Two words to never say to another mom...
Two words that simultaneously say very little, and also a whole lot.
I hear it too often. A mom will be sharing about a struggle she's experiencing, and another woman will share these two words: "just wait...".
"Just wait until you're in the third trimester."
"Just wait until you're in the newborn phase."
"Just wait until you hit the 4 month sleep regression."
"Just wait until your baby starts crawling."
"Just wait until your baby starts walking."
"Just wait until you have a second kid."
"Just wait until your kids start deciding what THEY want to wear."
"Just wait until your kids enter middle school."
"Just wait until until your kids have their first boyfriend/girlfriend."
"Just wait until your kids go off to college."
"Just wait until you're an empty nester."
The list goes on and on with absolutely no end in sight. "Just wait."
We may not realize it when speaking, but I'm sure if you've had these words spoken towards you you've felt the hidden power they yield. The power to minimize, shame, embarrass, and belittle. The power to make one's pain feel invalid, their struggle secondary, and by consequence their willingness to share becomes less.
You see, when we say the words "just wait" followed by whatever scenario, I'm sure no harm is meant by it. But in reality what we do is communicate to that mom a mountain of messages:
- "Your struggles are just beginning."
- "It only gets harder from here."
- "That hurt is nothing compared to xyz."
- "You have nothing to complain about."
Instead of recognizing that mother's struggle and offering words of true encouragement, we are subliminally communicating that she needs to "get over it" or "her current struggles aren't worth mentioning", etc. Friend, this is far from helpful.
Motherhood is a challenge, and we ought to be uplifting, encouraging, and cheering one another on. Here are some alternative responses when a fellow mom shares a struggle she's experiencing:
"That sounds difficult, how can I help?"
"I've been through something similar, how are you feeling?"
"What do you need right now?"
"I am sorry you're going through this. How can I specifically pray for you?"
Or, just a simple "I hear you."
We all know there are new challenges lying ahead, no matter where we are in our motherhood journey. We don't need to be reminding one another of them. What we really need is to uplift one another. Let's make an effort to truly hear, empathize with, and encourage one another. A simple way we can start doing this more is by banishing the phrase "just wait..." from our vocabularies.
Thanks as always for stopping by my little corner of the internet. ☺️ I appreciate you all and will see you in the next post!
Cheering you on,