Jealousy, the green-eyed monster, or whatever you like to call it. It is even more powerful when combined with guilt and shame. For mothers who struggle with their family dynamics, it is a guilt minefield.
If you are a mother who feels jealous of the closeness between your children and their father, you should know that you are not alone. It is just not something that women want to talk openly about because of the guilt and shame around the topic.
The archetypal mother is selfless to a fault. But is that archetype fair to us women, really? In reality, we are complex human beings who feel a myriad of emotions on a daily basis. That does not mean that we do not love our family enough.
Society imposes the scarcity mindset on us. There is never enough love, comfort, and security to go around. And simultaneously, society is also telling us to be perfect; always giving and selfless to a fault. Something has to give, right? Here are a few tips to help you gain perspective.
1. Acknowledge your feelings
Observing your thought patterns and behaviors can be really illuminating and provide you with greater perspective. Because feelings of jealousy towards our children often come with a large side order of guilt, we tend to push the jealousy down rather than allow ourselves to examine it.
Allow yourself to look your green-eyed monster in the eye. As with many things such as fear, facing it head on will take away some of its power.
Read also – 7 Times When You Should Be Jealous
Accept that you feel jealousy because you are a complex human being and these things are a part of human nature. I mentioned above that many of us have a scarcity mindset – the constant pressure that there is not enough to go around.
When you accept that outside influences like this one are triggering your jealousy, it is easy to view the situation with more perspective. You are not a bad person for feeling the way you feel. You are an emotional being with vulnerabilities and the desire to be loved. And that is completely okay.
I think we often overlook the power of kindness. Right about now you are expecting me to tell you to be kinder to your husband, your kids, and the other family members who play into this dynamic. I really want you to think about being kinder to yourself. Yes, really!
Okay, you feel horrible for your jealousy. You feel guilt, shame, and probably a fair bit of stress too. This is exactly when self-care is the most important.
You can’t fill the cups of others from an empty vessel. Make sure you get the rest, care and comfort that you need, and then you won’t feel so jealous of others when they receive it. It is time to be kinder to yourself. You are doing the best you can, and you can be proud of that fact.
4. Get involved
I have a little mantra for when I feel jealous, “Don’t hate, participate.” Yes, I know it sounds like an overly perky cheerleader chant. But the point is to not stand around on the sidelines feeling bitter. Jump in; get involved with your husband and kids.
In doing so you will distract yourself from old thought patterns, and start building better relationships too. They are your family so remember to enjoy them! Have you ever felt jealous of how much your husband loves your children? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments.