Lindsey Carlson lives in Houston with her worship-pastor husband and their four active kids (all under age 10). Her home is filled with the sounds of childhood (galloping horses, swashbuckling heroes, and the occasional sibling brawl), the near-constant presence of music in some form, and volumes of great literature, old and new. You can catch her regular reflections on faith and worship at Worship Rejoices.
It was a hot summer morning, and I desperately needed to get out of the house. The kids were wild with boredom, and I longed for a little grown-up interaction, so I spent all morning trying to make a morning playdate while battling temper-tantrums, lost shoes, and lunch packing. I herded the kids like cats until they finally all piled into the van. When we all unloaded and descended on the playground, I felt like I’d run a marathon and someone should put a medal around my neck.
Swollen and pregnant, I waddled toward the other moms gathering under a shaded pavilion. Noticing my apparent look of weary exasperation, a mom with much older kids approached me and jokingly asked how I was doing. I rambled off a list of the morning’s mishaps, noting my weariness.
That’s when it happened—she breathed the one phrase that enslaves moms in any season: “Just wait.” The words seemed to come out in slow-motion, growling their fearful warning.
Her curt words were followed by more frankness: “You’re pregnant; it will only get harder once the baby comes. I had four. Just wait. Small kids, small problems. Big kids, big problems.” Her ominous words seemed to trail off, as I panicked in a fictional world of fears.
Puzzled by her insensitivity, I mentally checked out for the remainder of the “fun” playdate. What was I supposed to do with her words?
Maybe she was trying to relate, to empathize with my struggles. But compassion wasn’t what I heard. Instead, I heard, ”It’s only going to get worse from here. You’d better give up now, because there’s no way you can handle what’s coming.”