They like you better; they say you're more fun.
They hug you longer, and they give you more spontaneous kisses.
When you walk into a room, it's like a celebrity sighting, as they push each other out of the way to arrive at you first.
They open up to you more.
They laugh louder with you.
They are sillier with you.
And, because of all of that and the hundred other reasons our children shower you with more affection and give you more attention, I am jealous of you.
I'm jealous that you can remain so “chill,” while parenting apparently makes me freak the fudge out all of the time and at every little thing.
As the momma, I am always worried about my children.
Are the developing appropriately?
Are they smart enough?
Do I feed them enough healthy food?
What about the times I have yelled? Have I screwed them up for life by doing that?
I seem mad a lot — I'm not; it's just hard to balance it all. Does that mean I am going to raise angry children?
Why do they listen in school, but not at home? It must be me.
Do they have enough friends? Is anyone mean to them? They better not be mean to other people.
Between all my anxieties concerning them, additional guilt over the fact that I can't seem to keep my house in order and stressing about whether or not I am still “hot” and “fun” enough for you, I am a full-on basketcase most of the time.
Somehow though, you have the uncanny ability to sideline all the bullsh*t and focus on what matters most — our children. Apparently, you are doing a damn good job at it, and for that reason, our children seemingly love you more.
Or do they?
Maybe it's not that they love me less right now, perhaps they just enjoy me less.
I mean, when I think about it, I enjoy me less, too.
It's hard to enjoy someone who is continually placing undue stress upon herself, and that's precisely why I won't do it anymore — okay, I'll try not to do it anymore.
I'm done comparing myself to you.
I have a significant role in this family, and while yours, at present, gets to be the happy, fun guy, mine is the worried, disciplinary, caretaking, day-activity director and I'm coming to terms with that.
You see, I don't need to compare myself to you because there is no need for me to view you as my competition. We are both playing for the same team and to win the game of parenthood, we must work together and balance each other out to “score” big with a well-adjusted, respectful, intelligent, social and compassionate adults we can forever claim as our offspring.
Our kids need you, and they need me.
They need crazy, and they need calm.
They need loud, and they need quiet.
They need freedom, and they need restraint.
They need jovial, and they need serious.
They need rules, and they need the space to break them
But, most of all, they need examples; of all types of people, they will encounter outside of our home.
I've come to realize that its beneficial for our children that we aren't very alike; if we were, how boring would that be? I'd rather our child be bewildered by our differences than disinterested in us and our “lessons” because we are too much of the same.
The fact is, I'm done comparing myself to you because there is no reason to; no reason at all no to compare two unique individuals both holding essential jobs inside of a single happy home.
Did you hear that?
Our home and our children are happy because we are both in it.
This article originally appeared on EverydayFamily.