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New friend seems to have it all - I feel so jealous and low

(47 Posts)
anxiousia Fri 28-Jan-05 10:37:41

I was so pleased to go for lunch with a new friend recently at her house so our 2 ds could play together. I am really so I need friends and so does my ds. But her house was so gorgeous and huge, she has three children ( I just had a m/c) and I have always been so self-conscious about our house. And I just feel consumed with jealousy, it's awful. I'm trying to feel positive but can't seem to look at what I do have and appreciate that. I always focus on what I don't have. anyone else like me at there?

msann Fri 28-Jan-05 10:43:26

i can sympathise with u. I am a single monther of two & own a modest semi detached house. Last night i had to pick my daughter up from a friends house....it was huge, immaculate in everyway....all her friends houses r like that...i do get so jealous. I had to explain to my dd's why our house isnt like that..& i said its because they all have a mum and dad both earning money so they can afford it..where as i only have a part time wage so we cant have a house so big. it upset me for a bit - but then i thought - hey i dont do so bad for a single mum really

StealthMouse Fri 28-Jan-05 10:43:49

I am like you, I feel that way sometimes. I don't have advice but I think lots of people feel that way at times - just a lot of people don't admit to it.

If you look at your ds/partner(?) etc and they do something special - that only they do. That's what you have that nobody else does.

Also things aren't always what they seem on the surface.

noddyholder Fri 28-Jan-05 11:04:20

these thoughts are normal but unnecessary We had a huge victorian house v nice with all the things you could want blah blah and then i got kidney failure we lost the house and dp had to quit work to look after me!We moved into a small flat for 2 yrs and have only now 4 yrs later bought another house and it is not as smart as the 1st house(we could never afford it now!)In the time we were in the flat we had all the same friends etc and ds friends came to play and never noticed our flat was not as big etc as our house!Don't worry about these silly things life is short you are good enough as you are Read misdee's thread and be thankful!

misdee Fri 28-Jan-05 11:06:44

i was incrediably jealous of dd1 friends house. then her mum told me the other day they are seriously in debt and are having to sell up and move into a smaller place.

anxiousia Fri 28-Jan-05 11:32:34

thanks for your messages - I really do know that it's not rational of me, I think i just spend too much time on my own and my confidence sinks! I find it much harder to make friends than I used to before being a m. Everyone seems to talk, house improvements/school catchments/property prices/the next move so much that it makes my head spin. msann, you are so right, my m brought me and my sibs up on her own and she did really well. congratulations to you for it as well, it is such hard work on your own and a lot of people don't realise that.
misdee, stealth and noddyh, those are great points, you've boosted me to appreciate what I have, life is short and precious.

Grommit Fri 28-Jan-05 11:34:03

I used to be very envious of a friend I met through post natal groups. She had a big house and seemed to be perfect in every way. her kids were well behaved, the house was spotless, she cooked wonderfully, had great holidays, lots of family and friends nearby and seemed happy.
WRONG - after about a year I discovered she was suffering from clinical depression and was very disturbed. She was actually a perfectionist and control freak hence the spotless house etc. She dropped most of her friends and has really changed. Just shows never judge a book by its cover...

fimblesfan Fri 28-Jan-05 11:40:55

Hi anxiosia, Ireally do think that a lot of us feel like that from time to time I know I do, what area do you live, could you not see if there are any other mn's in your area that you could meet with. YOU NEVER KNOW!!!!

Frieda Fri 28-Jan-05 12:16:18

anxiousia – I know exactly what you mean about those post-natal groups. I couldn't get over how much everyone talked about house prices, school catchments, the new kitchen they were having put in, the new hardwood flooring, the loft conversion they were planning and how much it would increase the value of their house.... It could be extraordianarily depressing, especially if you were like me and lived in a perfectly nice but rather small flat with mostly secondhand furniture and no dishwasher. After a while I realised that the only thing I had in common with some of what dh used to call the "middle class ladies group" was that we had babies the same age, and when you don't have much in common with people, it's easy for conversation to drift into things like discussions about house prices and school catchments (but ultimately a bit boring, I think). It's difficult not to compare your situation with that of others, and in my experience, those post natal groups can tend to get a bit competitive in all sorts of ways (and they also don't tell you about the bad/difficult things in their lives – not that someone else's misfortune should enhance your own situation, but everything's not always as rosy as it looks at first glance). I think, as stealthmouse suggests, you have to focus on the positives in your own life. And rest assured, you're not alone with your feelings of jealousy .

anxiousia Fri 28-Jan-05 12:58:08

frieda, I know those groups so well, and everything in our house is hand-me-down too except for the telly and ds's bed!
but you are so right, but I don't meet that many people 'like me' if you know what I mean but maybe I have to try harder to meet a wider range of people. I think being a SAHM enhances the home competition thing as well.... thanks, it helps so much to hear how people are such positive thinkers.

dramaqueen72 Fri 28-Jan-05 13:22:04

hey 'anxiousia' listen, you already have things i have envied. its never quite how it seems on the outside...i have the bigger house, the 3 kids...and yet i have suffered two m/c now, and depression to top it all. you wouldnt know it to look at me in the street. dh and i stuggle to pay our bills but just about do it, altho we nevere have any left over for flashy meals out etc etc. holidays are carefully planned and budgeted for , if they happen at all, too. i have 2 friends who 'seem' to have it all; cash to spend, weekly meals out, holidays all the time, newer cars, laura ashley furniture.. etc etc....recently just found out how much debt they were in!!! I felt abit luckier that day!
i wish i had your confidence-, i wish i could take a fitness class for example, but blimey i could never walk into one, until i sort my confidence out. you also have a great way with words -helping so many people on other threads. so we are all feel like that in our own ways. your m/c and being home is causing you to feel like this more than usual, hang in there and you'll be feeling better soon, i promise. we're here for you

anxiousia Fri 28-Jan-05 14:27:25

dramaqn (((((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))))!
you are a top mate - muchos gracias as always.....

moondog Fri 28-Jan-05 14:38:35

Hit the nail on the head with the point that people with babies who socialise often have only that in common so end up in that mortgage/loft conversion/big car nonsense.
What a bloody big yawn it is!
I just don't mix with people like that-would rather hang out on my own. I am proud of the eclectic mix of friends I have maintained even after having children-people with/without kids, old, young, rich, poor but I have had to work hard. It would have been easy too just hang around with other women with little kids.

Secondly, as many have pointed out, you would be surprised at what a facade a lot of fancy lifestyles are. So many people are in a HUGE mess moneywise.
We are lucky enough to have good money coming in (cos dh works his arse off!) but our lifestyle is modest. My kids are wearing third hand clothes, I am presently wearing a very attractive fleece from Uniqlo and I've just washed out some placcy bags to use again. Can't bear waste!! We are amazed at how some people throw their cash around.
It's said so often but it's true. Money Does NOT buy you happiness.
I'm so sorry about your m/c.

