While I was sitting home in South Jersey complaining about not having any snow, I’m sure there were people in Massachusetts complaining about having too much snow.
Why is it that the grass is always greener on the other side? Is it because humans just can’t be happy with what we have?
Are we jealous by nature?
Or is it about our inability to be content with the present moment?
This is not always a bad thing; after all, unhappiness or discontent can motivate one to strive for greater things. But for me, more often than not, this type of “grass is always greener” attitude just leaves me feeling shitty.
Nowhere have I found this attitude more prevalent than in the discussion of staying home vs. working moms.
I have gotten into this conversation with my friend Chrissy numerous times. She works, but would rather stay home with her one-year-old. I stay home with my one-year-old, but fantasize about having a job in the city- a job like I envision the one she has.
Chrissy works in advertising in NYC. Could it get any more glamorous??
I picture her getting dressed up for work everyday and going out for leisurely client lunches, complete with cocktails and handsome men, a la Mad Men.
I’m sure she pictures me having fun, perfect mommy days with my daughter, filled with art projects, library trips, and games of hide & seek…and me being just so happy to be able to spend every waking moment with my child.
In reality, Chrissy’s job is not the glamorous escape that I imagined it to be.
She has an insane four-hour round-trip commute each day to get to a job that is…just a job. And while she’s there, she worries about her son being in daycare and is sad that she misses out on spending time with him.
And my life as a stay-at-home-mom? Not quite as Chrissy pictures it.
Yes, I get to do the fun things and (usually) love spending my days with my child. But there are days when I would give anything to be out of the house. I miss getting to interact with other adults on a daily basis, and I miss the feeling of accomplishment that comes with having a job you love.
Are these longings for what we don’t have normal?
I think you have to chalk it up to the thrill of the unknown.
Yes, there are things I don’t like about staying home, but I’m sure that if I had a job, there would be things that I didn’t like about that. Things that I can’t picture now, like how hard it would be to say goodbye to my child at daycare everyday.
And if Chrissy stayed home, I know she would treasure the time with her son…but after awhile, I think she would have those days where you’re staring at the clock, willing it to be Daddy-o-clock: when someone other than you gets home to tend to your child’s needs.
So I guess the grass isn’t always greener…we just think it is sometimes.