I believe it can often be a struggle to want what others have but for us this became part of our lives beginning with infertility ten years ago. It sounds awful but it was difficult to see friends around us easily becoming pregnant and having babies. We pulled back quite a bit at the time from our friends but after Libby came it became a little bit easier. There was still that scar that got bumped from time to time but our lives were full. Then when we got pregnant with Nathan, it looked like we had turned a corner. But after prematurity, developmental delays and the diagnosis we realized that period was short lived.
Being jealous of others is the worst part of our whole situation for me. It is the part that I am embarrassed by, that I pray about the most and that changes the person who I am. It is one of the things that I fight every day. It is the one that makes me difficult to have as a friend because so many topics are off-limits (ie. kids growing out of clothes etc.) and I'm sure there is some survivors guilt.
The warm weather is difficult for so many reasons and brings this anger and resentment to the surface. All the little boys gathering to play street hockey, all the young families in the neighborhood.... We have seen couples move in to the neighborhood and seemingly right on schedule a baby comes, then baby #2 and within what seems like a short period of time, baby #1 is riding around the neighborood on a bike which Nathan born years earlier still cannot do. Watching it all unfold without seeing the day to day struggles we all have is obviously an idealistic view (kind of like facebook) I find myself being very angry when I see these families, not wanting to greet them with a neighborly smile or wave. I hate this part of myself and that I allow it to happen.
Mark does a much better job with this then me. Somehow he does not allow it to make him resentful of others. He does not hurt when he sees other families, children running circles around our kids or kids with full heads of hair. One time he said he had a hard time seeing a boy throw a ball with his father. Intellectually I know that other people having typical healthy children does not take anything away from me but emotionally it hurts. Somehow Mark is able to separate what other people have does not make him sad about our kids. I have tried to relate it to sports for him. What about when you look at someone like Cole Hamels who just signed a multi-million dollar deal to play baseball? That gave him pause but still, not quite the same!
Intellectually I know that life is not fair. "You get what you get and you don't get upset" is something we learn in preschool, but darn it why is it so hard sometimes to live in that reality?
The news stories about strangers who hurt or neglect their healthy children is difficult to see when health is something I want so badly for my kids. Close friends and family are easier because we talk often and I love their kids as if they were my own. But the strangers I encounter in my everyday people life are the ones most difficult for me.