My friends and their "perfect children" are making me jealous!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Californiablonde, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    First of all let me say that I really, really don't want to sound like I am having a pity party for myself. One thing I hate is other people's pity. It makes me feel weak, and I am normally a pretty strong person. Lately I've been having issues with jealousy when it comes to my friends' and family members' kids. Having one difficult child to deal with at home was hard, but now that I have two difficult child's it's ten times harder. Most of my friends have these all star kids who are honor roll students and they are constantly getting awards for some thing or another. My kids have never, ever been student of the month. They will never be honor roll students. They both hate sports and are pretty bad at them. They will never be star athletes. Most of the time I am okay with it.

    I have come to terms with the fact that I have two kids with mental disabitlities and they will always be a little bit out of the ordinary compared with typical people. Hell, I am an adult difficult child myself, having bipolar and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and I have come to terms that I will always be someone who has more issues than most. Right now what I can't stand is the constant bragging from my friends when it comes to their kids and their achievments. I have quite a few facebook friends, and I swear I will gag if I read about another student of the month award, honor roll award, or hear about how "Johnny" is so great at baseball, his teacher says he is her star pupil, he gets straight A's on all of his report cards, he is such an angel at home, does all his chores, does what he's told, blah blah blah blah blah…. I am just so SICK of it. I know I should be happy for them and sometimes I do make my "That's great, you must be so proud!" comments, but more often than not I am silent. I do not "like" their status. I do not comment. I feel like such a crappy friend for being this way, but sometimes I just can't deal.

    I work at a high school in a different district than my kids and a few of my co-workers have children that come to our school. Their kids are star athletes and honor roll students. They have every right to brag and to show off when it comes to their kids. difficult child 1 will be starting high school next year. My coworkers have been asking if I will be sending her to my school. We live in a different district so my answer is no, she will be going to another district where we live. If I really wanted to, I could get her transferred over here so I can keep a better eye on her, but I do not want her to attend school where I work. The last thing I need or want is to have difficult child sent up to the office for telling someone F**k you or refusing to do work or getting caught ditching class, etc, etc, etc. My coworkers opinion of me as a mom would drop dramatically if they were privy to the never ending antics of difficult child 1. There is no way on this planet I would subject myself to the kind of hell difficult child would put me through if she were to attend school over here. I feel like such a **** mom for feeling this way. Can anybody relate and if so how do you get through it? Is this just a phase I'm going through? I feel angry, bitter, and jaded. I do not wish to keep feeling like this. I want to be able to accept my kids for who they are but right now I just can't. Am I wrong for feeling this way?
  2. somerset

    somerset Member

    I feel the same way. And I think it's bad form to brag about your kids, unless the other person starts it first, or asks how your kid is doing. It's like saying, "My kid is better than yours".

    My difficult child did make star student once, in 3rd grade. It was a miracle. One whole month without hitting another kid, talking back to the teacher, talking incessantly during class, etc. They gave me a license plate frame. difficult child is now in 9th grade, and I still have it on. I am NEVER taking that thing off.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    There's nothing wrong with bragging about individual achievements - IF they're really achievements. in my opinion, if your kid's perfect, then they have to do something really outstanding (save the entire student body from a burning building perhaps) to merit a brag. Their parents need to shut up.

    What's wrong with not wanting your kid at the school you're at? Doesn't it help you to be less distracted? Meaning you can do a better job for YOUR school? And... Don't these other parents have ANYTHING ELSE to talk about?

    If you can - tune it out. Perfect kids rarely really are - but many people think if you create a story the kid might someday live up to it.
  4. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    CB - I can relate. I don't think you are wrong. It is very hard to feel for others when we have kids like ours. I do have 3 of my own. It is very hard because life isn't the same for us, it never has been and probably never will be. Even my oldest difficult child/easy child who more closely resembles one of the "others" still doesn't quite fit it because she does difficult child things and has. I've just learned to accept it over time. That life won't ever be "like theirs" and so I go on about my own life. I can smile for them and when necessary verbally acknowledge when I have to for them but I try to stear clear otherwise of situations where it would be required.

    Here on the board I would be happy to acknowledge accomplishments because all accomplishments with our kids no matter how small are something to celebrate, as I'm sure you know or will come to know if you haven't. I think it's why most of us have come here. It's also why we can vent here when we feel the frustrations, like you have expressed above. Most, if not all, of us have been there and probably have felt what you have felt. Sometimes it stings more then others depending on how deep we are in the trenches with our own difficult child's troubles at the time.

    So it's ok to accept your difficult children for who they are now and in the future. Look at the small things if that's all you have at the moment or in the future. Appreciate them. All of them. My middle difficult child is my worst at any given time, trust me, and just the other day I was driving in the car with her and I sat there thinking I would never want her social nature (or social butterfly) happiness taken away. She tends to always smile and is friendly to everyone. Though it can be a problem as it is intrusive, I'd much rather her be that way then sullen, angry, aggressive, etc.

