Grass: Greener.

Most afternoons  these days, I race through the delightful Chelsea Market, grabbing a sandwich or a cup of overpriced Hale & Hearty to slurp down at my desk in the four minutes I’ve got before I’m snatched away to the next EMERGENCY OH MY GOD IT’S AN EMERGENCY at work.

In that time, meandering the long corridor of the historic building and peeking my head into the various storefronts to learn daily specials and tempt myself with evil thigh-enhancing confections (I’m looking at you, Fat Witch Brownies), I pass tables of parents.

So many parents.

It’s not tourists so much now that the holidays have passed, but the chic West Village mommies getting a little fresh air and human contact with their newborns nestled into Bugaboos and Stokkes. It’s a trio fresh from a mommy and me class, trading stories over Chicken Caesars while their toddlers race around in front of them, high on Rice Krispie bars. It’s scruffy-faced stay at home dads, dangling eco totes filled with fig jams and artisanal breads from their elbows and a baby strapped to their chests. Or sometimes it’s that brand new mom, bleary-eyed and unfocused, pushing a pram back and forth from her chair with one hand while clutching a 16-ounce latte for dear life in the other.

And I’m jealous.

Every time I stare at one of these mothers, in her perfect clothes with her perfect hair, settling in along the brick walls with a child dancing on her knees I think, what I would give not to be racing back to the office right now. What I would give to be here instead with my girls, sharing a croissant or teaching them about the 30 kinds of cheeses at Lucy’s Whey.

And surely, one of the moms looks at me and thinks: What I would give for a whole 10 minutes to walk through these halls by myself. To peek into the shops without navigating a stroller through the crowd.  To avert my eyes for three seconds without the fear that my toddler will throw herself head-first into the waterfall.

And I think: The sound of giggling, shrieking children is so much more appealing right now than the sound of desk chair wheels rumbling through the halls and the industrial Fiery printer belching out PowerPoint decks.

And she thinks: The crying. OH the crying I’m going to have to listen to later after having kept the baby out a whole hour past her naptime.

And I think: Ah, to be a stay at home mom with a hedge fund husband so I can plan my day around hot chocolate outings.

And she thinks: Ah, to be a mom with a job that requires me to wear fancy shoes and use four syllable words and get through an entire day without hearing Elmo’s voice or someone throwing up on me.

And I think: I’m missing moments with my kids right now. I’m missing memories.

And she thinks: I’m missing myself.

And the funny thing is?

When the tables are turned and I’m the one sitting and eating and child-wrangling and mommying, the conversation in my head goes the exact same way.


Thank you all so much for the incredible comments, and for honoring me and this community by opening up and sharing your own stories here. 

Also, thanks to Schmutzie for including this post in the always wonderful Five-Star Friday roundup, and to BlogHer for syndicating it on their own site. 


165 thoughts on “Grass: Greener.”

  1. Oh, Liz, I hear you, I SO hear you. This is beautifully written and perfect.

    It's just too bad we don't all admit this is how we feel instead of taking swipes at each other in the supposed Mommy Wars.

  2. Absolutely.

    It makes me sad that we miss so many moments while we wonder what they other moments may have been like.

  3. Amen sister! There is a little coffee shop here in town that is always filled with moms and their babies. When I go in to grab my latte or lunch, I just want to yell – I have two babies too! But then I'd just be some lunatic lady yelling in their faces, and that is not attractive.

  4. Awesome points. I've always talked to my friends about this; I've never really experienced the Mommy Wars in real life.

  5. you are 100% correct. and the main point we should take away is this war is ABOUT US and not the kids. there is no “right” answer to end up with the best adjusted kids, so we might as well quit trying to pretend that there is.

    awesome, awesome post

  6. You hit the nail on the head. That exact conversation, feeling, scenario is my life, each and every Monday through Friday.

  7. I couldn't agree more. I've been on both sides, and neither is better than the other. There are always downsides.

  8. The really funny thing is, even when you've been on both sides, you still see the other side with rose-colored glasses. You mention the sahm with the hedge fund husband, but when I didn't work, we were only managing it by the skin of our teeth. And when I was home I'd think my working friends were doing such important things. Now that I'm working I wish I would have stood up for us sahm's more and proclaimed “our” work to be the most important a woman can do.

    I think I just said what Marinka said.

