Abby · autism · confessions · crafts · Down syndrome

I’m jealous of you.

I see your posts. You talk about how hard it is to potty train your daughter that is younger than mine. Potty training isn’t even on our radar right now, to be truthful. That’s not going to happen for at least another year or so…if we’re lucky.

I’m jealous of you. 

I see your statuses. How tired you are from running from one sport to the next, then on to birthday parties.  My son can’t play team sports, he gets too overstimulated. He doesn’t get invited to birthday parties.

I’m jealous of you.

I see you at the store, you get away with people not looking twice at your kids- you don’t see that look of recognition- and sometimes of pain- as they notice your child’s extra chromosome. I see you in the malls, walking with your kids, not worried about what next sound is going to set them running in the opposite direction. I see you at my other son’s basketball games. Walking in from the parking lot to cheer for your child, as I sit with my son who is hiding in the back of my car.  His autism fills the space between.

I’m so jealous of you.

You capture every milestone as they come naturally for your child. First steps. First words. I capture those, too. But they are after hours and hours of therapy, sleepless nights and drained bank accounts.  You talk about goals kicked and awards won, I speak of services gained and lawsuits averted. You fought for your child’s place on team. I fight for my child’s place in the classroom.

I hate myself for being jealous of normal.

It’s not your fault you don’t have kids with special needs anymore than it’s my fault that I do. With my oldest, I loved meeting those milestones, even bragged about them a little. I didn’t get it. I had no frame of reference. I didn’t realize how great it was that he developed the right muscles in the right way to sit, crawl then walk. I didn’t get with my other typical developing child how great it was that speech set in without us having to painstakingly draw out language, bit by bit, sign by sign and sound by sound.

And I’m sure I don’t realize how lucky I am to have an autistic son who can talk, and a daughter with Down syndrome that is even as healthy as she is.

Jealousy is a worthless emotion. Even if it pushes you to do more or be more, you’re not doing it for the right reasons. I fight this jealousy.  And, on days like today, I lose.

I’m jealous of you.

43 thoughts on “I’m jealous of you.

  1. Yes. A million percent yes. It's heartbreaking to compare our insides to others' outsides. Love this post. Could've written it myself. Probably not as well, but still.

  2. I really enjoyed this! I think we all feel this. For me I am lucky tohave been blessed with a child who developed typically, my autistic daughter does speak and can say, "I love you mommy", and yet I find myselfjealous for the moments that I have lost, and the moments I will never have!!Thanks for writing about what most of us feel so often!!

  3. Yep. And I couldn't imagine you getting any flack for this. My milestone-delayed child with an extra chromosome is my only child so I understand this post oh, SO well. (((hugs)))

  4. I am so there with you in all of this, have written a post like in in my head a thousand times. Beautifully said. And heartbreaking. (hugs, lady)

  5. I think you hit on the complexity of being the parent of a special needs kid (or two). On the one hand, we want to be strong and let our kids know that they are wonderful just the way they are. But on the other hand, our lives are hard, and don't fit the image of what we had hoped our lives to be. They are different, and not just by a little. It is hard not to be jealous.I also find myself now being jealous of other special needs parents – when someone's kid starts talking, or is doing great in school, or whatever, I think "why can't my kid be like that? He doesn't have to be 'normal' but what if he were more like that kid?" It is silly. He is who he is, but I think it's natural to sometimes want things to be easier – for us, for them.

  6. I had to sit through a meeting today where they had a guest speaker come and talk to us about diversity and accepting it. I wanted to smack the bitch. There she is having us think about times when we felt different and how that made us feel. All I could think about was my own child and how she must feel on a daily basis because she IS different. I was jealous of all those people who only had to deal with something like that once or twice in their lives. Then I wanted to smack all of them for sitting there and looking so sad as they remembered that ONE time they felt different. If only they knew. You totally nailed this Lexi.

  7. oh honey, i hear you. i get this. i've felt this. but so too i swear that if they knew — really, truly knew — the depth of joy in our kid's accomplishments — the very things that come so easily to theirs (or rather, *appear to* from the outside) it is they who would envy us. hugs

  8. Perspective is so hard. You can never have someone else's. This is a lovely, honest post. And if it helps, I do the hard eyeroll a lot too when those typical families say things like you mention here.I also love that you say that what you say about your children might be hurtful to others with more difficulties. I am sure that happens with me as well. It's so tough, but I think it really matters that you acknowledge it.

