Hey Mama, I’m Jealous
We like to think the reason this platform will provide such relatable content is because you’re getting a really balanced viewpoint from the moms behind Katy Moms Network. Two very like-minded, down to earth moms who also have many differences and opinions. One of the main differences is our role as mothers inside and outside the home and how this plays in to how we go through this journey of raising little humans.
Audrey is a stay-at-home-mom and Nat is a working mom. Our lives, our day to day, and our family dynamics are very different. And we often talk about if some of these differences are because one of us works inside the home and one of us has a career outside the home. Each role is so very valuable and each is hard as heck. There are pros and cons and highs and lows that come along with whether you stay at home or decided to go back to work. Some moms don’t even have the option to stay at home. Some moms could afford to, but can’t wait to high tail it back to the office.
We feel very blessed with both our current situations. Natalie has a career she loves and feels very balanced in both work and home life and Audrey loves to be a stay at home mom so she never has to miss a thing and can be there for all the daily family needs. But we’d be lying if we said we’ve never looked at the other and wondered if the grass was really greener. We’re totally guilty of looking at the other’s life and saying, hey I’m jealous of what you have. We think it’s important to share that it’s OK and normal to do this. It’s OK to love your life and your situation and still vocalize that parts of it freaking suck. And if we were to write a letter to each other on all the reasons why we’re jealous of what the other has or what we think their life looks like, it’d look something like this…
I’m jealous. I’m jealous because you never have to miss a single moment. From the moment your kids wake up, to the moment you lay them down at night, you’re their person. You’re their shoulder to cry on, their boo-boo kisser, the hand that feeds them, the poopy diaper changer, the cheerleader, the one to send them to timeout, you’re there for them through it all, big or small. You’re there for it all, good and bad. And you never have to surrender some of those duties or responsibilities to a caregiver. No matter how great the caregiver, they’re not mommy. I’m jealous that you have one job, but it’s the most important job. I picture your mornings, everyone still in pj’s with sleepy eyes, no one in a rush because there doesn’t have to be a set schedule of time to be out the door. The kids play and eat their breakfast as your sip your first cup of coffee and plan out what you’ll do that day. But the best part is, you don’t have to do anything at all – because they’re happy just being with you. I’m jealous that you have time! Time to cook a few meals a week, time to clean the house, time to fill out your kids baby books or preschool forms. Time to sit and read them a story at night without falling asleep two pages in. Time – that’s something I want more of each day. I see you taking walks to the park, running errands, going to the grocery store, all with little kids in tow. You get to live your life for them. Your entire day is centered around making these little people happy, and well, that sounds like a pretty cool gig to me. I’m envious that you know time is fleeting and that you’ll never get these years back, so you’re soaking them up by being there for them during these early years – years that go by in a blink. But most of all I’m jealous that you get to focus on just one thing, and that’s being a mom. You’re not juggling roles or having to switch gears from one thing to the next or having to adapt to new schedules. The mom guilt is there, I’m sure, in some aspects of being a stay-at-home mom. But it can’t be anything like working mom guilt. Having to leave your baby at 12 weeks old to go back to work even though everything inside of you is screaming that it’s wrong, or missing their first giggle, or forgetting to pack their milk for daycare because you were in such a morning rush kind of guilt. You get to just be there for them, all the time.
But mama, although I’m jealous of you, I’m even more proud of you. Proud because I know how hard you work and how hard your job truly is. I know your day is full of non-stop, on-the-go activities and that you rarely get a moment to yourself. I know you’re meals are usually eaten on the go or standing up and that the only tiny break you get is during a one hour nap time. You’re still working, even if it’s not outside the home. Being a mom is a job, a hard job, and it’s a job that can often go unnoticed. Your job is selfless and often thankless, but what you do for your kids is amazing. I see the value in what YOU do for your family every single day. My hope for you is that you continue to see that value, even if no one is telling you all the time. You’re a good mama, and your family is lucky to have you.
I’m jealous of you. I’m jealous because you have something outside of your children, outside of being just ‘mom’, that makes you, you. You have a career that’s yours and something that allows you a space to be creative, assertive, and valued. I’m jealous because you probably get recognized for all your hard work and accomplishments at work. As a stay-at-home mom, my job is often thankless and goes unnoticed. You get to take pride in something outside of being a mom. You can really lose yourself in motherhood, especially when all you’re living for is them. A job outside the home allows you to keep some of your identity. I see you focus on projects your passionate about and help a team of people reach their goals. You’re compensated for the work you do and I’m envious that you make your own money. You provide an income for your family and because you make your own money, you have more of a say in the family finances and don’t have guilt that you’re not contributing. I picture your mornings, getting to sit and sip hot coffee alone at your desk or getting a lunch break to eat a meal alone in absolute silence. And you get to go to the bathroom alone all day -no little hands reaching under the door as you pee, or kids begging to sit on your lap while you poop. You get to run errands during the day if you need to, without kids. Alone! I imagine your day ending with a sense of accomplishment and feelings of fulfillment that you did a job well done. Your performance and success can be measured and you have goals to hit and reach every day. You use your brain for more than just ABC’s and 123’s and you know you’re still an intelligent, capable person. I’m jealous of the parenting roles in your household. Usually, when both parents work outside the home, responsibilities and parentings roles are equal and shared. Being a stay-at-home mom with a husband who works all day, most of the household chores and caregiving falls on my lap. Sometimes I need a break, too. Mostly I’m jealous that you’re thriving in a career you love, but still get to be an awesome, present mom to your kids. You get to have both and that’s really cool. You may be gone for a part of your kid’s day, but you’d never know it the way they absolutely adore you.
But mama, although I’m jealous of you, I’m even more proud of you. Proud because I know how hard you work for your family. I know you feel stretched thin and like you’re juggling multiple plates at once. I know you have very little to give at the end of the day and that you try to do it all. I know you stay up late at night working because you took off an hour early to make your daughters school party. I know you go to bed at night wondering if you gave every part of your life enough of your attention and I know you rarely feel like you’re enough. I see the guilt you feel that you can’t be there 24/7, but your kids will be so proud of you. They will grow up with a role model, a hard working mommy who they can look up to. You are enough, you are amazing, and your family is so lucky to have you.