Mom Envy

Love it or hate it, staying at home with Kendall has been the most rewarding full time job I’ve ever had.  It’s also been the hardest.  Way to start a blog entry with two cliches, I know.  But, really, it’s true.  I could go on and on about what it’s like for me to be a stay at home mom, but, frankly, I don’t have the time today.  

I just had to get it out there that I am still getting over a case of mom envy that started at Kendall’s one year check up 4 days ago.  We arrived at the office 10 minutes early and hung out in the waiting room with a 2 year old boy and his mom who obviously left the office early to come to the appointment, or else she got really dressed up to see the pediatrician.  She looked so… pretty, so put together, she smelled nothing like curdled milk, her hair was styled and long, she had a perfect pedicure.  Her outfit looked like it was straight off the Banana Republic rack and, instead of a diaper bag, she carried the most beautiful leather tote.  She seemed happy and refreshed.

I, on the other hand, threw on one of my “mommy” shirts, long and stretchy and very, very washable, and a pair of jeans that appeared to be the least dirty of the bunch.  Try as I might these days, I can’t seem to keep my jeans clean, especially when Kendall runs after me and grabs onto my legs with his slimly little graham cracker crusted hands.  The shoes were practical and comfortable flip flops, showing off my half ass attempt at an at home pedicure since time and money for the real ones are always on the short side. My hair was in a sloppy ponytail, and I’m pretty sure I smelled like yesterday’s leftovers.  I was tired and visibly disheveled. 

I wanted to hate her, but she was far too nice.  So I just sat there and silently envied her for a minute.  Then felt like an ass for secretly wishing that sometimes I would have a reason to go to a business meeting in a new pencil skirt and blouse, get a quick pedicure on my lunch break, get my next big project in before the deadline, brainstorm in the team meeting, then meet up for cocktails and networking.  

No real point to this, I guess.  Certainly not to judge anyone or make either side feel guilty about their decision to stay at home or work.  Just wanted to say that sometimes I wish I was that girl…. 

Kendall is 1 year and 6 days old

50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide
Available now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


  1. I have been reading your blog since you were in your 2nd trimester. I had just find out I was pregnant, 3 months after getting married, and it was not planned for another 3-5 years. You have truly helped keep me sane.

    Anywho, I have a handsome 8 month old son and have been back at work since the beginning of the year. Funny thing, I’m envious of that girl too because I go to work exactly how you went to the docs office. I can’t seem to get into the daily routine yet and feel like I can’t even come close to all the other put together moms at the office, aye.

  2. I don’t know how a working mom can manage to look that put together, honestly. I work full-time and I always look disheveled and my contributions to team meetings are usually along the lines of “What was the question again?” and “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand. Can you explain it to me using shorter words?”

    Hopefully it makes you feel better to know that most working moms (of babies Kendall’s age, at least) are not all put-together, well-manicured women. I think most of us are barely holding it together!

  3. Oh wow…i just wrote a post on this very topic a few days ago. I totally know what you mean and how you feel. I too find myself wishing I was that girl too! But in the grand scheme of things..I really don’t!

  4. I really thought I was the only one that experienced mom envy. But then my cousin- perfect, put together working mom – over a couple glasses wine admitted how jealous and envious she was of me. Granted she did use the line “You don’t care what you go out in, or look like. I can’t do that” She wakes up an hour and half earlier than she did before kids, just to get ready. So she is totally right, I don’t care what I look (or smell) like if it means I get an extra hour and a half of sleep. I figure my kid is going to be embarrassed of me at some point in his life, might as well get him used to it.

  5. Wow. She must have a lot out outside help. I work full time outside of the home and I am never, at any given moment, that pulled together and lovely. It’s totally normal for me to go to work with spit up stains on my jacket and hair that should have been washed yesterday. After work I immediately trade my work clothes for “mom clothes,” all of which are even more stained than my work clothes on any given day. :-p I can’t imagine having the kind of free time to spend on myself that that mom must have!

  6. my baby is 10 months old – i went back to work when he was 12 weeks and just recently made the decision to stop working (and i really liked my job). this week was my first week at home with my babe. it’s so QUIET in my house! but so far i am digging the yoga pants and tshirts..and feel thankful i can do it. for now. maybe in another month, i will decide to go back. Probably not, but i already feel a bit sad my office goes on without my expertise! it’s a hard thing – this mommy bit. i am still (clearly) trying to figure out what works for me (us).

