As I rounded the corner, I could hear laughter and splashing. I knew those voices. I recognized those voices as ones that belonged to my family. I quickened my pace and got excited, for I knew what I would find behind the pool gate. After a long Monday at work, it was probably the one thing I wanted to hear.
It was then that the pang hit me. I knew what it was. It was jealousy, in its most pure and awful form. I was jealous that the kids were having fun at the pool with my husband and not me.
You see, there was a time where I felt like I had to be the supermom. I had to do it all. I had to work the hardest, longest and smartest. I had to be the best at everything. I had to do all this, plus keep the house clean and the kids on schedule and pay the bills and be the everything. I wouldn’t give my husband the opportunity to take the reins and do his own thing with the kids. I had to have my say in everything…
“Are you sure you should feed them that? It’s not the healthiest, maybe you should give them this instead.”
“If I were you, I probably would have said this instead of what you said. It would work better.”
“Well it’s no wonder they didn’t listen when you asked them to put it away. You didn’t give them the 5-minute warning like I told you to!”
Even now, as I look at what I’ve just typed, I’m awfully embarrassed and even more sad. I can’t believe I never even gave my husband the benefit of the doubt to parent the way HE needs to parent. To be the dad HE needs and probably wants to be. I was THAT mom. And maybe sometimes I still am THAT mom. And I don’t know when I made a concerted effort to stop being THAT mom, but I did and I like it. I’m trying. Every day I’m trying.
So I shoved that pang of jealousy away and pushed open the pool gate. I was immediately met with, “IT’S MOMMY!” My daughter yelled this followed by my son’s, “MOMMY! Jump in!” We all laughed, knowing full well that my dress, work shoes and backpack would prevent me from doing so. And as much as my kids begged me to jump in, I knew they were having a blast with my husband, so I told them I’d be upstairs waiting for them all when they were finished swimming.
Because it’s only when we choose to let go of things we have no control over, like how my husband does things or what he feeds them, does it leave our hands free to grasp and hug the tangible things, like my husband and my kids.