Posted on | August 21, 2013 | 10 Comments
Last night, my husband called me while leaving one of my favorite restaurants. He had gone there late in the evening with a couple men from work. They had traveled all day, would be working extensively over the next forty-eight hours, and had taken a few hours to relax over a nice meal and a beer before they headed to bed for the night.
As I sat on the couch, still in my work out clothes from that morning, covered in dirt and grime from the playground and from cleaning our house, I couldn’t help but feel that uncomfortable tug of envy in my heart. He could hear in my tone my annoyance and mistook it for me being angry he was out to dinner later than anticipated. Of course that wasn’t the case. I trust my husband implicitly, and I trust him to make good decisions for our marriage, including his dinner companions, time, and place. I went to bed feeling unsettled, and I couldn’t quite understand why.
And as I mulled over it, I recognized that my frustration was not with my husband. It was a temporary feeling of dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction that I was feeling lonely and a bit left behind. Dissatisfaction that the only place I’d been for the past few days in a row was the gym. Dissatisfaction that I was missing out on experiences with my husband. And I know that’s ridiculous.
This is the life I chose. The life I would choose again. And again. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to raise my children and to stay-at-home. I am embarrassingly proud of my husband for all the work he has put into his career, all the accomplishments he has reached, and the passion and drive he puts into every single thing he does. I’m thrilled for my friends as they pursue careers and spend their weekends enjoying local bars and new bands. I wouldn’t trade this path I am on for anything in the world. I look at my family, and I recognize just how lucky I am to have been blessed with such a fulfilling and warm life.
And yet, sometimes, I let that spark of envy enter my heart and fester. A wish for a work chat over coffee. A wish to put on a pencil skirt and blouse and head to a classroom. A wish for a child-free vacation and a home that doesn’t need a million things done. A wish that I lived closer to extended family, that I could meet them for supper when Tay had to work late. These little wishes that I know I shouldn’t indulge, and yet, they still rear their heads.
I know this time in life is temporary. Some day, my children will be grown. I will have gone back to school and have started a career, and I will regret ever having a moment of dissatisfaction in being a stay-at-home mom. The guilt already weighs on me when I see women who seem so completely, fully happy at being at home with their children all the time. I wonder if it makes me a bad mom that I sometimes feel like I just need a break. I wonder if I’m not embracing this time and every moment the way I should, and I dislike that feeling. I pray each night that God can help me appreciate this time to the fullest. I pray that I can remind myself of all the wonderful parts when I’m dealing with the hardest parts. I pray that I can put my occasional envy aside and remember that this life is a gift I’ve been given.
I know the grass is not always greener on the other side, and I also know I’m not the only mama to feel this way sometimes. I hope I can use these moments as tools to help me be a better wife and a better mother. And I hope I can continue to embrace this life as fully as possible.