The Jealous Mom

To the mom with the baby walking at ten months, I envy you.
To the mother of the child telling you, “no,” I envy you.
I envy the mom who can hand their child a sippy cup and I envy the mother who gets frustrated when their child grabs something they aren’t supposed to.  I am jealous of those who have to baby proof and even more jealous of those who have to chase their kids down.
I genuinely wonder what it must be like.
I wonder what it would be like if my daughter was typical–if when I went into her room, she was standing holding the edge of the crib in the morning, what would it sound like if she said “mama” or “I love you”, or how would it feel to hand my child her breakfast and let her feed herself.
I don’t know why God chose me to have a child that is different.  And when I envy other parents or feel sorry for myself, I feel insane guilt for even questioning our lives.  Ninety-nine percent of the time, I know that if she wasn’t different, our lives wouldn’t be the same, and I know I should be so grateful for what we have been given.  It could be so much worse.
Yet, I’m human, and I hope God can forgive my envy.  That sharp sting when I see a video of a child taking their first steps breaks me every time.  It’s not that I wish less for them, it’s that I wish more for us.  I wish it were easier.  I wish we could have days that weren’t revolved around therapy.  I wish I could take one day as a mother where I didn’t have to rethink every little action as a movement towards a greater goal of her walking or talking or simply playing on her own.  There is literally never an off day for us, and while typical moms are fighting to make sure their children grow into decent human beings, I’m fighting to just make sure my child grows.  Do you know what I would give to watch my little girl “play” with another child her age?  Do you know what I would give to just see her take two steps?  To hold her daddy’s hand?  To even tell me she loves me?
 
Yes, I am grateful, but I am human.  And I’m jealous.  And sometimes, I can’t help but wonder what it’d be like to be a “regular” mom with a “regular” kid doing “regular” things.  I just can’t help it.
So instead I hold her a bit tighter. I memorize the sounds of her squeaks and chirps and remember the days I would have begged for those. I try to make her smile because there was once a time I was jealous of the moms who saw smiles. I try to remember that these days once seemed like a far away dream, and while our progress is slow, it is progress, and she has always amazed me.
And I will pray to find satisfaction in the blessings I have, rather than envy in those I do not.

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