“Envy, after all, comes from wanting something that isn’t yours.”
Here’s a little back story: My family has known about my desire to start a family for just over a year now. I live and breathe becoming a mother and my parents have been amazingly supportive. My mother and father have both contributed money to my quest to become a mother. Last year when my best friend, FancyFace, announced her pregnancy, I was excited and a little jealous for about five minutes. I got over it relatively quickly, especially when she asked if Jade and I would be her daughter’s godparents. So, about six weeks ago, my 20 year old sister informed my mother that she was fourteen weeks pregnant. This information floored me. It literally shook me to my core. Initially, my thoughts were focused on my fears of how much this would affect my sister’s life. She is basically giving up what should be the most fun and wild years of her life. After the initial shock, however, I was happy. I will have a niece or nephew. A blood related niece or nephew. Then came the painful reality of it all. My younger sister was going to be the one to give my parents their first grandchild. That realization opened the door to the green eyed monster of jealousy.
My heart literally hurt. I felt like life was playing a cruel joke on me. My sister was pregnant. My sister. The one who 1) doesn’t like children 2) didn’t think she ever wanted to be a mom and 3) couldn’t even take care of herself. I felt such a range of emotions: jealousy, anger, resentment, fear, sadness, protectiveness and love.
Anger/Resentment/Jealousy: I wasn’t angry with my sister for being pregnant. These things “happen” when you’re straight and don’t take your birth control properly. I was angry because she didn’t tell me. I found out by text message from my mom. I was so unbelievably angry that my sister (we’ll call her Lucy) didn’t tell me. I have tried really, really hard to be a good sister. I’ve tried to be loyal. I’ve tried to be the one she could talk to without judgment. I’ve tried to give good advice to her. The fact that she didn’t tell me made me so angry but more so, it hurt me. I truly resented the fact that my sister was the one who was pregnant and not me. I resented that I am 9 years older than her and she was going to bring the first grandchild into the world. I resented that she told my cousin first. I resented that someone who didn’t even like children was going to bring a baby into this world. I was insanely jealous. At the end of the day, Jade couldn’t have said it better, “It was supposed to be us.” Now, you have to understand, I love my sister so I was never angry with her. I was angry at the comic irony of the situation. The situation made me jealous. Here I am 29 years old, able to take care of a child financially and it was my sister who was going to be blessed with the one thing I wanted in the world more than anything else.
Fear/Protectiveness: I feared how this situation would affect my sister. She is a 20 year old, unemployed college student. My fear is that such a major change would affect my sister’s hopes and dreams. I worry that this will make her give up on college. I immediately became overprotective of her. I defended her to my overly judgmental family and was prepared to defend her to anyone who had anything negative to say.
Love: My love for my sister is unconditional. Yes, Lucy can drive me to madness. She is very self-centered at times but she is also a really good person. She is young and sometimes naïve. If my sister needed a kidney or half of a liver, I am her girl. I would do it without ever even thinking about how it would affect me. I would do it in a heartbeat. I truly love my sister and I know that I will love my niece or nephew no matter what and I know that Lucy is going to adore her child as well.
I find myself battling the Green-Eyed Monster nearly every day but I try to remember that love conquers all and the love I feel for my sister and my niece or nephew will help me deal with the range of emotions I feel each day. I know I will have good and bad days. I sure do hope the good days are more frequent than the bad ones.