to just wait until she started crawling, how proud of her I would be over her little scoots.
    I’ll tell you what. This little stinker can do whatever she wants, get me into as much trouble as she wants, and I will never say that it has ever for one minute been anything short of a blessing to have her little gummy smile in our house.

  20. I’ll bet your comment was a blessing to that young couple. I don’t know why people feel the need to compete about who has it hardest at which stage in raising kids, and I especially have never understood the instinct to portend gloom and fear. Nor do I appreciate people stereotyping teenagers as being all cut from the same (bad) cloth, rather than being each individual, with strengths and weaknesses.

    It’s true that some things are harder now that I have a teen and a tween–but other things are easier than when they were littler. Challenges accompany joy at every stage of parenting (including the stage of anticipating future children, like some of the above commenters).

  21. Thank you SO much for this post. I am 24 weeks pregnant with my first at 40 years old. I have been so frustrated by the “Just wait….” comments, especially as they tell me that they were younger and had more energy to deal with it all. (Not to mention all of the birth and loss horror stories that people feel compelled to share.) I went through a lot to get here. I want to be a parent and raise my children with unconditional love. I know that it isn’t easy AND it IS a blessing beyond measure. I’ve recently been placed on bed rest with lots of time to reflect, and I just want you to know how grateful I am for your eloquent description all all the joy I have to look forward to.

  22. Saw a link to your post on facebook and absolutely loved this. As a young woman trying to decide if my husband and I are ready for that next big step I found this so moving. Still not sure if we are ready yet but I cant wait to feel all the joy and pride that you described. Beautiful post. :)

  23. I remember when I was pregnant with my first, people would tell me that having a baby would turn our world upside down. That it would strain our relationship in every possible way and that life would suddenly become SO MUCH HARDER. When she was born, sure there were challenges–any new experience will bring challenges. But, our world stayed intact and we appreciated each other (and our child) in ways that we never knew we could. Now, we’re on our fourth child–our world is still intact, (although changed for the better), and we have grown so much as parents and spouses because of our wonderful journey. Maybe “just wait” should be “the best is yet to come!” :)

  24. Saw this on Facebook…

    I have 4 boys. That brings a lot of looks and rude comments. Never a positive one. One lady told me I must have done something evil to deserve such a nasty fate. I love my boys and so glad I have all 4 of them.

    • What a horrible thing for some one to say! I have 3 little grandsons and just have to say they are awesome! Yes, there are some trying times along the way but their parents and grandparents are in no way disappointed!

      • I somehow didn’t get finished on that last reply!
        Those little grandsons are so much fun and I “just can’t wait” to hear what they have to tell me next time! What an honor to be blessed with children!

  25. Thank you Katie for that beautiful piece ! As Mom of 9 it brought back the memory of all the negative remarks we received — but now that all are grown, educated and wonderful , these same people are saying to us “Oh , you are so lucky to have those children” !
    We knew that all along…. Liz Noll

  26. My daughter found your blog and forwarded me the link to this post. It reminded me of a conversation I had just a couple of days ago about childbirth. When all was said and done, I told the young woman who I was speaking to that, no matter how many challenges you face during pregnancy and childbirth, when you see that baby, you will know that it was all worth it. Each new baby is a fresh miracle of God, something that should be remembered every day of their lives.

    My daughter just turned 21 and I have been blessed with so many “Just waits.” After 12 years of waiting for her, each day has been filled with joy beyond measure. Thank you for reminding us that we should never take any of this for granted or forget the hope of every tomorrow.

  27. I’m 34 weeks pregnant with our first son – of course tears were shed. Thank you for sharing, I wish everyone much joy today as well.

  28. Beautiful post! We really do need to shout encouragement to each other in the trenches of motherhood. It is hard but so worth it, and we can help each other to see the beauty and joy in the small things and not give in to the negativity around us. Heaven knows there are enough people contributing to the popular cynicism about family life! Sometimes all it takes to see our treasures for the precious gifts they are is for someone else to remind us and rejoice with us.

  29. I have often felt the same way and try to always remember to tell about “joys” or just funny stories instead of bad stories. Thanks for blogging and saying it so well.

  30. I remeber telling people, when they shared their negativity towards me as a new mother, and I would respind with ‘every day it only gets better.’ I was blessed by a wonderful daughter and am awfully sad I didn’t live up to her expectations. Today, she wants nothing to do with me. I cry, but I still love her and wish her a wonnerful life. I truly do, that is what a mother would want for their child.

  31. Parenting is the greatest joy on earth besides being a grandparent. There are challenges but it is worth every hard moment.

  32. This will forever change my viewpoint on my own 5 wonderful kids and the expecting and new moms. I was one of those moms who shared doom stories, from now on I will always think of this when I give advice because of course there are way more amazing moments then bad!! Thank you!

  33. Wonderful words, thank you! I have a 2 year old girl and a 3 year old boy. They are 13 1/2 months apart, and I constantly hear, “Boy, you’ve got your hands full.” I just smile and say “They’re best friends. I couldn’t ask for anything more. They’re such blessings.” That usually turns them around & they start telling me positive stories. It’s all about attitude.

  34. I saw this on facebook and feel compelled to write you and let you know what a blessing this was to read! I have a one year old and a four year old. The four year old is heading off to kindergarten next fall and all the “just waits” about school, teenage years, etc. have had me frozen with fear! You have released a little of that fear for me today. Thank you!!!!

  35. Saw this on facebook.
    When I had my frist baby I could not stand the “just wait” comments!!! And they seemed to come from everyone, family, friends and strangers. I wanted to be happy and celebrating; to enjoy ALL of my childs joys and irritaions. I was determined from then on out to NEVER say such a thing to any parent. But rather say “You have so much to look forward to…”. Children are a blessing and bring much more joy than sorrow!! The less selfish we are as parent the more we can enjoy them.
    Loved your story!
    Jen

  36. Great blog! You’re a great writer. Had me weeping. And just wait… if you think kids are a joy and blessing, you’re going to LOVE grandkids!!! :-)

  37. So much joy to look forward to, I hope I can remember it when I meet new parents.

    I fondly remember the older gentleman who, while I was waiting in line somewhere with my not quite 2-year-old, said wistfully “oh, where the days are long and the years are short.”

    Now that not quite 2-year-old is also heading off to college, and I too have joy because she is so ready. And sadness because gosh, I’m gonna miss her!

  38. Thanks Katie for this wonderful read! I’m pregnant with my first child. My husband and I are thrilled but terrified! Lol. Thanks for helping me look forward to the joy that I will experience soon.

