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Climbing my own mountain as a mom

When I have a weak moment of comparison, I can’t help but feel a little jealous of my friends who are still working. For a moment, I feel like they are somehow beating me. Then, I remember we are climbing different mountains, and that's OK.
Erin Stewart, Deseret News Modified: May 27, 2014 at 2:39 pm •  Published: May 28, 2014

I ran into the mother of a childhood friend the other day and listened as this woman expounded on her daughter’s many educational and career accomplishments. She is now the chief resident at a prestigious hospital and earning all sorts of accolades.

Then, the inevitable question came as she turned to me: What are you doing these days?

Now, I am very proud of being a mom. I made the choice to give up a full-time career to be a full-time mom and would do it again in a heartbeat. But sometimes, when faced with stories of my peers’ success, I feel like I’ve come up short — like somehow my choice to be a mom is a direct result of me not being able to compete in the “real world.”

So, I laughed a little and said, “Oh, I have two daughters and I’m home with them.”

I expected a polite nod and change of subject, but instead this woman erupted, saying “Oh, that’s all I want! I don’t care about all that doctor stuff, I just want grandchildren!” She then turned to my mother beside me and said, “I’m so jealous of you!”

Her outburst was so unexpected and so genuine that I couldn’t stop thinking about it as I went home that evening. Here I thought I was the one who was coming in second compared to her daughter’s glowing accomplishments, and all this woman wanted was what I had.

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