The problem of our time is availability of information. Now, of course, it can be a good thing, but it has a negative side, too. We are constantly presented with an image of perfection, whether through TV ads, glossy magazines or Internet personalities. As a result, we want it all and we want it now. We feel entitled to all the joys of life and none of its troubles, so to say. And we constantly keep comparing ourselves to others.
Have you met this ideal family? They both are young-looking and healthy, they both have dream jobs but manage to keep a clean house, eat nutritious meals and spend quality time with their children. Their kids are ideal kids, too; they love daycare, they do well at school and they never get sick or misbehave. This ideal family lives in a dream house in a nice neighbourhood without any crime or pollution, they often go on luxurious vacations, they have a busy and fulfilling social life, they engage in hobbies and sports, keep pets, drive expensive cars and live to be a 100 each while their kids go on to prosper in life and have ideal families of their own.
So have you ever met this family? Because I haven't. What I see around me are far-from-ideal people with all sorts of problems, trying to make the best of it. I don't know one person who has it all, since whatever situation they are in, it will always include trade-offs. In the times past, people understood the realities of every day life much better than we do now and were thankful if they had food, clothes, shelter and at least one of their children lived to adulthood. They also were taught that coveting is a sin and that they shouldn't be too proud of their worldly possessions because they could lose them at any time. Being too prideful was considered tempting God/fate.
It's very easy to grow discontent if you start comparing yourself to others. For a woman who stays home it could be even worse since if she ever complains of lacking something she'll invariably hear that she has to go to work in order for her family to afford buying more stuff. She keeps comparing herself to working women and wonders whether she or her children miss something essential. The truth is, however, that no one's life is ideal and the working mother may in her turn, be envious of the lady who stays home because of her freedom and her leisure.
Grass always looks greener on the other side, but seldom really is:)