  9. Sigh. Yes. And when mine were babies I only wanted them to grow up and now that they're growing up so fast I want to scream NO NO SLOW DOWN and apparently I am just never, ever satisfied.

    Maybe I need to look into astroturf. 😉

  10. So much truth here. So much. And yet I have a feeling the mommy war mongers will still find a way to turn it around on you. I hope not though because this was a great look at both sides of the equation and as close to proof that neither side has it “better” as I've ever read .

  11. Probably the most concrete articulation of this I've seen (and the CM visuals don't hurt either).

  12. beautiful. moved my heart to sadness that we spend so much time wishing we were somewhere else.

    I've never experienced the Mommy Wars in real life, but this split sure follows me every day.

  13. My first boy went to daycare at three weeks, he spent ten hours there every day, Monday through Friday for his first four years of life. It sucked, but I had an awesome job, I was the boss. I've stayed at home with my two-year-old since he was born and I bake and craft and teach him my way. And, yeah, I'm pulling my hair out (man I want a job that doesn't include cleaning butts and wiping crap off walls!) but he's awesome to be with. As a mommy who has been on both sides of the fence, I say ditto to you. You hit the nail on the head.

  14. I hear ya, sister. The thing that kills me (okay, ONE of the things that kills me) is I find myself wondering: Do dads think about this stuff? I can't help but think that most of them don't.

    I also am waging a one-woman campaign to eradicate the use of the phrase “working mom.” I don't think it's fair to SAHMs. Good lord, we ALL work. Very hard. Ditto for the phrase “full-time mom.” That one irks the heck outta me. Because I am a WOHM, does that mean I'm NOT a mom when I am at the office?

    Speaking of which, I must get back to work. Like you, I'm in the ad biz – and one of those “advertising emergencies” needs urgent attention!

    Enjoying your blog. Glad to have found it.

  15. Been there. Felt that. This morning, I'm jealous of the moms in the Subarus lined up at the train station to drop their hubbies off. They got to go back home and snuggle their kids. Mine were left with sitters, runny noses and nasty coughs. As always, great writing Liz.

  16. Yes.
    I have been on both sides…well, minus the whole hedge fund thing.

    I have felt like both of those women…the one who misses her babies and the one who misses herself.

  17. So much. Thank you. Thank you for infusing respect and intelligence and compassion into this needless “argument.”

    You rock.

  18. I work part-time (one day working, one day home with the kids), and you have described the push-pull within MYSELF each week. I drop the kids off at daycare, and then ache a little thinking about my one-year-old and four-year-old there all day without me to watch and worry. The next day I'm with them, and it's 10:30am and I feel like I've exhausted every trick in my book and it's hours until naptime. This is a perfect post — important and well-said.

  19. oh yes yes. I know that's unoriginal, a dozen people said it already in these comments before me, but I can't not comment. You describe it so perfectly.

  20. It's made being “just” a SAHM (I know, but it feels like that a lot of the time) a LOT easier that the only thing I am really good at doing (Opera/musical theater) would have meant a lifestyle I LOATHE, so I take comfort in that when I realize I'm 35 and never made it to Yale or the Met like I planned.

    Nom, nom, nom-ing on fat baby tummies is way better for me anyway. 🙂

    Love this.

  21. Geez – that made me cry! Hormones, or missing my pretty clothes and perfect hair. Could be both.

    Can't we all just get along 😉

  22. Oh you are so dead on. I have that coversation in my head constantly no matter where I am and what I am doing. It's one we sign up for as soon as we give birth. And so our motto must be “Carpe Diem!”

  23. A truer truth has NEVER BEEN TOLD or told so well. I love your fair, balanced look at life & motherhood, Liz, and this post is a classic example of the voice I love so much.

  24. So perfectly written.

    Isn't this just exactly what the conversation sounds like in our heads.

    Every mom should read this.

  25. Yep. Well said. I've done the SAHM, the WAHM, and the work-outside-the-home things (still doing the last one). And they all have their advantages and disadvantages. I think the important aspect is the M — the MOM in all of us. We all have to strive to be the best Mom to our kids, however that works for us. What a great post.

  26. Oh my. Absolutely. Sometimes I definitely envy the Mom who gets to get out. I'd definitely consider all Moms working Moms and myself considering I'm half crazy and work from home + homeschool my kids.

