I have been bitten by the Green Eyed Monster (aka jealousy). In a major way. I hate the way it makes me feel, act, think.
Recently I got a Kindle (yay!) and with that an amazon gift card (yes there is a point to all of this, which I am slowly getting at). I purchased a book by Meegan Meeker "The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers". Chapter 4 (I think), starts to talk about mothers being competitive and with that jealously.
I have a GREAT life. I really do. So what do I have to be jealous about? Honestly? Nothing. My husband has not one, but TWO great jobs (they pay the bills and feed us), both of our cars are paid for, I have two very handsome, very smart little boys, I am in good health and when I am focused, the baby weight comes off. What do I feel that is lacking, to make me jealous, thus sabotaging relationships before they begin?
I hate admitting this, but it needs to be done. I am insanely jealous of my brother and his wife. Why? My sister in law (sil) gets to have a life. One that does not involve if someone went potty, or getting puke (besides her own) in her hair, or having to find a babysitter just to get a few hours of blissful silence. I am jealous of the fact that they can pack up and just GO. They don't have the kids to worry about. While I get that they wish they had their own, I am jealous of the fact that they just get to be married. They get to build their relationship without the 2am wake up calls, the "Mommy I need my butt wiped" being yelled down the hallway, or having someone who is 3ft tall waiting to help them in the shower.
SIL and my brother also have friends. They get to do stuff with people other than each other. I miss that. Holidays are totally different too. Wanna go drink? Sure... there is no can we find a babysitter? Or do we have the money or does the baby need diapers.
I am rational enough to realize that it is not all peaches and cream on their side of the equation either. They have their own issues. SIL spent the first year of their marriage living without my brother while he served his country over seas. I know how hard that must have been. And here is some more jealousy too. Not that I would want my husband in harms way, but sometime without him around, at times, would be nice. Here lately, though, I get more of it than I would honestly like. He works SO much trying to take care of us.
I want to be better than her. Or I did. Until I was forced to remember that I am okay just me. We each have something to offer that is unique and different. I hope as we both grow older, we can some how, form a bond. One that only sisters can share.
Tonight I've had people in and out of my house picking up the miscellaneous household items I've sold. Usually I would start spazing out that my house does not appear to be clean enough. Instead I took a deep breath, looked around and opened the door for the first "customer". See, I am no longer competing (competition and jealousy are equally intertwined). So what if they look around and think I am a horrible housekeeper. I am busy making memories for my children, rather than creating neuroses.
I'm sure you are still wondering what that last paragraph has to do with the ones before it. For the last two years I have been intentionally or unintentionally competing with my SIL. To have a better marriage, better kids, a cleaner house, better cooked food. After a few days in thoughts and prayers, this is the conclusion I have come to; I only feel good around her if *I* am being complimented, or my kids. I mean, how shallow am I?
Working on yourself is always harder than just seeing what you want to see in others. And what I've wanted to see has not been pretty. I've wanted to see my SIL for less than what she is. Hoping that it in turn would make me feel better about what I imagine her to have that I don't. What it has done instead has made me hurt to be around her. Rather than seeing her for the intelligent, pretty, caring, tender person that she is, I've felt borderline hate.
All of this because I have been eaten alive by that Green Eyed Monster. Jealousy, unrecognized can cause major problems. I know the problem. I am going to do my best and love her no matter what. And I am going to love ME! What I have is pretty darn good, but jealousy made it look kinda blah. It has it days, not everyday is going to be glamorous, but its still wonderful, no matter what.