The Doom and Gloom of “You Just Wait”

Eight months.

A year ago, when my wife was pregnant with our son, co-workers would ask me about what was going through my head about becoming a dad.  I would always respond by telling them I was aware of how my life was going to change, but that ultimately, I was excited about it all.

And what typically was their response?

“Well, you just wait until he’s crying in the middle of the night and you’re not getting any sleep… You just wait until he turns two years old and he’s pitching a fit… You just wait until he’s a teenager and he acts like he hates you…”

Needless to say, I’ve heard this unsolicited “well, you just wait until he gets older” gloom and doom more than I care to.  Well, here I am, a year later, and I’m still the same positive guy living with my realistic expectations; which certain people view as a fantasy.

The phrase “well, you just wait” is just another version of “I told you,” translating into “I can’t say ‘I told you so’ yet because enough time hasn’t gone by, so you’ll just have to wait so that you can see that I am right and you are naïve.”

I would bet that in the history of the world there has never been a time when a person has truly appreciated hearing “I told you so” or any form of it.  So “well, you just wait” doesn’t translate any differently to me.

Admittedly, it can be tricky trying to figure out what to do when it comes to parenting because it’s so easy to become overwhelmed by not only so many techniques out there, but also so many people confidently telling you that what worked for them and their child is the best (and only) way to do it.

Often, a lot of the parenting advice I hear just gets lost in the noise.  Granted, this blog is technically designed to give fellow parents advice, as I often do.  So am I just adding to the noise pollution, as I regularly share my noticeably conservative and undeniably positive outlook on fatherhood?

Maybe.  But whether or not you ever adopt my views on any particular aspect of parenting, and whether or not you find any of them to be effective, my intention is to speak with authority while not coming across as a know-it-all.  Will I be able to successfully pull off that delicate balance?

Well, you just wait…

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  1. by Karen

    On July 20, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Parenting has it’s ups and downs, I suppose, but isn’t it better to focus on the positive? Do the gloom and doom people mean to say they’d change their status as a parent if they could? How sad.

    How about, “He smiled!? You just wait… Laughing is coming and those giggles are AWESOME!”, “Rolled over? Good for her. You just wait… Soon she won’t want to leave your side – isn’t it wonderful to be needed?” “Wow! Kindergarten! You just wait… You won’t always be the one reading bedtime stories!” “You just wait… Until high school’s over and you’ve made it through so much… And your child really is one of your best friends. Parenthood is an adventure worth taking for sure.” you just wait.

  2. by Ted

    On July 20, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Thank you. This is the first time I’ve read your blog and it brought a smile to my face. I felt as if it could have been me writing this post. I’m a few months behind you into fatherhood, but I feel the same way. Fatherhood is a terrific experience and that is what I expected, and I believe it will continue that way, so “you just wait.”

  3. by Michelle

    On July 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I am expecting & hubby and I hear this all the time – just you wait. It’s annoying quite frankly. Let us have our own experience. Yes, we will be sleep deprived, etc. etc. but we will also be enjoying the beauty of parenting – I’m looking forward to that so they can just wait for me to enjoy it! Thank you – we needed this!

  4. by Nick Shell

    On July 20, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Karen, you’re right! I can’t remember the last time, if ever, that I’ve heard “you just wait” used in a positive sense regarding parenting. That would be nice, though.

  5. by Nick Shell

    On July 20, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Ted, I’m glad you found The Dadabase today and that you can relate well to how I feel about this. I’m with ya man.

  6. by Nick Shell

    On July 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Michelle, you’re welcome :) You said it well: “Let us have our own experience.” I wish I would have thought of that sentence when I was writing the post.