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 so jealous of you.

Related post: Dear Newly Inducted Special Needs Parent


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  1. 2

    Janice Geddes says

    I’ve worked with (and loved) these kids. I’ve gotten one student with autism all the way through college and it was work. Every second of it. And yet I didn’t have to go home with her. I didn’t have to deal with “what next?” upon graduation. But heroic, loving, sleep deprived parents like you do it every day and I am in awe. You have the respect of so many of us who have had it so much easier.
    My children were normal but my older daughter’s life was taken by a parolee when she was 22. Being a parent is painful. And so, so rewarding. I wouldn’t trade a day of her life, knowing what the end would be like. Celebrate every victory.

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  2. 5

    MarySunshine says

    I’d like to give you a hug, if that’s ok.

    It’s ok to be jealous, too. We all are, at some point, jealous of someone else’s normal.

    You are Mom and you are amazing.

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  3. 6

    LDiggitty says

    My brother is autistic, and I know what it’s like to be envious of people and their version of “normal.” But you are an AMAZING mother and those other moms would crack if they had to deal with the challenges that you do on a daily basis. I know it’s small comfort, but your kids will love you forever even if it’s hard for them to show it. And somehow, I think that earning the love of a disabled child is worth a thousand times more than anything NORMAL.

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    • 7

      sarah says

      Its completely normal to be jelous. It’s natural to feel that way. You can take one day at a time and celebrate all the hard work you and your family is doing and gains the kids are making (even if it seems small relative to other’s milestones).

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  4. 8

    Blissfully24 says

    Oh, how I can relate. My oldest daughter has severe ADHD, my middle child has Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy and ADD. My youngest child is normal, but extremely co-dependent towards me, as well as high strung. I love my babies, I would walk through fire for them on any day. Sometimes though, when you are tired, when you have lost yet another person you thought was a friend because they didn’t understand your child didn’t mean to hit, she is naturally aggressive and your apology isn’t enough, sometimes when your first marriage falls apart because your husband can’t take the pressure of raising 3 complicated children, and says hell with it and leaves you alone to figure it all out, sometimes when even your own mother doesn’t understand your struggle….it gets lonely, and sad. And I completely understand how that jealousy can occur. I applaud this woman, for having the courage to say what sometimes we mothers of special needs children, simply dont have the courage to say.

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    • 9

      jayne says

      very well said! I have chosen to adopt some fosterchildren that i had in my care with just those difficulties…life is difficult but so worth the difficulties when you get a hug, or hit a milestone…thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings

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  5. 13

    Adrienne says

    We feel how we feel, useful or not.

    I’m jealous, too. I hate it, but I am. Sometimes it’s way in the background, and sometimes it’s a little more like rage.

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  6. 14

    Kate says

    I hear ya’ … exhausted. Thank god the sun is starting to emerge. Keep plugging away – there’s always someone worse off than us. I’m celebrating the goofiest things these days :)

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  7. 16

    Leisha says

    I hear you!! My 3 girls truly are all over the place. My oldest has autism. While she can verbalize some needs, speaking and understanding the English language is still extremely difficult for her. I am currently fighting to have her taught actual curriculum. My middle daughter is gifted and 2 grade levels above her age in all areas. Getting her to sit still is a struggle, as is calming her impetuous nature. My youngest has sensory integration disorder and food allergies. Some days I just want to resign from being an adult.

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  8. 17

    Amanda Martin says

    I am humbled by your post and hope I can hold it in my heart to remember how lucky I am. We all have burdens but some people have them heavier than others. I hope the universe throws you all the help and support you need. x

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  9. 19

    DomFR says

    Thank you for your honest words. I have that child who has, to date, met every milestone and after reading your post I realize how much I take it for granted. Thank you for giving me a swift kick in the rear – I needed it.

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    • 20

      jayne says

      you are not taking it for granted, you are living normal, enjoying your children as they should be! Do not feel bad. No matter how someones life is, someone else has it worse, this is normal but it can not and should not stop us from living our life. your normal life is different than mine, because your children are different than mine…but someone else has it worse, am i taking mine for granted? Enjoy what you have, I struggle with my special children as you struggle with your special children too (in different ways), but all in all I enjoy what I have too, one terrific lil man (with adhd), one lil guy (with autism) and one too young to know…my babies, all terrific in their own way!!!! Just as yours are!

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  10. 22

    Milica says

    Your post made me cry. I have just gotten a preliminary diagnosis- a word- a little box- the first of several I’m sure- to put my daughter in. I so often find I am jealous and angry and resentful of the parents of her classmates. Then I am angry at myself for being angry at them, for not appreciating my older children enough, for not somehow being able to do everything for all my children even though I am only one person. Well, I’m sure you know, even better than I do. But thank you, for letting me know I am normal.

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  11. 24

    karen says

    Don’t be jealous. That life of someone else that looks or seems so perfect…guess again. I am sending you hugs. Many hugs. You are amazing and your blog was beautiful.

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  12. 25

    JenL says

    I hear you, Lexi.
    I want to hug you and tell you it’s gonna be okay – and it is, but that’s not what I really want to say. What I really want to say is that this. This is hard. And it’s okay to wish for different sometimes. When my oldest was first diagnosed, I tried to be strong. So, so strong. And positive. I was freakin’ Pollyanna! And one day my very best friend said to me what I’m going to say to you: sweetie, it’s okay to grieve the loss of what you thought you would have. Close your eyes. Grieve it, feel the jealousy and sadness. And when you are ready, open your eyes again and see your kid(s). All of them- they will be their very best selves because they have you for a mommy, and even when you get it wrong, you have such love for them that you get it right too. Be sad, be jealous, and then forgive yourself for that.

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  13. 26

    Cookie's Mom says

    You have the hardest job there is and though I’m sure you have support, I’m also sure it isn’t enough. Please never to give up trying to gain support. There are many who are willing to help. These people though are tired and busy and must be asked. I have my own struggles, but I still have some of myself to give. I am tired and busy, but I feel better when I can be of help to someone else. So often, we feel something that ranges from frustrated and annoyed to utterly hopeless because of our own burdens. Helping others can help to lift these burdens for a while, so know that in asking for help you give someone an opportunity to be released from their own burdens for a while. It is not selfish. Please ask for help – every day if necessary. And please remember that if people are looking at you and your children it is because they see life. They are reminded of the beauty and the struggle. They are reminded to be grateful and gracious. And if they don’t offer to help it is because they don’t know how. If they do offer help and it is not what you need, it is because they don’t know how to help. Please ask for what you need. Your job is the hardest job there is. (And forgive me if I am too preachy. I don’t know you, but I feel your pain and I only want it to ease some. I wish you all the best and make a promise to you that I will complain less about my own struggles and to be grateful for my good fortunes.)

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  14. 27

    Michele says

    I tell myself that I’m not jealous, but envious. I don’t want to take away from anyone, but why can’t I have it to? Truth be told, I’m very lucky and yet I get jealous of ridiculously petty stuff. Beautifully written emotion. Thank you for sharing. Thanks, also, for the kick in my butt too.

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  15. 28

    Jewel says

    My 9 year old daughter and 11 year old son are both high functioning autistic and my 12 year old son is Neuro- typical so I share your sentiments…..and your jealousy ….. Mommy hugs going out!

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