  7. Kind of ironic that you posted this this week – I have been having a serious case of ‘mom envy’ myself. Specifically, of moms who are full-time caretakers of their sweet babies, like yourself. I went back to my (great paying, stable, pretty flexible) job after 4.5 months and now, 4 months later, still can’t fully forgive myself. Still feel guilty for my expensive haircuts and new BR clothes, feel guilty for my Blackberry and lunches out with coworkers. Can’t stop telling myself I’ll never get this time back – he’ll never be 8 months old again, and I’m MISSING IT!!!
    For what? Certainly NOT for those material things mentioned above. Right now, I am fortunate to have a job. I am fortunate that my job is flexible. I am fortunate that my job pays well and may set us up so that I can stay at home with our next baby, and hopefully will help us buy a house in this obscenely inflated housing market (NoVA).
    But when I’m out to lunch and I see “you” walk by, wearing jeans, and getting slobbery kisses from your baby boy, I’m holding back SERIOUS tears and the urge to RUN, in my heels, all the way to daycare for those big blue eyes, chubby cheeks, and two little bottom teeth.
    If only we could have it both ways…

  8. Erin Hagerty on

    Jill, I have to admit I feel the same way sometimes. I’ve seen other moms out wearing new and stylish clothes that don’t have puke or stains on them and I feel envious of them. I feel like they have more of an identity and that I’m just all mom all the time. However I’ve spoken to some of them and they seem to also feel like the grass is greener on the other side. I have to agree with the post above, if only mothers could have it both ways.

  9. Wow. This is one of my favorite dialogues yet. Thank you to everyone for chiming in. It’s good to hear it from both sides. It is a shame we can’t have it both ways, but it’s so nice to hear that we support each other no matter what side we are on.

  10. Hey …I feel the same way. And it is a weird feeling to me because all my life I wanted nothing more then to be a mom. And now here I am and I miss my life, the job, freedom, wearing heels and nice clothes. And at the same time know I wouldn’t be happy if I were working and missing all that I have at home. Hello rock and hard place.

  11. Like many of the above posters…I am the greener grass on the other side, but it is certainly not what it seems. Leaving my baby is one of the hardest things I have EVER done (aside from losing my brother). Everyday that I walk out the door my heart breaks in to a million pieces. I so yearn to be with her *sigh*…I miss you my Janie!

  12. Just read this at 4:35 pm, sitting here at my desk at work, thinking I should skip out early just so I can go get my boy early from daycare.

    I, too, envy the SAHM. I look at SAHMs and go, “How do they do it? What is the secret to their success with making it work (money-wise). My son is 1, (just a couple of days older than yours) and we figure by the time #2 comes around (hopefully sometime next year) I will be staying at home. In the meantime, we are working on paying down debt and I’m taking medical transcription classes so I can make some $$ part-time while I’m at home. They just grow up too darn fast.

    BTW, I’m also one of those moms that can also look completely disheveled at work.

  13. I am definitely sad that I “have” to work full-time… I love my career and feel like my job is important (early intervention), though I care a little bit less about it than I did pre-James. It’s just a little harder to focus on other people’s children and their needs when I’d rather be tending to my own baby! Luckily, my son is with my family while we work, and I get to see him every day on my lunch… that goes a LONG way to maintaining my sanity. But if I had the option to drop to part-time at work, I would do it in a heartbeat… and find ways to make it work financially. There is no one perfect solution, and I think every mom must have some degree of “mom-envy!”

  14. I’m a new mom and I work outside the home and look like complete ass most days. Who says that a ponytail and crusted baby vomit can’t be professional? I totally envy those mother’s who seem to be able to balance both and who have probably shaved their legs in the last century. I love my job and I love the challenge but definitely feel guilty about leaving my daughter, shamefully jealous of the bond she has with her wonderful aunt who is our daycare, and like I’m not fufilling any role as well as I would like at any given time. Part time SAH would be great but not doable at this time. Mom envy runs rampant!!

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.