“Just wait…” – it’s one of the most common phrases soon-to-be parents and first-time moms hear. Usually, it’s well-intentioned but intimidating, trying to keep the new parent focused on the positive aspects of their current stage. “You think you’re anxious now? Just wait until that baby crawls.” “Think you’re tired in your third trimester? Just wait until the baby comes! THEN you’ll be tired!” I know that the “just-you-wait”-ers are trying to help, and are likely repeating the same advice that they received. For me, it wasn’t very helpful… so let’s switch things up.
Over time, these “just wait’s” can be draining and exhausting. Parenthood, especially new and first-time parenthood, is constantly changing and every shift is bittersweet. Every phase has its challenges and its triumphs – so in an effort to put this overused advice trope to good use, here are my “just wait’s” for expecting and new moms. I’m still in the baby stage, so have limited experienced advice to offer. I’m looking forward to adding to this, and if it’s helpful, will continue sharing as the list grows!
So, new & expecting moms, just wait.
Just wait until the pregnancy test reads positive, and your doctor confirms the result. You get to hold this joy and decide when and how to share this news.
Just wait until you hear your baby’s heartbeat in an ultrasound. Your body made a beating heart!
Just wait until you feel the baby move and kick. You will feel and know every hiccup, every kick, every position change.
Just wait until it’s time for baby to come. You will realize how incredibly strong and powerful you are.
Just wait until your new baby is placed on your chest. Seeing this life you’ve made, holding them for the first time – there are just no words.
Just wait until your baby looks into your eyes and recognizes you – your voice and scent are the most comforting things to them when they’re new. A baby’s mother is the only common experience between their life in the womb and life out in the world. You are their home.
Just wait until you get to see the most important people in your life love your baby. Watching parents as grandparents, siblings as aunts and uncles, and friends as honorary family members is so special. I didn’t realize how much fun it would be to watch my closest people love and interact with my son. Watching my husband as a dad is one of my favorite things in the world.
Just wait to see their first smile. To learn what makes their eyes light up, and how to soothe and calm them when they’re upset. Just wait to what their first laugh and be the one who can make them giggle the most. Just wait for their personality to shine through. Just wait to learn that even on little sleep and through challenging times, you are an incredible mother. Just wait to realize that the instincts everyone talked about really are true – and that your intuition is one of your strongest assets. Just wait to realize that as you figure out how to navigate life as a person and a mom, motherhood strengthens you and makes you better in every role you hold.
Looking back at these experiences through the rearview mirror brings me a lot of joy. I’m telling myself “just wait” for the next phase – each phase of my baby’s life and each new phase of motherhood just keeps getting better. It can be hard. It can feel so lonely. It can be too much, and there’s never enough sleep or time in the day. But… it is incredible. You are incredible. You’ll see and experience your own versions of all of this, and more.
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