  27. And I'm crying right now because…oh right. Because working 3 days a week and being an SAHM 2 days a week makes me schizophrenic and the conversation you wrote above loops over and over again with me as both characters. This post is perfection. It is my life.

  28. It's so hard to mindfully appreciating the moment, isn't it? I struggle with this all the time. I find that when I narrow the focus, really zero in on what's happening right NOW with either my kids or my work, it helps. When I can do it. It's not easy, and I'm not always (usually) successful. But when I am, it's such a relief…so beautiful to be content in the place I AM instead of wishing for somewhere else.

  29. Oh, so true. And the really disturbing thing is that instead of admitting that this is how we feel we take jabs at each others choices. How we are better mothers because (blank)or how we could not fathom staying at home without losing our marbles completely…

    Lets you and me be different and support each other 🙂

    Great job!

  30. Fabulous!!! Perfectly stated… eloquently written… and for me those baby-bouncing days have gone by. As much as I was in a hurry to be done with them, I miss them terribly… children grow and need us less. While it is lovely to have the freedom to come and go without so much as a glance back, what I would not give, sometimes, to have a snuggle with a chubby cherub!

  31. totally hear yo on this one. i actually work from home full time so i get the guilt from all sides. working in the office hearing the giggling… laughing downstairs in the playroom hearing my outlook go bananas… it's just a fine delicate balancing act that i certainly haven't mastered yet.

    i must admit though… i love those few and far between days when i'm in the office wearing adult clothing (with no spit up) blow drying my hair, wearing makeup and taking a nice long walk alone at lunch. there's something refreshing about that.

  32. Perfectly articulated. It's an ongoing struggle for me still (and might very well remain so until my kid hits HS and no longer cares about hanging with his Mama). Thanks for this.

  33. This is amazing and so freaking right on.

    I've done both. Two years into staying at home and I'd some days give anything for the life I had before. Of course, then I wanted the life I have in this moment. Now I'm looking at needing to go back to working full time and it's depressing…and a tab bit exciting. I think it's a constant struggle no matter which side you're on in the moment.

  34. Beautifully written. I've been on both sides too. There is no right answer, only what's right for each individual family. It's sad that posts like this need to be written. We're all trying to raise our children to be good people, isn't that commonality enough? We're on the same side!

  35. What a wonderful way to show both sides of the coin. I went back to work 3 months ago and feel the push and pull of wanting to be home with my baby but still wanting to get dressed up and put on heels. There is no perfect solution and I think your post helped to show that.
    Wonderfully, wonderfully written.

  36. Ha, good observation Drew!

    The men are snazzy too – just the beards are scruffy. I'd imagine both sexes use new parenthood as an excuse not to shave. It's just in the winter, the women don't show their own stubble quite so readily…

  37. Having not showered on this lovely snow day in my area and cleaned up after messes of both dogs and babies, I really needed to read this particular post this morning!

  38. brilliant, brilliant post. I jsut admitted to being jealous of all the SAHMs a couple of weeks ago in a blog post that I won't link to here b/c that would be uncool, but it was basically about how we all rip each other to shreds for being “bad moms” because we all have to make ourselves feel better about the choices we've made, so there's a mom who SAh, bottlefed, homebirthed, fed her baby non-organic food, spanked for discipline, and has a nanny so hse can run errands looks down on the working in an office mom who breastfed, had a c-section, uses only postive discpline, and sends her kids to a combination of daycare and grandparents during the day, who in turn looks down on Mom #1. Becasue we all think deep down that we may be doing it ALL WRONG and effing up our kids, so we have to decide subconsciously that THE OTHER WAY (whatever it is) is the wrong way, because that makes our way the right way, so we can feel better about ourselves. It's this vicious cycle that takes away our collective power as women b/c we are always sniping at eachother instead of celebrating the journey and recognizing that all the choices are just that: CHOICES. And all of our kids are going to end up fucked up and in therapy anyway, no matter what we do, so it doesn't really matter one way or the other, because I am crazy and therfore my son will need therapy when he's older, because he was raised by a crazy woman, not because thecrazy woman only breastfed him for 6 months, or had an emergency c-section, or put him in daycare. Anyway, I love your as-it-happens commentary on the inner thoughts of these moms as we check each other out. I remember being home with my son on maternity leave and how the other moms at hte park would jsut assume that we were all indefinitely SAHMs, and I said nothing to correct them, so it was like I was an undercover reporter. I was so, so jealous. Anyway, thanks for this post. I'm forwarding it to, um, like, everyone I've ever met.

