Jealousy: my old nemesis

I am pouring my heart out with Shell today regarding the ugliest of emotions: jealousy.  I am insanely jealous of those moms who seem to make motherhood look so easy and graceful.  I always feel like I can never live up to the expectations of all the images I see in the media, on Pinterest, on Facebook and on blogs. 

I was talking to a sweet friend, Rach about how much we compare ourselves to other moms and get defeated.  We see the mom who is homeschooling her 19 month old toddler who is fit and stylish.  She said to me, “Whatever I don’t do makes me feel inadequate because I was so used to succeeding”.  This made me want to drive right down to see her and give her a huge hug.  This is exactly how I felt.  My response “Yes! there’s no performance reviews or gold stars or trophies in parenting.  It is disconcerting because we are so achievement driven”.

I was so judgemental of other moms after I had my oldest daughter Munch.  I did not feel confident with any of my parenting choices.  Postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety shook me to my core, and it forced me to reexamine my life.  I limit my media consumption of certain blogs, Facebook pages or magazines so I am not bombarded by the image of the super mom who does it all.  That persona does not exist. 

I gained confidence as a mom.  It has taken me nearly five years to come into my own as a mom.  I try to play to my own strengths and let the girls guide me with their individual interests.  I admire my friends who have skills that I do not possess, but I no longer am jealous.  I realized that all I can do is be my flawed self.  My girls love me because I am mom. 

Can we all agree to just stop playing the comparison game and just be ourselves? Our children love us unconditionally.  Parenting is not a competition.  We do not receive any medals.  We will not see the results of our parenting until our children are grown.  Let’s come together as a community of perfectly imperfect parents and support each other as we muddle through this parenting gig.

pouryourheart1

About tranquilamama

Juggling parenthood, housework and working outside the home in the corporate world with my wonderful husband. Mom to 2 beautiful girls. PPD and PPA survivor. The title of my blog is after a phrase that was repeated to me in Spain during my semester abroad in college. It roughly translates to relax and calm down. Trying to tame my inner perfectionist and just be a good enough mom.
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10 Responses to Jealousy: my old nemesis

  1. Rach DonutsMama says:

    Oh Jenny this made me cry. I’m so proud of you for letting go of that jealousy and just being yourself. Such a hard thing to learn, huh? I wish it were easier. I really am working on trying to get myself to that place too. I just have to take it one day at a time.

  2. It takes work, Jen. For me, I have always been envious of those that make up their minds to do something, and then do it.

    I want that.

    • Alexandra, it is a lot of work, but I am so much healthier leaving that baggage behind. You are one of those women. You decided to bring LTYM to Milwaukee, and you are doing it. Don’t sell yourself short. xo

  3. I try to remember that I’m only seeing a small glimpse into another mom’s life and that no one really has it all together!

  4. Robbie says:

    It’s been my experience that people who look pulled together on the outside are the ones who are totally falling apart on the inside. I really try to do the best i can with what I have where i am. I will never be the mom sporting a cute, trendy outfit at school pick up but I will be the mom volunteering in the classroom or saying yes to playdough and pillow forts.

    • Robbie,

      YES. “It’s been my experience that people who look pulled together on the outside are the ones who are totally falling apart on the inside.” That was exactly how I appeared while I was struggling with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. I realized that I would rather be the mom who says yes to coloring, playing board games, dancing and singing.

  5. I still struggle greatly with this. Maybe it’s because I carried out bipolar disorder after ppd. I know I shouldn’t but I do.

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