  9. Oh bull. It's like that quote, "Comparison is the thief of joy." And then I tell myself to stop thinking about it and I hear the words from Romeo and Juliet, "Then teach me not to think…"

  10. I feel like I'm on both sides of that one. I see kids with Casey's same diagnosis who are doing SO WELL and I am jealous. Then I see those who aren't doing the same things Casey does and sometimes I… I don't know…feel a little guilty. We can't ever really win the comparison game, can we?

  11. It's totally true. I feel like I really missed out on the true joy that came with my first child's development because it was easy. Everything that is fought for feels better when you win.

  12. Dude. I wish I could say that I got the the other end of this as well. How really truly blessed I am. I don't. That's why I can't give parents of normies too much flack for not "getting it" either. Because I wouldn't understand what I did without this experience, and I honestly still don't get what I have. I'm trying. In between spades games, I'm really trying.

  13. I can relate to this so much. I have a 5 year old with spd and adhd and a 27 month old with global developmental delay and spd he is non-verbal not even babbling and its hard to go online and see what other peoples problems are things you wish were yours because they seem so small to the problems and worries you have. wish I knew that it gets better as they get older

  14. I can relate to this so much. I have a 5 year old with spd and adhd and a 27 month old with global developmental delay and spd he is non-verbal not even babbling and its hard to go online and see what other peoples problems are things you wish were yours because they seem so small to the problems and worries you have. wish I knew that it gets better as they get older.

  15. yes today I have lost.. I am jealous and I will go far as to say hateful towards the way this world works and the things I have to fight for that just comes to others

  16. I love this.. completely inspired me to write my own version. I never really thought about how other moms felt, I’m so busy consumed with my life and my 2 children. However, as much as I complain about what my children do or don’t do.. this post has opened my eyes and caused me to be more grateful. You are a strong woman, I applaud you and this piece was beautiful and really hit home.

  17. As a mom of a completely nonverbal 5 year old who has been in speech therapy for now almost 2 years, I totally relate. Even family who, without meaning to, brag or complain, I can’t help but think… you have no idea. Or… I only wish that were possible. I have days where I’m filled with such rage at the world around me because I’m terrified at the prospect of walking into CVS to buy pullups and for some reason there are no carts, and for some unknown reason, they had to put freaking toy cars in the same aisle as the pullups. 20 minutes later my son is screaming, I’m freaking, as I drag him, several toy cars, and those gosh damn pullups to the car. And I hate the world and its judgement and everyone else who gets to just be … normal. I hate them because I can’t have that.

  18. Thanks for this 🙂 I have a 6 yr old with ASD and have not always been jealous of normal kids but sometimes I can’t help it. It’s not his fault yet I get upset with him sometimes too, which then makes me feel like a crap mother. I just wish for him to be happy. I will pray the same for all our special needs kids too 🙂 my aunt once told me….I have to be his greatest advocate so I try to be tho it’s really rough

  19. Thanks so much for posting this. See, this is largely why I don’t have a Facebook account. So sue me, I’m thin skinned.

    My heart aches to raise a wiggly, giggly little baby who grows into a ‘kid who says the darnedest things”. Yet, I’ve never known anything other than my kiddo’s pace of meeting milestones late, or not at all, so this is just the way my family rolls.

  20. So you know I am jealous of you. I googled ‘jealous of people with children’ and came across this. I have no children and might never. I die a little inside when I see pictures of other peoples babies. As I write, tears come down my face because I realize the truth of I’ll probably never have one of my own. But I am glad you wrote what you did, and spoke your truth.

  21. Love, Love this. I was feeling depressed…very teary about my boy especially when I scan Facebook at night and see all my friends’ kids playing together and doing normal 3 year old things. Nailed exactly how it feels. Thank You.

  22. I have a daughter with Autism and I can relate, I get so jealous of “typical” parents bragging about milestones and all that when I’m seating back happy as can be that my almost 2 year old (at the time) just rolled over :/ But I love how you put the ending! I really enjoy all your posts! Thank You 🙂

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