Friends, let’s get real for a minute, okay? I have a VERY ugly trait. It is called Mom Envy.
Mom Envy hits when I least expect (or want) it. Sometimes it’s at the grocery when I see a toned mama in her Lululemon leggings buying a cart full of organic produce. I look at her with a mixture of jealousy and admiration as I glance down at my old jeans and cart full of snacks. Mom Envy also strikes when I’m scrolling through social media and come across a mom posting photos of an impossibly immaculate home and daughters wearing cute dresses and perfect bows. Meanwhile, my house looks like a daycare most of the time, and my daughter is probably running wild with a stained bib and messy hair.
Mom Envy is undoubtedly one of my most unflattering qualities. Whenever it rears its ugly head, I just want to bury myself under a blanket and hide. In reality, I have so very little to complain about, yet I find the green-eyed monster tiptoeing its way into my life more often than it should. How am I not so overwhelmingly grateful for the abundance of blessings that are in my life? Instead of focusing on what I don’t have, I need to be more appreciative of what I DO have.
Here are some of my ugliest Mom Envy moments, followed by some Mom Reality Checks:
Mom Envy: I envy that mom who can stay at home with her children.
Mom Reality Check: I’m sure many of you can relate to this, as I am not the first mom who works full time, nor will I be the last. I didn’t even entertain the idea of staying at home after baby because I like that I contribute financially to my family, we work best as a dual-income household, and I carry our health insurance. Yes, there are days I would LOVE to be home with my daughter, and sometimes my heart actually aches when I think of the time I miss with her. I am quick to remind myself that my mom worked full time my whole life, and I never felt like she missed anything. That’s because she didn’t. She always made me her priority. The time I do get with my daughter is precious, and I try not to take it for granted. Whether you’re a stay at home, work from home, or work outside of the home mom, it is HARD. I am grateful that I have a job that helps provide for my family.
Mom Envy: I envy that mom with the perfect body.
Mom Reality Check: I thought it would be SO easy to get back to my pre-baby body. (Oh, the sweet foolishness!) My pregnancy was ROUGH with my own health issues that left me bedridden for months. My body gave life to another human being while under extreme stress – of course, it is going to look different! My body may never look the way it did before baby, and I am slowly learning to be okay with that. I’m sure the mom I envy has something about her body that she doesn’t particularly like; after all, we are always our harshest critics. As the mother of a daughter, I realize that she will look to me as a model for body image and acceptance. Because of that enormous responsibility, I have to be kinder to myself. I am grateful that my body is stronger than I knew and gave me my biggest blessing.
Mom Envy: I envy that mom with the big house, the new car, and the flawless wardrobe.
Mom Reality Check: This one takes me back to when I insisted most of my wardrobe come from Abercrombie and Fitch in a sad attempt to climb the junior high social ladder. Just as it was then, the comparison is and always will be the thief of joy. It truly gets you nowhere. At the end of the day, a house, a car, and clothing – they are just things. Things can be shiny and pretty, but they don’t automatically equate to a rich life. I could have all of the new, expensive things in the world, but they would mean absolutely nothing compared to the relationships in my life. I have a loving, healthy family. I have a beautiful, happy daughter. I don’t want for anything. I am grateful for the people, not the possessions, that make my life full.
For me, the Mom Envy stops NOW. If you have any of the same thoughts I’ve had, I urge you to take a look at your own Mom Reality Checks and see if they give you a new perspective. Mine show me that although my life isn’t one of perfection, it is still one of immense beauty.
Peace out, Mom Envy. You will SO not be missed.