  39. As an empty nester , the just waits never have ended. Just wait for your daughter to call you for your tuna casserole recipe – and you didn’t think she liked it. Just wait for another to sing a duet with her oldest at church. Just wait for the ones who live several states away to figure out a way the whole family can be together at Christmas. Or for a daughter to recommend a book for your Bible study. And after navigating the dating game, just wait for every child to marry a Christian.

  40. Thank you for sharing. This was so sweet and just made me cry. My husband and I love being parents of our hyper handful of a 2 year old. We don’t understand the negativity that people try to push to us. I constantly remind myself to savor this moment, even if it seems rough, because I know how quickly its moving and how much I’ll miss it.

  41. Miss Katie, thank you for this post. My daughter will be 4 months old next week and has already given me so many joyful moments. She’s growing quickly, and as much as I wish she would slow down, I’m really looking forward to all the amazing experiences we will get to go through together. I heard plenty of negative “Just waits” when I was pregnant about how crazy life gets with a newborn, but those hectic moments have been counter balanced by all the joy that she has brought.

  42. Thank you, this made me tear up. My son is 13 months old now, and people still tell me to “just wait” but he brings me so much joy and happiness that I know any of the “speed bumps” will be more than worth it.

  43. When i was still pregnant – not even gave birth yet – people started to tell me: oh wait.. it’s difficult.. no sleep.. no independancy…. Even three closest friends and family!!! Not a single encouragement!! And now after i had my first, they all ask me when are you gonna have another!!! Isn’t it ironic!!

  44. Not only a lovely read but a mindful reminder of the fact that while parenting is quite difficult, it is the MOST rewarding GIFT that we should treasure every day~remembering to be in the moment because if we stay stuck in the negative and the “just wait”, we will totally miss the gifts (the pearls) we are given every day! Awesome, awesome, awesome! Thank you! With gratitude! :-)

  45. I’m so glad I read this. The last 24 hours have been tough love and difficult parenting with my four year old. This reminded me to focus on her, as a little lady striving for independence. Thank you.

  46. One of my friends posted this on FB today. I needed to read it. I’m definitely “in the trenches” with lots of little ones, and some days I lose sight of the wonderful JOY they truly are.

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  48. Thank you for this beautiful post. It makes me think of “Wet Oatmeal Kisses,” an essay my mom has kept on her fridge for at least 25 years. I have an almost-3-year-old who amazes me every day with his sweet, loving, and generous spirit and who begs for a little sister or brother frequently. And after two miscarriages, I’m realizing just how precious even the hard moments have been — the sleep deprivation, the painful early breastfeeding, the colic, the teething. At the time, I was praying to just get through them, and now I pray every day for the opportunity to go through them again! The rewards are SO much greater than the temporary costs!

  49. I love this! I have 2 daughters, ages 3 years and 6 months, and I have had so many comments like the ones you talk about. Your post is a great reminder that even though I am also a young mom, I can help encourage other expectant and new parents around me. And, of course, remember that I do not have to take those negative comments to heart. Thank you for posting this!

  50. I hear rude comments all the time about me having two boys so close together and how they must be so much hard work and trouble. Although they could be a challenge at times, they bring so much joy, too. It’s all about your perspective and expectation. Great post!

  51. Well said. I am a new mommy to a 2 yr old son and it would always discourage me when people would say anything negative about my future as a parent. However, I do feel that in some ways it helped me to appreciate those precious baby moments even more.

  52. I’m not yet a parent, and I teared up at this. Because I AM “Just waiting” for the JOY that I know is to come with having children. I’ll take the bad with the good, because it’s going to be so worth it when God blesses us with our own.
    To all of you parents – you AMAZE and inspire me every day with your strength and sacrifice. Thank you for being such great examples for us who are “waiting”.
    Katie, this is the first time I’ve read your blog. A friend share the link on Facebook. If this post is any indication of what I’ve been missing – you can bet I will become a regular reader. Keep it up!!

  53. I was so blessed to read this, with my due date 1 weeks away, I am starting to get so nervous about birth and being a good mother. My hubby has been super encouraging but it is hard to hear so many negative comments on a day-to-day basis from everyone around me. Thank you for reminding me how BLESSED I am to GET to be a mom.

  54. Wow! I have tears running down. I hate the negativity too. There is so much to look forward to in being parents and so many who would LOVE the chance. I get upset with myself when a frustrating day goes by with my little ones and I didn’t stop to enjoy it. Thanks for the great reminder today!

  55. best advice and just waits. happy tears now. im waiting to hear the first i love you mom she says mom and dad just waitin for i love you

  56. I agree with some of the others, who’ve commented before me. This is one of the best blog posts. ever. I had tears in my eyes as I read. I’m in the middle of the teen years with my daughter, and it can be hard, but there is also so much joy, and that’s what I choose to focus on.

  57. Thank you for this!! As a mom of 10 month old twins, I’ve definitely heard my share of this (times two, of course)! It’s so refreshing to hear about the joy that I get to look forward to instead of the heartaches!

  58. thankyou. i am a mother of 4 young children (all under age 6) and i see what i GET to do as an HONOR & JOY….but there are harder days….days i am tempted to grow weary. but it is clear that my kiddos don’t care if i look like the front of a magazine model, or even if i don’t get dressed until 4:00pm in the afternoon….all they seem to care about is that I AM HERE WITH THEM. To sum it up “mama thankyou for not going away from us to work. i like seeing your face when i eat my breakfast, lunch and my dinner. you’re my bestest friend EVER!” Our oldest son, age 6.
    Priceless. and makes even the WORST days WORTH it!
    this was VERY encouraging to read. made me cry. so very true.

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  60. Just wait, those so called “unruly teenagers” will be the very ones falling down & overcome with grief, sobbing uncontrollably because Grandma is gone… (imagine her surprise

  61. SO thankful to hear this! It is SO VERY refreshing to hear the Just Waits that are all about love, happiness, adventures together and smiles! There are of course hardships along the way, but why START the road of parenting, as long as it is, with negative thoughts??!!! Thank you for this blog! I will remember this each and ever time someone says “Just wait…you’ll never sleep again” or “Just wait…it gets worse when she crawls.” Being a new mom of Emma, 7 months, I find joy in each and every moment…even when there are tears! Love to all the parents out there rejoicing for their little wonders!

  62. This was perfect and absolutely what I needed to hear. I am SO tired of hearing the “just waits.” I’ve been hearing them since before I was even married. And every time we make it through another phase, my husband and I always look at each other and shrug, “That wasn’t so bad.” Only to have someone else come up to us and say, “Just wait.” Thank your for helping me see all the good we have to look forward to.

  63. I just happened across your post and in reading it I became a little emotional. I’m proud to be a mother and know that my daughter (and the other children to come) is my inheritance and reward from my Heavenly Father. Children are a gift and we shouldn’t let the world tell us otherwise!

  64. Oh, utterly beautiful and full of wisdom. It gets hard sometimes to hear the ridiculous things others say. I don’t take a second with my daughter for granted, I risked my life to have her. Yes, it is difficult, yes it is exhausting…but the lessons and the joy and the laughter and the light? Oh they pay back everything in tenfold. It is is a gorgeous journey.

  65. Beautifully stated! Thank you for this post.
    I also remember hearing friends say, “I can’t wait until my baby can…” sleep through the night? walk? eat? talk? whatever…. I became a mom at 35 and have tried to really relish every stage, even the most exhausting ones. Now almost 12 and with a little brother who’s 7, my girl is a tween in practically every sense of the word, and she amazes and inspires me. I am completely and utterly in love with my children. May it always be so, and may every parent share in this love with me.

  66. Loved this post. One of my greatest frustrations is the “wait till” syndrome. Not only does it cause trepidation in the parent receiving the warning, but it also degrades the children of the one giving the warning. teenagers are some of the most complicated– but amazing creatures. Looking at them like they are a burden is very discouraging…I have a group of teens that hang around my house regularly, who constantly tell me their parents don’t like them. They hear the “wait till’s”….they lose heart and it is very damaging. Love them, otherwise you end up with a “wait till they are gone and become strangers.”

  67. I don’t know how many times i heard that. I just wanted to say…look at him, right now – he is perfect. There may be hard times ahead, but just look at his face! The just wait – you won’t get sleep…when he started crawling – the negatives of, now he will be into everything. It’s it suppose to be exciting, watching him do new things, having fun and exploring…why can’t anyone say…good job buddy you now can explore the world on your own!

    This was great…made me cry (but so has most anything about babies!) THis was awesome.

  68. Those visualizations are starting to stir an emotion in me. So well said. And, I know exactly what you mean, but always seem to hear “Enjoying married life? Well that’s all over when you have kids!” It makes me never want to have them…until I read things like this.

  69. Reblogged this on PS1186 and commented:
    Today, I sit with the two children I part-time nanny for. Their mom is a hairstylist, and dad works for a leading computer company. I am so thankful it’s only part-time, as it W-E-A-R-S me out! But I enjoy it. The thought of
    quitting brings me to tears. Today, these girls are my ministry. My stepson is approaching teenage years, but I rememberthe days when things were different! And Oh, how I would love to have those days back. No, they weren’t easy, but a blessing. I think I enjoy my days better now. Remember: children are a gift from God. Don’t let anyone or anything steal your recognition of God’s gift to you.

    I know you have been where this blogger has been. At least I have. Enjoy the post, give her feedback

  70. Wow…what an awesome post! I’m a mother to one year old quadruplets and totally feel exhausted all of the time. Your post was an excellent reminder of all of the fun and joy-filled moments in front of us, and also a challenge to encourage other moms to keep going with positive words instead of negative ones.

    Thank you and God Bless!

    Rebecca
    http://www.theishumquads.com

  71. I found this post (and your blog) via a “share” on FaceBook…and I’m so thankful that I did. This is a beautiful reminder that even though there will be rough days (and man, can they be rough), the good FAR outweighs the difficult. Wonderful….thank you!

  72. I had 3 kids by the time I turned 21. I was that scared 16 year old with a baby. It is tough, and the doubt and remarks I got from people (most of who didn’t know me). With people being negative, life wasn’t getting easier. I didn’t graduate until I was 20. I wanted my diploma, not GED. I am now 27 and have 5 wonderful kids. The oldest 3’s dad kicked me out when I was pregnant with our third baby. I now have a wonderful boyfriend / support system for me and the kids. I liked single parenting but having someone to share all the joys and even frustration is so very nice. I wish our society would be more positive to young parents …

  73. Precious article! Thank you for writing it! As a mother of 4 and grandmother of 11, I can truly and wholeheartedly agree with all your thoughts on this! Isn’t it a wonderful gift to be able to lift up those around you, especially when there are more than anyones share of “well-meaning” terrorists to joy! GOD bless you and keep sharing!

  74. Thank you for posting this, I found it on a frien’s Facebook. I am pregnant with our first child and already people are super negative- and I’m barely showing. This is just what I needed. Thank you.

  75. Oh, how right you are! This makes me want to reassure every new parent I meet of the incredible joy they have ahead of them! Thank you for the highlight of my day!

  76. This is so true! The same can be said for pregnancy, everyone is so quick to tell you their horror stories, how long they were in labour and highlight the awful parts, but no one mentions how awesome it is to hold them and inspect every tiny bit of them for the first time, how perfect they are. Thanks for sharing, awesome post!

  77. Katie, this is a very well written article, and being a father of my original three, and several step children, I have been through the ringer. But I would do it all over again without even a moment of thought as to otherwise. There are challenges, no arguement there, but the joys recieved from your kids far outweighs any of those challenges. Now I get to enjoy watching my grandkids growing up. What a treat for us. Thanks for writing such a great article.

  78. Thank you for this. Being recently engaged and excited for my future, and the children it will eventually bring, I’ve grown so tired of hearing about how miserable marriage and parenthood are. I think everyone recognises that it will be tough, but no one ever points out how worth it it will be. I can’t count how many discouraging “haha! Good luck!”‘s I’ve gotten since becoming engaged! It’s tiring to keep listening to people without starting a fight! haha

  79. That was truely beautiful. I am currently pregnant with number 3 and most of the responses I get our the just wait. My husband and I love our girls and enjoy being patents but sometimes that negativity takes away from our joy. I still have tears in my eyes thinking about what you wrote. Although I still have so much more to experience I have gone through a few things on the list. My children our a blessing and having them made my life better.

  80. I am the mother of 2. My children were separated early in life from each other through divorce. I have my son, who had me his entire life, he is 20 years old now, and just the best person in the world to be around. It was a challenge for me when he was born, I was 19 and his father left before he was born. I got a horrible dose of just waits because of my situation, and he was nothing growing up, like people tried to make it out to be.
    My daughter is 14, and her father is punishing me for leaving by attempting to keep her from me until she is 18. I almost died giving birth to her, and signed my life away so she could live if there was a need to choose between us. I have enjoyed the very limited time I have with her as best I can. She has been poisoned and told I am horrible and non caring, trash because I live in Florida in a manufactured home (not a trailer) and incapable of caring for her. A judge said I couldn’t have my daughter because I moved out of state with my entire family and granted joint custody with temporary residential custody to her single father, who at the time didn’t change diapers, or give baths, read bedtime stories, play, hug, or feed her…..he took her to his mother for all of that while he went to work for 12 hour shifts.
    I have heard alot of just waits with her. Again due to situation. I just spent a surprise weekend with her thanks to my wonderful husband who gave me the most thoughtful Valentines gift he could think of…time with my daughter.
    I have heard all of the negativity in both situations, I have lived it. My son, who was going to grow up and take advantage of his single mom, is extremely sensative to a womans needs and has grown to be ver in touch with his emotions and is a great cook, hard worker and not afraid to speak up for what he feels is right. If I had not recieved the negativity, I probably would not have fought so hard to keep him in line and on the right path.
    As for my daughter, its the just wait…..she is an individual. She dresses different and has different colors to her hair weekly, but what she looks like does not define who she is. She amazes me with her charm and quick wit and thoughtfulness. When I hear just wait…..I do and I am, waiting for the day she realizes her father robbed her of a mother unjustly where I will be waiting on the sidlines with arms open to give her all of the things she was denied for so long. Just wait, she is going to continue to grow and be stronger for it, just wait.

