We all have those days. Those days when we look around and think that everyone else has the perfect situation; that we must be doing something wrong because why can’t we figure out how to live the way they do? Of course, most of those thoughts fall under the category of ‘the grass is always greener’. (Someone once said, “The only happy people I know are people I don’t know well” which is funny but also sort of true.)
On those days when I think that everyone else must have it better than I do, I have a list of thoughts that run through my head. They go something like this:
1) Everyone else in my family has a room of their own. I’m the only one who can NEVER go in a room that is all mine with my stuff and tell the others to keep out. [Ok, I live in NYC and having a room to oneself is an enormous luxury – in that way the rest of my family is very priveleged – but these thoughts are not necessarily rational.]
2) Why is it that when I finally sit down to read or crochet or write and someone calls on the phone, my kids tell them I am doing “nothing”?
3) Mothers who don’t work and whose kids go to school ALWAYS go on about how they have no time to themselves…. Seriously?!
4) Everyone else’s kids already know what they want to do in life, and it’s always something like “find alternate energy sources” or “develop new and better artificial hearts”. My kids make videos on YouTube centering around water coolers and butt jokes.
5) Trips? Without my kids? Surely you jest! I haven’t spent even one night away anywhere without my kids since they were born! Who are these people who drop the kids off with their parents and take off for two weeks, one week, a weekend…?
6) If I’m lucky, I get an hour to myself. At night. After everyone else is in bed. Correction: After the kids are in their bedrooms – but not asleep. This does not happen until at least 11pm. (Ok, even while I’m having these thoughts I will often remind myself that, on the other hand, they sleep till 9 or 9:30 and never insist I get up early in the morning.)
7) If Joshua gets fed up with the noise or the mess or is just generally fed up, he can leave. He can go to his private, always only for him office. I can go to the bathroom – the only place where no one will interrupt me for at least 10 minutes.
Yep, those are my ‘down day’ thoughts, more or less. But then I read a good blog post or watch a favorite show or one of my kids comes over, completely out of the blue,and tells me I’m the best Mom ever, or Joshua takes me to dinner…. And I realize that no-one’s life is perfect, and I wouldn’t trade mine for anything. Yes I have less time to myself than people whose kids spend their days in school and no I’ve never traveled without my children – never spent a night away from them – but all of that is by my choice. And in return, I have happy kids who are at ease with themselves and their world and a husband who supports and loves us all.
You’ve all got your own lists. At least I hope you do, or I’m gonna have a new item to add to mine! But on the days when you’re dwelling on that list, don’t forget to look around at the good stuff. There’s always something. Right now, if you need to smile, take a look at this: