Grace: Mom Jealousy

Earlier this week we went to the Berry Farms with our good friends Hillary and Sonja. I envisioned bringing home about 10 pints of raspberries and freezing lots of them for smoothies this winter when nothing good is in season.
Well, things didn’t go as planned for me and Abi and I had a rough afternoon. As we were getting ready to leave, I spotted this other mom. She had five kids of varying ages, one strapped to her back in an Ergo. I had the feeling they were probably devout Baptists, since all the girls were in long denim skits, but they didn’t look dowdy at all. The mom was the picture of calmness as her large brood swarmed around her everywhere she walked. She looked so peaceful, calm, happy, in control. And I wanted to walk right up and deck her in the face. (Sorry, just trying to be honest here. I would never actually do that).
I was completely jealous of her. Not jealous of her 5 kids or the denim skirts. No, believe me. I don’t want to go there. I was jealous of how she handled herself and how good her kids were. I imagined that things must be like that all the time for her (I seriously doubt it, though). I imagined she was looking at me and thinking what a mess I was – I mean, wasn’t it obvious?
My kid is walking around with no pants on (we had a mess earlier) in a *gasp* disposable diaper. I am sweating and trying not to drop the 10 (not 10 pints, just 10. single. berries.) raspberries and 4 sad looking zinnias that I managed to get away with before Abi had a meltdown. I had been on the verge of crying for about an hour. And I have ONE KID. One. I’m not sure I’m even ready for two yet. And I feel bad about that too.
I’m not looking for a pity party here, but I realized that what I thought I saw in her reminded me of what I thought I wasn’t. I felt really inadequate. It started eating at me.
I told Wes about this whole thing today and he said something that made a lot of sense (he always does). First of all, things aren’t always what they look like. Secondly, all jobs take practice. You get better at a job the longer you’ve been doing it. This lady had been a mom for a while – at least 10 years – and that may have been a lot of it. So, I need to accept the kind of mom I am right now and trust that God will lead us as far as when to grow our family and He will grow my patience and tolerance as well. Resting. That’s a lot better than comparing.

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5 responses to “Grace: Mom Jealousy

  1. How many times have I had days like that? How do other women shower, take care of their kids, have a snack for them and extra clothes, when I usually have none of the above and it is painfully obvious when something bad happens(which it usually does). Am I the only one running around like crazy yelling after my kids? Thanks for your honesty, and I do like Wes’s viewpoint, I guess it does take time and practice. And by the way, I wish I could sew, you make some great things.

  2. Well, if you look at the evidence of your Motherhood so far, I think you would have to agree that she is a model child. I know, you say, she throws tantrums and makes messes, causing embarrassment. But, I mean, look at her! Really look at her! She is wonderful, fabulous, fantastic, supercalifragilisticexpealidocisous!!! How could you expect to do better than that? No one else does. And, she will be a creative son-of-a-gun (or daughter), because you haven’t disciplined the humanness out of her…. I’m not judging anybody else here, but Abigail is the best!! And so are you! Spoken by an impartial person with only one grandchild.

  3. You really do have to take into consideration that everyone, even the calmest of moms, has bad days. I saw the woman you are talking about and all I could think of was how much she has her hands full, even though the kids were calm. I guess it is just a difference of perspective. Abi was having a rough afternoon and you were frazzled when you saw her so you focused on how calm she was. When I saw her, I was tired and Tana was getting grumpy, and I was thankful I didn’t (and God willing, won’t) have 5 Tana’s to contend with. I can also tell you that even with eleven years of motherhood experience with 11, 8, and 3 year old boys, my sister is still at her wit’s end some of the time. I think that we should never let any other moms make us feel more or less adequate than they are and just allow ourselves to flow to the rhythm of life (easier said than done I know).

  4. Phases! We all have phases. I have been at WIT’S end with Annie, and spend months wondering how I could put her “somewhere else” for awhile. But they grow, we grow, things change. Allow yourself to feel what your feeling, cry a little cry, pout a little pout, and before you know it, things will change.

    xoxo

  5. And if you need a reminder: YOU are a FABULOUS mom! You’re loving, dedicated, an amazing role model to Abi, and beautiful to boot. You have a wonderful family and lots of friends that love you and totally understand what it is to fiercly love and sometimes hate the situation (or child) you’re contending with. In the end, love rules, and there’s a new day ahead 🙂

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