As a SAHM, life can get lonely, despite having little people around—no one is there to empathize with what you’re going through (which is why mommy friends come in handy). Routines can also become a monotonous lull of wake, feed, clean, feed, errands, feed, [hopefully] sleep and repeat. Money can become tight and the mommy guilt sets in about not having a job and not bringing in the income that college degree indicates you could bring in. Then there are the times where no amount of chocolate or wine can heal the emotional train wreck that is you at the end of a very long, trying day.
When all you need is a break from your motherly and wifely duties, you sit down and whip out your phone and start browsing Facebook and Instagram. Then, it starts:
“Look how well-behaved their kid is. Why can’t mine be like that?”
“I love that outfit. I wish I could pull something like that off.”
“They are always traveling. How do they get to do that? I want to go on vacation so bad.”
“That kid is eating spinach and sweet potatoes and salmon, and my kid just dunked broccoli in ketchup and only licked the ketchup.”
“Oh my gosh, that house. It’s huge and beautiful and decorated just how I want mine. Ugh.”
“She’s had 3 kids and looks like a high school cheerleader. I’ve had one, three years ago, and I still waddle when I walk.”
“Wait, she’s a SAHM and can buy all organic food, AND gets her hair done every 4 weeks, AND drives a brand new SUV, AND goes to Orange Theory every morning? How the heck…”
Coveting. Envy. Jealousy. Unhappiness. That is all that comes from these types of statements (queue the depression). And I will be the first to admit, I do it. All. The. Time.
I go to relax after already stressing out during the day, then tap those annoying rainbow camera and F icons just to get more upset by thinking about things I DON’T have.
What’s worse is that I sometimes do this “complaining” while my husband is sitting next to me. Not only am I hurting myself with all those sinful thoughts, but I also really upset him. It makes him feel like what he has provided for our family isn’t enough. It makes him feel like I’m constantly disappointed or unsatisfied with how my life turned out. It makes him feel inadequate and like a failure.
I don’t do it intentionally. It just happens. Sometimes I don’t even realize what I’m saying until I look over and see James’ pursed-lips-look of annoyance. He knows I don’t mean to hurt him and he knows I appreciate everything he has done for us, but that still doesn’t mean it doesn’t upset him.
Ecclesiastes 6:1-2 says:
“I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on mankind:
God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor,
so that they lack nothing their hearts desire,
but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead.
This is meaningless, a grievous evil.”
Meaningless. It is utterly meaningless to act this way. It causes more harm than good (when does it ever cause good, really?), and accomplishes nothing.
But you know what isn’t meaningless?
“A man may have a hundred children and live many years;
yet no matter how long he lives,
if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial,
I say that it would have been better for him to be born dead.”
(That’s some tough love coming from Solomon…)
Children. Family. Life itself. The most meaningful things in the world. If you have any of these, then being jealous by coveting what others have is pointless!
I know it’s so hard to think positively in this day and age. But try to think about what you’re not seeing on all these social media accounts… you’re not seeing the bad.
We have no idea what those people are actually going through. We have no idea how hard someone may work to provide that SAHM her cushy lifestyle. We have no idea how long that couple may have saved up to go on all these adventures.
We have no idea. Period. So lose the why can’t’s and I wish’s. There are two ways to start on the path of absolute contentment:
- If you see something that is tugging at your jealousy, “like” the picture. Maybe even add your own encouraging comment or just a friendly emoji (if you’re trying really hard to be nice, but can’t conjure up a positive sentence). You never know… that like or comment might just brighten up that particular person’s day, because (again) you have no idea what’s really going on with them.
- If you can’t start thinking positively and being happy with your life while scrolling through social media, then don’t hesitate–delete those apps. You are putting a wedge between you and absolute contentment by constantly comparing what you have or don’t have to what others appear to have.
BE CONTENT with what you have.
So much wasted time is had by just scrolling through social media. Wouldn’t it be nice if you closed out of those apps with a smile, instead of bitter and annoyed at what you don’t have? This is something I’m constantly working on, and constantly praying about. It’s not an easy task to focus on when we live in a time where people “do it for the Insta”, but changing your way of thinking is life-changing.
Contentment IS life-changing. When you’re content with your possessions and your life, you’re able to enjoy it more. Wouldn’t that be nice? Just to sit back and enjoy what God has given you?
I have a bracelet that my German family gave me for my birthday that I wear almost everyday. It’s a rose gold bangle with the phrase “love the life you live” carved out of it. I love it because it’s a great reminder to stop obsessing with things I don’t have, and literally love everything about the life I currently live (plus it’s cute). If you need a reminder like that with you all the time, get a bracelet, a ring, necklace, t-shirt, something. Heck, get a tattoo.
“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
Start focusing on what you do have and start enjoying the time you have on this earth with what you already have. It’s hard as a SAHM, I know. But just know that you are at home for a reason—to raise healthy, God-fearing, strong, kind, independent, fun, loving children, and to be a partner to your husband in the business called marriage. This is just a small phase of your life so it needs to be treasured before your kids grow and don’t need you as much.
If you have a place to live, food on your table, clothes on your bod, and family and friends, you are blessed. Be absolutely content with what you have… LOVE THE LIFE YOU LIVE.