This week a simple silver bracelet soothed my soul. Let me explain.
When I brought my third baby home from the hospital, I expected to feel many things over that first year. Overwhelmed. Over tired. Over wrought. As well as exhilarated, content and deliriously happy.
All that I expected.
But you know what I didn’t expect? You know what I didn’t see coming?
Tell me, where in all those bloody baby books is the chapter on the wild-eyed jealousy you’ll feel towards anyone who has the ability to leave the house at random? Where’s that chapter?
Or maybe it’s just me.
I’ve shuffled through the past nine months, chronically sleep-deprived in baby spew-laden pyjama tops acting as a personal assistant to three children under six and if I’m going to be honest, I’ve had unexpected pangs of industrial strength envy towards my beautiful, talented friends.
The friend who is currently on a major work trip to NEW YORK.
The friend who is planning a family holiday to Europe.
The friend who just signed a major book deal.
The friend who goes to movies and cocktail parties and weekends away on a whim.
The friend who’s been (deservedly) rewarded with a huge promotion.
The friend who took my place on a fabulous Mamamia assignment because I, you know, had a fourteen-week-old croupy newborn at home.
And it’s not that I wasn’t happy for them and their achievements and good fortune. I was. I AM. And it’s not that I would want to take their amazing opportunities/promotions/holidays away from them. I wouldn’t.
But as I move around my kitchen in my pyjama pants and old t-shirt sporting hair that hasn’t seen a hairdresser in six months… sometimes, I have those fleeting moments of feeling like I’m the only one on the planet at home, making potato and egg frittatas that Fin throws onto the floor, changing nappies and watching ABC 2 while the rest of the world is HAVING A LIFE.
Having a life while I try not to lose my mind as my five-year-old follows me around narrating her every thought and movement (I’ve said it before, it’s like living with Evan from The Secret Life Of Us).
It goes without saying (but watch! I’m going to say it anyway!) that I wouldn’t trade places with anyone else but sometimes the hamster wheel of being a mum can get a little, err, MONOTONOUS. Actually it’s not the motherhood part that’s a grind, it’s wiping the kitchen benches, doing the laundry, making 3,000 meals a day that gets rather dull.
So yeah, these past nine months, as I’ve scrolled through my Facebook feed staring at my friends’ overseas holiday snaps, their award nominations, their book deals, their work promotions, their outfits that feature zero baby spew, the green-eyed monster has come to visit a few times.
I’m not proud of that fact. I’m just being honest.
But last week, I found a way to get rid of that monster for good. Or at least a way to get over myself and my occasional bouts of envy.