There comes a time for every new mom when she sees green. It is often is triggered by feeling overwhelmed and rudderless and then meeting another mom who is managing to keep her house clean, serve up gourmet meals and make it all seem effortless. On top of that, this miracle woman lost her flabby tummy in a couple weeks and is bragging about how her infant sleeps all night and coos all day.
There are also deeper-seated reasons for feeling envious of other moms. Circle of Moms member Acrena W. envies moms who carry their babies to full-term. As a mom of two premature babies, she says, ”I get so jealous sometimes when my friends who are pregnant talk about feeling their unborn babies kick or move (I barely got to feel mine kick and move). “Or when friends who recently had babies talk about taking their newborns home. I know I'm blessed that my little ones are living, but I can’t help feeling that way.”
Whether it’s because you had a difficult pregnancy or you get jealous when your baby smiles at or interacts with other people, or you’re envious of the super fertile mom who got pregnant in one try, it’s perfectly normal for new moms to feel jealous of their peers. Here, Circle of Moms members share five tried-and-true tips for taming the green-eyed jealousy monster within.
1. Time Heals The Wounds
A member named Ralonda says she'll be the first to admit how hard it was when her son was born at 26 weeks and had to be hospitalized for six months, “especially seeing the other new moms leave the hospital with their new babies.” But now that her son is older and healthy, she can also share that, “After he came home I didn't remember or care about our time apart, even though I was actually at the hospital every day." Now that she's spent time in a NICU, she's just thankful that her son's time there helped him survive and grow into a healthy baby: "Some kids are way worse off than just being premature and never get better,” she relays.
Melissa M. also says time has helped her accept and deflate any feelings she has for moms who carry full-term babies. “I used to feel really jealous, but then I remind myself that I’ve gotten extra time with my children. A lot of the jealousy stems from guilt probably. I know I felt terribly guilty that my child had a rough start to life, as if I could have prevented it had she been born full term. But in time you will feel less jealous and less guilt.”
2. Focus on the Positive
Cheryl B. used to envy her two sisters, who both gave birth to full-term, healthy babies — especially after her three children were born prematurely. “I used to be sad that my body didn’t function like theirs' and [that] I could [not] have full-term babies,” she says. “But, I have come to realize that my blessing was in a different form; I was just too afraid to accept it. I was blessed with the ability to even give life, be it premature or overdue. . . . for the [ability to have the] experience at all I will be thankful.”
Another member, Teresa, also learned to tame feelings of envy by focusing on her children and how lucky she is that they made it through her difficult pregnancies. “The wonderful nurses and doctors we met got us through some pretty hard times, and I feel like I got an up-close and personal Mommy 101. . . .I just say how lucky I am that he is breathing and not having breathing issues. I just thank God and know I am blessed."
3. Understand That Jealousy is Normal
What makes a member named Maria jealous is when their infants seem to favor another relative or friend over her. "My son was seven months old when we moved in with my mother, and he would see her in the morning and he would dive out of my arms to get to her and also when she got home from work," she shares. "He didn't want me when she was around."
Like many new moms, Maria had to learn that not only was it it perfectly normal for her son to love her mom, but that it was okay for her to feel jealous of the attention and bonding they were experiencing. "It can be hurtful, but just keep in mind that your baby might get excited and want to play with other people, but you are his world and when it comes down to it, he needs and loves you the most."
4. Allow Yourself to Grieve Your Losses
When other women seem to carry every pregnancy to full term, moms like Carrie, who are prone to miscarriage, feel terrible. But Carrie's come to understand that she needs to mourn her losses and that it is okay be a bit jealous. "I just found out about my miscarriage four weeks ago and I am experiencing a ton of jealousy toward my sister-in-law who just had a baby and four of my friends who are pregnant and due soon. I think it's perfectly normal to have those feelings. But you can''t really show it or say anything because you don't want to make them feel bad or 'rain on their parade."
5. Realize All Is Not As it Appears
Like many new moms, a member named Bec says she's so tired of hearing about the other "perfect moms who think they have it all together - and want to teach us the error of our ways." Bec, who's had trouble breastfeeding, is tired of hearing about new moms who seem to do it with ease.
New mom Michelle advises others to ignore anyone who boast that all is perfect. "It's probably not," she points out. "I think every mother is perfect... for their own child!! My house is always a mess, because to be frank, I'd rather have a nap then clean up! As long as you're doing the best job you can, who cares what the 'perfect' people think?"
Jodi agrees. "Any mom who acts like they're the perfect mom is just that, an actor. [There's] no such thing as a perfect mom....other than the mom [who] loves her kids unconditionally."
How do you cope with jealousy?
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.