  39. Yes, it is ALWAYS this way, isn't it? During the day, when I'm at work, grabbing my lunch or coffee or doing my errands, and I see moms with strollers and their babies, I miss my children SO MUCH. I feel horrible that I'm a working mom, that I'm not with my kids 'right now'.
    But then, I know that I'm also thankful to be working outside of the home. I know how hard it is, to be home all the time. But it's so true, we usually want the oppositive of what we currently have. And I have decided that whether you're a stay at home mom, or a work out of the home mom, you'll never be fully, 100% satisfied. GREAT post.

  40. AMEN! awesome post!
    My only discrepancy? I'm a SAHM and I'm never neatly dressed! I can't figure out how to find time to shower/dress without my kids tearing the house (or each other) apart. I guess I'll hang with those scruffy dads!

    love this post though—so very true!

  41. Four syllable words? I don't know of what you speak.

    The grass is always greener. I love staying home, I wouldn't trade it. But I certainly have days where I feel like I've lost part of the person I was before I decided to stay home. Hell, a day when I put on jeans as opposed to yoga pants is a big day, forget the days when I wear “real” pants.

    I've just cleaned up spilled milk. It wasn't mine. Oh for a meal without spilled milk.

    It's so true.

  42. Thank you all for the incredible comments and for sharing your stories here with me and with each other.

    We make each other better, don't we?

  43. I ditto Mir – I couldn't wait for them to grow up, to be more independent. Now I wish they needed me more. What does it take to make us all slow down and enjoy the moment we are in?

  44. Nice post. But this is true for married, singles, couples with children, couples with no children, teenagers, adults. Perhaps it's the human condition. Our choices/lifestages close some opportunities but open others. The trick is to be happy where you are – not to compare your situation to that of another. Easier said than done. Perhaps the road begins with recognizing and acknowledging the constant pull for the “greener” side and then getting to the work of making our own pastures as green as they can be.

  45. I love the way you've emphasized that the two “sides” envy each other — instead of judging each other. I'm thankful for our sisters who came before us and opened doors so that we'd have more of a choice about careers/work– at least in some cases. Now let's all celebrate every type of mom!

  46. i thoroughly enjoyed this post. when i read the part about the mom's wishing that they could walk five feet without worrying their children would fling themselves into the waterfall, i thought to myself “i would jump into that damn waterfall for 5 oblivious free seconds…” i never thought what the working momma may be thinking….

  47. I've been in both situations. I've been jealous of both sides. I've been wishing I was the other when I wasn't. Just like this.

    Back then, jealous of the ladies who got to spend their days with my son. Now, kinda jealous of the ones who get to have an adult lunch while NOT wearing their p.j.s!

    Such a true and real post. Love your words and feelings in this one, because I've been there…

  48. Thank you! I've tried it both ways and I have had both sets of thoughts. The grass IS always greener but you have to make the most of the situation you are in.

  49. I couldn't have read this at a better time. I just vented to my employee about the daily struggles of my family and marriage. I am the business woman, my husband is the stay at home parent. Neither of us are super happy with where we are, I miss seeing my son, my husband misses talking to anyone- Zach is only 15 months so mama and dada doesn't go too far… glad to know we're not alone in the constant struggle for balance. Thanks so much for sharing. and PS- I always wonder if the stay-at-home mothers with perfect hair and perfect clothes actually stay at home watching their children all the time, or maybe they have an au pair or two? I don't know how they can keep themselves to presentable with toddlers! I certainly haven't figured that secret out, not yet at least.

  50. Motherhood, it's a balancing act none of us can ever really get quite right. Most days, I just count myself lucky for being on the seesaw in the first place.

    And my dress slacks are still in the back of my closet, just in case I need them again someday.

  51. Oh I completely agree. Having done both I think that neither way is better than the other!!!

  52. You hit the nail on the head! Love this post. If everybody could just get along………..The grass always “seems” greener, doesn't it?

  53. You hit the nail on the head! Love this post. If everybody could just get along………..The grass always “seems” greener, doesn't it?

