You can find serenity in knowing, when it comes to families, the grass is not always greener on the other side.
Often when I am with my children, complete strangers will walk and tell me how well-behaved my children are. They remark how mannerly they are or how lucky I am to have them. I always smile and say thank you. I smile because it is nice to be told that my children are behaving well. The words are a compliment to the work I am doing as a mother. Sometimes I smile because I know all the chaos at home that leads to the beautiful moment at hand.
There are many family situations where things look good on the surface, but all is crappy underneath. For example:
- a woman who is being physically abused puts smiling family photos on her desk and never complains about her abusive husband
- someone dealing with a child who is dying from cancer laughs at the games your children play never showing their jealousy
- a woman whose family has severe financial struggles shares staycation stories while you wow the crowd with your cruise adventures
- a person without sufficient food at home accepts your compliments about her loss while wondering how she will feed her children
Each family is unique.
In the book Anna Karenina Tolstoy tells us that “happy families are all the same, but each unhappy families is unhappy in its own way.” It is important to keep these words in mind when you feel jealous of another family. You are on the outside looking in. You do not know the internal struggles of the family you think has greener grass. The fertilizer and mowing that family put into making their family successful is unknown, I have had friends marry and divorce after a few years. They tell me their marriages did not work because their husbands were not as good as mine. I feel sorry for them when I hear that. My husband and I put a lot of work into having a successful marriage. I know the arguments, the tears, the tongues that were bitten and the apologies that were given.
Put the work in and your grass will be greener also!
What if instead of being jealous you paid attention to your own family and put some work into making your family better? How would things be if instead of having an affair, you put time into seducing and romancing your spouse? Imagine how things would be if you stopped admiring other relationships. Instead, work to improve your attitude and to treat your family better. Grass usually does not grow lush, green, and strong without someone putting in the work to make it happen.