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  82. I’m currently in a difficult pregnancy with my first and only baby, and I cannot express how much this means to me. I cried the whole time I was reading. Thank you

  83. I wanted to add my adoration of this post to the thousand others. This was lovely and inspiring. I can’t wait to use the positive “just wait”. Great stuff.

  84. As a mom-to-be quickly approaching her due date (a little over 3 weeks to go), your blog post really touched me (and brought on a few tears… I’m blaming the hormones.) Thanks for sharing these thoughts… they added some joy to my Friday:)

  85. Awesome post. Thanks for the reminder. Having this attitude makes all the difference both to the parent, and to the child.

  86. Goosebumps & tears! My oldest is 13, my youngest just turned 1. Both are challenging ages in such different ways. But, both are joy filled ages more than anything else! Wonderful story! God bless

  87. Wow, what a great post. I have three kids and have been warned about teenage years over and over. Next time I will give a nice rejoinder and correct their thinking a bit about blessings and joy.

  88. I think that as a parent, I get to see both sides of this and while I am raising my kids, I definitely see how some parents have a bigger workload than I do..but I gotta say…there are things I can’t wait to see happen and then there are things that will depend greatly upon how they are taught..as to whether they can show their peers what kind of upbringing they have received academically, spiritually, and emotionally…the stronger they are able to stand on their own feet, the better that we’ll feel knowing that our work is now in the process of residual blessings…

    I am a divorced parent who is remarrying a fantastic woman and the whole situation is better. I have two children who are 5 and 7 years old. She has 3 kids who are 12, 11 and 7…so I get to see two teenagers here soon and while I am a bit unready for that…the thing is ..it is just like having your own kids or the day you get married for the first time to the RIGHT person….you can’t be ready for everything that happens so you look back at how your parents raised you and you go with it making the small corrections that you felt your parents missed and continue to see it through. I have called my parents on a few occasions to get help and I have yet to be disappointed.

  89. Beautifully spoken. Thanks for reminding me of all the joys that lay ahead and behind and hidden in the moments of each day.

  90. Thank you for this perfect post!

    I’m currently 8 days past my “due” date with our sixth child. Lately, I’ve been feeling very selfish, exhausted, and worn out (rightfully, so!). But in the wake of waiting and attempting patience, I’ve forgotten all the joy that accompanies a newborn and the raising of children; my current children are suffering for my forgetfulness. Thank you so much for this amazing reminder that raising children is a JOY. It may not always be perfect (how is that even possible!?), but the returns of love and joy massively outweigh the struggles we go through to help them through life. It’s not about me– it’s about love, stewardship, and the choice I made to be a mother.

    And now I will go laugh and love with my kids while we wait for another miracle to enter our family.

    Again, thank you!!

  91. Thank you so much for this! I have three (ages 5, 3, and 8 months), and I’m still surrounded by people rolling their eyes about teenagers. Sometimes the worst comes from my own mother! I need to keep a few of these “just waits” in my back pocket and help spread the sunshine as I go.

  92. Thank you for giving me goosebumps. The good kind. I have a one year old daughter and I’m so excited to watch her experience life. Though I know hard times will come (they already have), I agree that we must focus on all that is going right.

  93. This is the most beautiful thing I’ve read in a very long time. Thank you ~ it is exactly what I needed to hear today. My one and only is “growing up” and I’m having a hard time letting go of my “baby”. Thank you for these “just waits”. :)

  94. Thank you for this encouraging post. So much of the attitude of the people around us can’t wait for others to share in the misery they have once experienced. Yet what they don’t realize is that not everyone allows temporary miseries to define the whole of an experience. I am finding this true as a newlywed. I have been dumped on about how hard the first year is going to be or all kinds of negative comments. Though it hasn’t been easy thus far, I find that like beauty, life is in the eye of the beholder -not that it is relative, just that how one chooses to view it can change everything about ability to accept and enjoy. Thank you for your kind words. As one in life transition myself, I find them refreshing and encouraging. :)

  95. Thank you for this. It is beautiful. I love this journey of parenting…the frustrations are more than worth the joy.

  96. As a teenager heading off to college, I have experienced many hurtful comments regarding teenagers and their mischievous behavior. Yes, it is true we have unpredictable hormone cycles that cause us to act impulsively and irrationally, but we are also thinking individuals who try to find their place in the world. So when parents and adults are in the mindset to expect the worst from us with, “Just wait…” comments, they treat us with those standards. Your positive outlook on teenagers as individuals who can have great success in life warms my heart. All people have gone through, or will endure the teenage years with some great accomplishments, as well as the inevitable failures. Thank you for your support and faith that parenting, even during the hormonal ups and downs, can be a blessing

  97. This was lovely! Being a parent is a Blessing…the ups & downs, the good & bad are all just part of growing up. I love my children more than I ever thought possible!

  98. Thank you so much for posting this!! I got tired of people telling me that when I had my baby girl, “Just wait, it only gets harder”. Not that I haven’t my moments of being overwhelmed, but having Jae has been the greatest joy I have ever experienced! I just want to say to people, “Just wait, it can get even more wonderful :)”

  99. My daughter’s only 9, but I’ve had a few of the Just Wait moments you listed…thank you for reminding me of them…and encouraging me that more Just Wait moments are in the years to come.

  100. Thank you so much for this post. As a soon-to-be mother (2 weeks to go) I am constantly bombarded with comments about how much harder it will be and how I shouldn’t be look looking forward to my son getting here because its going to be hard. I often want to scream at these people and say – Why shouldn’t I be looking forward to meeting my son? This post made me cry and say – Finally – someone understands me! Thanks!

  101. Reminds me of a time early in my marriage and my first-born was in my arms. I joined my mom and a friend of hers for lunch. They were griping about their husbands (yes, my dad was one of those husbands) for wayyyy too long. I was silent for awhile. After getting tired of listening to them, I looked them both in the eye and said, “I LOVE my husband.” My mother responded with, “Just wait” – Like she was wishing her bitterness on me. Every day I give thanks for STILL loving my husband, my best friend, after 28 years, and can only feel pity for people who embraace negativity. And every time I talk to a pregnant woman expecting her first child, I tell her “Just wait!” and tell her ALL the good things!

  102. I had four children in four and a half years. My middle two are identical twins. I get so many “hands full” and “just wait” comments. I really try to be positive and focus on the amazing blessing s my children are. It does get hard some days to remember, especially with so much negativity around. Thank you for a beautiful reminder. Now excuse me as I go snuggle my little ones. They are growing up way to fast and I am missing it by being on the computer…

  103. thank you for this. i am seriously in love with parenting and having a three year old is better than anyone could have expressed. parenting is way better than i had imagined, giving all the horror stories i’ve heard. thank you for this honest sweet and genuine post about the joy of parenting. what a wonderful mom you must be. my sister sent this to me via email; so glad to find your site.

  104. My sister-in-law e-mailed me a link to this post and I am so glad she did! So well said! We need more people like you in the world! Less negative, more positive! A great think to be reminded of every day!

  105. Oh wow! What an amazing post. I am a new mom and have often heard the “Just waits,” and I definitely like your version better. Your post made me cry! Such great writiing.

    My grandmother just said to me this weekend, “Enjoy this time, because these are the moments you will look back to when you are older and think of as the Prime of your life.”

  106. Thank you so much for writing this. I have two girls, born just 15 months apart and happen to live next to a Target. I am there almost every other day and I get these comments ALL.THE.TIME. Now, I have an almost 2 year old and an 8 month old and in addition to the “Just wait…” comments, I get the, “Wow, you must really have your hands full” and evil glares. Your blog post made me smile. Happily reposted on my Facebook page.

  107. THANK YOU! Here’s another “just wait”…just wait until your children are 20 and 23 years old and another parent says to you “Your children are so wonderful. I wish my kids were as kind, caring, thoughtful, respectful, loving (getting the idea?) as your children are.”

  108. My boys drive me crazy, but it melts my heart when they tell me they love me, or give me a kiss or hug. They are more than worth all of the craziness :-) I hate it when people say anything negative about having kids.With 3 boys, I am constantly getting the “You must have your hands full” comments. What people don’t seem to realize is, is that yes, they are wild, but they are also INCREDIBLY sweet and caring. My oldest, who is 6, is always talking to his baby brother (who is 4 months) and playing with his other brother (who is 3). I love them more than anything, and wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.

  109. Wonderful post! I happen to have a toddler and a teenager (with three more children in between). I just have to smile at the people in the store when they assume he’s my one and only and they give me their “just wait” lines. Sometimes I feel like cheerfully telling them, “He’s my fifth, I know what I’m in for and I can’t wait!”.

  110. Thank you for this, so well written. I appreciate a positive outlook…finally!
    If children are always hearing the negative comments like, “Just wait” …. then they live up to that. More parents need more positive…
    Thank you!

  111. I am a new mother and have heard so many comments like this from so many people. I know parenthood will be hard. But I also know it will be wonderful. Thank you for putting that so eloquently and for giving a new mom validation for my feelings of excited anticipation. It could have been the post-partem hormones or lack of sleep or just honest-to-goodness joy, but this post made me cry. Thank you.

  112. I really needed this! Some days (like today) I struggling with my two-year-old and I keep hearing “Just wait — age three is even worse.” I don’t believe it and I try to shrug it off… but sometimes I just feel doomed. This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you. I’m now your newest follower.

  113. Thank You! I needed a pick me up and this was it (it’s been a rough couple week; mommy with kidney infection hospitalized and a 6 year old and 3 year old boys.) It’s always OVERWHELMING…the lows can be overwhelmingly low (like when you still have a 7 month old who doesn’t sleep through the night despite EVERYTHING and you work full time) but the highs can also be overwhelmingly high (like when you feel like hell and you’re wonderful boys curl up next to you in bed and just say “I love you so much mommy. Just rest!”) Parenting is not about any mediocre feelings but that’s what makes it so exciting.

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  115. Great post, I agree a copy of something like this should be sent to the homes of new parents, lets say around week 4. ;)

  116. May I ask where this took place? I had an incredibly similar experience at Target (almost word for word) and it meant a great deal, we live in separate states but they do touch. Feel free to email me back. :D

  117. Thank you for this gentle reminder! Beautifully written and no closer to reality than reality itself. I have a near 17 year old mini-me blossoming before my eyes, a five year.old prince who lives to please me (and torment his big sis) and three beautiful and exhausting 3 year old darling girls. As I lay here recuperating from recent surgery, I am wallowing in thoughts of the great things yet to come. Tearfully happy….again, I thank you!!!

  118. Oh, thank you so much for sharing this!! I have had these exact same thoughts, but as a new mom I find it hart to combat the negativity with anything more than my hopes for my children’s future. You have affirmed my excitement over their growth (including teenhood! I want to be excited for that because I hope to have awesome teenagers, but I am simply bombarded with the idea that they will be awful creatures by then!).
    When my daughter (now only 8 months) was born I had some seriously depressed days after some seriously euphoric ones. The people who would say during pregnancy or the first few days, “Just wait until that baby is keeping you up all night,” hurt me as a new mother. They cast doubt on my joy. But my own mother gently and constantly reminded me during the dark days that soon I would see her smile at me. I’d see her reach for me. I’d hear “mama” in her sweet little voice. Soon I’d be filled with delight again because I’d get to see her grow. She said, “Just wait until you hear her say ‘I love you.’ Oh, your heart will overflow!” THAT helped me through the depression. People don’t realize how much our words mean.

  119. Thank you, thank you, thank you. A hundred times. As a soon-to-be first-time mom, I am so tired of hearing the comments about how having kids ruins your social life, your marriage, your freedom…instead of reminding us how rewarding and beautiful and fun this experience can be. I love your take on the “just waits” and I can’t wait to share this with every mom and mom-to-be I know!

  120. I wish someone would have said all that to me when I was a brand spanking new parent, but even as my daughter nears 2 yrs old, its so great to be reminded that my just wait is going to be so full of joy!

  121. This was so true and so good! You gave me a “good” cry this morning. :) Thank you! I will definitely be sharing this one!!

  122. Umm…this is a beautiful post. Seriously. I don’t have kids yet, but you are right. There is a negative aura associated with them that the world gives off. It definitely isn’t encouraging, but I’m so grateful for this post and helping me see the good things being a mother will bring. It really did touch me. Thank you!

  123. Expecting my first this fall, and so many people make the “oh its gets so much worse!” Comments regarding pregnancy alone (which, so far, has been incredibly challenging as it is,) and I’ve been worrying constantly at how “much worse” parenting itself might be, due to the excessive negative commentary. Thank you for this post, it lifted my spirits and, admittedly, made me bawl. Great post.

