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15 Moms We All Envy But Shouldn't

Photograph by Twenty20

"I'm so jealous," a mom friend confessed to me over dinner. "I can barely get my kids to eat hot dogs and your kids eat sushi. What's your secret?"

The truth is I didn't have a sushi secret. My 8-year-old son tried sushi once with a friend and liked it. His little sister followed suit. I wished my friend could be at my house at dinnertime when I made kale chips and the kids gagged and pretended to cry.

Later that night I thought about my friend's comment. What she wasn't privy to were all the times my kids requested pizza or looked at something new I made for dinner as if they'd been poisoned. But as I told my friend the story about a hilarious family dinner at a sushi restaurant, all she heard was that my kids ate sushi. In her mind, that meant my kids eat anything without issue. Since her kids are picky eaters, my sushi eaters struck a chord.

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Quick parenting sound bites make life in someone else's house seem so easy, as if she's got this mom thing down while the rest of us are struggling along.

When we hear another mom mention she's got those things down easily, it hits us where it hurts and mompetition sets in.

When we mom friends get together, we only hear snippets of each other's lives, usually the very good and the very bad. Nobody talks about the stuff in the middle, the minor parenting battles that we wage every day, whether it be trying to get our kids to sleep, eat or say please and thank you. When we hear another mom, either bragging or just in conversation, mention she's got those things down easily, it hits us where it hurts and mompetition sets in.

The truth is, a sushi-eating kid can be the same kid who won't go to bed easily. The infant who lives for his nap is the same baby who can't stand to be more than 10 feet away from his mom. And that tween who loves homework might also be the same tween who refuses to get out of bed in the morning.

So if you're like my friend who couldn't help but be jealous of me because she thought my kids were eating anything kind of kids don't worry, you're not alone. Every mom gets envious of other moms who make parenting seem easy. Here are a few examples.

Usually it has nothing to do with what Mom or Dad is doing.

1. The Mom Whose Infant Sleeps Through The Night (aka The Unicorn)

In every Mommy & Me there's that one mom who insists her baby is sleeping through the night at 6 weeks. Maybe, but probably not. What she's not telling the group is about all the times she's up in the night with her baby, which technically isn't sleeping through the night.

2. The Mom Whose Kid Eats Everything

Some kids are picky eaters. Some kids are more adventurous. No kid eats everything. Usually it has nothing to do with what Mom or Dad is doing. It's just the kid's food temperament. So don't worry. As long as your kid is eating, you're doing just fine.

3. The Mom Whose Kids Say Please and Thank You

Manners don't come naturally to kids. When you meet that kid on vacation or at the park whom appears to have good manners, it doesn't mean he does. It's always good to encourage good manners in kids, but it's more important to encourage good behavior. But clearly both would be nice.

4. The Mom Whose Kid Likes Homework (aka The Anomaly)

Maybe some kids do like homework but it's rare. And usually a kid who likes homework isn't in third grade or higher, when homework can be a real afternoon grind.

5. The Mom Who Likes Her Mother-In-Law

Those ladies do exist. They're rare, but they exist.

6. The Mom Whose Kids Don't Fight (aka The Mom Who Only Has One Kid)

Show me a mom whose kids never fight and I'll show you a mother with only one child. Kids fight, no matter how well they get along.

7. The Mom Whose Kids Don't Get Jet Lag

There's always that one mom whose kids return from their trip to Paris for winter break and have gone directly to school from the airport. Meanwhile, the rest of the world-traveling moms are up at 2 a.m. for weeks with their jet-lagged kids. There's no magic or secret. Everybody gets jet lag. Some people or kids just don't get it as badly.

8. The Mom Whose Husband Lets Her Sleep In (aka The Divorced Mom)

Be wary of the mom who brags about all the sleeping in she does. Even the most helpful and involved of dads rarely does the morning shift, at least not without some major bargaining. So if you meet a mom who brags about all that sleep she's getting assume her husband, and sometimes her kids, live somewhere else.

9. The Mom Whose Baby Sleeps on Planes

My kids NEVER slept on planes. I repeat, my kids NEVER slept on planes. So if you think you're the only mom bouncing a baby in an Ergo for the six-hour flight across the country while you wonder why your friends bragged about their babies sleeping for their entire flights just remember, my kids NEVER slept on planes. You're not the only one.

10. The Mom Whose Kid Is Good at Everything

Since no adult is good at everything, no kid is either—no matter what that mom says.

11. The Mom Whose Kid Is Organized

If your son can't find his shoes even when they're on his feet and he can't find his homework folder even when it's in his hand, don't worry. Just about every other mom goes through the same thing. We just don't talk about it.

12. The Mom Whose Daughter Doesn't Care What She Wears

Girls don't have to be girly pink lovers to have some serious opinions about what they wear. And let's be honest, some little girls can make getting out for school in the morning a full on showdown with their clothing specifics. Some moms even go as far as to choose a school that requires uniforms just to avoid said everyday showdown. But they won't tell you that.

13. The Mom Whose Infant Loves to Ride in the Car

These children do exist, but it doesn't mean they're easy babies or that you don't know what you're doing because your kid hates the car.

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14. The Mom Who Thought Toilet Training Her Child Was Easy

I didn't. Even when my daughter basically toilet trained herself, I thought it was totally stressful. Maybe the mom who thinks toilet training is easy is more laid back as a parent than I am. But as far as I'm concerned, it's enough to drive a mother to drink.

15. The Mom Whose Kid Has Never Had an Issue at School

Unless a kid hasn't started school yet, he or she is probably going to have some issue in school eventually. It doesn't have to be big, but kids are all going to have social issues, a teacher they loathe or a subject they can't master. Why pretend like your kid is immune?

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