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I'm Jealous of Parents

I wake up in the morning on my own time, leisurely drinking three cups of coffee as I scan my planner, unload the dishwasher and make toast. The house is quiet and still with the whole day ahead of me, mine to fill with whatever I want.

And I still miss tiptoeing past my stepchildren’s bedroom door.

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I have chances to get things done throughout the day, chances to sweep and mop the floors and have them stay clean for 24 hours. I can deep clean the bathroom in 15 minutes, eat lunch with a book and finish all of my work before noon.

And I still miss being interrupted with requests for Goldfish and Spongebob.

I leave the house on a whim, grabbing my wallet and keys without a second thought. I cruise my grocery cart through the aisles, taking as long as I like in the produce section while picking out avocados and vinaigrettes.

And I still miss the whining for gummies, Sprites and a trip to the park, instead.

A few weeks ago, I complained to a friend with two young kids about my stepson starting preschool. “I’m going to be so sad!” I told her. “What am I going to do every other Friday now? Usually he and I get to spend the whole day together after we drop Chloe off at school.”

I’m ready to spend 20 minutes getting everything I need packed for a half-hour excursion to the grocery store.

“Well,” she said, “what do you do when they’re at their mom’s?”

I thought about it for a minute. I fold laundry, I bake cookies, I freeze vegetables, I clean rooms, I organize drawers, I cook dinner, I do dishes, I write articles, I sew aprons.

“Nothing really,” I told her.

“Ugh! I’m so jealous. I wish I could do nothing!” She said.

And I know I’m lucky and I know it’s so nice to be at home working and doing things on my own time, but oh, I’m so jealous of everybody else. I’m jealous of the windows that are cleaned and then covered in sticky peanut butter fingerprints. I’m jealous of the houses filled with plastic sword fights and the Little Bear theme song. I’m jealous of the parents who only get a chance to sit down because it’s naptime.

It’s a season of life, I know. It doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for my current life and my friend telling me she’s jealous doesn’t mean she’s not grateful for her life. It’s the perfect example of “the grass is always greener” and everybody knows to not give it too much of our energy.

But still. Still.

I’m ready for a change in my day-to-day life. I’m ready to answer a whimpering baby’s cries while folding laundry. I’m ready to spend 20 minutes getting everything I need packed for a half-hour excursion to the grocery store. I’m ready to juggle feedings and tantrums and nap-fighting while writing an essay, chopping vegetables for dinner and keeping the house from caving under the clutter.

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I’m ready to be an every-single-day mom and not just an every-other-weekend mom.

And since my stepchildren will always be split between two homes, I’m diagnosing my issue as straight-up baby fever.

Now to get my husband to fill the prescription…

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