I have a wide array of mommy friends, stay at home mamas, incredibly powerful in the board room mamas, and then I guess I fall somewhere in between, as a single working mama with a job that I adore, and a child that I cannot go one minute without thinking about (I am not a helicopter mom, I am a “black hawk down” mom, to quote one of my precious students this week). Typically, I don’t feel the pull of jealousy and envy too much, because I understand that Cole and I have so much to be grateful for (I remind him of this on the daily, when his Christmas list gets longer with every stinking commercial). I also understand that pulling down one income, although it is a good one, means that my kid will not have an excess of anything, but truly, love.
So last night, we went to a birthday party of a sweet friend of his. You have met people like this before. They are perfect, their home is gorgeous, their children always make normal smiles for the camera, and dang it, I love them. They are two of the nicest, most genuine people you will ever meet. This was a divine child’s birthday party, planned down to the very last detail (A Pinterest delight). But instead of being thankful that my child was being treated to a night of fun with some of his little best friends (his “bros” as he calls them), I ended up leaving the party feeling like less than….less than a mother, like I needed to immediately clean my home (word. I did need to), save more money and plan better parties for my kid. In short, my envy and jealousy stole my joy. I have heard that the devil claps his hands when he sees us being ungrateful, and essentially, bratty. Bratty is exactly how I felt.
I texted my friends that I felt like a huge mommy failure, like my kid has somehow of a less happy life because I cannot provide things for him on that scale. Wrong. I was completely wrong (and my friends are usually very quick to point out when I am being bratty and ridiculous, which happens a lot). I had to spend some time in prayer today just being thankful for everything we have, and the amazing blessings we have on a daily basis, our warm home, reliable car, good job and clothes on our backs (and multitude of silly pets, come on by, you get a free stray cat with every visit).
*I will add that we all took a blood oath to simply take our wild boys to the trampoline park for their January and February birthdays, not decorate and save ourselves the stress of it all (I am pretty sure that Krissy is going to break that promise…just saying).