  54. Beautifully written! I feel the same when I go for a coffee break from work to the local shop. I've been on both sides of the table and appreciate the moments that being on each side has given me.

  55. As if you needed another comment on this topic, looks like you have 102. Well 103 now. I was so moved by this post. It articulates so well what I am feeling. I am staying at home now, and interviewing for jobs. Part of me is excited to get “back out there”, but part of me wants to run out of the interviews screaming “what am I doing?” I know I am lucky to have a choice, but it is hard to have a choice. It feels like either way you lose..but on the other hand, both sides have the positives as well don't they?

  56. I tried to read all the comments but I'll have to go back to them because the tears you've made me cry are blocking my vision.

    Thank you for this post. I'm halfway through my mat leave and already feel torn between my choices, between the different lives I *could* be living.

    You reminded me that no matter how else this whole motherhood thing goes there are wins and losses so before I have to pick my particular shade of green I'm going to go pick up the munchkin, give her a hug and play with her. Once I stop snivelling like a baby that is.

    Thank you.

  57. Yup – that's pretty much the conversation I have every time – I've been on both sides now and I swear each is hard in its very own way..great post.

  58. I work from home, so sometimes I have both sides of the conversation with myself. You are so right that we want it both ways, but never seem happy with it either way.

  59. You got it, sister.

    I just got a new job (last week!) after being home/freelancing part-time from home for the last 3.5 years. (I was in grad school/part-time working before that.) And right now? These early weeks of being back at work? It's all love. It's all juuuuuust right.

    But I know – because I've been on both sides and because you nailed it exactly here – I know that eventually I'll look back at the green green grass on the other side of the bridge and that ugly troll will jump out and scare me yelling “You're the one who wanted this!! You're the one who wanted your fancy job so quitchyer bitchin' about missing your babies!”

    Ebb and flow. Green green grass waaaay over there. And over here.

  60. Yes, I will be happier when I learn to be allured by what's growing on MY side of the fence! What IS IT a bout the dad-gum OTHER SIDE…even the chicken crossed the road to get there!!!!

  61. Yes, yes, yes!

    I've been on both sides of this conversation. There's just no winning it. As long as we have kids we're always pulled in 15 different directions, missing out on one thing or another. I think the best thing you can do is just try to enjoy what's going on right now, although that's far from easy.

  62. What a fabulous post. You never usually get to see both sides but you have done that so well. I'm a SAHM though and if you could see the state of my clothes and hair right now you would laugh at your own words! :o)

  63. Wonderful, wonderful and honest post. Thank you for saying what all of us are often thinking!

    I'm the hybrid…I've started my own business and work from home so I can spend more time with the little one but still not lose me…and you know what there are days I want to throw that towel in, too! Mostly because I'm not sure I like being the boss. Here's to hoping someone will start offering meaningful work at reduced hours so I can be a hybrid and not have to be in charge…I feel like I'm always in charge…

  64. This is one of the best posts I've ever written! I'm currently the working mom who wants to shout I HAVE A KID TOO! I'm due with my second next month and will be part-time. I'm hoping this will be the perfect balance but I'm sure I'll end up being both of these moms rolled into one!

  65. I couldn't have said it better myself! I am sad that I don't get to spend as much time with my kids but I also love the freedom of being able to go to work to get away from my mommy duties for 40 hours a week.

  66. Like so many other comments before me, I can only say: Yes. To it all.

    And to that I will add that this post is wonderfully written and so spot on.

  67. That is SO well said. And today, as I celebrate my daughter's third birthday, I think to myself how much has changed in my life now that I wear the title of MOM. Thank you for sharing!

  68. You are so very wise.

    When I was pregnant the first time I felt like a fraud, that I was faking impending motherhood, and that turned right into being a fake mother who never planned to (or could afford to) stay home with her kids.

    I remember being on maternity leave and feeling like I was pretending being a SAHM, going shopping at Gymboree and getting a latte at Starbucks and feeling my brain leak out my ears. Back at work full time and I stare at pictures of my kids on my computer and feel like a huge loser for turfing them on childminders.

    Now when my kids stay home sick and I spend the day with one or both, trying to work from home some or tidy the house, I start out thinking that it seems so rosy to not have to go anywhere, and by the end of the day I wonder how a SAHM keeps the dishes done and the phone calls made and the snot wiped off the faces and parental body parts.

