Missing Out

I love that my husband has been able to stay home with the kids. Life is starting to find some sort of rhythm like the days before when it was only the boys and Jason works from home. But what’s hit me by surprise? Jealousy.

On the way to a birthday party for one of Ethan’s friends last weekend, I asked Jason when Harry Potter was coming out. He told me it would be the following weekend.

“Oh. Bummer. I was hoping we could start from the first movie and watch all of them before going to see it. Do you think you could stand waiting a bit so we can get through the movies?” I looked over to see Jason pressing his lips closely together.

“We’ve already been watching them as the boys finish each book. We’re on number five already….”

“Oh…,” I sighed. “Well, that’s the joy of being a working mother…”

From the backseat, Anthony laughed. “You’re saying that a lot lately, Mom!” I tried to resist glaring at him from over my shoulder.

But I guess I was. Between the Harry Potter movies, play dates with my friends, and day trips to local sites, I guess I was starting to feel jealous of his role of being a stay at home dad. It’s hard sitting behind a desk and getting texts knowing that your kids and husband are out having a great time. Without Mom.

While I struggle through the jealousy, I remind myself that if the kids were in the right summer camps and daycares, they’d be getting to enjoy the same sort of fun experiences. So what difference does it make if it’s teenage college student sharing in those experiences or my husband? Why should I feel jealousy that my children are getting a chance to create precious memories with their father on a daily basis?

Instead of letting that jealousy turn into resentment or trying to guilt myself out of my feelings, I’ve decided to embrace them. Sure, it would be nice to be able to run around with the kids at playdates and to local parks. But at the same time, it’s nice having a chance to communicate with adults at work. While I’m at work sitting in jealousy over missing afternoon ice cream, Jason is fighting a rocking baby to sleep wishing he had the ability to use a restroom in peace.

A little bit of jealousy is a healthy thing. It reminds us to appreciate the moments while we have them. Every Friday I rush off anxiously from work to my family. And every Monday I am happily dragging my feet back to the office, ready for a break from the three-kid chaos.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. The Momma
    Jul 18, 2011 @ 17:08:45

    Oh. Oh, I could have written this. The hardest part for me hasn’t been that I feel guilt about being at work, it’s that I feel jealous that I’m not able to play like my husband. Or, if not always play, then at least experience.

    But I’ve worked really hard to temper that jealousy. I know that I’m lucky to have time to myself, time to develop as a professional, time to talk to adults (time to not deal with tantrums!). It’s not all beaches and ice cream for the dads. Even though it feels like it sometimes.

    Reply

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