{{{{{{Hugs}}}}}}}}

nightowl Fri 28-Jan-05 14:58:27

well i think im talking on a different scale here but i used to be the one people were jealous of. i owned a brand new house with my partner (it was only one bedroomed and very small). we had a new baby and quite often bought new cars. (new to us, not new), we had nice things. we had decent enough jobs. but, we were very unhappy together, he treated me like dirt, i cant say we were poor, we had enough money to live on but never any spare as we were paying off all my partner's debts. the cars we kept changing were because they were in fact nice looking rust buckets which kept breaking down and costing us money we didnt have and the nice things we had were actually nice looking hand me downs from my aunt. certain friends were incredibly jealous of me and treated me like dirt also because of it. i was so miserable when i lived there and was on anti-ds. now i know there are a lot of people who will look at what ive just said and think "why was anyone jealous...a new house and a car...so what, thats nothing special". but to the people we knew, it was something special because none of them had the same. what im trying to say is that i think everyone will always be jealous of something, no matter what you have there will always be someone else with more and someone else with less. i now live in a council house. when i look at it im quite pleased with what im doing to it slowly..but to other people its nothing special because they didnt see what it was like before! i dont really get consumed with jealousy but ive always been a tad envious of one of my friends. nothing to do with property, when we left school she went to college, then uni. she does what seems like hundreds of night school courses! she still lives with her parents, she has no kids or real responsibility, qualifications coming out of her ears, a nice little car, bf and social life. ive always felt she looked down on me somewhat, the occasional snide joke about council tenants and single mothers etc. but she once turned around and told me she envied me. i replied with a shocked "why!!?" then she said "but look what you have, a house, all your possessions, two beautiful kids, independance, you just get on with things and look after yourself. you have something to show for your life, look at me, all these useless qualifications, a job i hate and thats it". i think i did start to look at things differently then. if you really think about it im sure you have lots of things too that would make someone else envious, it doesnt have to be material. i do get down about my situation often but jealously is pointless and destructive and all it will do is eat away at you...it wont bring you the things you want. one more thing..i had a friend when i was a teenager. when i first saw her house i was gobsmacked. it was the kind of spotless expensive house you wouldnt dare to sit down in for fear of spoiling the look of the cushions. i imagine the wallpaper must have cost more than anything else in it. i didnt know at the time that the bailiffs were due to come round to them. i know ive rambled again but hope theres a point in my post somewhere!

moondog Fri 28-Jan-05 15:11:58

Well said night owl!!

handlemecarefully Fri 28-Jan-05 22:15:26

It's very brave of you to admit to these feelings of jealousy - but it's such a negative emotion. There is always somebody better off than you be it materially or otherwise, and it gets you nowhere dwelling on this.

anxiousia Sat 29-Jan-05 10:21:48

I know it gets me nowhere, and I try really really hard to be positive, but sometimes I fail and find it impossible and maybe have a day that is full of despair. That's why coming here and finding out that other people feel similarly overwhelming emotions is so helpful, I know I shouldn't dwell on negative things but not being able to control your head is part of what depression can mean for me. I wish I could just snap out of it and when I am positive I don't need to come here as much. I have been so lonely off and on in the past few years that I tend to lose perspective. Loads of these msgs give me my perspective back and I'm so grateful. To be honest I think I'm virtually phobic about my house. I find people who are phobic about spiders or flying hard to understand but when I have to invite someone back I'm hyperventilating, once they're here it's often fine. It just isn't rational, it's hard to admit it but I've been battling with this my whole life in different ways.
nightowl, it was really good to read your post, I did some organising yesterday that has made the whole place feel a little nicer, thanks.

handlemecarefully Sat 29-Jan-05 16:24:24

(((((((anxiousa)))))))

It must be really tough. Hope you can battle your 'demons' somehow.

sparklymieow Sat 29-Jan-05 16:33:47

My old neighbour had a spotless house, beaufifuuly decorated,lovely stuff throughout. She spent a forture doing up the house. I couldn't help comparing it to my house, but she moved about a year after she moved in, and according to the neew neighbours, she is always moving on, can't settle in one place (they were friends of hers) has huge debts, and is working the system IYKWIM (hubby works, but they "split up every couple of months)
I didn't feel jealous when I found that out, at least what I have is ours, and I am happy!

doggiewalker Sat 29-Jan-05 20:05:27

You know, it's easy to feel that other people have it better than you, and I think most of us feel like that from time to time. I know that I often feel that other peoples lives must be easier than mine, or why is their house nicer than mine etc, but remember that the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side!

