For some reason I have never been the jealous type. Never jealous of my husband’s relationship with other women, never jealous of other people’s houses, cars or stuff and never jealous of my kids relationships with their grandparents or other people.
Somewhere along the line my parents taught me to be happy with who I was and what I had and not to worry about comparison. I don’t think they did this intentionally I think a lot of their parenting was accidental as they didn’t have the best role models but somehow it turned out ok and I am super grateful to not live under the burden of comparison.
I am a bit of an extrovert and have lots of friends I chat to often about all sorts of parenting things and one of the semi-regular topics that comes up for mums is dealing with their child’s relationship with their dad or grandparents and at times some jealousy around that.
I guess it is tricky being a mum when you are the main carer in your child’s life because although you love your kids and play with them you are also the main disciplinarian. At times in the past I know this has meant that dad or nana or grandpa or nanny were so fun and exciting and I was the boring one who made them eat their vegies and lie down for nap time etc etc
Back before I had kids I worked as a youth worker in a high school for a while. I shared my office with the Youth Health Nurse at the time and this lady was amazing and had a wealth of experience. I remember her saying to me one day that a child / young person needs at least 7 adults in their life to be an example of what it means to live a healthy, connected, quality life for them to see that as the norm and get it.
I do believe this research was based more around kids who had not had the best start in life and had experienced broken relationships and family breakdown. In order for those kids to realise there was an alternative and this was not necessarily how life turned out for everyone they needed to experience at least 7 examples of this alternative to “get it”.
For some reason this has stuck with me as a parent. Even though hubby and I are 10 years into our marriage and love each other and our kiddos more and more everyday I still encourage and support as many people in my kids life loving them as possible. Instead of seeing their love for my kids and my kids love for them as a threat I am so grateful my kids have so much love in their lives.
Often my kids would prefer nanny or nana to tuck them into bed and sing them songs when we do sleepovers at their house and I love that!! I can see it would be as easy to feel rejected by my kids but instead I feel grateful for the love between my kids and their grandparents which gives me a break at times.
There is also this tiny part in head that knows if anything was ever to happen to me that my kids would be surrounded by people who love them and who they love and it would be ok.
I know not everybody has great family and this is not as easy for them but we also have great friends who our children have a loving relationship and connection with. Miss 6 often says to me … “you know how Lisa isn’t our family well she is kind of like our family isn’t she”? It is the sweetest thing because yes she is.
As a parent one of my aims is to encourage and support as many people as possible to love my kids as I know this is what will give them the confidence in life to be who they are and be happy with that.
Some days I have to chose to ignore those feelings and thoughts that pop up like jealousy and rejection but after a while of not listening to them they go away and I mostly feel gratitude and love come rushing in.
Even though it is nice to feel like you are the fun one I have come to peace with the fact that I am one of the least funnest people in my kids lives as I am mostly parenting them (we still have lots of fun moments) but I know in my heart what my kids need from me mostly is to be their parent and be constantly reinforcing the boundaries which they may not feel so loving and grateful about right now but one day they will look back and be 🙂
This was just something I was thinking about today that I wanted to share 🙂