Everybody knows about Mother Guilt - but what about Mother Envy?
Mother Guilt comes when you feel as though you aren't doing right by your children - Mother Envy comes, I think, when you feel you aren't doing right by your self.
I've been feeling a bit of Mother Envy lately; while sitting here more often than not still in my pyjamas at midday, with eyebrows that could be mistaken for a pair of caterpillars that took a wrong turn at Albuquerque... I've been looking at photos of other mothers, reading their blogs, watching them on television and even; on the occasional hurried excursion out of the house wearing baggy maternity pants because they're too big yet my old pants are still too small, sporting a jaunty splash off baby puke on my shoulder; observing them in their natural shopping environment....
Some of them have teenagers, some of them babies, some of them primary school kids. Some have immaculate make up; others don't seem to have any at all. Some look as though they've been working out for years, others look as though they're not against a nice glass of vino in the evenings; but what these women all have in common is their aura; their presence of self... These chicks have got it together and I am in awe.
(Just in case you are lacking in Mother Envy – tell me you don’t wish you were Liv Tyler, above…)
Not the nice kind of admiring "I should follow your fabulous example" kind of awe, but the "...look at you with your fancy necklace and sparkling eyes, I don't like you at all!" kind of awe.
I want to be them. I want to be able to sit down with my two immaculately dressed children at 9.30 in the morning, order a coffee and a babycino and mentally check off the list of 23 chores I've already managed to get through that morning. I want people who glance my way to see a confident, relaxed woman, with her own style, happy in her own skin, who also happens to be the poster mother for parenting magazine.
I know that is never going to happen, but I feel the green eyed monster fidgeting about inside of me all the same, because, well, they make it look so easy...!
I'm not talking about arrogant young trophy wives here either, I'm talking about confidant, perfectly natural women, who are more often than not "older"...
Some live on farms, some look like hippies, some look like they would not be out of place amongst the sharks of the corporate world….
I wonder if that could ever be me. I wonder (hope) if they were ever like me, unsure, bumbling, awkward and often frazzled..? I was confidant in who I was before I had Miss Punk. Before I was pregnant with her more so, I was pretty much happy with the things I did and the person I thought myself to be, but with my changing body, my self-image began to change too.
The things I did or could do began to change, and now, as a stay at home mother of two living in a small country town, knowing no-one, I seem to be a million miles away from the city-dwelling, late-night-working, going out drinking with friends loud mouth I used to be, and I feel like I don't really know how to be this person yet.... not do I feel I am quite the mother I would like to be yet.
I wonder if it's something I can learn, or grow into?
Do you ever get a touch of Mother Envy? How did you reconcile the you before children with the you after?
….and if you don’t feel this envy ever; if you are happy and content and ‘together’ all the time, with an easy smile, pleasant children and a cute new jacket…. I don’t think I like you…