nightowl Sat 29-Jan-05 23:43:44

good point sparklymieow, thats what i think..what i have now is mine and noone else can take that away. anxiousia, dont worry abut other peoples houses...it really means nothing in the bigger picture. ive walked into houses that looked like a showhome..but they have no life in them, you're scared to sit down. a family home to me, as a visitor is much more welcoming. so what if there are toys on the floor and a pile of washing on the sofa? my friend's house is like that. its clean and tidy but cluttered and there is no surface without ornaments or toys...not one! but i feel so comfortable there and have at times come back to my house and thought how clinical it looks. i cant stand clutter and toys around me even though my house is certainly no palace but strange how i would rather sit in my friend's lounge than my own. i think in a way i make my own house very unwelcoming. forget spotless too, to other people my house may look clean but i can always spy that bit of dirt in the corner! if the look of your house is really getting to you try this: look at your lounge through a mirror...does it look totally different and better somehow? if you take a photograph and look at it does it look better? in my experience it does..because in a sense you are looking at it with a new perspective. i find if i examine something too much i cant see it at all yet if its presented in a slightly different way then i can really see it for what it is. does that make any sense? if im honest i dont think the issue is your house. am i right?

essbee Sun 30-Jan-05 00:02:42

Message withdrawn

Cardigan Sun 30-Jan-05 00:39:53

Focus on the friendship - did you have a good chat?, do the kids play well together? Everyone has something they see in someone elses life that they think is better than theirs. If your friend looks down on your house then she's no true friend but if she likes you for who you are then you've found a good friend. Sorry about your m/c.

anxiousia Sun 30-Jan-05 10:44:26

thanks all, it really helps to hear all your advice - i get so lost in myself. Nightowl, I do think that it isn't really the house - I think it's something I project on it - but it sure feels as if it's the house! Yes, real friends don't mind that's true. I think it's worse at the mo' because I've been really affected recently by two friends who live nearby and their two children becoming much closer recently (their two are at the same nursery) and I feel me and ds are really left out. It has made me feel irrationally sorry for myself and ds and wonder whether they don't like our place to visit as much.
But when I focus on the positive I do get better, I think it's right, I need to accept what I have and who I am but how do other people do that? Can that be learnt? (I haven't been able to learn that yet - but I know I can't keep blaming my very unhappy childhood forever!). It probably sounds ridiculous but I find that so difficult to do. A good friend says - you have to accept your limitations - but then I ask her how do I know what to aim for? It's like I just don't know how to find my level. I know it's 'greener grass' but other people seem to have some sense of the weight they're boxing at. I always feel like I'm flailing around not knowing where to start. Do some of you know and like who you are already or are you aspiring to be someone, a different you? Does that sound ridiculous? I think I don't know, or like, who I am at the moment which is an appalling start - I agree. I think I need to start writing down what is good in my life, my strengths etc. Would love to know other people's tricks of life acceptance (forgive the expression..).

alux Sun 30-Jan-05 11:50:46

I hope this helps. We moved into a new home last Sept. We are only able to afford it because we were careful to work away at the debts we previously accrued as DINKS (Double Income No Kids). Now our first is on the way and we will still be looking closely at our budget for at least a couple more years as we clear off the final credit card.

Being that this is a 'lovely' house in a 'lovely' village, the temptation is to make it a 'beautiful' home and spend spend spend to decorate it and 'fit in'. I absolutely refuse to buy into that. Debt free feels a lot better than having expensive holidays and toys and big debt.

After 4 months we have blinds but no curtains, bulbs but no lampshades and we will have magnolia walls for a long time yet. The living room suite is 2nd hand and we've had it for 4 yrs already. I have cancelled my mobile contract and on pay as you go. I drive an 11 yr old rust bucket but it gets me to work. We restricted Christmas presents to £100 each. I am getting hand me downs from a work colleague for baby and I am chuffed when I find something that fits me in the charity shop. MIL is buying our cot while FIL bought the buggy. We are not planning to go abroad till 2006 and we will save for that before we leave otherwise we don't go. Full stop. (Last yr was Devon.) The one thing we are saving for to 'splurge' on is grass for the rear garden so that when baby gets here in April she can enjoy grass by July. Otherwise, that would wait too.

I make no apologies to what I have or don't have. Hubby and I love each other very much. Everything else in life is dispensable. Not having things is not a crime or a shame. I grew up in a third world country and have seen people with a fraction of what the poor in the UK have but their children are no less happier.

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