It might sound strange to ask permission to be candid, but the truth is, we spend so much time hiding how we really feel. I’ve covered up the negative parts of my life, painting over them with a veneer of perfect happiness.
On days like today, it gets to be too much. The truth is right at the surface, bubbling, and the floodgates of honesty open.
Sometimes, I get jealous. It’s a taboo subject, and not one I find easy to discuss.
1. Perfect Mom
I’m in the grocery store, and here comes Perfect Mom. She’s dressed and made up, while I’m in sweatpants and a mom bun. Her children are quietly sitting in the trolley. Mine are screaming blue murder. She looks me up and down, and I cringe. I wish the floor would swallow me. At the same time, I wish I was her.
What has she got that I don’t have? I’ve had a tough day. Perhaps it’s my time management. After all, I don’t even know if I own a watch anymore. I decide I’ll be getting a Rolex Daytona because now I’m motivated to find a way to fit everything into my day.
Thanks, Perfect Mom, you’ve reminded me it’s possible. And, by the way, I know your life isn’t that perfect, and that I encountered you on a good day. But you’ve served your purpose anyway.
2. My kids
I go and visit my parents quite often. They stay a short distance away. Growing up, I saw my mother as perfect. There was nothing it seemed she couldn’t handle. It intimidates me. I don’t think I’ll ever match the standard of motherhood she set.
This is a big confession. I get jealous of my kids when we go to my parents’ house. My mother and father fall over themselves and each other to hold them and play with them. They’ve turned into two people I don’t know anymore. Why was I never allowed to put my feet on the couch? Since when are vegetables optional?
3. My partner
My husband is the epitome of what a life partner should be. He loves me unconditionally, supports me in everything I do, and he’s a fantastic father. He is my anchor in a somewhat rocky sea. Is there anything this man can’t do?
I get jealous of him from time to time. As he leaves for the office in the morning, and I’m left to clean up and look after two kids, I envy him. He’ll be engaging with adults at work. I’ll be home all day, changing diapers and cleaning up spills.
If I’m lucky, I’ll get to sit through a Barney marathon. My cut runneth over. What I wouldn’t do to swap roles for a day. Only I don’t think I should. What if he’s better at this mom thing than I am?
4. People without kids
I have this friend who comes to visit me sometimes. Compared with mine, she leads an exciting life. She goes to the theater, to restaurants, and on weekend getaways. For a minute, I wish I was living her life. I mean, I love my kids, but I miss the freedom of acting on the spur of the moment.
So, why does she tell her stories with a hint of dissatisfaction in her voice? It sounds like her last trip to the beach was terrible. I’m starting to think that the glamorous nightlife no longer fulfills her. She might be starting to feel jealous of my humdrum life and my adorable kids.