I'm So Jealous of My Husband Over Here

Can you see me?
Can you hear me?
I'm over here.
Ya know, the greasy haired mom in sweats who hasn't showered today. The one one with baby puke on both shoulders, leaky boobs and chipped toenails. The one who hasn't left the house in two days and is laying in a pile of clean laundry on the bed. 
I'm over here.
Can you hear me through the cries and whines of all these babies?
I'm the one sitting on the couch with one crusty eye open as my husband whisks by freshly showered. He leaves the house alone and drives to work in peace and quiet. He reads books and talks to grown ups and has lunch meetings at Chipotle. He goes to the gym and takes care of himself. He makes lists and crosses things off as he gets stuff done. He drives home and maybe listens to Andy Mineo and sings along with the windows down. When he walks in the door all the children think the rock star of the universe has just arrived and they all wrestle and laugh and have a great time. 

I'm over here.

Sitting on the couch where you left me. Sitting down for the first time since you left.
I haven't showered in two days or left the house. I haven't spoken to a grown up today and have refereed 28 brother fights, changed 5 diapers, 3 onesies, and picked up all the toys twice. I have made/cleaned up breakfast, lunch and two snacks all while pleading for them to eat something healthy and nursing a baby. Dinner is in the oven. I have not even looked in the mirror today let alone pee but once. I have crossed things off my list only to have them undone again. The only music I have heard is Rescue Bots (roll to the rescue) and that curious monkeys non talking voice. I was headed to church tomorrow but a kid is sick so I will be home again all day. When I arrive home from the grocery store, no one notices but just asks for a cookie. Oh, and did I mention I barely sleep while my husband snores?

Can you hear me, oh glamorous rock star pastor husband of mine?

I'm jealous. I'm all kinds of jealous.

I feel like I sacrifice more than you.
I feel like I have more responsibilities than you.
I feel like they like you more than me.
I feel like I give and give and give until I am on empty and then you want a piece of me too.
I feel like you have freedom and I have none.
I feel like you get to be yourself and dream and achieve.
I feel like I am lost in this mothering role while you are out "partying."
There you have it. Honesty. 

So where do I go from here? What do I do with this jealousy?
Well, I started this post in the midst of the maternity leave jungle. When the adjustment to a new baby and self sacrifice was at an all time high. Now, four months post partum after experiencing this jealousy after each of my three births, I have gained some perspective. Some. I've prayed and prayed about this- trying to kick it out of my life. I don't like the feeling it gives me toward the man I deeply love, cherish and who gives so much.

Here is what I feel like God is whispering to me about all of this:

I see you over there.
I hear you.
I see you with that look in your eye, you feel unseen and on the edge.
I hear you with that tone in your voice, you feel unheard and alone.
I'm here.

Why is mothering so hard?

I just want you to be like me.
Relax daughter. This jealousy is rotting your bones and stealing your joy.

Motherhood is sanctification. A holy refining process. Growing. What if this painful giving of ourselves over and over is, in the end, a true gift? With each boo boo we kiss, each freedom we long for, each diaper we change we become more like Jesus. A gift. We grow. Our soul grows deeper and wider, our hearts softer, our laughs more genuine. He gives us His eyes for our kids and the world. Jesus says in losing our life we find it. I can honestly say, five years in, motherhood has shaped me and grown me into a more patient person with wider, more resilient eyes. It has also exposed my selfishness, my impatience, and my lack of self control. Sanctification.

This jealousy we feel towards our husbands, it is rotting our bones friend. Rotting our marriages, our passion, our motherhood. Real slow like. Are the scales of responsibility all fair? No, not really. Our husbands sacrifice too. They give and love and have servants hearts when they are home.  I don't know if I'll ever understand why mothering seems more dig down deep difficult and heavy laden, but God knows this sanctification draws us closer to Him so we can raise kids more like Him. 

You see, all this angst and jealousy has nothing to do with your sweet husband. Sorry. It is you and me resisting this sanctification. Fighting it. We want him to go through it, not us. So we are gonna make sure he feels it too. It is too hard and too painful and I don't like it. I am mad about it. This giving up of myself.  I want my life back, my freedom back like him. It is you and me misdirecting our angst to our husbands. It is not him. Maybe, just maybe if we give in to this holy sanctification, we can experience deep joy again. We can end some of this jealousy. No promises of ease in mothering. No promises of no more jealousy. Only promises of becoming better, stronger, wiser, more filled with love and all things good. I thought I wanted my self back- but I really don't want my old self. I want the more patient, less selfish girl I have become over the past few years.

Practically speaking, our husbands ought to ask how they can help us in our day. We ought to trade places with our husbands once in a while to each gain perspective. We ought to date each other. We ought to look for good in our role like Daniel Tiger says, "if something seems bad, turn it around and find something good." The good, the good is your are growing sister. The good is you get to be your kids soft place to fall. Their confidant. You cannot be replaced as their momma. The good is, you have a sweet husband on your team. So as painful and jealousy inducing it may be, let the sanctification happen. Relax. Enjoy the small moments and let Jesus be the vitamin D for your bones- growing you and strengthening you into more, into better. There, as you lose your old, jealous life, you will find your new one.

PS- Husbands-- I hope you read this, feel heartfelt compassion for your wife's servants heart and act in service to her in any way you possibly can.  :)

I know this is a long post, but would you just take 5 more minutes and read what the message says about sacrifice, transforming our thoughts, and loving deeply? Think about this motherhood thing as you read:

Romans 12


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