Can We Please Stop Saying “Just Wait” To Struggling Moms?


two mothers sitting on a couch talking about the struggles of motherhood, while a child plays at the coffee table

I was neck deep in the four-month sleep regression. In case you forgot this one (or more likely, blocked it out), it’s when your baby switches from long newborn naps and a good first stretch of sleep at night to super short naps and near-constant night wakings. It is not fun.

Anyway, I was waking up too much at night to fully function during the day, yet I had no choice but to get up and keep going.

So when a fellow parent at the park asked me how things were going and I answered straight that I was beyond exhausted, I thought I’d get some encouragement. Maybe a little reassurance that there was a light at the end of this tunnel.


Instead, I got:

“Just wait until she’s walking. You don’t know exhausted until you’re chasing a toddler around all day!”

I mean—I was on the brink. I did NOT want to hear that it was going to get harder. And I felt like I had unknowingly entered into a contest of who was more worn out—a contest I definitely did not want to win.

When I think about it, I hear this all the time.

Just wait.

Wait until she learns to say no.

Wait until she stops napping.

Wait until she’s a teenager and she doesn’t want you around.

Wait until you’re paying for college.

Then you’ll see how easy you have it now.

Seriously? What a terrible attitude!

When a mom is struggling, why can’t we tell them it will pass or offer some practical advice to get them through it? Why can’t we recognize another mom’s troubles even as we grapple with our own separate trials?

Sure, parenting challenges are always there, changing their form as we move through this journey. But what if we thought of each phase as a stepping stone, strengthening ourselves a little more with each step? What if we used our growing wisdom to lighten another mom’s load? We aren’t supposed to compete, we’re supposed to collaborate. Moms are supposed to be on one team and parenting travails on the other.

And just for the record? You’ll get your sleep back.



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