Keeping Up With the Joneses

I want to find out who the Jones’ really are because I am tired of trying to keep up with them. I’m just trying to make it through most days without getting a stain on my white Target running shirt or pulling my hair back in such a way so no one can see the grays and dark roots that are emerging once again.

Sometimes l like to think that this whole turning forty thing has given me magic powers that allow me to no longer worry about what others think of me. What I wear, what I say, where I live, the list goes on. In some ways I have let go of so much of that but there are days when I find myself slipping back to the person who second guessed her actions and became embarrassed by what she had said or meant not to say. These are the things I am trying to teach my children not to do and yet I find myself contradicting myself before my very eyes.

Sad but true.

I find that my behavior tends to rub off on my kids. My oldest son (who is nine) came to me the other day and said “when can we get a better back yard”? So I went through the whole spiel about appreciating what you have and how so many would love to just have a yard, blah, blah, blah. I could tell that I had become the voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher because his eyes glazed over and I knew he was thinking “when is THIS speech going to be over?”.

With my final statement of “think about that” I freed him from the torture of my lecture and suddenly realized I tend to do the same thing. Wish for what I don’t have, thinking that it will make me happy and fulfilled. Now this is not the case with everything but I will admit I get house envy and sometimes clothes and shoes envy but I am human, right? I guess I’m a bit of a hypocrite as well for telling my children to appreciate what they have while I secretly long for my neighbors newly renovated kitchen or that fabulous pair of Frye riding boots.

I’m still working on getting the kinks out of these so called “magic powers” that I thought turning forty brought me. Remembering to be grateful for the many blessings and not to lament over what things I don’t have. Because at the end of the day these “things” cannot console a crying child or celebrate a milestone with a friend or share a tender kiss with the one you love. It’s the moments that matter.

So, I think I’ll just stop trying to keep up with the Jones’ and, instead, invite them over to my house for a glass of wine.

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Meghan Mack is a mother of three wonderfully energetic children who test and challenge her on a daily basis. Her mission is simple: To share her struggles and successes with other mom's out there so they know that they are not alone in this quest to raise children. She also hopes to make them laugh, reminding everyone(including herself) to not take everything so seriously. The mantra that Meghan lives by "There is no room for judgement" especially when your three year old thinks it's cool to dress himself.