    So find those small things (or big things) that are particular to your difficult children and celibrate them and remind yourself what is special about your child! :)
  5. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I don't think that it's wrong for you to feel the way that you do. I get that way sometimes, too. I see other families on vacations or out at the mall and their kides are standing in line, waiting patiently, not arguing with their siblings or parents over every little thing.

    One of the things that I have had to try to come to terms with is that my older son is not ever going to be like a "normal" kid. I have had to accept what I have b een given. There are some days when that is truly easier than others, but I think that's really the only way to get through it.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    CB, I can relate too. I think those feelings you're having are completely normal considering the kids we all have. And, I think those feelings come and go throughout our lives with our difficult child's. Mine is 39 and at different stages of life, there are different losses I have faced with her, and each one brought those feelings of envy of other families where the kids were "normal." My belief is that when those kinds of feelings surface, the best thing I can do is accept them and allow them to run their course, talk about them with those who understand, us, a therapist, a good friend (someone who doesn't brag about their own kids and can be real and have empathy for you) As I accept the feelings and don't judge them or myself for having them, they subside.

    I have girlfriends who have daughters and though they don't brag about their kids, I can't enter into the conversations when they talk about the accomplishments, successes, or even just times spent where they have fun and do casual everyday things. That doesn't happen with my daughter, we don't have "normal" times or "normal" conversations, it is usually a drama which she created and then I have to detach from it. Sigh.

    But, on a higher note, my sister is BiPolar (BP), with Aspergers and a few other diagnosis and she became an artist. She went through a lot, but came out the other side a teacher, a success, someone who learned to live with her issues and actually used them in her art to heal and as a teaching tool. She views herself as a disabled person and is an advocate for others like herself. She is highly accomplished. But, when she was a kid, she was difficult child'ing all over the place, no one could have been bragging about her! She tried to burn the Middle School down! Yikes. I say this because I think sometimes I need to remember that our kids have their own destiny, which we can't control, and that leads them somewhere we can't understand perhaps, but, for some, the path leads somewhere which is a success in a different way and may in fact, like my sister, help others.

    There are many issues we face with our difficult child's which other parents never have to face. What you are describing is one aspect of it, the acceptance of what is. It comes and goes. We want the best for our kids, for them, but also for us to feel like we did a good job as parents. And, when our kids are difficult child's there is so much to let go of. I say give yourself a break, stop judging yourself for having these feelings which are entirely appropriate given the circumstances. Feel them and let them go. And, then? Pat yourself on the back for doing the very best you can, for being a great Mom, for being so honest and for being real and human. It is what it is. Acceptance is a step by step process like detachment and by acknowledging the feelings, they dissipate. Your children's actions do not reflect who you are, they only reflect who they are, (with the issues they have to deal with) it helps to remember the distinction. Hugs to you. Do something really nice for yourself today, you deserve it.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  7. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    CB, I hear you. I have been there. More than once. My therapist even asked me if I had a magic wand what would I want, and I told her "that family" It is hard. And I hate being petty. But dang. It just seems like too much sometimes I know. Hugs.
  8. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I can relate, as well. I admit I tended to just avoid those people after awhile, I couldn't stand to hear about their kids. If I'd had Facebook when my kids were in school, I probably would have either not been FB friends with other parents, or would have had to hide them from my feed to avoid seeing such "happy" posts about their kids LOL. Over time, I've learned to just talk about whatever positive thing I can come up with about my kids... Oldest has a job she really likes (no, she didn't go to college, it wasn't even a remote possibility). and Youngest has 2 adorable kids (she dropped out of high school and got pregnant). I just ignore the other stuff. Although yesterday, when talking to a woman who was helping her daughter look for an apartment, she mentioned how her daughter's roommate's mom wouldn't co-sign on the lease so they could get the apartment as students. She said, "I don't know why, her mom must have bad credit or something." I couldn't help it, I said, "or maybe the mom just refuses to co-sign for her kid because she doesn't want to get stuck, I know I won't do that for my kids!" The others at the table looked at me like I had 3 heads LOL. Oh well.. yeah, I'm a bit outspoken sometimes ;-)

    I will say this: I've learned that sometimes, those "perfect" families aren't as perfect as we think they are. Frequently their braggings are covering up their own "skeletons" that they don't want to discuss. Each family has its own challenges.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Skeletons... or skeletons to be. Highly talented kids are often the target of unwanted attention, and the negatives of that come out later. OR, they burn out young. I know a lady who never bragged about her (relatively accomplished) kids... until she was 90. She figured that if they were going to mess up, it would have happened by then. And... at 90? I'll allow her bragging rights.
  10. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi CB,
    Well, I think there's a difference between friends who know about your kids' challenges and brag to you anyway, and those who don't know about your kids' challenges and brag to you. If they fall into the former category, I'd make myself scarce; if they fall into the latter category, I'd smile and nod and do my very best to be happy for them. Crazy in VA is right - every single family has its own unique issues, which may not be the same as yours, but for sure, it's a challenge parenting anybody. Love your kids for who they are, and while you're at it, love yourself for doing the very best you can under the circumstances. Remember also, you can always come here for support and guidance and to renew your spirit!
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My son is graduating this year and there will be no college and he was never an athletic star. In fact, he plays for the Special Olympics and normally we are very proud of the good young man he is.