  124. I loved this article. It made me cry. There is no greater joy than being a parent, I love it. And no greater joy than having a wonderful partner walking right next to you to enjoy it! The “just waits” aren’t only for parenthood. When you get engaged to be married it is amazing the negative responses people give you. “Just wait until he stops opening doors and being sweet to you.” “The dates stop. Just wait.” ” The intimacy stops… just wait.” “Just wait until you come home and she still doesn’t have makeup on and is in sweats” “Just wait until you are old and wrinkly and can’t stand to be together anymore…” It is amazing the negativity that surrounds marriage and parenthood. Around LOVE! Key things that make up our life here on earth! We are here to learn and grow and do so by GIVING LOVE in relationships. LOVE, parental or marital is WONDERFUL, JOYFUL and something to be POSITIVE about not negative!

  125. Thanks for your post! Definitely gave me something to think about. When I had my first baby, I really struggled, and I felt like I must not be doing something right when I heard over and over how great it was, and how happy I should be. My least favorite question, “Isn’t it just so fun?” made me realize how far off the mark I was (or thought I was), and I struggled to know why it was so hard for me. I think my comments to other first time parents have been shaped around that experience. I want them to feel like it’s O.K. to say that it’s hard if they want to, and I never want to make anyone else feel like an inferior parent because their experience thus far has been less than positive. After reading your post though, I’m wondering if in my attempts to make them feel comfortable with wherever they’re at, I may have gone too far the other direction. I’ll definitely be more mindful about the whole thing in the future. Thanks!

  126. Hope you don’t mind a compliment from a Dad who thinks this is the best thing he’s read about parenting in quite a long time. This belongs in the Blog Hall of Fame, in the “Gets It” section.

  127. I am so grateful I stumbled upon your post! It is exactly how I feel oh so often. I am in love with our 3 girls (ages 5,4,2, and one due in July)! And I love being their mommy, but I can get so discouraged by people’s rude comments. I hope I can encourage other mom’s like you’ve encouraged me! Thank you again for reminding me what a gift of the Lord our children are!

  128. Such a wonderful post! I fell in love with the innocence and joy in your photo of the kids young (on pinterest). I am the mom of 4 and while it is overwhelming and complicated (and Oh boy, I don’t even have teenagers yet!!)…it is filled with joyful moments EVERY single day. Thank you for your wonderful words and the reminder that time flies and we must savor all of the time with our kids and enjoy it!

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  131. Thank you for this. My 10 month old has reflux and it’s been really rough so whenever people offer the negative “just wait” comments, it makes me want to break down in tears. The last thing new parents who are just trying to adjust need to hear is how hard and awful it’s going to be… we want these beautiful reminders of how wonderful children are. Because they are wonderful.

  132. Just wait until she has spilled her cooked oatmeal with milk and is splattering it all over, then looks up at you and says so sweetly “Mama, I love you”.

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  134. Thank you for posting this! As parents of 6 month old quads, we hear the good ol “just wait” comment often. I always say we are embracing the now moments.

  135. This is beautiful. 28 years ago I was too young and pregnant. I made the decision to raise my daughter but felt the sting of those kinds of comments as well as ads that depicted a girl behind bars holding a baby and quoting “it’s like being in prison for 18 years”. I am happy to report that it has been nothing like that at all! Now I can hardly “just wait” until my darling grandchildren come to visit!

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  137. Thank you so much for the blessing of this post. My husband and I just found out a month ago (right before our 1st anniversary) that we’re expecting our first- due in August :-) I’ve already received so much negativity that I was beginning to allow fear of parenting to take over; I so appreciate hearing from a mom who is not complaining about her children, or telling me about all the difficulties I will face as a new mom. You’ve made my day – God bless!

  138. A friend of mine shared this on facebook and I read it on a day that has been “one of those days”. My one year followed me around screaming this morning as I tried to get dressed and brush my teeth. A stranger in the mall chastised me for letting my three year old walk by herself a few steps behind me (instead of holding my hand). Both children cried over what I fixed for lunch, or how slow I was at getting it on the table. I have found myself short on patience, and crying at my many downfalls as a mom. This post gave me something joyful to focus on and brought to mind the many wonderful things that I do get to enjoy with my children. Thank you for sharing it!

  139. Beautiful piece of work Katie! I SOO agree. It all goes back to that wonderful thing my mother used to tell me… “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything!” I think people who make those negative comments, obviously don’t have very good parenting skills. If they were more positive, it might not seem so hard to raise children. It’s all an attitude thing. If your kids need attitude adjustments, maybe you do too.

  140. What an amazingly beautiful post. I lost my daughter 2 months ago to SIDS, and when I see new parents I always smile through my tears but I could never say the thoughtless things everyone said to me. I usually make sure to tell them just to hold the precious little one close and remark on how cute he/she is. again, a beautiful post.

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  142. Beautiful. As a mom of 2 little ones, thank you. They do bring so much JOY to our lives. Great reminder on perspective and finding the joy.

  143. I’ve been searching for this post for several weeks…I thought I had bookmarked it when I read it last year. Anyhow, thanks for the hope.

  144. Pingback: Choose Hope, Not Fear | Gestating

  145. As a mom of 14 children, #15 due in October, I can attest over and over again this is so true. Children are such a joy! Each new life is soooo precious. Sure there are challenges, my oldest is 18 and I have three other teenagers! But your “just wait’s” are the best! Great post. Come on over and check out my blog if you get a chance http://www.believewithme.com – I share advice, encouragement, and experience with parents who want to believe God has a great purpose for their children! I’ll be posting this entry of yours on my facebook! God bless.

  146. I’m just a few weeks away from becoming a first-time mom and have already heard so many “just waits.” Thank you thank you thank you. I’m teary-eyed reading this.

  147. This is wonderful!! Thank you for sharing. As a mom of two foster children under the age of 3, I get stares and glares a lot. Most people think we’re crazy for accepting two children into our home at such a close age. But when I look at them, I don’t know how anyone could say no. I know I couldn’t. We’re getting ready to adopt both of them this summer and couldn’t be happier. And it breaks my hear when I hear things like at a recent fundraiser for our attorney fees, a worker asked someone if they would like to donate to a family trying to adopt two little boys. The man said no gruffly, then added, “they don’t know what they’re getting in to.” He had no idea that I, sitting right there by the worker, was the one planning to adopt. But regardless of that, it seems people aren’t ashamed of making negative comments even if they do know you are right there. I wish more people would focus on and share the positive things and the joyful moments, rather than constantly trying to remind us that we haven’t a clue what we’re doing.

    Thank you again, for a wonderful post!

