An LDS perspective on moving from childless to childfree living.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Gratitude versus Jealousy

I have been so busy with running a local school bond campaign, helping my mom who had knee replacement surgery, and doing my own physical therapy for a torn ACL, that I haven't had time to write.

Last week, I read an Ensign article about missionary work that had a section that titled "Gratitude Counteracts Jealousy" that could be applied to infertility.  Several quotes in the article made me think.  "I found myself being excited for other [infertile women] when they had success instead of being jealous."  "I learned that gratitude is the antidote to comparing ourselves to others."  "I also learned that while it is the Lord's pattern to give us righteous examples to emulate and follow, it is Satan's counterfeit to tempt us to compare ourselves with them in order to determine our worth or success."  "I did not need to be jealous because my fellow [infertile women] appeared to be having more success."

I realized that this is part of the paradigm shift from "childless" to "childfree" that we are working on.  I decided to consciously take moments of jealousy and find something to be grateful in those moments. 

Thursday and Friday was our state education convention.  Parents were invited to bring their children.  I saw a lot of families there.  When I had that tug on my heart that I don't have children, I felt grateful that I could go to the sessions I wanted to attend without having to worry about pushing a stroller and pacifying a child.  Yesterday, we went to the mall shopping for clothes for DH's birthday.  I saw a very PG lady sitting outside the dressing room waiting for someone while I was waiting for DH.  Again, I had that tug on my heart, but then I thought I could be grateful I am healthy.  I went to do my mom's laundry, since her laundry room is in the basement, and she can't walk stairs.  I took a moment to be grateful that I had the time to help her without worrying about what my children were doing.

This is an ongoing process, learning to be grateful instead of jealous.


  1. Really thought provoking post. I am glad that you are able to be grateful and see so many positives in being childfree. I see those positives and gratitudes as well - all the time actually!!! It just doesn't stop the deep sadness I still feel all the time as well. The two sides are there in tandem with each other. I'd have to say truthfully, that it pretty much sucks!

    1. Hi Annie -- Yes, the sadness is there, but I'll admit, it does start to lessen over time. It has been a year since we first started talking about living childfree. It is a process that takes a long time.

      I had another moment yesterday when I went visiting teaching. My partner had to bring her 17-month old granddaughter who she was babysitting. She was active and wandered the living room of the sister we visit. At one point, she picked up a vase. At that moment, I was grateful I could have any decor I want in my house, because there are no little ones who may damage the items. Another step.