    However, when people talk about their kids going off to college etc. it does give me a pang. I think it's natural. At the same time, I can't begrudge proud parents the right to brag about their kids. It's not personal and I am used to it by now.
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I agree, it is natural to feel that pang, or maybe it is part of the ongoing grief we feel that cycles in and out?? I feel that a lot when I see the kids my son's age who just can walk around the neighborhood with no problems but Q just sits and watches.
  13. nadinewilliams11

    nadinewilliams11 New Member

    I know what you mean. It's hard when I see other people and their children at a park playing nicely, got it all together, having fun, and then within about 10 minutes we have to leave because my son is starting to yell at other kids, then what makes it even worst is when the other parents are looking at you like you don't have any control over your child. I get that a lot. It just makes me aggravated. My son has Bipolar disorder, a conduct disorder, PTSD, mixed expressive receptive language disorder, and he's mildly retarded based on the last assessment. The worst part is, that within 2 minutes my son is just a happy go lucky kid.
  14. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I really love what Calamity Jane said. The friends who know about you kids' challenges and still brag can be very hurtful. What really gets me is the parents of the perfect kids thinking their kids are perfect because of their perfect parenting!

    Just let them try to parent a difficult child and see how perfectly they do.
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with parts of what several of you have said. Especially Jane. All parents love to think their kids are special and do wonderful things. If their kids wonderful things are getting Student of the Month, well great for them. We get excited much more often. We get to throw a party once a week when our kids have a good week instead of just a good month! LOL.

    I remember back when my kids were in elementary school/middle school. They spanned that time back then because of the ages. I was so mad because they passed out all those Proud Parent of Terrific Kid bumper stickers every report card period. I had three kids and at the time at least 2 of the 3 werent getting bad grades. Jamie was on the a/b honor roll most of his younger years. I never got one of those stickers. Ever. I was so upset and jealous. Really. It just ate away at me. For years.

    One day I was in a store that sold a bunch of gag bumper stickers and I found the perfect bumper sticker for my car: My Kid can beat up your Honor Roll Kid. I bought it and put it on my car.

    I figured if they wouldnt give me the one I wanted, I would get my own. LOL
  16. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    You know, after reading several of the replies I got to thinking about the most hurtful brags. A family member, sister, who knows my difficult child's issues. When my oldest did really well for all those years and went off to college. She never acknowledged her graduation let alone that it was great that she actually had made it into college and for what she was doing. But let it be know that "her" child who was also a difficult child but no real mental health issues, to her) graduated (and I did for him) and went to college and graduated with high honors and now has this really fantastic job, etc. OMW! You never hear the end of it. Instead you just keep hearing how awful my difficult children are and what "she" would do if they were hers!

    Really?!! How judgmental is this from your own family member, not even a friend. I have no other sibling. It's very sad to me and hence while I may have a sister we are very distant and don't really speak unless and until she "needs" something of me.

    This and also due to so many friends and strangers alike being judgmental is how I have learned to appreciate my difficult children for who and what they are and can do instead of what they can't do; even though the may put my life in total chaos.

    I will still say, you have a right to how you feel entirely and can understand why you would not want your kids at the place you work to provide some distance from it for yourself as well as why you react the way you do to their posting. There is no mandate that you must respond in any manner.
  17. remclick

    remclick Guest

    It is sad and hard to deal with. I went to the 5th grade graduation ceremony and watched the same kids get rewarded over and over. I so wanted them to understand that my son deserved an award for getting up and coming to school everyday for 6 years. No one understood how hard that was for him but me. That was his accomplishment - getting there.
  18. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I have posted about the "green eyed monster" before too.

    I from time to time get a case of the jealousies.

    I realize that no one is perfect and we all have disfunction in our home lives, we on this board happen to have more than others I guess.

    You are experiencing very normal feelings so don't be hard on yourself.
  19. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

  20. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    I understand how you feel!!!!Personaly I dont like people bragging about their kids, themselves or any family member!
    This happened to me the other day! This one "friend" of mine actually stopped me at school the other day to say we must go and have some tea! I thought....ok....this is weird, she wasnt paying attention to me the last few months????
    Anyway...we didnt get time for tea, she bumped into me outside the shop...we talked and talked and then she asked so how did my son do on the asssessments? (she knows I have a very clever son....but it seems as if he struggles to perform under pressure...) I said Oh I dont attatch to much value to the outcome, because he had to do the assessments during the week that he had the MRI and Neuro assessment and was sick from vomiting at school, exct.( I didnt see the need to tell her any of his scores...) She then went on saying he had 80 persent for literature and 90 persent for literacy...and that they had a huge fight with him because he made silly pointless mistakes and could have done better!!!! OMW!!!! This child is trying his best, is ADD and on medications! He is such a misrable sad child because of all the fighting in their house and marital problems!!!! I just thought she should be so greatfull for her son!
    Well at least now I know why she wanted to have brag! This is sad!!!!!!
    I am proud of my son for giving his best and willingness to try!