  148. Thank you for this much needed, timely reminder to find the JOY. I have a beautiful, intelligent, rambunctious & strong-willed 2 year old & am just mere weeks from having #2. It is so easy for me to get caught up in the negativity of dealing with a toddler while being utterly exhausted from “growing” another human being that I often forget to enjoy & focus on the good times we have & the ones to come. Thank you, thank you, thank you…….

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  150. I brought my first baby home from the hospital a week ago today. Finding this post brought so much reassurance to me. Thank you for your beautifully-put thoughts. I definitely appreciate them.

  151. Thank you for this post! I found it through a facebook link and am so glad I did. I’m in my first trimester with our first baby, and I’m already getting “just wait” comments. I don’t understand why everyone is so negative. This post is beautiful and reassuring :)

  152. So perfect!!! I’m a mom of a 2 year old who sometimes feels bombarded and scared by the negative “you just waits…” Thank you for reminding me to stay hopeful that, with God leading the way, my son will turn into an honorable young man!! <3

  153. Well said…. i have kids 2, 3 ,5 , 9 and everyone was like just wait…. and when i had my last child two days after i had her and lady came up to be and asked me if i had my tubes tied beacuse i was stupiod for having 4 children

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  155. i don’t know any of you, but it doesn’t take acquaintance to realize that what was just said was a masterpiece on it’s own. Nothing but encouragement. Yours truly, anonymous.

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  157. I teared up reading this…I am so thankful for the “blessings” in my life…I could add…just wait til you hear your kindergarten age child read her first words….just wait til your nineteen month old son kisses your cheek for the first time…just wait til your 24 week old kicks you again and you realize the precious gift of life again….I am a busy Mom and my children are a handful but what amazing JOY God has given me through them…

  158. You’re exactly right. This is why I chose to encourage moms with fun songs like “I Used to Sleep All Night” and “Part of the World”. It goes by so fast. Enjoy

  159. I don’t have kids (or even any marriage prospects) yet, but I just have to tell you this was so beautiful written. I think, in general, people try to commiserate by focusing on the negative, but life is so much more enjoyable when we focus on the positive instead.

  160. Thank you for writing this. My son is 8 months old and I needed this encouragement so much!! Thank you for being my angel today!!

  161. I LOVE this post!! A friend posted it on FB and I read it. I have 7 children that are 6,7,8,9,10,10 and 12. I get tons of comments especially the one “your hands are full” and I just look at my hands and say, “Nope, my hands are empty, but my heart is full!!” I love my kids so much and we have been through many things together and I cannot wait to see what they will become in their lives. For now though we will just cherish each moment together !!

  162. Love this. As someone who is currently child free by choice, this age of ‘transparent mommies’ posting on social media makes me never want kids.

  163. Beautiful and rich reminders. In the middle of my homeschooling day, I try to prompt myself to enjoy the moment, to embrace it before it’s gone. What we’re waiting for is here now! ‘Feeling thankful for real children and all those who love them. As a fellow blogger, I’m delighted to find your inspiration.

  164. I have teenagers now. There are days when all the people beaming about the babies and toddlers really hurts when my teenagers are pushing the envelope on everything. I can remember people saying “just wait” and I won’t do it. You certainly do need that honeymoon to fall in love with your children to be ready for the rest of the growing, no matter how good your kids are. But I really understand that “just wait” comment now. There is lots of support and kindness for that poor sleep deprived new Mom. There is much less support for the Mom trying to negotiate her pre-adult through those last few years well. There is just as much sleep deprivation, pouting an pushing of limits. And it feels so much more dangerous. I could keep them safer as babies and toddlers.

  165. The joy for sure outweighs the the difficulty and leads to the very best part of life …………..grandchildren,which are God’s answer to missing your children after they grow up.

  166. Thank you for the reminder. As a society, we tend to focus on the negative, but we need to remember that there is true joy in parenting.

  167. Thank you.

    We’ve got three– about twenty months apart– and I get so tired of people I’ve never seen feeling the need to tell me how horrible it’s going to be. It’s right up there with saying in front of my two girls, “Oh, you finally got your boy! So you’re done now, right?”

  168. I have 4 very young littles, ages are a 3 week old baby girl, a 19 month old little girl, a soon to be 3 yr old girl and a soon to be 6 yr old boy, I’m sure most can imagine what my husband and I hear about our ever growing brood. Reading this today has made my day a lot better between my messy house, nursing newborn, nightly wake ups lately, son’s messy room and 2 little girls fighting, the day is bright and promising, thank you for reminding me of that. I needed it :)

  169. Fantastic! With eight kids, we had our share of those times of 4 under 4, 5 under 6, a gazillion in elementary school. Now with three in college and three in high school, I have to say…it was great before and it’s just getting better.

    Thanks for taking the time to put into words what so many of us feel. The unsolicited advice and snide comments seem to be so prevalent that words like yours can be drowned out. Keep up the great work…the world needs more voices like yours!

  170. Such a wonderful post. Beautifully said. The same message needs to get out to all those women sharing their labor and delivery horror stories to first time (and no doubt a little bit nervous) moms. Why do so many of us add to the nerves and fear? My labor and delivery was a piece of cake and I always share the story. It’s reassuring.

  171. I agree with you….too much negativity. I always tell new parents to cherish them, they are only small once and they grow up way too fast. To take LOTS of pictures, and to take time for themselves once in awhile. its ok to let the little one cry while you take a shower. :)

  172. Wow So this is going around Facebook…
    I saw that in one of the comments above, and well, yes, it is STILL going around FB!! :) I was reading a few comments and then I realized the date, It was Feb. 2012! That is more than a year and a half. Crazyness, but TOTALLY a great post!

  173. As a brand-new mom in my eighth month of pregnancy, I appreciate this post so much. I have been completely inundated with “Just waits.” I love this.

  174. As a father currently traveling on business away from his wonderful children and angelic wife, this post hit me in a way I don’t know if I have ever been smacked before. I balled my eyes out like a baby in my hotel room. And not necessarily with tears of regret, or even pain, but with tears of relief and joy. I don’t know if you know what this post has done for me and perhaps many others. I don’t know if parenthood has ever been more beautifully and succinctly described, at least not to my soul. Thank you.

  175. As a brand-new momma (baby is 3 weeks old), I was so happy to come across this post via a friend on Facebook. Thank you for your encouragement in a world that is so often discouraging.

  176. :) Just wait until your daughter reposts this to FB and she has turned out amazing and she marreid her best friend since second grade and they had their first kiss at “you may kiss the bride” and are doing great being parents to your grandbabies.
    Just wait until you have grand babies and your kids are you best friends on the planet.
    Just wait until your 21 yr old son take his first move from the house and it’s to China to teach English and he does amazing things.