    Where is the sense of belonging instead of the sense of faking it? I may never know.

    Thank you for writing this post! This is why I love the blogoverse, the feeling less alone.

  69. OK, I'm comment #124, and you don't really need another comment saying “right on!” but here it is anyway.

    Because my baby is going to start daycare on march 1. And yes, I love being a working mom. Wouldn't trade it for anything, really. But oh, my baby! In day care! Will they cherish her and think she's the cutest most wonderful thing ever? Will they delight in her big, heart-melting smiles like my family does? (She's actually home with my parents this month, and interestingly, that causes me zero angst.)

    The really silly thing? She is my SECOND child. And I remember going through all of this with the first child, who is now clearly thriving in day care. So WTF?????

  70. i don't know how you read my mind and put them down so articulately, but THANK YOU. sigh. seeing it in writing really enforces being ok with whichever route you choose and knowing each side has potential advantages and disadvantages. thank you.

  71. As a former West Village mom, you just made me miss chelsea market… the waterfall, Fat Witch, the sushi, etc. And you are absolutely right. The other side always feels a bit greener. Although I never had perfect hair or perfect clothes. 🙂

  72. You know how to touch the souls of women Liz. All because you are a real one too. Thanks for this great perspective post.

  73. This is the first mom-related blog post I've read — actually it's the first mom-related ANYTHING I've read — since having a baby a few months ago that has made me cry.

    I don't even know why I'm crying. I just am.

    Thanks for this.

  74. I LOVE being a SAHM, although certainly have felt the twinges here and there of wanting what the working mother has. Mostly though I feel super lucky. Except now: My second child will be starting kindergarten, and now, after all these years at home, I am facing a return to the workforce. GULP. I am scared! Am I capable of holding a full time job? The grass on the other side sure is looking greener these days!!!

  75. I was once a working mom, and now a SAHM. I can relate COMPLETELY! there will always be thoughts such as these, with and without the guilt. Thank you for with great post!

  76. THANK YOU! I work out of the home two days a week (and while my son naps and after he goes to bed)and am always struggling to find a balance.

    I've tried to explain how I feel to my husband a thousand times but never seen to get the words right.

    As always you have put my feelings in writing so incredibly well.

  77. I enjoyed reading this very much! I have been on both ends of the spectrum. It is noteworthy to share that moms really have conversations in their head about the opposite of what you are actually doing. A mom second guesses herself because a mom's choices every minute affect the entire family.

    Visit me @

    You will get another view 🙂
    Great read!!

    Katie D

  78. I have the luck to have a job I love and to work part-time. I'm at 80% which means I'm home with my kids on Wednesdays. I love work and would be depressed and overwhelmed if I stayed home full-time. And while I admire mom's who are full-time at home I don't feel bad that I'm not.

    I think we all need to stop feeling worrying either way, and enjoy the time with our kids, and the time at our jobs or the time we sneak out for a walk around town by ourselves! Being a stay-at-home mom or a working mom is already insanely tiring! My advice don't waste one more molecule of energy feeling guilty!

  79. really well written and HONEST! isn't it funny that we never want to admit these feeling to anyone; least of all someone who would truly benefit from hearing them? thanks for putting it out there!

  80. This was fabulous. And also a great reminder that it's just HARD BEING A MOMMY—whether you stay at home or go to work each day. The war of “Working Mommy” vs “SAHM” always makes me sad because aren't we all in this crazy thang together?
    I think that's why I loved this post.

    As a working mommy I'm totally jealous of those who get to stay home and be with their kids. And I know many of my SAHM friends are all “Pffff! I'd trade places with you in a heart beat!” But deep down think we all know life is never perfect and as you so wisely put it, the grass is always greener. And in my case, longer…..because we haven't had time to mow it. But that's a whole other story.

    You are an inspiration. Thanks for always making me laugh, but also making me think.

  81. Amazing post…and oh so true. In my lower moments, I've actually felt guilty (GUILTY!?) for being a SAHM because I've deprived our family of a second income for the past 10 years. My mind is playing some very cruel tricks on me.

