I was jealous of my husband every single day when the boys were babies. Every single day when he would leave for work, I would envision his life of freedom: walking to the train station unencumbered by double stroller or diaper bag, a ride on the train with nothing to do but listen to his IPod, having a cup of coffee with no crying or clinging, a lunch eaten with an empty lap and one that did not consist of only a single slice of peanut butter toast. His life seemed, to my baby-filled world, the epitome of freedom. And although this being the modern age and I – privileged with the ability to choose – had chosen this very life, at times it felt like I had been sentenced to it. I was busy with the needs of a very young toddler and a colicky infant. I rarely, if ever, had a moment to myself and I was resentful and jealous that he did, his work-related stresses notwithstanding.
I am not jealous of him anymore.
In fact, I think I have much the better deal these days – the boys are easier, more fun, and I spend much of my time doing fun and interesting things with them. The exception was this past weekend.
My husband was attending a company golf tournament in a mountain resort, and the itineraries that he sent home were filled with fun events and lovely meals, and although I did not envy the golf portion – no – I was filled with jealousy that he could spend the weekend in the company of friends and co-workers with no responsibilities other than to enjoy himself. I on the other hand was caring for the children, enjoyable though they may be, and I felt extremely put-upon. I wanted to be the one going somewhere, doing something, and being completely secure that someone else would take care of things at home, without my input or concern. Of course, that’s not possible. The sad and honest truth is that even if such an opportunity for me to leave for the weekend arose, I would not likely seize it, and I would certainly not be able to be light hearted and carefree about it. The truth is that I cannot go back to the days of light hearted and carefree single-girl travel, and really I do not want to, but I can’t help but feel a selfish sort of sadness that those days are gone forever.