July 2, 2007

Mommy Envy?

I was watching the Today show this morning and saw a piece called Do You Have Mommy Envy? Of course we all have it a little - that mom you see with a newborn and she's already back in her pre-pregnancy jeans. I am still not back in my pre-pregnancy jeans (from any of my pregnancies!) and I might not ever be that tiny again. That is something I'm totally fine with now. Doesn't mean I don't still have a little envy about it, though. And you see the Mom that "has it all and does it all and knows it all"... well, you know as well as I do that at the end of the day, we're all wiping counters, noses, and butts just like the next Mom.

If you have mistaken me for one of those Moms that "has it all and does it all and knows it all", you should stop by my house unannounced on any given day and your image of me will be something completely different, I am sure. I am just speaking figuratively here, please don't stop by my house unannounced. It's a mess!

I think that our own insecurities can highlight other Moms' so-called "perfect qualities" when really those same Moms are feeling just as insecure or incapable. If I see something I like in another mom, like the way she talks gently to her children or remembers to actually bring snacks to the park, I don't let it make me feel "less-than." Instead I allow my heart to apply the good things I see in other Moms to my own life. We make the choice to feel Mommy envy. And we also have a choice to make a change in our own lives, and also to be content just the way we are.

This post is also cross-posted at the Chicago Moms Blog.


20 comments:

  1. What a great way to look at things. I know I have mommy envy, but I agree that we all do in one way or another. It just matters what you do with that envy.

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  2. Oh, I can't believe I was first to comment!!

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  3. interesting post.

    I don't think I have a ton of "envy" per say. But I am the kind of mommy who tries a little too hard to do everything PERFECT in certain areas. I sometimes look at other mommies who are a little more laid back about what their kids eat (for example) and wonder how they can be so relaxed while I'm watching the baby like a hawk, prepared to swat cake out of anyone's hand who comes near my kids mouth. :)
    And of course there is always the money issue. We've made some sacrifices so I can stay home. While I'm very happy with our decision, sometimes it's easy to look around and think the grass is always greener.

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  4. I agree,, I do the same.. When I see how another mom reacts to her children in a more loving or practical manner i try to use it instead of being jealouse!!!! dont stop by my house at any given time either.. J/K..
    I dont care.. I mean I do, i keep my house kind of tidy.. but i always welcome people to just stop on by because I have kids and a poem on my wall called
    excuse this house... hahaha

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  5. I think we all have a touch of this at one point or another. I have learned the art of contentment (though I still struggle with it), realizing I am who God made me to be, with all my imperfections, and that my children also are exactly who God created them to be. This has been a tough lesson at times, but so good for my mental well-being. Thanks for the thoughtful post!

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  6. Nice post! ,and yes my house is a mess too (all the time ha hahah )no matter how hard I try is always in a mess,
    So this post was a reminder to not comparing myself and be content even in our mess :-)

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  7. Great perspective, Steph. I like how you said, "I allow my heart to apply the good things I see in other Moms to my own life." It is easy to have a "grass is greener" mentality (especially in modern society), It is much more difficult to choose to work on things of the heart like gentle speech.

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  8. This is great! I definitely try to learn from other moms who seem to have their acts more together than I do. They aren't hard to find, lol. It's great to remember that we all have our strengths and weaknesses, and we shouldn't let envy and insecurity get in there and discourage us.

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  9. I am the poster child for "mommy envy"... it's something I have to work on daily!

    Great post. I wish I'd seen their story!

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  10. I once read that if you feel envy, it just means it's something that you should turn around and make it happen in your own life! Of course, that might not be a reality, but the idea is that the things we are jealous of can help us see what we want and should work toward those goals in our lives.

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  11. I enjoyed this post. I try to remind myself that it's very likely the other mom is looking back at me, admiring some little thing she thinks I'm doing right.

    We can all learn so much from eachother. (sorry, a little sappy today) :)

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  12. I was at the park today - withOUT snack! My friend had snack of course! haha I can relate to this, we all can I think. I didn't beat myself up - I just laugh it off and I know this was one day I was unprepared. (Not to mention last time we were at the park - NO SNACK either. Still one day!)

    I guess I am not taking the good in another mom to use as a label for me as bad. I try to do better where I see my weaknesses. I see my strengths and feel thankful for them. I don't have a pity party.

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  13. I'm so bad about mommy-envy. But like you said, it all stems from my low self-esteem and insecurities. I hate those so-called "mommy wars". Just because someone does something differntly doesn't mean my way is inferior! lol. You know what I mean, I hope.

    I can truthfully say I've gotten better. I find that themore confident I am in way we do what we do as far as parenting goes, the less mommy-envy I have. Prayer helps so much with this!

    Great post, Steph. I miss this type of stuff from you!

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  14. Great post. We definitely need to remember that we are all in this together! Even if when a mom doesn't do things exactly as we do. At the end of the day, we all love our kids and do the best we can!

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  15. wow that's food for thought huh...not only for mommies, it applies way beyond that as well.

    I think we are all sometimes prone to envy others, or think they have less worries or that they are better off, ... And you are totally right: it should inspire us to learn from it. But it's usually at those moments that you lack the self-confidence to turn it into something positive. Hopefully we all have the courage and energy to turn negative feelings into positive power.

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  16. *DING DONG* It's Lori....ready for an unannouced visit!

    Good post. :)

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  17. I get the same sort of "oh, you're such a great mom!" comments on my blog, too, which always make me feel like such a fraud. Writing about motherhood and actually mothering are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!

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  18. Love this post.

    I'm a brand new mommy (almost 7 weeks) and I already find myself being envious of other moms. I just have to remind myself that our daughter is happy and healthy, which means I'm doing a darn good job.

    And thanks to having a wonderful husband who takes over as soon as he gets home, our house isn't too shabby. ;)

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  19. I suffer from mummy envy alot of the time, from how come every other mum looses the weight so easily and always looks so put together AND can manage a clean home. I get so jelaous of other parents who can leave there kids for evenings and even overnights without feeling guilty .

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