Jealous (adj) feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.

It’s a feeling we’ve all felt or experienced one time or another in our lives but it’s probably the hardest one to admit to having. It’s riddled with shame and is essentially an admission to coveting another person’s life, and worst of all, an admission of our shortcomings and insecurities. Jealousy suggests, “I believe that the next person is better than I am.” And it’s not an easy realisation to come to, or accept. We jokingly say, #SoJelly but to honestly look a friend or family member in the eye and say, “I’m sorry I reacted that way, I was just jealous,” seldom happens. If ever.

I have never been the type of person to look at another womxn and say, “Look at that sanctimonious vixen. Hate her!” Though I definitely gossip, it’s not something I’ve derived pleasure from or actively sought out. The only time I’ve, admittedly, felt jealousy was when I became a mother.

It was 2012 and I was about 7 months pregnant. I screeched into Baby City’s parking lot to tick off a few last items on my Hospital Bag Checklist. Ahead of me emerged wisps of squid ink angel hair from an airconned BMW X4, while I tied my sweaty bun with a shoe lace I found at the foot on Will’s Citi Golf. She floated out effortlessly with her similar baby bump while I took three lunges forward to propel myself from Will’s low bucket seats. She glided along, yoga-pants clad, homemade protein smoothie in hand while I waddled across the gravel, wiping pie pastry from my un-ironed, snug shirt. She was a step ahead of me in every way. It seemed every item, including the last one on the shelf, alluded me and landed in her perfectly manicured hands. I ran into her thereafter, and even after our babies were born, this adorable little bundle of hers would smile, giggle and practically wink at all staff in his Stokke pram while Lily glared at strangers as I clumsily manoeuvred a 3-ton jogger pram that I would never go jogging with. And then it dawned on me, I was jealous of the angelic BMW mom I had named 'Ilse'. She was, in my mind, a better person and therefore a better mother.

Looking back, if many friends around her saw 'Ilse' the way I did – as someone “handling it all” perhaps motherhood was even more trying for her. Perhaps it was a lonely experience because no-one reaches out to someone who’s “handling it”. And I wish I had befriended her – because teething problems are teething problems, sleepless nights are sleepless nights regardless of your personality, body, social status or bank account. Every mom has her strengths and every mom has her weaknesses and they'll never overlap or be the same as someone else's. So if we keep comparing ourselves to each other, we will never be happy. We'll continue to focus on our flaws instead of our strengths.

So here are a few more things jealousy taught me:

As I tried to make myself feel better about my drawbacks, I invented this life for 'Ilse'. She was in debt because of her BMW and our Golf was paid off. And her husband was a boring bat. I was ashamed of how low I’d reached. She definitely had no idea of my existence and I was creating this horrible life for her. Since, whenever the green-eyed monster rears its ugly head, I ask myself:
-       Has this poor person done anything to deserve this?
-       Where does my ill will stem from?
-       Why am I projecting?
-       What doubt, insecurity, failure, weakness am I trying to cover up?

This jealousy did me a world of good. Said no-one ever. It is pointless. And harmful. Instead, ask yourself. Why do I feel this way? And channel it into something positive and constructive.
- Jealous of a great business idea? Start your own. And work your ass off. Draw up a business plan. Chat to suppliers. Set the wheels in motion and focus on that instead.
- Jealous of seeing your #bodygoals on someone else? Learn to love your body and if you’d like, enroll in a gym/dance class/Zumba class/bootcamp/Crossfit/martial arts class/fitness regime – something fun to de-stress.
- Jealous of success or a promotion? Set goals and put the work in. And stay focused until you reach them.

The one ‘postitive’ of feeling jealousy is admitting there is someone better out there. After all, if you’re not envious of anyone’s achievements, looks, victories, you’re probably always thinking that you’re better than most, anyway. But never let it fester and become ugliness.

Jealousy can be a good indication of what you feel you’re lacking or longing for in your life. Jealous of a beach holiday? Perhaps your soul is yearning to go exploring. Jealous of someone’s happiness? You may feel that your current situation isn’t bringing you happiness – look for the triggers and fix it. Reflect on where you are in life and where you want to be and get back on course.

If ever I had befriended 'Ilse' in my former state of mind, I would hope that she would cut me out. Jealousy has a way of becoming toxic. My inner turmoil would’ve made her compromise herself, devalue her achievements to keep me happy and I would’ve constantly brought her down. Jealousy is destructive. It’s a terrible place to be when you’re one the receiving end and seriously, there isn’t one motherf&cker on this planet worthy of  your joy.

Much love,



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