Are you chronically jealous of other moms?
If so, you may be suffering from Mom Jealousy.
Mom Jealousy is a common maternal syndrome especially experienced by new moms but all moms can struggle with it at some point or another.
It is characterized by slight beady eyes, eye-brow furrowing, obsessive lip-biting, and chronic comparative whining. Other signs that a mom may be suffering from Mom Jealousy may be noticed when she abruptly bursts into tears while simultaneously cursing and throwing things after reading or hearing what other moms look like or what they are doing or how ‘perfect’ their kids are. If she then walks around the room and starts kicking things while muttering about why she can’t be like all the “other perfect moms” – it’s highly likely that she is indeed suffering from an acute case.
Mom Jealousy (MJ) starts out mild but can quickly turn into a very serious situation. If it’s not caught and dealt with in a timely manner, it can take a strong hold over the victim. The chronic comparing gradually manifests into jealousy which then causes toxic bitterness and hatred – ruining friendships and relationships and wreaking psychological and spiritual havoc for herself and those around her.
The exact causes of Mom Jealousy are still unknown. One theory suggests the cause stems from self-conscious feelings of uncertainty, inadequacy and general “grunginess” commonly associated with new moms or even with experienced mothers with multiple children. This syndrome is most common during pregnancy and in the time following the birth or addition of a new child. However, it has also been diagnosed at later times in a mom’s life; close to certain milestones and stages of their baby or children’s lives (rolling over and crawling, teething and sleepless nights, 1st birthday, starting school, graduation, etc) and during other transitional times (going back to work, starting a new job or volunteer project, relocating, a family or personal crisis, etc).
Thankfully, various treatment options exist that have shown positive results.
- Journaling: Spending 5 – 15 minutes a day journaling has shown great results with many moms experiencing MJ. It’s important that the mom be completely honest in her journals. She can write out the feelings she’s currently experiencing about herself and those she is jealous of. After a time, the mom should be able to include in her journal the positive qualities she sees in herself and those other moms. It should be noted that many moms using this treatment option – especially those with multiple children and responsibilities – found the best time and place for this activity was in the “washroom”.
- Goals: Keeping a list of simple daily and weekly goals has also proven beneficial. The daily goals list may need continual editing according to the mom’s unique and current realistic abilities. At first a mom may be tempted to do everything in one day when in reality she may only be able to accomplish one of her goals in a day, a week, or a month or even a couple years. The better she is able to accept and work with this in mind the faster she will recuperate. She may also need to remember that she is different than anyone else and what another mom may have the time, skill, help, or general ambition for, may not be the same for her depending on her individual situation and personality.
- Daily Accomplishments: In the same way as the daily goals, keeping a written list of Daily Accomplishments can also be highly beneficial. Often times, moms feel like they accomplish nothing. However, after a closer examination they will realize they have substantial accomplishments from the day. Even if they seem small and seemingly menial, it’s important to write it down. Then, at the end of the day, the mom can look at the list and feel pleased and content with what she did get done. With this, moms should include not only household tasks accomplished on her list, but also moments of time and service she gave to her children and family – for these are often the most significant and overlooked successes.
- Avoiding Negative Triggers: If a mom’s symptoms are exacerbated when reading blogs or articles by PIAO Moms (Perfect In Appearance Only), it is highly recommended to cease such activity until symptoms lessen in strength and frequency.
- Prayer: Along with the above treatment options, prayer has shown to be the most important and most effective treatment for MJ. Moms can spend time praying not only for themselves but also for those moms they are jealous of. Instead of scowling at these “other moms” and thinking envious thoughts, she can praise and thank God for blessing that mom and ask Him to shower His Grace on her to help her with whatever unknown struggles she is going through.
- Acts of Charity: Offering a kind word, service or simple gift to the envied mom(s) can have positive effects for the mom struggling with MJ. In extreme cases, it may even be necessary for the mom to confront a friend whom she is harboring jealous feelings of and apologize in order to repair the friendship.
Eventually with these treatments, moms suffering from Mom Jealousy will see their jealous feelings diminish and be replaced by healthy feelings and thoughts of admiration, encouragement, inspiration, and, love.
Copyright 2013 Erika Marie