I so loved this chapter. If you read and follow any rule, this is the one.
Having my twins as my first children, I didn’t get the motherhood experience that a lot of stay at home moms do. I didn’t get the opportunity to shop with my baby, meet friends for coffee with my baby, take my baby to the swimming pool on hot days… Because I didn’t have a baby. I had two. I stayed home all day, almost every day, save the once, sometimes twice a day walks we would take in the jogging stroller, or the twin play dates that we would go to. A good friend of mine even described her experience as mourning the motherhood we imagined, but never got to have. And then as soon as things started to get a little easier? BAM! Here comes another.
I’m friends on Facebook with a girl I knew in high school, and I’ve followed her throughout her pregnancy and her first year with her adorable baby girl, who is a total princess. Mom and Dad dote on her like nothing else. It’s precious.
But I’m jealous of her and all of the things she gets to do with her daughter. Library story time (you know that doesn’t work well for us), shopping at Nordstroms, mom and baby swim classes, you name the fun activity, they do it. I, on the other hand, didn’t really get out of the house alone with my two until they were around 6 months old, and even then it was a struggle. And they were always strapped into something. I can’t even take my kids to the park by myself.
Yes, I am insanely jealous of my friend and her one baby and all the fun they have. But then I found out it wasn’t all roses and sunshine and unicorn poop for her either. And her daughter is treated like a princess for a reason.
Two miscarriages. An ectopic pregnancy. Three children that she so desperately wanted that she never got the chance to have. So, yeah. She has earned every right to spend all of her days doting on her daughter. I don’t blame her in the least. She fought and fought to have a child; I was blessed with a planned pregnancy that spontaneously split into two babies, and an unplanned one that gave me another gorgeous baby girl. So yes, my days are hard, but I have never felt the pain of losing a baby. And for that I am thankful. And? Had I not had twins, I likely would not have quit my job, which although a good job, was not where I wanted to be. And I probably never would have really started writing.
I admit, I still struggle with the jealousy at times. Ok, often. Even a bunch of my twin mom friends seem to have it all together: hair done, nice clothes, clean and perfect houses. My hair is almost always back in a ponytail, and I’m usually lucky if I get to brush my teeth before noon. My workspace (AKA dining toom table) is always a mess, and there’s always at least one basket of laundry waiting to be folded. I keep telling myself that it won’t always be this way, that when the kids get older, they’ll be able to entertain themselves better (or even be in preschool!), and I’ll be able to steal away more to fix my hair or do more cleaning.
And they will be older someday. While venting with another twin mom about the terrible twos (and I’m about the enter the thundering threes), a mom of five year olds interjected with “My girls just started kinder. I cried all day on their first day, I missed them so much. I would give anything for them to be two again.”
So messy hair and house it is.
Important quotes from Rule 10: “Just because a situation appears better than yours in one way, shape, or form doesn’t mean that it is.”
“When you find yourself wishing life was more like this person’s or that person’s, take a moment to be grateful for what you have.”
Elizabeth’s assignment for Rule 10: This is one of my favorite rules. We have to learn to bloom where we’re planted, plain and simple, not spend time thinking that if only we’d been planted down the road or across the country (or across the ocean) we’d be blooming better.
The next time you hear yourself saying, “If only…” or “I’ll be happy when…” catch yourself, and voice 3 facets of that “if only” part of your life for which you’re grateful. For example, if you’re wishing you’d only paid $6 for your house (like your neighbor paid for theirs when you paid $18 — yes, I speak from experience), remind yourself, “I have a house. I continue to pay the bills each month. I love my garden in the backyard.”
Do you fall into the trap of “the grass is always greener? Leave me a comment and let me know!