“Just wait”

So many mothers have been told this of our wee ones, a humble warning of things to come. Yet, it seems to be an unnecessary warning. Raising children is no walk in the park and anyone who expects it to be may be in for a rude awakening. The “just wait” warning seems a little overly dramatic to me after all these years.

Just wait for what? I want to ask. For the nights spent knee-deep in throw up? For potty training? For temper tantrums and slamming doors? No, the warning is usually in reference to the teenage years. Just wait, they say.

But I say, I can’t wait. I can’t wait to see the person they will become. Of course it won’t be perfect and neither will they and neither was I. But I can’t wait to see them blossom into young adults. I can’t wait to see who they become.

Teenagers get a bad rap, in my honest opinion. As the mother of two teens and 5 more future teens, I have to say that “just wait” warning is quite silly.

Here’s my spin on the “Just you wait” warning. Just wait until that tiny infant they placed in your arms looks you square in the eye and says, “I love you, Mom.” Just wait until you hold that teen, crying over something and you know they are still your child. Just wait until a teacher or a church leader or scout leader praises your child. Just you wait.

AJBeach2

Sure there are problems and bad choices, temper tantrums and defiance. The last time I checked, it is really hard to learn much about life without making some mistakes along the way. That tiny infant has to grow up, that’s the point. Our job as their parent is to gently guide them through the minefield of life. To coach, direct, and suggest a better path. Whether or not they choose that path is up to them. Mistakes are ok. We all make them.

So don’t tell a new Mom to “just wait”, tell her that raising a teen isn’t any more difficult than the “Terrible Twos”, they are just bigger. Their choices are bigger. Their consequences are bigger, but so are the rewards. The pride at your child’s accomplishment is overwhelming. Those big gangly arms wrapping you up in a hug, well, you won’t be able to wait for that.

A simple, “Thank you Mom” feels oh, so good. As good as that first smile or that first “Mama”. That first conversation with your child in which you realize that they are becoming their own person, no longer reliant on you for opinions or information. Watching your teen grow up is quite simply an awesome part of parenting.

The next time a well-meaning parent says to you, “Oh, just wait,” feel free to say, “You know what, I can’t wait.”

Because there is a lot of good ahead. Just you wait.

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Comments

  1. I love this!

  2. I always try to tell new mom’s to enjoy every minute of every stage of life. It goes too fast and before you know it they are grown up people. And I know mom’s hate that just as much as “Just wait!” Bummer, I still say it and I still believe it. I also love those two teenagers of yours and I miss seeing them all the time. (although I did see your female teenager the other day, beautiful as always.) So, don’t wait, enjoy!

    • I agree with telling moms to enjoy every stage. Each is so different and has it’s pros and cons! Teens are no different! It does go by so quickly. I know they will leave me before I can blink!!

  3. Good attitude to have. You’ll do fine.

  4. I used to hate that too! As opposed to what? What other options are there than to “just wait”?
    I have to add: just wait till your 18 year old daughter texts you the verse from “I’ll love you forever” about “as long as I’m living, my Mommy you’ll be”, or until your son is 21 but still says “I love you” before hanging up the phone – and he even says it FIRST!

    • LOL Exactly! I can’t wait for those phone calls! My 15 year old isn’t exactly affectionate, but it still warms my heart when he says he loves me. It will be lovely when he says it first!

  5. Thank you for such a positive spin on the teen years! I can’t wait to see the kind of person my daughter will become and I’d like to think that while it won’t be easy (because none of it is :) ), it will still be a good time for all of us.
    Amanda´s last blog post ..Small Steps…

    • You are welcome and you are right. It won’t be easy, but I think some of the most rewarding things in life are hard work!

  6. I like your take on “just wait.” I’ve never really seen the point in people saying it- it’s usually said smugly when a mom is in the middle of something she thinks is hard with her baby/child, said by a mom whose kids are older and thinks it’s the older days that harder, but who forgets that in the moment, it all can feel hard.
    Shell´s last blog post ..Pour Your Heart Out

    • It really can all feel hard. Since I have both little ones and teens, I often get asked which is harder. I always reply neither. They are both hard in totally different ways. One is not harder than the other because it is all hard! But there’s a lot of good and I think parents need to remember that!

  7. oh I’m so with you on this. I can’t wait to see who my daughter will become.

  8. Oh I love that someone finally wrote this! they are supposed to grow up – spread their wings – learn about life – Leave! I for one cannot wait to see who they become: that’s kinda the whole point of why I wanted to be a parent. To be able to guide, mold, shape — but also let the clay make it’s own impressoin before it’s set too.
    Rorybore´s last blog post ..Pondering: Water Rivets

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