    Totally agree. Life is full of negative ppl and they are getting what the think it’s gonna be.

    Solomon said, “Life is hard and then you die” but I believe he was really expecting us to live before we die.
    The person who thinks they can and the person who thinks they can’t are both right. Thanks for enjoying the process.

  177. Granted my hormones are on overload from being pregnant, but that made me cry. Such a beautiful message, we all need to be a little more positive about our futures. Negativity gets us nowhere.

  178. At 33 weeks pregnant – I have not heard one single person say anything positive about being a parent. All I get it horror stories. I cried when I read this. I needed someone to say something positive. To remind me why we’d get ourselves into this. THANK YOU and God bless you.

  179. This article just made my day. I’m a step-parent, so I didn’t get to enjoy the younger years, but am so happy I get to share the teenage years. Yeah, they are frustrating, but the good moments totally make up for the crazy stuff.

  180. Love your post! I have felt this way so many times. Rather than sitting around waiting for so many milestones in my childs life I love to savor and enjoy each one along the way. I love being able to stay home with them and guiding them to discover the world, there is no greater job!

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  183. Beautiful. Thank you! As a first timer, with all that comes with it, I can’t help but wish for this kind of kindness to be shown my way. So often, I am hit with the wrong “just wait” bus & all I can do is pretend I didn’t hear the comments. I work full time and have to relish every second I have with my little one! Thank you for sharing the positive “just wait…” – next time I hear anything but your kind of kindness, I’ll simply infuse it with some of the moving images you shared.

  184. You are so right on!! There is so much joy to find everyday and joyful moments to just wait for. As a mom of 10 wonderful children I know what you say is true!! We just have to look for those little moments and relish them. I am going to share this if I ever here someone being negative about the wonderful job of parenting. Thanks so much for sharing!! Love this post!!

  185. A 3 or 4 year old little girl entered the train with her dad. She was all dressed up as a little princess with a pink hoodie under her pink sparkly dress, ready for Halloween it seemed. She would glance up at her dad from time to time, smiling and giggling, amused by the movement of the train and dad always smiled back. Her silver slippers had a pink kitty’s face on them and were on backwards. “You put them on all by yourself” I thought. A woman noticed the same and she said to dad loudly as she got off the train: “Her shoes are on backwards, you know?” Dad looked at the shoes and said: “That’s ok, we can fix that later…” We need to pay more attention to the wonderful little things children do <3

  186. Pingback: Just wait, you have so much joy ahead of you…. | pinkgiggles&puppydogtickles

  187. Let’s add to this. just wait till you catch your son smoking pot after school shortly before setting a puddle of gasoline on fire in the garage and causing $20,000 in damage. And then your snobby suburban neighbors blame it all on you for being a “bad parent”.

    • Andy~ Did that happen with your son? If so, I am so sorry. Unfortunately, many, many people automatically assume that a child’s behavior is a direct reflection of a parent’s neglect or ineffectiveness. That hurts! If a child has cancer, no one would “blame” the parent. However, when issues of behavior/mental health arise, we’re quite quick to judge, and that is so hurtful. Again, I am so sorry.

  188. This left me in tears. It could be the beauty, or it could be the fact that I’m about to enter my third trimester with my third–and possibly last–child. But I would like to believe that it was the understated beauty inherent in our child’s love being brought out in your words. Sometimes, it is difficult to see beyond the petty the day to day frustrations through to the wonder that is our children. Thank you for bringing it up. We all need to take a step back and appreciate the joy and love our children bring. It’s why they’re in our lives, after all.

  189. THANK YOU for sharing this. There is nothing I want more right now than to be a mother, but being young and newly married I get disapproving comment after disapproving comment when I express my desire. The ‘just waits’ mentioned in this post are what keep my desire alive. Thanks again for posting.

  190. As a mom of a 9 month old this was the most beautiful and amazing blog post I have ever read. Throughout my pregnancy and now every one always gives me the just wait until… I have grown to ignore them, but in the beginning I was so worried that I was getting myself into I lifelong journey of resentment. I know what I was like as a teenager and I can only imagine what I have in store for me, but there are the good times that should mean more to us. Thank you for proving to me that there are people out there that believe that good memories are the most important.

  191. I’m not a parent and I have little desire to be one, but I really loved this post because it relates to so many things. Why do we turn to the negative so quickly without a thought to the positive? I’m guilty of it too – so very guilty. This post was a good reminder of all the positives we can miss if we focus only on the negative. :)

  192. One of the sweetest post I have ever read! I will be sharing your like to on my blog on Monday when I do my Motherhood Monday’s post. You are amazing and we need more people like you in our world!

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  195. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for!! As a soon to be new mom the constant “just waits” really get under my skin. I know this will be an entirely new experience unlike anything I’ve ever done before, but both my husband and I are excited for what it will bring. We try to tune out all the negative, because truly there is no light without the dark. So thank you for being a rare beam light during amazing experience!

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  197. Loved this post! As a young mom of 3 kids in 3 1/2 years, I heard a lot of “Boy, you have your hands full!” comments. I quickly decided I had to flip that negative attitude into positive thinking… thankfully God provided just the right response, “Yes, I sure do… They are full of blessings!” :) Usually folks would change their comments after hearing that.

  198. Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!!! I’m currently sitting here ready to give birth any day to my third child in three years. We didn’t mean to have three children under three, and even though I grew up in a big family I’ve found myself becoming increasingly cynical and angry about being a parent. But, this is exactly what I needed to hear. Those moments with my 1 and 2 yr old are so precious to me. When I hear my little boy say, “I love you,” and when his little sister smiles up at me. Thank you for writing exactly what I needed to hear. These days are short and fleeting, and some day my little ones will no longer be little, or need mommy anymore.

  199. Wow Katie, I couldn’t read this aloud to my husband without crying. Love this. I think it touches at the heart of each and every loving Mom. What a very well written post! Thanks for sharing!

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  201. Thank you for this post! I remember having my son, and night #1, I was like oh my goodness this is so hard! Why is this so hard? I too had people telling me just you wait until this or that. It was very discouraging. But God has been faithful and constantly reminds me to remain positive and focus on only the positives!

  202. Pingback: Joy, or “Just Wait?” | Winds of Change

  203. this is still circulating and encouraging people over a year later. thank you.
    just wait until your daughter is about to step into marriage (this week!) and possibly (one day) into parent hood. and you know they are not “ready” for any of this. but God is calling them to it and because of that, that are “ready” for the joy of answering his call.

  204. When my three children were young (three born within four years), I remember saying, “I wish they were in school, so I can get a little break.” My mother-in-law said to me, “Don’t wish your life away.” That was good advice, one which I share with younger parents, now that my children are grown. I also talk about how much I liked elementary school and middle school and high school. And College.

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