Just You Wait
I got pregnant almost three years ago. People were happy and excited for me. They said nice, encouraging things. But they also said stuff like, "Just you wait. No more sleep for you. No fun, no friends. You might as well shoot yourself in the face, because your life is over!" Yes, I got less sleep after he was born. That was hard. Yes, my relationships changed, and my social life changed. That was hard. But I am also fortunate enough to have a lot of help from family and a wonderful, selfless, and helpful baby daddy. I was able to maintain a sense of myself. I was still able to sometimes do things I enjoy.
And, best of all, I got to meet the most wonderful baby in the world. And I mean wonderful, literal, pure joy and delight. Laid back. Happy. Relatively easy, as far as babies go. People were amazed. They said nice things. But then they also said stuff like, "Just you wait. When he's a toddler, that's when they become total nightmares. Public tantrums, embarrassment. Oh, the screaming! Better invest in some earplugs." Of course, he has had his moments. But honestly they have been few and far between. In reality I am seeing this tiny person develop, and every day I am amazed at what I see. He is sweet-natured. He is sensitive and easily frightened. He is extremely smart and communicative. He is imaginative. He listens when I talk, and most of the time he understands. If he thinks he accidentally hurt you physically, he will hug your neck and cry. He is cautiously curious. He loves music. He sleeps extremely well. He doesn't eat his vegetables, but then, neither do I.
Now I am always being asked when I plan to get knocked up again. Caveman and I are open to the possibility, but who knows what will happen. People are nice about it. But then they say stuff like, "Just you wait. He is so sweet and good. The next one will be a total demon. Better have an exorcist on stand-by in the delivery room."
I am tired of the "just you wait" attitude. As a general pessimist I am guilty of inflicting it on other people in other arenas myself, and I'm sorry. I guess I am surprised at how widespread it is, especially in the parent world. So many people seem to take joy in others' potential frustration and sorrow. "Things might be good now...but you're going to get yours! Parenting always sucks eventually!"
Maybe my son will grow up to be a serial killer or just an extreme douchebag. Maybe he'll burn down our house and spend our life savings on beanie babies. Maybe he won't deep condition his hair. But does "warning" me about it now make it any better when it actually happens? Of course not. Maybe it just makes you feel better about yourself. I'm trying to avoid sucking away others' joy by describing the storm clouds on the horizon, especially if I was never asked for an actual opinion. If things are going easier for someone I care about than they did for me, I should be happy for them because I CARE about them. I think that will probably make me a better friend and general human being. Just you wait.