  82. So true. I am a SAHM and a WAHM…I work during naps and evenings and weekends, and, well, am teetering on insanity.

    Yet, I always know the WOHMs when I see them…when I know on the outside my life looks perfect – usually when we're out grabbing a latte and my daughter is behaving perfectly and it's the day I managed to get dressed in a decent outfit. I see them looking at me and my child with that dreamy, “you're so lucky” look and I want to jump up, give them a big hug and say “trade ya', just for today, ok?”

  83. You are my new favorite writer – what a great post! I've just gotten into blogging and have been reading lots of “mommybloggers,” but you're the first I feel I absolutely have to follow!

  84. As a teacher, I get to have both of those conversations in my head. You are absolutely right, and I love the way you wrote that! Great job!

  85. You completely and utterly captured everything that I feel. Both right now sitting at my desk at work and when I was home on maternity leave only 7 months ago, but it feels like an eternity now.

    This perfectly encapsulates why you can’t have it all.

  86. I know you’re getting this comment and thinking, “Why on earth is she commenting on a really old post, and how did she get here?” It doesn’t really matter. I am and I did. And I’m so glad.

    When you first published this I wasn’t a blogger. I was a mix of those two moms, happy in neither role, and missing myself. I wish I had seen this then, because I probably would have found myself a lot sooner.

    But I have now found myself, and now I have found this. And I’m so glad.

  87. So many talk about the ‘mommy wars’ but the irony is that the person you are talking about doesn’t even know it! They aren’t affected by your negative comments, only you are. Instead of being negative, why not stop look around and find 1 thing to be greateful for!

  88. Our town has a large chic-mummy population and I’m guilty of envying the grass on the other side too. Although I love where I’m at sometimes I forget to appreciate. Thanks for the little reminder.

  89. Having done both the stay at home and work out side gig, I can tell you being with my kids is more rewarding than mundane 8-5 with people you are not emotionally vested in, nor care to be, forcing each other into banal chit-chat. I care nothing about the people I am forced to be with M-F for 40 hours. It’s the ones in my home that fill my heart, now they are all in junior high to college, I miss that time, but I do admit I missed that paycheck. Now I miss them being younger and needing me. I could stay at home and stare at the walls but I would have ‘but I earned this degree for a reason guilt.’ We’re all plagued with the darned if you do or don’t feeling. Maybe one day I can be a stay at home GRANDMA.

    1. Alice, I’m sorry to hear that. I’m fortunate that I really enjoy the work I do and can call many colleagues friends. I’d imagine that love for your job/career/workplace is a huge factor in one’s happiness, whether or not it’s balancing with (or conflicting with) family.

  90. Thank you for this empathetic exercise. I agree with the other comments– instead of fighting with one another it would really help if we could see others with greater compassion. I enjoyed reading this.

  91. It is so easy to think the grass is greener…. but sometimes we need to stop and appreciate all that we have. The first week back at work with my little one was horrible. The first month was really tough and I cried a lot struggling with the idea of working full-time to support my family and if it was the best choice. Now my baby is almost 5 months old, my daughter is 7, my husband is amazing and we both have great jobs and a great house and a great kids… I wonder if I am the only person in the world who is truly happy and doesn’t want something I don’t have. People don’t ever blog about someone just being content living day to day just how things are.
    Great post… and it makes me stop and think and be truly grateful for what I have.

    1. Beautiful point Erika, thank you. I do think that we can still be happy while asking “what if…” or be happy while wondering if there isn’t a way to just be a little happier. Over all, I’m happy too! But there are moments that I definitely think I’d rather be doing __________.

  92. Jeepers, if someone is ever feeling jealous of my life, I sure do hope they tell me so I can lay out the terrible reality! But the life I’m currently living is in flux and I didn’t choose to be here at this desk because I find my career so fulfilling. I’ve been a SAHM, a WAHM, and a working mom – I liked the first option best, but I also know that being at work is one way I take care of my family. Which is honestly the only way I can stand it.

  93. the thing is… we work so hard. with or without our children… I don’t understand why the Mommy Wars exist. Sometimes…. I cry at night… over the loss of the life I COULD be living, and sometimes… I cry when I’m not living the life I already have with my 6 beautiful children. Its confusing, but thank you Liz…. u really put it into perspective for me…. really… just good fucking perspective. and my son of a biscuit husband should read these posts more than I do… he really should.

    1. That’s really nice Tammi, thank you for sharing that. I think life can be hard and confusing whatever your situation. We just do the best we can with what we’ve got and try to find support in one another.

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