Me, Myself, & I Parenting Problems/Tips

Is the Grass Always Greener?

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Is the grass always greener on the other side?

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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.

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  • Emily
    February 11, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Very true my friend.

  • Sherry Aikens (@Babypop)
    February 11, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    That is so true you just have to be happy with what you got.

  • carrie
    February 11, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    I love working outside of the home one day a week. It helps me with perspective the other 6 🙂

    • The Naughty Mommy
      February 11, 2013 at 6:44 PM

      Working one or two days a week must be a great balance- you get to get out, but also stay home the majority of time. I think if people had a choice, a lot would choose a situation like that. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come around that often!

  • MCL
    February 11, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    I had the luxury of being at home with my son the first six months of his life and then returned to work. The bottom line is I think you need to love your job because leaving your child for something you don’t love makes those morning goodbyes so difficult. The balancing act of working mom isn’t an easy one but I always remind myself that single working moms must be super heroes. Forget Batman, multitasking, bag under the eyes, spit-up covered mommy is where it’s at.

    • The Naughty Mommy
      February 11, 2013 at 7:23 PM

      Amen, sister!

  • Lisa Lightner @ A Day In Our Shoes .com
    January 15, 2015 at 9:11 AM

    It’s really a shame that there is so little meaningful part time work out there for moms. I would love to get out, make a bit of money, have some adult interaction…but I don’t want to be a cashier or work fast food. There are so few professional PT positions. My friend has a job sharing situation at an actual career professional job. I had a decent job for a while, that was pt professional, but it paid so little that I was barely breaking even after child care and stuff, so we decided it wasn’t worth the hassle.

    • Lindsay
      January 15, 2015 at 8:32 PM

      True, Lisa. Not much out there in the way of part-time jobs that allow you to still be home for your kids when they’re done with school :/

  • Veronika | Tickled Pink Confetti
    May 24, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    This is so true. I struggled the first year I had to stay at home with my first one. It took me a full year to really put my life into perspective and now that I made the choice to be a full-time mum I realised how lucky I was to be able to do so. But sometimes I still dream of having my career on track 😛

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