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.

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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 so jealous of you.

Related post: Dear Newly Inducted Special Needs Parent

About the writer

Lexi Sweatpants is a writer, wife and mother of four. Her middle son has autism, her daughter has Down syndrome. She has sleep deprivation and a deep passion for candy.  She writes about all of this and more at Lexistential.


Tati 7 months ago

thanks for sharing this. I angry cried in my bathroom while reading this because I’m truly jealous of my friends lives sometimes. Thank you for feeling jealous along with me.

Bear 7 months ago

I am jeolous today. My son has autism and has been suspended from school for about 4 weeks now. After taking so much time off work I broke down and asked help from my sister. She has been wonderful. But today her daughter told me that she talked about my sons suspension at school at her teacher thought that was so caring that she wrote an email to my sister stating what an exeptional student her daughter is. I had to pick up my suspended son from her house and watch her daughter do her homework without help. Today I am jeolous.

Anna Leilich Clark 9 months ago

I know the jealousy. My 18 month old son is neuro – typical but both mine and my husband’s parents have passed, leaving him with no grandparents. I see posts and hear people talk about dropping their kids and their mom and dad’s for the night, or how their mom comes over to help, or they have a family holiday and my blood just boils sometimes. I absolutely hate it and know it’s because of my unresolved issues but it just seems like people have no idea that others don’t have the same support or resources. It hurts, man.

Stefanie Morris 9 months ago

I love this. I used to work with special needs children and I have a special place in my heart for those children. I love them, each one. They are truly special children. With these children, we learn from them. They teach us patience, humbleness, grace and so much more. To see the world through their eyes is amazing. So pure.

Irene Wilson 9 months ago

It’s hard NOT to compare and have jealousy rear it’s ugly head. Even if your child diets have these extreme cases of development, even if you do all the “right” things, even if you put your heart and soul, there’s going to be kids that are “better” than yours, parents who parent “better” than you etc. The pressures and need of confirmation that you’re doing it right exposes all your insecurities as a mom Hell even at life itself. The trick is to see YOUR child as the beautiful, unique individual he or she is and celebrate it. Snip that depressing and angry emotion in the bud when it starts or it will destroy that precious and delicate bond of motherhood. You ARE doing it right trust in that and your child and everyone else can simply go f* themselves :) truestory

Mindy Bock 9 months ago

Totally human reaction <3 I felt this exact way when my son was born very early, and was sick the entire first year. Didn’t sleep but 1-4 hours within each 24 hours and I wanted to scream at anyone who complained their kid didn’t sleep through the night. I ended up just having to space myself from everyone else, and it’s a lonely world but a calmer and more peaceful one without comparisons to others <3

Katie Tookie-Tookie 9 months ago

Jealousy is not worthless.

baidu sem 10 months ago

Awesome issues here. I am very happy to see your article. Thanks a lot and I’m looking forward to
touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

Jessica 11 months ago

You’re not alone. My son has 3 life threatening heart defects and autism. And, yes, as completely blessed as I know we are that he’s alive, I too have the jealous moments. Not proud of it either.

Heather 1 year ago

I can totally relate. I quit Facebook for six months because I couldn’t deal with all the videos, photos and accomplishments of normal developers. Thank you for this p

Sylvia Spear 1 year ago

A lot of people post the good moments, but they have bad moments they don’t post, too….

Maggie Hinrichsen 1 year ago

Thank you

Aprils Diamond 1 year ago

Great read…the anger is tough to get through some days and the guilt of being a working mom when my son would benefit from me being home is often debilitating, but I’ve learned to take it day by day. It could always be worse. My 2 yr old doesn’t do much but cry, but he does smile and laugh at times and isn’t a smile the end result we’re all looking for? Staying positive throughout the daily therapy/full time working mom exhaustion!

Linda Hollander 1 year ago

I am also jealous. It would have been so much easier if there wasn’t so much therapy, time, energy and money involved in raising our son with autism. We love our son and are grateful for having him as a kid because he is so different. We love the way he thinks, the way he looks at life, his strong sense of right and wrong and his drive to achieve his goals. Oh but how jealous I am when I see my little niece racing away on her bike at three years old, while our 9yo still has training wheels. How jealous I am when I see a 4yo swimming while our son still panicks when he has to enter the water with his floaters. I hated myself for feeling that way for a long time, as if I blamed other parents because they have ‘normal’ kids. So glad to be part of the Scary Mommy tribe and getting to read all your stories. You all make me feel a bit more normal.

Morénike Onaiwu 1 year ago

Not knocking anyone’s thoughts, but I can’t relate – even though we’re a special needs family. I’m not getting the sense of “jealousy”I guess. There’s no guarantees in life. Or in parenting. You play the had you’re dealt, and love the kid you have.

Rebecca Ellis 1 year ago

I’m so sorry. When people have special needs children, we who were lucky enough to have don’t realize what you are going through. My sister has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. When I was small I didn’t realize how hard it was for my parents. I felt left out of everything. Then I kids of my own. I admire you for all that you do.

Alison Lange Romike 1 year ago


Heather Butler Fox 1 year ago

Makes my heart sad.

Lila 1 year ago

I am in awe of you! I have one “special needs” 4 yr old and one
‘normal “3 yr old. You seem to have everything under control, while I feel like I’m living in constant chaos.
I applaud you for being a strong advocate for your children. I’m just learning how hard it is to get needs met.
Stay strong and positive. You are special and amazing in my eyes. Hugs

Kathryn Jack Camp 1 year ago

this is so me at times. my son is on the spectrum my daughter has ocd, and is very shy. i look sometimes at all things “normal” kids do and smile. but then have no idea of how my son saying i love you mommy, and my daugher shaking someone new hands can make me cry. i love my kids, they are awesome kids.

Jeffrey Rawles 1 year ago

I get the birthday party reference, it is a sad pill to swallow

Jane Kessler 1 year ago

My daughter is autistic & cannot do sports or other stuff at school. I get so tired of hearing people brag at work about their kids. I’m happy for them but just tired of hearing about it.

Kawther Jahmi 1 year ago


Brigit Soby Rodriguez 1 year ago

Loud and clear, sister

Rebecca Dorr 1 year ago

I can so relate to this. Some days no matter how thankful you are, you just wonder what it would be like to not have to work so hard.

Karen Hennessy Yung 1 year ago

Oh, dear me, how I can relate!! It deeply saddens me to think about how much I can relate.

Virginia Dupuis 1 year ago

This made me a bit mad…. I mean really? No matter what, moms have to judge one another?? Wth!??!


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