Confession of a jealous mum


I have a confession to make and it goes something like this….I am jealous of my husband. There! I have said it! Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not jealous of the fact that he gets to wear nice clothes every day for work (minus the covering of unexplained sticky substances).  I am not jealous of the fact that he gets to go out to the ‘adult’ world everyday and embrace ‘adult’ conversations and nor, am I really jealous much of the fact that he gets to enjoy a full cup of coffee in peace without being tugged down to floor level to play with cars.  No!  What I am honestly jealous about is my husband’s relationship with my son.  

Day in day out I am the primary caregiver for our little man and I wouldn’t change that for the world, although I am not going to lie and will admit that a few weeks off here and there wouldn’t go amiss. Still, I digress.   The truth of the matter is that each day I get up and undertake all as many (as feasibly possible) of the tasks that are on my ‘to-do’ list as a Mum, with the odd curveball last minute project thrown in for good measure too of course.  There are meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner to be made and a myriad of ‘on demand’ snacks in between time.  There are the daily battles undertaken when getting dressed, not hitting the dog, packing up toys {before we break our necks trying to navigate our way from one room to the next}, and getting out of the door within a set timeframe.   There are wees, poos and snotty noses to be wiped and cleaned up and, what feels like, a mountain of crusty washing to overcome.  And then of course there is the daily activities to plan as, heaven forbid that there is a spare moment in the day where we may actually…..I don’t know, sit down and relax!  So there are parks, libraries, swimming centres, indoor jungle gyms, playgrounds and more parks *yawn* to visit.

Now before everyone jumps on the ‘it’s your choice to stay at home’ bandwagon, please understand that this is totally my choice and something that I feel fortunate to be able to do, and, besides, that is not the point that I am making here.  The point that I am making is that everyday I am the primary caregiver to a little employer who has high expectations and a lot of demands.  To him I am a constant.  I am a chef, a disciplinarian, a cleaner and a taxi service.  Putting things into perspective of course, and listening to the logical side of my brain, I totally understand therefore that my constant presence means that I am not (and unlikely ever will be) the ‘novelty’ that is the superhero that arrives through the door every night.  Does this fact stop me from feeling slight pangs of jealousy however as the superhero is greeted with excitement, giggles, and chatter? Does it stop me from looking on feeling somewhat of an outsider to their little ‘boys club’ as I am dismissed from playing duties and instead banished to watch on the couch? No! In all honesty it doesn’t!  


For, at the end of each day to this one little man there is no other person who is quite as exciting, fun and novelty like as Daddy.  From the moment that this Superhero of a being walks through the front door on a night and casts his magic in the form of games and tickles and, more often than not, lack of discipline, the little man is entranced.  He giggles, laughs, kisses and cuddles, never letting Daddy stray too far from the touch of his hand or his sight, looking on adoringly as this super being undertakes the smallest of tasks, wanting to mimic his every move and be everything he is.

I know that if the roles were reversed and I was the one at work and Daddy was home, the fickleness of a child would kick in and I would be flavour of the month. But for now I have to learn to swallow the lump of envy that often sits in my throat.  I have to accept that when Daddy is around I take a backseat.  I have to accept that no one can quite match up to Daddy when it comes to playing cars, football, running in the park or wrestling.  I have to also accept that no one can quite comfort in the middle of the night like Daddy can or change a nappy in the same way…..hang on a minute…what am I complaining about there?!!! 

Jo Hartley is a mummy, freelance writer and blogger living in Sydney. When not writing, Jo enjoys eating chocolate, thinking about dieting, eating ice cream, pondering gym memberships and drinking alcohol. You can check out her blog here or follow her on Twitter at @hartley_jo