Parental Jealousy Posted on March 12, 2015 by Nate.
We live in a competitive world. Sports, Careers, Lifestyles; they all have some sense of competition. It’s a part of human nature. Whether we like it or not, each one of us has been touched in our lifetime with some type of competition. Hell, it even trickles down to our little ones. Little League Baseball, Pee Wee Football, and even Little Dribblers. But the trickling doesn’t always get to our children. Instead it stays with the parents. It comes in many shapes and forms. My father was notorious for being ejected out of my High School Basketball games. Of course, his reasons were wanting a fair game from the referees, but a little of that, I think, can also be blamed on competition.
Competition in our lives is a great thing to have. For many, it fuels them to be better. It’s a measure of where you stand and perhaps where you want to be. However, sometimes competition can spawn a rather unwanted feeling inside. The little green goblin on your shoulder whispering in your ear. Some call it envy, but what I have been feeling, I call it Parental Jealousy.
As milestones are achieved in our little one’s lives, parents start to “measure up” the little ones around us. Majority of the time the kids don’t even notice it. Again, it sticks with the parents because we’ve adapted these feelings from competition. I feel it slowly growing inside. It’s a terrible thing, really, and its truly unfair to our kids. But, as many other parents, you just can’t help it. People announcing milestones that their little ones are surpassing, only putting you immediately justifying why your kid doesn’t do that and what they can do instead! Other times, it has you asking “When will my kid EVER do that?!” Ugh! I can’t stop it and it drives me nuts!
I once watched a video of a 2 month old actually saying “I love you”. Before I could stop myself, I went over to Kade, picked him up, and started repeating “I love you” over and over. What the hell am I doing? Yes, Kade is older than 2 months, and yes that little 2 month old did an amazing thing. But I wanted MY kid to do that too! I’m a terrible person, I know. I need to do something about this now before it gets out of control. Watch the vid, notice if the same feeling I describe starts to unfurl inside you.
The more I learn as a parent, the more I realize that all kids do things on their own timelines. No use in worrying about “whens” and “ifs”. Keeping up with the Jones isn’t fair for anyone in the household. Constantly chasing milestones puts you in a state where you can’t enjoy your own and I am truly fed up with it. I yearned for Kade to start walking. Now, that he does, I’ve already moved on to the next thing I “need” him to do. If you can, see the signs and stop it! Chalk this up as another lesson more for the parent than the child, and that’s exactly what I am doing. I’m learning that all of those “things” I want for my child will eventually come. A test of patience, if you will. This jealousy needs to transform into excitement for whats to come. So long little green goblin, find another shoulder to live on.